( AD 305-306 )

( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, pp. 237-238, n. 300


      Of this constitution Greek and Latin versions exist, both fragmentary in their inscriptions and each exhibiting approximately the same concluding part of the law. The Greek text, reported in 1752, though supposed to be a translation of the Latin document, is more complete than the Latin text, discovered in Lycia, Asia Minor, before 1902, and therefore it is here translated.
      Among the fisc's privileges was the right, in seeking satisfaction from a person indebted to it, to exact from the person who was indebted to the fisc's debtor a debt which he happened to owe to the fisc's debtor. But this procedure was pursued only when the fisc's debtor was impoverished and could not discharge his debt to the fisc. This constitution abolishes all notations about debts owed by the fisc's debtor to it, insofar as these have come to the fisc by a certain day after its debtors have been released, or concocted by the Caesarians, who were apparitors of fiscal officials and whose corruption was notorious ; and the office staffs of all magistrates or officials are ordered to send to the imperial court such records, lest the fisc's debtors later should be disturbed.


      1) . . . and weighing with care . . . , lest perchance anything announced by us should escape notice, the occasion for which might furnish to the aforesaid persons' rash lawlessness any opportunity to plot against innocent persons' property, by appropriate words we have thought that it must be corrected.
      2) Therefore, it is our pleasure that as many persons as suffered false accusations in the matter of those persons' notations, when they, subjected to adverse fortune's judgments, have given grounds for action to the fisc before September 19 of our fifth consulship, that is, of course, of Constantius and Maximian, Augusti, shall be freed by our Piety's good services and for the future shall be afraid absolutely of no such annoyance from the fisc. For to our Humanity's thought it seems unjust that any persons should be annoyed by those writings which either an enemy has written purposely, that he may avenge himself even after death, or those which the Caesarians' unrestrained and cursed malignity has fabricated, as if for the sowing of profitable plunder.
      3) And that the records of such annoyances, extirpated from the roots, forever may be buried, know that our sanction's mandates have been issued to the effect that by all means all notations that have remained on the aforesaid day in the fisc's offices, whether prepared in books or on papers or in any documents at all, straightway shall be sent to the imperial court and that, of course, after these our Piety's kindnesses, since such documents do not remain in the aforesaid offices, occasions shall not be afforded to the Caesarians for constantly despoiling our provincials in their customary manner.
      4) Hereafter there shall be no summons into the fiscal court, unless by manifest proofs and by correctly written sureties, because these our directions of instructions have been transmitted, so that, if anyone hereafter in a similar way supplies notations for our fisc's accounts, no person on such notation shall be molested, but all notations shall be sent straightway to our imperial court, where pursuant to our Humanity's sanction an examination is made.
      5) If an annoyance is contrived for anyone by this record of notations, he must appeal to the court of the governor or of the prefects, whose responsibility it shall be to issue sentence and to avert injustice and whose decision with appropriate vigor shall be against those persons who, it is established, continue in their former insubordination.