List of Roman laws
This is a partial list of Roman laws. A Roman law (Latin: lex) is usually named for the sponsoring legislator and designated by the adjectival form of his gens name (nomen gentilicum), in the feminine form because the noun lex (plural leges) is of feminine grammatical gender. When a law is the initiative of the two consuls, it is given the name of both, with the nomen of the senior consul first. Sometimes a law is further specified by a short phrase describing the content of the law, to distinguish that law from others sponsored by members of the same gens.
|Name||Date||Passed by||Magistracy held||Description|
|Lex Acilia Calpurnia||67 BC||C. Calpurnius Piso & M. Acilius Glabrio||Consuls||Permanent exclusion from office in cases of electoral corruption.|
|Lex Acilia de intercalando||191 BC||M. Acilius Glabrio||Consul||Adjustment of the calendar.|
|Lex Acilia repetundarum||122 BC||M. Acilius Glabrio (& C. Sempronius Gracchus)||Tribunes of the plebs||Repetundae procedures for jurors in courts overseeing senatorial class to prevent corruption abroad.|
|Lex Aebutia de formulis||120–63 BC (circa)||Aebutius||Tribune of the plebs (?)||Authorized praetor's discretion to be introduced into the court of the praetor urbanus, praetor able to remodel private law of Rome.|
|Lex Aebutia de magistratibus extraordinariis||120–63 BC (circa)||Aebutius||Tribune of the plebs?||Proposer of extraordinary magistracy cannot hold it.|
|Lex Aelia et Fufia||150 BC (circa)?||Aelius & Fufius||Tribunes of the plebs?||Two laws probably regulating auspices.|
|Lex Aelia Sentia||AD 4||Sex. Aelius Catus & C. Sentius Saturninus||Consuls||Manumissions of slaves.|
|Lex Aemilia de censoribus||434 BC||Mam. Aemilius Mamercinus||Dictator||Reduced the terms of censors to a year and a half.|
|Lex Ampia||63 BC||T. Ampius Balbus||Tribune of the plebs||Allowed Pompey to wear the crown of bay at the Ludi Circenses.|
|Lex Antonia de Termessibus||68 BC||C. Antonius Hybrida||Tribune of the plebs||Alliance with Termessus.|
|Lex Antonia||44 BC||Mark Antony||Consul||Measures of Mark Antony against dictatorship etc.|
|Lex Appuleia agraria||103–100 BC||Saturninus||Tribune of the plebs||Made provision for public lands taken in Cisalpine Gaul from the Cimbri to be allocated to poor citizens.|
|Lex Appuleia de maiestate||103–100 BC||Saturninus||Tribune of the plebs||Established an equestrian court to try maiestas.|
|Lex Aquilia de damno||286 BC (possibly)||Aquilius||Tribune of the plebs||Provided compensation to the owners of property injured by someone's fault.|
|Lex Aternia Tarpeia||454 BC||Aul. Aternius Varus &S. Tarpeius Montanus Capitolinus||Consuls||Allowed magistrates to fine citizens, but set maximum fines.|
|Lex Atilia Marcia||311 BC||L. Atilius & C. Marcius Rutilus Censorinus||Tribunes of the plebs||Empowered the people to elect sixteen Military Tribunes for each of four legions.|
|Lex Atinia||149 BC||Atinius||Tribune of the plebs||Tribunes of the plebs automatically promoted to the senate.|
|Lex Atinia de usucapione||149 BC||Atinius||Tribune of the plebs||Dealing with ownership.|
|Lex Aufeia||123 BC||Aufeius||Tribune of the plebs||Settlement of Asia.|
|Lex Aufidia de ambitu||61 BC||M. Aufidius Lurco||Tribune of the plebs||If a candidate promised money to a tribe and did not pay it, he should be unpunished; but if he did pay the money, he should further pay to each tribe (annually?) 3000 sesterces as long as he lived.|
|Lex Aurelia de tribunicia potestate||75 BC||C. Aurelius Cotta||Consul||Former tribunes of the plebs can hold further magistracies (this right had been removed by Sulla).|
|Lex Aurelia iudiciaria||70 BC||L. Aurelius Cotta||Praetor||Juries should be chosen from senators, equites and tribuni aerarii.|
|Lex Baebia de Praetoribus||181 BC||M. Baebius Tamphilus||Consul||Set number of praetors to alternate, but was never observed.|
|Lex Cornelia et Baebia de Ambitu||181 BC||P. Cornelius Cethegus & M. Baebius Tamphilus||Consuls||Against electoral bribery.|
|Lex Caecilia de censoria||52 BC||Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio||Consul||Repealed the lex Clodia de Censoribus passed by the tribune of the plebs Clodius in 58 BC, which had regulated the Censors.|
|Lex Caecilia de vectigalibus||60 BC||Q. Caecilius Metellus Nepos Iunior||Praetor||Released lands and harbors in Italy from the payment of taxes.|
|Lex Caecilia Didia||98 BC||Q. Caecilius Metellus Nepos & T. Didius||Consuls||Required laws to proposed at least three market days before any vote. Also forbade Omnibus bills, which are bills with a large amount of unrelated material.|
|Lex Calpurnia||149 BC||L. Calpurnius Piso||Tribune of the plebs||Established a permanent extortion court.|
|Lex Canuleia||445 BC||C. Canuleius||Tribune of the plebs||Allowed patricians and plebeians to intermarry.|
|Lex Cassia tabellaria||137 BC||L. Cassius Longinus Ravilla||Tribune of the plebs||Introduced secret votes in court jury decisions.|
|Lex Cassia de senatu||104 BC||L. Cassius Longinus||Tribune of the plebs||Required any senator to be expelled from the senate if they had been convicted of a crime, or if their power (imperium) had been revoked while serving as a magistrate.|
|Lex Cassia||44 BC||L. Cassius Longinus||Tribune of the plebs||Allowed Julius Caesar to add new individuals to the patrician (aristocratic) class.|
|Lex Cassia Terentia frumentaria||73 BC||C. Cassius Longinus & M. Terentius Varro Lucullus||Consuls||Required the distribution of corn among the poor citizens.|
|Lex Cincia de donis et muneribus||204 BC||M. Cincius Alimentus||Tribune of the plebs||Tort reform concerning the payment of lawyers.|
|Lex citationis||AD 426||Valentinian III||Emperor||During court proceedings, only five Roman lawyers could be cited.|
|Lex Claudia||218 BC||Q. Claudius||Tribune of the plebs||Prohibited senators from participating in overseas trade, obsolete by the time of Cicero.|
|Lex Clodia||58 BC||P. Clodius Pulcher||Tribune of the plebs||Seven laws: (1) Lex Clodia de Auspiciis: repealed the leges Aeliae et Fufiae. (2) Lex Clodia de Censoribus: prescribed certain rules for the Roman Censors in exercising their functions as inspectors of public morals. (3) Lex Clodia de Civibus Romanis Interemptis: threatened punishment for anyone who offered fire and water to those who had executed Roman citizens without a trial. (4) Lex Clodia Frumentaria: required the distribution of grain to Rome's poor citizens for free. (5) Lex Clodia de Sodalitatibus: declared that certain clubs of a "semi-political nature" (i.e. armed gangs) were lawful. (6) Lex Clodia de Libertinorum Suffragiis: attempted to extend freedmen's (i.e. ex-slaves') voting rights. (7) Lex Clodia de Rege Ptolemaeo et de exsulibus Byzantinis: pertained to several of Rome's eastern provinces and vassal states.|
|Lex Cornelia annalis||81 BC||Sulla||Dictator||A sanction law for Sulla's past acts; part of his program to strengthen the Senate.|
|Lex Cornelia de maiestate||81 BC||Sulla||Dictator||Treason law passed by Sulla to regulate the activities of pro-magistrates in their provinces, especially unapproved war and unauthorised travel.|
|Lex Cornelia de sicariis et veneficiis||81 BC||Sulla||Dictator||Dealing with injuries and deaths obtained by magic.|
|Lex Domitia de sacerdotis||104 BC||Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus||Tribune of the plebs||Established the election of the pontifex maximus and the members of the college of priests (chosen by cooptation before).|
|Lex Fufia Caninia||2 BC||C. Fufius Geminus & L. Caninius Gallus||Consuls||Limited manumissions.|
|Lex Gabinia||67 BC||A. Gabinius||Tribune of the plebs||Pompey has special powers in the Mediterranean to fight against pirates|
|Lex Gabinia tabellaria||139 BC||A. Gabinius||Tribune of the plebs||Introduced secret votes in election for magistrate offices.|
|Lex Gellia Cornelia||72 BC||L. Gellius Publicola & Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Clodianus||Consuls||Authorised Pompey to confer Roman citizenship to his clientela and Spaniards.|
|Lex Genucia||342 BC||L. Genucius||Tribune of the plebs||Three laws: (1) Abolished interest on loans. (2) Required the election of at least one plebeian consul each year. (3) Prohibited a magistrate from holding two magistracies in the same year, or the same magistracy for the next ten years (until 332).|
|Lex Hadriana||AD 117–138||Hadrian||Emperor||Enabled permanent tenants to develop land, it was an extension of the lex Manciana.|
|Lex Hieronica||240 BC||Hiero II||King of Sicily||Taxation of Sicily (the legislation of Hiero II was included in Roman law).|
|Lex Hortensia||287 BC||Q. Hortensius||Dictator||Plebiscites approved by the Assembly of the People gain the status of law.|
|Lex de Imperio Vespasiani||AD 69||Vespasian||Emperor||Conferring powers, privileges and exemptions to the emperor Vespasian.|
|Lex Icilia de Aventino publicando||456 BC||L. Icilius||Tribune of the plebs||Gave land to plebeians.|
|Lex Iulia de Civitate Latinis et Sociis Danda||90 BC||Lucius Julius Caesar||Consul||Offered citizenship to all Italians who had not raised arms against Rome in the Social War.|
|Lex Iulia de adulteriis coercendis||17 BC||Augustus||Emperor||Made conjugal unfaithfulness a public as well as a private offence, with banishment a possible penalty.|
|Lex Iulia de Ambitu||18 BC||Augustus||Emperor||Penalised bribery when acquiring political offices.|
|Lex Iulia de maritandis ordinibus||18 BC||Augustus||Emperor||Marrying-age celibates and young widows that would not marry were barred from receiving inheritances and from attending public games.|
|Lex Iulia de repetundis||59 BC||Julius Caesar||Consul||Regarding extortion in the provinces.|
|Lex Iulia de vicesima hereditatum||AD 5||Augustus||Emperor||Instituted a 5 percent tax on testamentary inheritances, exempting close relatives.|
|Lex Iulia municipalis||45 BC||Julius Caesar||Dictator and consul||Set regulations for the Italian municipalities.|
|Lex Junia Licinia||62 BC||D. Junius Silanus & L. Licinius Murena||Consuls||A reinforcement law passed to back up the earlier lex Caecilia Didia law of 98 BC.|
|Lex Junia Norbana||AD 19||M. Junius Silanus Torquatus & L. Norbanus Balbus||Consuls||Regarding status of freedmen.|
|Lex Licinia Mucia||95 BC||L. Licinius Crassus & Q. Mucius Scaevola||Consuls||Removed Latin and Italian allies from Rome's citizen-rolls.|
|Lex Licinia Pompeia||55 BC||Pompey and Crassus||Consuls||Caesar's proconsulship in both the Gauls was extended for another 5 years.|
|lex Licinia Sextia||367 BC||C. Licinius Stolo & L. Sextius Lateranus||Tribunes of the plebs||Four laws: (1) Lex de consule altero ex plebe et de praetore ex patribus creando: resumed the consulship and opened it to plebeians, and created the praetorship, reserved to patricians. (2) Lex de aere alieno: provided that the interest already paid on debts should be deducted from the principal and that the payment of the rest of the principal should be in three equal annual instalments. (3) Lex de modo agrorum: restricted individual ownership of public land in excess of 500 iugeras (300 acres) and forbade the grazing of more than 100 cattle on public land. (4) Lex de Decemviri Sacris Faciundis: created the Decemviri sacris faciundis, a college of ten priests, of whom five had to be plebeians.|
|Lex Maenia||279 BC||Maenius||Tribune of the plebs||Carried the principle of lex Pubilia to elections (approval of Senate moved before the elections, not after)..|
|Lex Menenia Sestia||452 BC||T. Menenius Lanatus & P. Sestius Capitolinus Vaticanus||Consuls||Scale for fines, 1 ox = 12 sheep = 100 lb. of bronze.|
|Lex Manciana||AD 69–96||Dealt with imperial and private cases in North Africa, regulated relations between cultivators and the proprietors.|
|Lex Manilia||66 BC||C. Manilius||Tribune of the plebs||Pompey's actions against Mithridates.|
|Lex Minucia||216 BC||M. Minucius||Tribune of the plebs||Appointment of three finance commissioners.|
|Lex Ogulnia||300 BC||Cn. & Q. Ogulnius||Tribune of the plebs||Created four plebeian pontiffs and five plebeian augurs.|
|Lex Oppia||215 BC||C. Oppius||Tribune of the plebs||Limited female adornment.|
|Lex Ovinia||312 BC (before)||Ovinius||Tribune of the plebs||Transferred the right to appoint Senators from the consuls to the censors.|
|Lex Papia de peregrinis||65 BC||C. Papius||Tribune of the plebs||Challenged false claims of citizenship and deported foreigners from Rome.|
|Lex Papia Poppaea||AD 9||M. Papius Mutilus & Q. Poppaeus Secundus||Consuls||Regarding marriage.|
|Lex Papiria de dedicationibus||166–155 BC||Papirius||Tribune of the plebs||Forbade consecration of real property without approval of the popular assembly.|
|Lex Papiria Julia||430 BC||L. Papirius Crassus & L. Julius Iulus||Consuls||Made payment of fines in bronze mandatory.|
|Lex de permutatione provinciae||44 BC||Mark Antony||Consul||Gave himself a five-year command in Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul in lieu of Macedon. Also gave authorization to transfer Caesar's legions from Macedon to the new provinces.|
|Lex Petronia||32 BC (before)||Petronius||Tribune of the plebs||Regulated appointments of municipal prefects.|
|Lex Plautia de reditu lepidanorum||70 BC||Plautius||Tribune of the plebs||Granted a pardon to Lepidus' former associates.|
|Lex Plautia Judiciaria||89 BC||M. Plautius Silvanus||Tribune of the plebs||Chose jurors from other classes, not just the Equites.|
|Lex Plautia Papiria||89 BC||C. Papirius Carbo & M. Plautius Silvanus||Tribunes of the plebs||Granted citizenship to Roman allies.|
|Lex Poetelia Papiria||326 BC||C. Poetelius Libo & L. Papirius Cursor||Consuls||Abolished the contractual form of Nexum, or debt bondage.|
|Lex Pompeia de Transpadanis||89 BC||Cn. Pompeius Strabo||Consul||Granted Latin Right to the populations of Cisalpine Gaul.|
|Lex de Porcia capita civium||199 BC||P. Porcius Laeca||Tribune of the plebs||Gave right of appeal (provocatio) in capital cases.|
|Lex Porcia de tergo civium||195 BC||Cato the Elder||Consul||Extended the right to provocatio against flogging.|
|Lex Porcia||185 BC||L. Porcius Licinus||Consul||Provided for a very severe sanction (possibly death) against magistrates who refused to grant provocatio.|
|Lex provincia||146 BC||Set of laws designed to regulate and organize the administration of Roman provinces.|
|Lex Publilia||471 BC||Volero Publilius||Tribune of the plebs||Transferred the election of the tribunes of the plebs to the comitia tributa.|
|Lex Publilia||339 BC||Q. Publilius Philo||Consul and dictator||Three laws: (1) Reserved one censorship to plebeians. (2) Made plebiscites binding on all citizens (including patricians). (3) Stated that the Senate had to give its prior approval (the Auctoritas patrum) to plebiscites before becoming binding on all citizens (the lex Valeria Horatia of 449 had placed this approval after plebiscites).|
|Lex Pupia||61 BC||M. Pupius Piso Frugi Calpurnianus||Consul||Senate could not meet on Comitiales Dies.|
|Lex Regia||759–509 BC||Kings of Rome||Laws enacted by the Roman kings before the Republic.|
|Lex Roscia||49 BC||L. Roscius Fabatus||Praetor||Caesar proposed full Latin Rights on the people of Transalpine Gaul.|
|Lex Roscia theatralis||67 BC||L. Roscius Otho||Tribune of the plebs||Allocated a place in Roman theaters to the equestrian order.|
|Lex Rubria||122 BC||C. Rubrius||Tribune of the plebs||Authorised a colony on the ruins of Carthage.|
|Lex Sacrata||494 BC||law after first secession of the plebeians that either affirmed the sacrosanctity of the tribunes or established the plebeians as a sworn confederacy against patricians.|
|Lex Scantinia||149 BC (circa)||M. Scantius or Scantinius||Tribune of the plebs||Regulating some aspects of homosexual behaviour among citizens, primarily protecting freeborn male minors.|
|Lex Sempronia agraria||133 BC||Ti. Sempronius Gracchus||Tribune of the plebs||Set of laws that redistributed land among the poor; repealed after his assassination.|
|Lex Servilia Caepio||106 BC||Q. Servilius Caepio||Consul||Some control of the court de rebus repentundis was handed back to senators from the equites.|
|Lex Servilia Glaucia de Repetundis||101 BC||C. Servilius Glaucia||Tribune of the plebs||Made juries in property court composed by equites only.|
|Lex Terentia Cassia||73 BC||M. Terentius Varro Lucullus & C. Cassius Longinus||Consuls||Safeguarded Rome's grain supply and distributed grain at reduced rates.|
|Lex Titia||43 BC||P. Titius||Tribune of the plebs||Gave Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus full powers to defeat the assassins of Julius Caesar; legalised the second triumvirate.|
|Lex Trebonia||448 BC||L. Trebonius||Tribune of the plebs||Forbade the cooptation of additional tribunes of the plebs to fill vacant positions.|
|Lex Trebonia||55 BC||C. Trebonius||Tribune of the plebs||Granted a five year proconsulship: in Syria to Crassus, in Spain to Pompey.|
|Lex Tullia||63 BC||Cicero||Consul||Regulated election fraud (see ambitus).|
|Lex Ursonensis||44 BC||Mark Antony||Consul||Foundation charter of the Caesarean colonia Iulia Genetiva.|
|Lex Valeria||509, 449, & 300 BC||P. Valerius Publicola||Consul||Granted every Roman citizen legal right to appeal against a capital sentence, defined and confirmed the right of appeal (provocatio).|
|Lex Valeria||82 BC||Lucius Valerius Flaccus||Interrex||Appointed Sulla dictator.|
|Lex Valeria Cornelia||AD 5||L. Valerius Messalla Volesus & Cn. Cornelius Cinna Magnus||Consuls||Regarding voting in the Comitia Centuriata.|
|Lex Valeria Horatia||449 BC||L. Valerius Potitus & M. Horatius Barbatus||Consuls||Three laws: (1) Lex Valeria Horatia de plebiscitis: established that the resolutions passed by the Plebeian Council were binding on all. (2) Lex Valeria Horatia de provocatione: granted the right to appeal to the People of any decision of magistrates. (3) Lex Valeria Horatia de tribunicia potestate: restored the potestas tribunicia, the powers of the plebeian tribunes.|
|Lex Vatinia||59 BC||P. Vatinius||Tribune of the plebs||Gave Julius Caesar governorship of Cisalpine Gaul and of Illyricum for five years.|
|Lex Villia Annalis||180 BC||L. Villius Annalis||Tribune of the plebs||Established minimum ages for the cursus honorum offices; determined an interval of two years between offices.|
|Lex Voconia||169 BC||Q. Voconius Saxa||Tribune of the plebs||Disallowed women from being the main heir to a dead man's estate, including cases where there were no male relatives alive.|
Post-Roman law codes based on Roman legislation
- lex agraria – A law regulating distribution of public lands
- lex annalis – qualifications for magistracies
- lex ambitus – Laws involving electoral bribery and corruption; see ambitus
- lex curiata – was any law passed by the comitia curiata, including the lex curiata de imperio; Roman adoptions, particularly so-called "testamentary adoptions," were also recognised by a lex curiata, famously in 59 BC when the patrician Clodius Pulcher was adopted into a plebeian gens in order to run for the office of tribune of the plebs.
- lex curiata de imperio – Law granting imperium to senior Roman magistrates under the Republic; it was the traditional basis for the later lex de Imperio allowing Imperial succession. Under the monarchy, it was also used to ratify the choice of a new king, and later confirmed Octavian's adoption as Caesar's son in 43 BC
- lex frumentaria – A law regulating price of grain
- lex sumptuaria – A law regulating the use of luxury items and public manifestations of wealth
Resolutions of the Senate
- Senatus consultum – A Senate decree
- Senatus consultum ultimum or Senatus consultum de re publica defenda – a late republic alternative to nominating a dictator
- Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus (186 BC) – concerning the Bacchanalia
- Senatus consultum Tertullianum – concerning inheritance (time of Hadrian)
- Senatus consultum Orphitianum (c. AD 200) – concerning inheritance
- Senatus consultum Silanianum (AD 10) – concerning slaves
- Senatus consultum Claudianum (AD 52) – concerning slaves
- Senatus consultum Macedonianum – concerning loan/mutuum (time of Vespasian)
- Senatus consultum Neronianum (c. AD 100) – concerning legatum
- Senatus consultum Pegasianum (c. AD 100) – concerning fideicommissum
- Senatus consultum Vellaeanum (AD 46) – concerning intercedere
- Constitution of the Roman Republic – Set the separation of powers and checks and balances of the Roman Republic
- Acceptilatio – spoken statement of debt or obligation release
- Constitutio Antoniniana – granted citizenship to the Empire's freemen
- Corpus Iuris Civilis – codification by emperor Justinian
- Stipulatio – basic oral contract
- Twelve Tables – The first set of Roman laws published by the Decemviri in 451 BC, which would be the starting point of the elaborate Roman constitution. The twelve tables covered issues of civil, criminal and military law. Every Roman that went to school was supposed to know them by heart.
- Note 1 – The word Republic derives from the Latin res publica (literally, public affairs). The Romans often wrote the two words as one, respublica and inflected both words.
- Broughton, vol. I, pp. 517, 519 (note 4).
- Broughton, vol. II, p. 468.
- Broughton, vol. I, pp. 452, 453.
- Broughton, vol. II, p. 167.
- Broughton, vol. II, pp. 138, 141 (note 8).
- Broughton, vol. I, pp. 458, 459.
- Livy, vii. 42.
- Cornell, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7-2, p. 337. Cornell explains that Livy confused the contents of the Lex Licinia Sextia of 366 with the Lex Genucia of 342.
- Brennan, The Praetorship, pp. 65-67, where he shows that the ten year rule was only temporary at this time.
- Broughton, vol. I, pp. 193, 237.
- W. Jeffrey Tatum, "The lex Papiria de Dedicationibus", in Classical Philology, Vol. 88, No. 4. (October 1993), pp. 319–328. The traditional date of 304 BC is incorrect.
- Broughton, vol. II, p. 472.
- Broughton, vol. I, pp. 459, 460 (note 3).
- Broughton, vol. I, pp. 571, 572.
- Brennan, T. Corey, The Praetorship in the Roman Republic, Oxford University Press, 2000.
- Walbank, F. W., et al., The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. VII, part 2, The Rise of Rome to 220 BC, Cambridge University Press (1989).