( 68 BC )


( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, pp. 74-76, n. 79


   To the townspeople of Greater Termessus, a Pisidian town in Asia Minor, this law, whose introduction proves that it is a plebiscite, either confirms or grants autonomy. The law was proposed by Gaius Antonius Hybrida during his plebeian tribunate.
   Since the Termessians are termed free, friends, and allies of the Roman people (leiberei amicei socieique populi Romani), it appears that Termessus Maior was one of the free and immune (tax-exempt) commonwealths (civitates liberae et immunes) found more frequently in the Greek and the older provinces of the Roman dominion. While such communities were in a sense sovereign states, yet they were compelled to recognize Roman suzerainty and to follow Rome's foreign policy.
   Among the privileges that autonomy conferred on a free and immune community may be put these : (1) enjoyment of its own constitution, laws, customs ; (2) exemption from control exercised by the provincial governor ; (3) administration of its own courts with competent jurisdiction ; (4) freedom from having troops quartered in it ; (5) management of its own finances, including the right to impose, to collect, to use customs duties ; (6) ownership of its own territory, including the right of free townsmen to own land privately ; (7) immunity from all Roman taxes and tribute ; (8) payment for requisitions of military or naval character levied from it ; (9) right of coinage ; (10) right to receive exiles from Rome and to confer its citizenship on them.
   The inscription is on a bronze tablet found in Rome, Italy, during the sixteenth century.


   1) First tablet. Concerning the people of Greater Termessus in Pisidia.
   2) Gaius Antonius, son of Marcus, Gnaeus Cornelius . . . , Quintus Marcius . . . , Lucius Hostilius . . . , Gaius Popilius . . . , Marcus Valerius . . . , Gaius Antius . . . , Quintus Caecilius . . . , Lucius V . . . , Gaius Fundanius, son of Gaius, plebeian tribunes, in accordance with the Senate's opinion, duly proposed to the plebs . . . was the first to cast his vote.
   3) Whoever have been Termessians and whoever by the laws of these Termessians have become Termessians before April I, when Lucius Gellius and Gnaeus Lentulus were consuls, and whoever have been and are born from them : all these and their descendants, being Termessian citizens, shall be free, friends, and allies of the Roman people, and these thus shall enjoy their own laws, and it shall be lawful for all of them, being Termessian citizens, to enjoy their own laws in such a way as shall not be contrary to this law.
   4) Whatever lands, whatever sites and buildings, public or private, of the Termessians are or were within their boundaries during the consulship of Lucius Marcius and Sextus Julius, and whatever islands are or were theirs under those consuls, who have been mentioned above, and whatever of these properties under the said consuls they owned, possessed, used, and enjoyed, and whatever from these properties have not been leased, they shall own and possess as previously ; and whatever from these properties, lands, sites, buildings have been leased, notwitstanding that it was ordained by an ordinance, which was enacted in accordance with a law passed in the consulship of Lucius Gellius and Gnaeus Lentulus, that these should not be leased, the Termessians shall own and possess all these ; and they shall use and enjoy these properties, sites, lands, buildings in such manner as they owned, possessed, used, and enjoyed these before the First Mithradatic War.
   5) Whatever possessions, public or private, except leased lands and buildings, belong or belonged to the Termessians before the First Mithradatic War, and whatever of these possessions they previously owned, possessed, used, or enjoyed, which they themselves by their own free will have not alienated from themselves, all these shall belong to the Termessians in such manner as these belong or belonged ; and likewise it shall be lawful for them to own, to possess, to use, and to enjoy all these.
   6) As for the freemen or slaves that the Termessians have lost in the War of Mithradates, the magistrate or the promagistrate who has jurisdiction and to whose court one goes concerning this matter shall pronounce the law and shall grant court trials and recovery suits in such manner that they may be able to recover these persons.
   7) No magistrate or deputy acting for a magistrate or any other person shall introduce soldiers into the town of the Termessians or the land of the Termessians for the sake of billeting in winter quarters, or shall provide that any person may introduce soldiers for that purpose or that soldiers may winter there, unless the Senate enacts specifically that soldiers shall be led into winter quarters of the Termessians. No magistrate or deputy acting for a magistrate or any other person shall provide or shall order that they give or provide anything, or that from them be taken anything more than that which will be proper for them to give or to provide in accordance with the Porcian Law.
   8) Whatever laws and whatever legal right and whatever custom Roman citizens and Termessians had with respect to each other in the consulship of Lucius Marcius and Sextus Julius, the same laws and the same legal right and the same custom the Roman citizens and the Termessians shall have with respect to each other ; and whatever legal right belonged to the Termessians under those consuls, who have been mentioned above, in respect to any properties, sites, lands, buildings, towns, which right except leased lands and buildings, they themselves by their own free will have not alienated from themselves, the same legal right in respect to these properties, sites, lands, buildings, towns shall belong to the Termessians ; and it is not the intent of this law that those matters that have been written in this chapter shall be or become otherwise than they are.
   9) Whatever regulation the Termessians declare for collecting land and maritime customs duties within their own boundaries, this regulation for collecting these customs duties shall be effective, provided that not any customs duty shall be collected from those persons who shall obtain by contract the public revenues of the Roman people. Whatever produce from this revenue the tax farmers shall transport through their territories . . .