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682

LEX.

but this definition, as Gellius observes, will not apply to such cases as the Lex about the Inipe-riurn of Pompeius, or that about the return of Cicero, which related only to individuals, and were properly called Privilegia.

Of Roman Leges, viewed with reference to the mode of enactment, there were properly two kinds, Leges Curiatac and Leges Centuriatae. Plebiscita are improperly called Leges, though they were Laws, and in the course of time had the same effect as Leges.

Originally the Leges Curiatae were the only Leges, and they were passed by the populus in the Comitia Curiata. After the establishment of the Comitia Centuriata, the Comitia Curiata fell almost into disuse ; but so long as the Republic lasted, and even under Augustus, a shadow of the old constitution was preserved in the formal con­ferring of the Imperium by a Lex Curiata only, and in the ceremony of abrogation being effected only in these Comitia. [adoptio.]

Those Leges, properly so called, with which we are acquainted, were passed in the Comitia Centu­riata, and were proposed (rogabantur) by a ma-gistratus of senatorial rank. Such a Lex was also designated by the name Populi Scitum. (Festus, s. v. Sdtum Pop.) As to the functions of the Senate in legislation, see auctor and senatus,

A Plebiscitum was a law made in the Comitia Tributa, on the rogation of a Tribune: " Plebis­citum est quod plebs plebeio magistratu interro-gante, veluti Tribune, constituebat," (Inst. 1. tit. 2. s. 4.) " Accordingly,11 says Gains (i. 3), *4 formerly the patricii used to say that they were not bound by Plebiscita, because they were made without their sanction (sine auctoritate eoruni) ; but afterwards the Lex Hortensia was carried (b.c. 288), which provided that Plebiscita should bind the whole populus (in the larger sense of the word), and thus they were made of equal force with Leges." (Liv. viii. 12 ; Gell. xv. 27 ; leges

PUBL1LIAE.)

When the Comitia Tributa were put on the same footing as the Centuriata, the name Lex was applied also to Plebiscita, and thus Lex became a generic term, to which was sometimes added the specific designation, as Lex Plebeivescitum, Lex sive Plebiscitum est [plebiscitum].

Cicero, in his enumeration of the sources of Roman law {Top. 5), does not mention Plebis­cita, which he undoubtedly comprehended under "leges."' Various Plebiscita are quoted as leges, such as the Lex Falcidia (Gains, ii. 227) and Lex Aquilia. (Cic. pro Tullio, o. 11.) In the Table of Heraclea the Avords " lege plebisvescito " appear to refer to the same enactment ; and in the Lex Rubria there occurs the phrase " ex lege Rubria sive id plebiscitum est." (Savigny, Zeitschrift, &c. vol. ix. p. 355.)

The word Rogatio (from the verb rogo) properly means any measure proposed to the legislative body, and therefore is equally applicable to a pro­posed Lex and a proposed Plebiscitum. Accord­ingly there occur the expressions " populum ro-gare," to propose a lex to the populus ; and " legem rogare," to propose a lex. (Festus, s. v. Rogatio.} A Rogatio then is properly a proposed lex or a proposed plebiscitum. The terms liogare, Rogatio also apply to a person being proposed for a magis-tratus at the Comitia. (Sail. Jug. 2,9.) The form of a Rogatio, in the case of Adrogatio, which was

LEX.

f effected at the Comitia Curiata (per populi roaa-tionem}, is preserved by Gellius (v. 13) : it begins with the words " Velitis, jubeatis, &c.," and ends with the words " ita vos Quirites rogo." The corresponding expression of assent to the Rogatio on the part of the sovereign assembly was, Uti Rogas. The rejection of a Rogatio is expressed by Antiquare Rogationem. (Liv. xxxi. G.) The term Rogatio therefore included every proposed Lex, Plebiscitum, and Privilegium, for without a Rogatio there could be no command (jussuni) of the Popu­lus or Plebs. But the words Lex, Plebiscitum, and Privilegium were often improperly used to ex­press laws (Gell. x. 20) ; and Rogationes, after they had become laws, were still sometimes called Roga­tiones. The term Rogationes is often applied to measures proposed by the Tribunes, and afterwards made Plebiscita: hence some writers (improperly) view Rogatio as simply equivalent to Plebiscitum. Besides the phrase " rogare legem," there are the phrases " legem ferre," to propose a Lex, and " ro-gationem promulgare," to give public notice of the contents of a Lex which it was intended to pro­pose ; the phrase " rogation em accipere " applies to the enacting body. " Lex Rogata" is equivalent to " Lex Lata." Legem perferre and Lex perlata apply to a Rogatio when it has become a Lex. (Dig. 35. tit. 2. s. 1. Ad legem Falcidiam.} The terms relating to legislation are thus explained by Ulpian (tit. 1. s. 3): — "A Lex is said either rogari or ferri; it is said abrogari, when it is re -pealed ; it is said derogari^ when a part is re­pealed ; it is said subrogari, when some addition is made to it ; and it is said obrogari, when some part of it is changed." A subsequent lex repealed or altered a prior lex which was inconsistent with it. It appears to have been also a principle among the Romans that a Law by long desuetude became of no effect. (Comp. Liv. xxi. 63, and Cic. in Verr. v. 18.)

As to their form, we can judge of the Roman style of legislation by the fragments which exist. The Romans seem to have ahvavs adhered to the

«'

old expressions, and to have used few superfluous words. Great care was taken with such clauses as were proposed to alter a former lex, and great cart-was also used to avoid all interference with a former lex, when no change in it was intended. The Leges were often divided into chapters (capita). (Sec the tablet of the Lex de Gallia Cisalpina ; and Cic. ad Ait. iii. 23.) The Lex was cut on bronze (aes) and deposited on the Aerariimi. (Sueton. Cites. 28 ; Plutarch, Cat. JMm. 17.) Pro­bably the fixing of a Lex in a public place was generally only for a time. (Cic. ad Alt. xiv. 12.) The title of the lex was generally derived from the gentile name of the magistratus who pro­posed it, as the Lex Hortensia from the dictator Hortensius. Sometimes the lex took its name from the two consuls or other magistrates, as the Acilia Calpurnia, Aelia or Aelia Sentia, Papia or Papia Poppaea, and others. It seems to have been the fashion to omit the word el between the two names, though instances occur in which it was used. [julia lex et titia.] A lex was also often designated, with reference to its object, as the Lex Ciricia de Donis et Muneribus, Lex Furia Testainentaria, Lex Julia Municipalis, and many others. Leges which related to a common object, were often designated by a collective name, as Leges Agrariae, Judiciariae, and others. Some-

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