Augustus and Marriage Legislation
Lex Julia de Maritandis Ordinibus (18 B.C.)
Lex Papia Poppaea (9 A.D.)
- Suetonius Augustus. 34
- Cassius Dio 54. 16.
- Res Gestae Divi Augusti
- Horace, Carmen Saeculare 17-20
- Ehrenberg & Jones, Documents . . . Augustus and Tiberius nos. 30 and 31 (Ludi Saeculares )
- Justinian Digest 23. 2. 44 preface.
- Biondo Biondi, Acta Divi Augusti (Roma 1945) pars prior, 166-197.
- G. Rotondi, Leges publicae populi romani (1922) 443-445; 457-462.
- Hugh Last, Cambridge Ancient History Volume X, pp. 448-452.
- Pal Csillag, The Augustan Laws on the Family.
- Senators and their descendants to the fourth generation are forbidden to marry members of the class of Freedmen, or to marry anyone whose father or mother or who oneself is or has been an actor.
- Freeborn persons are forbidden to contract marriage with a person who is a procurer or with a freedman or freedwoman of a procurer, or with a person seized in adultery and convicted of the crime, or with actors.
- Soldiers on military service are forbidden to contract marriages.
- Persons who are not yet married are not permitted to attend certain public festivals, in particular the ludi , a special exemption being granted for the Ludi Saeculares in 17 B.C.
- Persons of illegitimate birth (spurii, spuriae) are not permitted to be registered on the official registers (alba).
- Concubinage is recognized, and the laws concerning legitimate marriage do not apply.
- Arrangements of a marital nature which are in contravention of the laws (contra leges), against the decrees of the Emperor (et decreta Principum), against traditional accepted standards (et bonos mores) are invalid.
- The consul (of a pair of consuls) who has the larger number of children is to be considered the senior consul. If each has the same number, the one who is still married is considered senior. If both are married and each has the same number of children, only then is the elder in terms of chronology considered the senior (Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 2. 15).
- Possessing chilcren can lead to exemption from civil obligations. Justinian Institutes 1. 25 praefatio: "There are certain grounds on which persons are exempt from serving in the office of guardian or curator (tutor vel curator), of which the most common is their having a certain number of children, whether in power or emancipated. If a man has, in Rome, three children living, or in Italy four, or in the provinces five, he may claim exemption from these as from other public obligations." [In 9 B.C., Augustus' wife Livia, who had reached her fiftieth birthday) was accorded the ius trium liberorum, even though she did not qualify under the law: Cassius Dio 55. 2.]
- Freedmen who have two or more children are exempted from certain of the obligations which could be placed on them by prior oath by their former masters as conditions for emancipation. A freedwoman above the age of fifty is exempted from the same obligations. A freedwoman who marries her master is also exempted. BUT, a freedwoman who marries her patronus (former master) may not sue for divorce.
- A guardian (tutor ) is assigned by the Praetor Urbanus to a woman or virgin who ought to be married according to the Lex Julia de ordinibus maritandis, for the purpose of presenting a dowry.
- Women who have three or more children (if they are freedwomen, four or more) are exempted from the law which requires them to have a guardian [ius trium liberorum].
- Various privileges of giving gifts between husband and wife are regulated.
- The marriage of men to underage girls, for the purpose of avoiding taxes against unmarried men (caelebs) or the legal disabilities that went with being unmarried, were regulated (Cassius Dio 54. 17.7). A minimum age of ten years was fixed; marriage had to take place within two years of the betrothal; twelve was designated as the official age of female puberty.
- Unmarried men (caelibes) are forbidden to receive inheritances and legacies. This disability begins for men at twenty-five years of age, and for women at twenty years of age. It ends for men at sixty years of age, and for women at fifty.
- Orbi (widowers) without children are deprived of one-half of a legacy or inheritance.
- Women are given one year by the Lex Julia, later two years by the Lex Papia Poppaea, from the death of a husband to remarry before becoming subject to penalties. Women are given six months from a divorce to remarry. Women are given eighteen months from a repudiation to remarry. Eventually, this had to be changed to three years (Suetonius Augustus 34).
- Patrons are given certain rights of inheritance against freedmen of theirs who have married but do not have three children.
[There are numerous other clauses.]
January 24, 2010 3:21 PM
John Paul Adams, CSUN