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On this page: Limen – Linteamen – Lithostrota – Litis Contestatio


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Aen. iv. 137 ; Serv. in loc.) This ornament, when displayed upon the tunic, was of a similar kind with the cyclas and instita (Servius in Virg. Aen. ii. 616), but much less expensive, more com­mon and more simple. It was generally woven in the same piece with the entire garment of which it formed a part, and it had sometimes the appear­ance of a scarlet or purple band upon a white ground ; in other instances it resembled foliage (Virg. Aen. i. 649; Ovid, Met. -v-i. 127), or the scrolls and meanders introduced in architecture. A very elegant effect was produced by bands of gold thread interwoven in cloth of Tyrian purple • (Ovid, Met. v. 51), and called \rjpoi or leria. (Festus, s. v. ; Brunck, Anal. i. 483.) Demetrius Polioreetes was arrayed in this manner (xptxro-TrapLKpoi? aAoup7?cn, PI at. Demet. 41). Virgil {Aen. v. 251) mentions a scarf enriched with gold, the border of which was in the form of a double meander. In illustration of this account examples of both the single and the double meander are in­troduced at the top of the annexed woodcut. The other eight specimens of limbi are selected to show some of the principal varieties of this ornament, which present themselves on Etruscan vases and other works of ancient art.

The use of the limbus was almost confined to the female sex among the Greeks and Romans ; but in other nations it was admitted.into ;$he dress of men likewise.

An ornamental band, when used by itself -as a fillet to surround the temples or the waist,,-was also called limbus. (Stat. Theb. vi. 367, A chill, ;ii. 176 ; Claud, de Cons. Mallii Theod. 118.) Probably the limhoktrii mentioned by Piautus (Aulul. iii. 5. 45), were persons employed in making bands of this description. [J. Y.]

LIMEN. [janua.]


LITHOSTROTA. [domus ; pictuka, sub fin.}

LITIS CONTESTATIO. " Contestari " is when each party to a suit (uterque reus) says, "Testes estote." Two or more parties to a suit (adversarii) are said contestari litem, because when the Judicium is arranged (prdinato judicio) each party is accustomed to say, w Testes estote.1' (Festus, s. v. Contestari.) The Litis Contestatio was therefore so called because persons were called on by the parties to the suit to " bear witness," " to be witnesses." It is not here said what they were to be witnesses of, but it may be inferred


from the use of the words contestatio and testatio in a similar sense in other passages (Dig. 28. tit. 1. s. 20 ; Ulp. Frag. xx. s. 9) that this contestatio wag the formal termination of certain acts of which the persons called to be witnesses were at some future time to bear record. Accordingly the Contestatio, spoken of in the passage of Festus, must refer to the words ordinato judicio, that is,.to the whole business that has taken place In Jure and which is now completed. This interpretation seems to be confirmed by the following considerations.

When the Legis Aetiones were in force, the procedure consisted of a series of oral acts and pleadings. The whole procedure, as was the case after the introduction of the Formulae, was divided into two parts, that before the Magistratus or In Jure, and that before the Judex or In Judicio. That before the Magistratus consisted of acts and words by the parties, and by the Magistratus, the result of which was the determination of the form and manner of the future proceedings In Judicio. When the parties appeared before the Judex, it would be necessary for him to be fully informed of all the proceedings In Jure-: this was effected in later times by the Formula, a written instrument under the authority of the Praetor, which contained the result of all the transactions In Jure in the form of instructions for the Judex. But there is no evidence of any such written instructions having been used in the time of the Legis Aetiones ; and this must therefore have been effected in some other way. The Litis Contestatio then may be thus explained: the whole proceedings In Jure took place before witnesses, and the Contestatio was the conclusion of these proceedings ; and it was the act by which the litigant parties called on the witnesses to bear r -cord before the Judex of what had 'taken place In Jure.

This, which seems a probable explanation of the original meaning of Litis Contestatio, may be com­pared to some extent with the apparently original sense of Recorder and Recording in English law. (Penny Cyclopaedia, art. Recorder.')

When the Formula was introduced, the Litis Centestatio would be unnecessary, and there ap­pears no trace of it in its original sense in the clas­sical jurists. Still the expressions Litw Contestatio and Lis Contestata frequently occur in the Digest, but only in the sense of the completion of the proceedings In Jure, and this is the meaning of the phrases, Ante litem contestatam, Post litem contestatam. (Gaius, iii. 180, iv. 114.) The ex­pression Lis Contestata in a passive sense is used by Cicero (pro Rose. Com. c. 11, 12, pro Flacco, c. 11, and in the Lex Rubria of Gallia Cisalpina, col. i. 1. 48, " cjuos inter id judicium accipietur leisve contestabitur "). As the Litis Contestatio was ori­ginally and properly the termination of the pro­ceedings In Jure, it is easily conceivable that after this form had fallen into disuse, the name should still be retained to express the conclusion of such proceedings. When the phrase Litem Contestari occurs in the classical jurists, it can mean nothing more than the proceedings by which the parties terminate the procedure In Jure and so prepare the matter in dispute for the investigation of the Judex.

It appears from the passage in Festus that the phrase Contestari litem was used, because the words t; Testes estote " were uttered by the parties after the Judicium Ordinatum. It was therefore the uttering of the words " Testes estote " which

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