Lex Julia de adulteriis (18 B.C.)
- All previous legislation on the subject is cancelled.
- Adulterium is defined: temeratores alienarum nuptiarum . . . stupri flagitium punitur cum quis sine vi vel virginem vel viduam honeste viventem stupraverit.
- Classes excluded from protection: prostitutes, innkeepers, actors
- A father who catches someone in flagrante delicto with his daughter may kill the man on the spot, as well as his daughter.
- A husband may do the same, but with greater restrictions (Justinian Digest 48. 5.25 (24).)
- A man may divorce his wife.
- A man may detain his wife's adulterer in his house for a period not to exceed twenty days, in order to procure witnesses to the situation.
- A person younger than twenty-five years of age may not accuse of adultery.
- No one who is away on legitimate business of the State may be accused.
- One the questioning of slaves involved in adultery: assessors shall estimate the value of the slave, and the accusor shall pay the owner twice the value of the slave. Slaves are not to be spirited away from the power of the law through emancipation.
- Regulation of the payment of the double penalty by the accusor of a slave.
- Regulation of the various rights of (a) father and husband; (b) other extraneous persons.
- Statute of limitations:
(a) for the father and husband: sixty days
(b) in reference to a widow or divorcee: six months
(c) if a father or husband refuse to prosecute, after sixty days an extraneus may do so.
- The order established in which the compliant parties are to be prosecuted, depending upon their sex and legal status
- On pimping, and similar arrangements
- On male prostitution
- On incest.
- On various penalties:
-voluntary adultery: loss of fifty percent of property, and the loss of the right to make a will.
-women: forfeiture of fifty percent of the dowry, thirty-three percent of property, and may be sent off to an island (relegatio) in exile.
- An adulterer may not give testimony in courts of law.
- A member of the Senatorial Order may not marry a convicted adulterer.
- S. Riccobono (editor) Acta Divi Augusti pars prior (Roma 1945), III: "Leges Populi Romani" by Biondo Biondi, pp. 101-223; at pp. 112-128.
- J. A. C. Thomas, Textbook of Roman Law (1976) Chapter XXXVIII, "Marriage" , pp. 419-431, especially 421-425.
- Hugh Last, "The Social Policy of Augustus," Cambridge Ancient History Volume X, pp. 443-447.
- Pal Csillag, The Augustan Laws on Family Relations (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado 1976).
June 14, 2009 4:32 PM
John Paul Adams, CSUN