( AD 69-117 )

( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, pp. 148-149, n. 182


   The town of Vardagate, situated not far from Valentia in the Po Valley of Italy, had referred to Rome several questions. These were answered by an imperial functionary identified as a procurator of the emperor. His reply clarified problems relative to the status of freedmen and their duties, when their patrons had accepted citizenship at Vardagate, and to the disposition and the protection of municipal funds.
   The editors, Arangio-Ruiz and Vogliano, on epigraphical and stylistic grounds, assign the document to the period of the Flavians or of Trajan. For a discussion of the name Vardagate see Scherling in RE s.v. Vardagate.
   The inscription is on a bronze shield, whose discovery at Monferrato, Italy, was reported in 1942.


   The procurator of Augustus to his friend Clodius Secundus, greetings.
   Freedmen of persons who have been coopted as citizens of Vardagate in accordance with their own wishes are of a status different from that of their patrons, unless they too wish to be coopted and to perform civic duties in each place, that is, in that place in which they have been coopted and in that from which their patrons have originated.
   Monies that have been disbursed without a decree of the decurions by the duumvirs properly shall be restored by them to the community. Likewise those persons who willingly have given these monies have the right to bring an action of recovery against those persons to whom they have lent them.
   Magistrates who have accepted insufficient sureties, although the interest of the community should have been guarded, are themselves responsible. If, however, the sureties were indeed sufficient at the time when they were accepted, but afterward for some reason their wealth diminished, the misfortune of the sureties must not be charged against the magistrates.