MILITARY OATHS libro eiusdem Cincii de Re Militari quinto ita scriptum est: 'Cum dilectus antiquitus fieret et milites scriberentur iusiurandum eos tribunus militaris adigebat in verba haec (magistratus verba):

C. Laelii C. fili consulis, L. Cornelii P. fili consulis [190 B.C.] in exercitu, decemque milia pasuum prope, furtum non facies dolo malo solus neque cum pluribus pluris nummi argentei in dies singulos; extraque hastam, hastile, ligna, poma, pabulum, utrem, follem, faculam si quid ibi inveneris sustulerisve quod tuum non erit, quod pluris nummi argentei erit, uti tu ad C. Laelium C. filium consulem Luciumve Cornelium P. filium sive quem ad uter eorum iusserit proferes, aut profitebere in triduo proximo quidquid inveneris sustulerisve dolo malo, aut domino suo, cuius id censebis esse, reddes, uti quod rectum factum esse voles.

Militibus autem scriptis, dies praefinibatur quo die adessent et citanti consuli responderent; deinde concipiebatur iusiurandum, ut adessent, his additis exceptionibus:

nisi harunce quae causa erit: funus familiare feriave denicales, quae non eius rei causa in eum diem conlatae sint, quo is eo die minus ibi esset, morbus sonticus auspiciumve quod sine piaculo praeterire non liceat, sacrificiumve anniversarium quod recte fieri non pissit nisi ipsus eo die ibi sit, vis hostesve, status condictusve dies cum hoste; si cui eorum harunce quae causa erit, tum se postridie quam per eas causas licebit, eo die venturum adiuturumque eum qui eum pagum, vicum, oppidumve delegerit.'

Item in eodem libro verba haec sunt:

Miles cum die, qui prodictus est, aberat neque excusatus erat, infrequens notabatur.

Also, in the fifth book of the same Cincius On Military Science we read the following: "When a levy was made in ancient times and soldiers were enrolled, the tribune of the soldiers compelled them to take an oath in the following words dictated by the magistrate:

'In the army of the consuls Gaius Laelius, son of Gaius, and Lucius Cornelius, son of Publius, and for ten miles around it, you will not with malice aforethought commit a theft, either alone or with others, of more than the value of a silver sesterce in any one day. And except for one spear, a spear shaft, wood, fruit, fodder, a bladder, a purse, and a torch, if you find or carry off anything there which is not your own and is worth more than one silver sesterce, you will bring it to the consul Gaius Laelius, son of Gaius, or to the consul Lucius Cornelius, son of Publius, or to whomsoever either of them shall appoint, or you will make known within the next three days whatever you have found or wrongfully carried off; or you will restore it to him whom you suppose to be its rightful owner, as you wish to do what is right.'

Moreover, when soldiers had been enrolled, a day was appointed on which they should appear and should answer to the consul's summons; then an oath was taken, binding them to appear, with the addition of the following exceptions:

unless there be any of the following excuses: a funeral in his family or purification from a dead body (provided these were not appointed for that day in order that he might not appear on that day), a dangerous disease, or an omen which could not be passed by without expiatory rites, or an anniversary sacrifice, which could not be properly celebrated unless he himself were present on that day, violence or the attack of enemies, a stated and appointed day with a foreigner; if anyone shall have any of these excuses, then on the day following that on which he is excused for these reasons he shall come and render service to the one who held the levy in that district, village or town.'"


Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae XVI. 4
tr. J. C. Rolfe, LCL



May 22, 2009 3:01 PM

John Paul Adams, CSUN

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