The Ancient Library

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On this page: Leges De Vi – Valeria Horatia – Varia – Vatfnia De Colonis – Vatfnia De Provfnciis – Vatinia – Vatinia De Rejectione J – Vfllia Annalis – Viaria – Vicesjmaria – Visellia – Voconia


teneret," the import of which is not easy to dis­tinguish from the later Publilia Lex (Liv. viii. 12), " ut plebiscita omnes Quirites tenerent." [PLE-biscitum ; publilia lex.]

A second Lex was intended to secure the prin­ciple of the Lex Valeria De Provocatione ; "that if any person appointed (creasset) a magistrates with­out appeal, it was lawful to kill such person." Creasset has here a technical meaning.. (Liv. iii. 55, iv. 13 ; Cic. de Rep. ii. 31 ; "ne qui magistra-tus sine provocatione crearetur.") This Lex was enacted again b. c. 300 (Liv. x. 0) on the proposal of M. Valerius, consul ; and the sanction of the Lex was more carefully expressed (diligentius sanctam). This, says Livy, was the third time that this Lex was enacted since the expulsion of the kings: " the cause of its being enacted several times I take to be no other than this, that the power of a few was greater than the liberty of-the plebs." This is a plain and intelligible account of the matter, and may be safely accepted. The Great Charter of England was ratified more than once. A Lex Duilia (Liv. iii. 55) which imme­diately followed theseValeriae, again enacted, among other tilings, severe penalties against him " qui magistratum sine provocatione creasset." The plebs thought they were never safe enough against the nobility, and they had good grounds to be suspi­cious.

A third Lex of these consuls was to protect the persons of the tribuni plebis, aediles, judices, de­cemviri. Any person who violated their personality was sacer," devoted," and his familia, liberi liberae-que, were to be sold. It is not known who are meant by judices and decemviri in this passage. The context shows that they were persons of the plebeian class or in the plebeian interest. Niebuhr's conjecture that the judices may be the Centumviri is ingenious and probable. All conjectures about the decemviri are vague.

VALERIA HORATIA. [plebiscitum.]

VARIA. [majestas.]

VATFNIA DE PROVFNCIIS was the en­actment by which Julius Caesar obtained the pro­vince of Gallia Cisalpina with Illyricum for five years, to which the senate added Gallia Transal-


pina. This Plebiscitum was proposed by the tri­bune P. Vatinius, B. c. 59. (Dion Cass. xxxviii. 8 ; Appian. Bell. Civ. ii. 13 ; Sueton. Caes. 22 ; Veil. Pat. ii. 44.) A Trebonia Lex subsequently pro­longed Caesar's Imperium for five years.

VATINIA. [repetundae.]

VATFNIA DE COLONIS, under which the Latina Colonia [latinitas] of Noviim-Comum in Gallia Cisalpina was planted b. c. 59. (Sueton. Caes. 28.)

VATINIA DE REJECTIONE JU'DICUM (Cic. in Vatin. c. 11 ; Scliol Bob. 321, 323.)


VIARIA. A Lex that was talked of (Cic. ad Fam. viii. 6) is only worth mention on account of the name. Such a .Lex might be De Viis Muniendis.

Some modern writers speak of Leges Viariae, but there do not appear to be any Leges properly so called. The provisions as to roads (viae) in many of the Agrarian laws were parts of such leges, and had no special reference to roads. (Frontinus, or, as he is often called, Pseudo-Fron-tinus, De Coloniis Libellus.}

VICESJMARIA. [vicesima.]


VFLLIA ANNALIS. [annales,p. 684, b. and the Essay of Wex on the Leges Annalea of the Romans, translated in the Classical Mu­seum, No. X.]

VISELLIA made a man liable to a criminal prosecution who, being a Latinus, assumed to ex­ercise the rights of an Ingenuus. (Cod. ix. tit. 21.)

VOCONIA, was enacted on the proposal of Q. Voconius Saxa, a Tribunus Plebis. In the " De Senectute " of Cicero, Cato the elder is in­troduced as saying that he spoke in favour of the Lex when he was sixty-five years of age, and in the consulship of Caepio and Philippus. (b. c. 169.) Gellius also speaks of the oration in which Cato recommended this Lex. (Cic. pro Balbo., 8, Cato Major, 5 ; Gellius, vii. 13, xvii. 6.)

One provision of the Lex was that no person who should be included in the census, after the census of that year (post eos censores ; the Censors of that year were A. Postumius and Q. Fulvius), should make any female (virginem neve mulierciu,) his heres. (Cic. in Verrem, i. 41,42.) Cicero does not state that the Lex fixed the census at any sum ; but it appears from Gains (ii. 274) that a woman could not be made heres by any person who was rated in the census at 100,000 asses or upwards (centum millia aeris\ though she could take the hereditas per fideicommissum. Dion Cas-sius (Ivi. 10) names the sum as 25,000 drachmae, which is 100,000 sestertii. The lex allowed no exceptions even in favour of an only daughter. (Augustin..<f<? Civit. Dei, iii. 21.) The Lex only applied to testaments, and therefore a daughter or other female could inherit ab intestate to any amount. The Vestal Virgins could make women their heredes in all cases, which was the only exception to the provisions of the Lex. (Cic. do Rep. iii. 10 ; Gell. i. 12.)

If the terms of the Lex are correctly reported by Cicero, a person who was not census might make a woman his heres, whatever was the amount of his property, and so Cicero understands the Lex (in }7err. ii. 41). Still there is a difficulty about the meaning of census. If it is taken to mean that a person whose property was above 100,000, and who was not included in the census, could dispose of his property as he pleased by testament, the purpose of the Lex would be frustrated ; and further " the not being included in the census " (neque census esset} seems rather vague. Still, ac­cording to the terms of the Lex, any person who had ever been included in the census, would be affected by this legal incapacity. ' Sometimes it is assumed that the last census is meant. The Edict extended the rale of the Voconia Lex to the Bo-norum Possessio. (Dig. 37. tit. 1. s. 12.)

Another provision of the Lex forbade a person, who was census, to give more in amount in the form of a legacy or a donatio mortis causa, to any person than the heres or heredes should take. This provision secured something to the heres or heredes, but still the provision was ineffectual, and the object of this lex was only accomplished by the Lex Falcidia. [legatum.] Gaius (ii. 226), in quoting this provision of the Lex, does not mention the condition of being census, but this ia stated by Cicero (in Verr. i. 43).

Some writers suppose that this Lex also con­tained a provision by which a testator was forbid­den to give a woman more than half of his property by way of legacy ; and it appears from Cicero that

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