( AD 74 )

( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, p. 151, n. 185


     Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. encouraged physicians and teachers of the liberal arts to settle in Rome by granting them citizenship (Suetonius, Iul. 42, I ), but the steps taken by Vespasian appear to have been the first actually directed to subsidization of education. Vespasian showed an early interest in medicine, consulting the physicians of Alexandria on popular cures (Tacitus, Hist. 4, 81), and he paid Greek and Latin rhetoricians at Rome from the fisc (Suetonius, Vesp. 18).
     The marble stone containing this bilingual edict was excavated at Pergamum, Asia Minor, in 1934.


     Emperor Caesar Vespasian Augustus, pontifex maximus, holding the tribunician power for the sixth time, saluted imperator for the fourteenth time, father of the fatherland, consul for the fifth time, consul designate for the sixth time, censor, proclaims :
     Whereas the studies proper to free citizens are considered useful to our cities, whether practiced in public or in private, and sacred to the gods, and one of these is a profession sacred to Mercury and the Muses, namely, that of grammarians and rhetoricians, who instruct the minds of young men in gentility and civic virtue, while the other is a profession sacred to Apollo and Aesculapius, namely, that of physicians and surgeons, if indeed the care of the body surely has been entrusted to the followers of Aesculapius alone, wherefore they are addressed as holy and godlike :
     I order that neither shall these men be forced to receive billeted persons nor shall exactions be demanded from them in any manner. But if any of the persons under my sovereignty dares to molest, to demand surety of, or to sue any physician, teacher, or surgeon, such disturbers must pay . . . drachmas to Jupiter Capitolinus. If in truth the disturber has not sufficient money his goods shall be sold and the fine that is inflicted by the appropriate magistrate shall be consecrated to the god without delay. Likewise, even if they find such disturber hiding, they shall arrest him wherever they apprehend him, and no one shall hinder them.
     Permission is granted also to the beneficiaries to form associations in shrines, holy places, and temples, wherever they wish to find inviolability. But if anyone uses force against them, such person shall be guilty of impiety against the house of the Augusti in the eyes of the Roman people.
     I, Emperor Caesar Vespasian, have signed this edict and have ordered it to be posted on the bulletin board.
     It was posted on the Capitol on December 27 in the month Loos of Year 6.