Image Map for WLGR (12k)

Legal Status in the Roman World


128. Social status and marriage (Digest 23.2.44 pr.-1, 6-8; 25.7.1 pr.-1, 4; 25.7.2. L)

23.2.44 (Paul, Lex Julia et Papia, book 1) (pr.) It is provided by the lex Julia that: 'A senator, or his son, or his grandson or great-grandson by his son shall not knowingly or in bad faith become betrothed to or marry a freedwoman, or a woman who is or has been an actress or whose father or mother practises, or has practised the profession of an actor. Nor shall the daughter of a senator, or a granddaughter by his son, or a great-granddaughter by this grandson marry a freedman, or a man whose father or mother practises, or has practised the profession of an actor, whether they do so knowingly, or in bad faith. Nor can any one of these parties knowingly, or in bad faith become betrothed to or marry a woman of this type.'

(1) Under this head a senator is forbidden to marry a freedwoman, or a woman whose father or mother has exercised the profession of an actor. A freedman is also forbidden to marry the daughter of a senator.

(6) If the father or mother of a freeborn woman, after the marriage of the latter should begin to exercise the profession of the stage, it would be most unjust for the husband to have to repudiate her, as the marriage was honourably contracted, and children may already have been born. (7) It is evident that if the woman herself goes on the stage, she should be repudiated by her husband. (8) Senators cannot marry woman whom other freeborn men are forbidden to take as wives.

25.7.1 (Ulpian, Lex Julia et Papia, book 2) (pr.) Where a freedwoman is living in concubinage with her patron, can she leave him without his consent, and either marry someone else or become his concubine? I think that a concubine should not have the right to marry if she leaves her patron without his consent, since it is more respectable for a patron to have his freedwoman as a concubine than as a wife. [25]

(1) I agree with Atilicinus, [26] that only those women with whom intercourse is not unlawful can be kept in concubinage without the fear of committing a crime ... (4) It is clear that anyone can keep a concubine of any age unless she is less than twelve years old.

25.7.2 (Paul, Lex Julia et Papia, book 2) Where a patron, who has a freedwoman as his concubine, becomes insane, it is more humane to hold that she remains in concubinage.


Notes

25. For the freedwoman, the reverse is the case.

26. A correspondent, hence contemporary, of the jurist Proculus, thus active in the first half of the first century A.D.