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Roman Law before the Twelve TablesAn Interdisciplinary Approach$
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Sinclair W. Bell and Paul J. du Plessis

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474443968

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474443968.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

The leges regiae through Tradition, Historicity and Invention: A Comparison of Historico-literary and Jurisprudential Sources

The leges regiae through Tradition, Historicity and Invention: A Comparison of Historico-literary and Jurisprudential Sources

Chapter:
(p.97) Chapter 6 The leges regiae through Tradition, Historicity and Invention: A Comparison of Historico-literary and Jurisprudential Sources
Source:
Roman Law before the Twelve Tables
Author(s):

Rossella Laurendi

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474443968.003.0007

An interdisciplinary approach to historical criticism allows us to investigate the tradition of the royal laws and their collection, ostensibly made by one Papirius at the start of the Republic. Despite the lengthy, stratified process of formation and transmission of historical memory by historians, grammarians, writers and jurists from the late Republic onwards, the identification of certain authentic elements of these laws is possible. In the case of the law on paelex, attributed to Numa, a philological analysis suggests its archaic origins, even if we cannot prove that Numa was the drafter of this law. The law appears to be made up of a precept (prohibition against approaching the altar or the temple of Juno) and a sanction (sacrifice with loose hair). The significance of the loose hair, typical signs of pain and penance, is the key to reading the law. By the enactment of this law, the social status of the paelex was diminished, analogous to that of a married man's concubine.

Keywords:   Leges regiae, Numa Pompilius, Ius Papirianum, Paelex, Juno

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