( 17-11 BC )


( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, pp. 114-115, n. 136


   Venafrum was one of the twenty-eight colonies which Augustus established in Italy. We are told that he endowed them with many public woks, and probably the aqueduct, for which these regulations were composed, was one of them. Of special interest are the facts that water from this aqueduct was sold instead of being free, as at Rome, and that trials rising from offenses in respect to the water supply were in the jurisdiction of the Roman peregrine praetor. For the regulation of the Roman water supply see Docs. 57, 141, 143, 162. This inscription was found at Venafro in Campania before 1834.

[Ed]ict[um im]p. Ca[esaris Augusti] . . .
Edict of Emperor Caesar Augustus . . .
. . . | Venafranorum nomin[e . . . . ius sit lice]atque.
. . . in the name of the people of Venafrum . . . it shall be right and permissible . . .
Qui riui specus saepta fon[tes . . . . . ]que aquae [ducend]ae reficiundae || causa supra infraue libram [facti aedi]ficati structi sunt, siue quod | aliut opus eius aquae ducendae ref[ici]undae causa supra infraue   libram   |  factum  est,  uti  quidquid  earum r[er]um factum est, ita esse habere itaque | reficere reponere restituere resarcire semel saepius, fistulas canales | tubos ponere, aperturam committere, siue quid aliut eius aquae ducen||dae causa opus [er]it, facere placet : dum qui locus ager in fundo, qui | Q. Sirini (?) L. f. Ter. [est esseue] dicitur, et in fundo, qui L. Pompei M. f. Ter. Sullae | est esseue dicitur, m[acer]ia saeptus est, per quem locum subue quo loco | specus eius aquae p[erue]nit, ne ea maceria parsue quae eius maceriae | aliter diruatu[r tollat]ur, quam specus reficiundi   aut  inspiciendi  cau||sa :  [neue  quid  ibi pri]uati   sit,  quominus  ea  aqua  ire  fluere  duciue poss[it | . . . . . .].
In regard to channels, conduits, sluices, and springs . . . have been made, built, or constructed above or below the water level for the purpose of building or repairing the aqueducts ; or in regard to any other work which has been performed above or below the water level for the purpose of building or repairing the said aqueduct : it is ordered that whatever of the following operations have been done in the past are to continue in effect in the same manner, and workmen are to remake, to replace, to restore, or te, repair in the same manner regardless of the number of times, and are to lay culverts and pipes of all sides, to make openings therein, and to do any other work necessary to construct the aqueduct. There shall be no destruction or removal, however, of that wall or any part of that wall whereby any tract or field has been enclosed on the estate which is, or is said to be, the property of Quintus Sirinius, son of Lucius, of the tribe Terentina, and on the estate which is, or is said te, be, the property of Lucius Pompeius Sulla, son of Marcus, of the tribe Terentina, through which tract or under which tract the conduits of the said aqueduct pass, except as is necessary for the repair or the inspection of the conduit. No privately owned structures shall be constructed thereon, however, whereby passage, flow, or conduction of the water can be impeded . . .
Dextra  sinistraque  circa  eum  riuom  circaque | ea o[pera, quae eius aqu]ae ducendae causa facta sunt, octonos pedes agrum | [u]acuo[m esse placet] ; p[e]r quem locum Venafranis eiue, qui Venafranorum | [nomine . . . . . .], iter facere eius aquae ducendae operumue eius aquae || [ductus faciendor]u[m]   reficiendorum   [causa],  quod  eius s(ine) d(olo) m(alo) fiat, ius sit liceatque, | quaeque ea[rum rer]um cuius faciendae reficiendae causa opus erunt, quo | proxume poterit, aduehere adferre adportare, quaeque inde exempta erunt, | quam maxime aequaliter dextra sinistraque p(edes) VIII iacere, dum ob eas res damn[i] | infecti iurato promittatur. Earumque rerum omnium ita habendarum || colon(is) Ven[afra]nis ius potestatemque esse placet, dum ne ob id opus domi|nus eorum cuius agri lociue, per quem agrum locumue ea aqua ire fluere | duciue solet, inuius fiat ; neue ob id opus minus ex agro suo in partem agri | quam transire transferre transuertere recte possit ; neue cui eorum, per quo|rum agros ea aqua ducitur, eum aquae ductum corrumpere abducere auer||tere facereue, quominus ea aqua in oppidum Venafranorum recte duci | fluere possit, liceat. |
It is ordered that there shall be a cleared space of eight feet vacant on the right and the left sides of this watercourse and around those structures built to carry the water ; and that to the citizens of Venafrum or to a person acting in their name . . . there shall be granted a right of way through that space for the building and the repair of the said aqueduct or of the structures pertaining to it, provided that this right is exercised only in legitimate pursuits. And it shall be right and permissible that whatever materials are necessary for the said construction or repair shall be conveyed, carried, or transported by the shortest route possible to the aqueduct, and, together with whatever is removed from the aqueduct, shall be dumped, as uniformly as is practicable, within the eight-foot space on the right and the left sides, provided that promise is made on oath that restitution will be made for damages likely to be inflicted through those activities. It is ordered that the colonists of Venafrum shall have jurisdiction and authority over all the said matters so constituted, provided that the owner of any property, field, or tract through which the said water ordinarily passes, flows, or is conducted is not himself denied passage over it because of the said activity ; and provided that his power to pass, to convey, or to drive directly from one part of his property to another is unimpaired ; and provided that no one through whose fields the said water is conducted is permitted to damage the aqueduct, to steal or te, divert the water, or to do anything whereby the ability of the said water to flow or to be conducted directly into Venafrum is diminished.
Quaeque aqua in oppidum Venafranorum it fluit ducitur, eam aquam | distribuere discribere uendundi causa, aut ei rei uectigal inponere consti|tuere, IIuiro IIuiris praefec(to) praefectis eius coloniae ex maioris partis decuri||onum decreto, quod decretum ita factum erit, cum in decurionibus non | minus quam duae partes decurionum adfuerint, legemque ei dicere ex | decreto decurionum, quod ita ut supra scriptum est decretum erit, ius po|testatemue esse placet ; dum ne ea aqua, quae ita distributa discripta deue qua | ita decretum erit, aliter quam fistulis plumbeis d(um) t(axat) ab riuo p(edes) L ducatur ; neue || eae fistulae aut riuos nisi sub terra, quae terra itineris uiae publicae limi|tisue erit, ponantur conlocentur ; neue ea aqua per locum priuatum in|uito eo, cuius is locus erit, ducatur. Quamque legem ei aquae tuendae op[e]|ribusue, quae eius aquae ductus ususue causa facta sunt erunt, tuendis | [IIuiri praefect]i  [ex]  decurion(um)  decreto,  quod  ita  ut s(upra)         s(criptum)        e(st)       factum       erit, dixeri[nt, || eam . . . fir]mam ratamque esse placet[ . . .
In regard to the water which tomes, flows, or is conducted into the toron of Venafrum : it is ordered that authority and power to allot and to distribute the said water by sale, or to impose and to determine the fee therefor, shall be entrusted to the duumvir or the duumvirs of this colony placed in charge of this task by a decree of a majority of the decurions of the toron, provided that not less than two thirds of the decurions are present when the said decree is passed ; and by the decree of the decurions, which has been passed in the manner as has been described above, he shall have the right and the authority to establish a regulation therefor. Furthermore, the said water, allotted and distributed in such manner, and concerning which such decree has been passed, shall not be diverted in any other way than by lead pipes up to fifty feet from the watermain ; and the said pipes or mains shall be laid or located only under ground, and such ground shall have the legal status of a public road, way, or boundary ; and the said water shall not be piped through private property without the consent of its owner. If the duumvirs, placed in charge by a decree of the decurions, which has been passed in the manner described above, establish any regulation for the protection of the said water and for the protection of the structures, which have been or shall be created for the conduction or the distribution of the said water, the said regulation . . . is ordered to be valid and confirmed . . .
. . .|—. . . .]Venafranae s[ . . . | . . . ] atio quam colono aut incola[e . . . ] | da . . . i . . . is cui ex decreto decurionum, ita ut supra comprensum est, ne||gotium datum erit, agenti, tum, qui inter ciuis et peregrinos ius dicet, iudicium | reciperatorium in singulas res HS X reddere, testibusque dumtaxat X denun|tiand[o q]uaeri placet ; dum reciperatorum reiectio inter eum qui aget et | eum quocum agetur ita fi[et ut ex lege, q]uae de iudicis priuatis lata est, | licebit oportebit.
. . . as to a colonist or an inhabitant . . . the persan to whom the matter has been entrusted, in accordante with a decree of the decurions, as has been explained above, when he brings suit he shall be granted a recuperatory action by the peregrine praetor to assess 10,000 sesterces for each case and he shall summon for the investigation no more than ten witnesses for each side, provided that the complainant and the defendant have the same right to reject recuperators, as will be their right and privilege by the terms of the law established to govern private suits.