( 133-100 BC )

( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, pp. 59-60, n. 55


     This law was promulgated evidently in Rome, but the reason for engraving it at Bantia, a rather obscure town of Lucania in Italy, is unknown. It is true, however, that what we have of this statute treats only the implementation of the law and tells nothing about its purport. Because of the reference to the three land commissioners, Mommsen dated the law in the period 133-118 B.C. But it is not impossible that other commissions besides those of Tiberus Gracchus ( in 133 B.C. ) and of Gaius Gracchus ( in 122 B.C. ) were appointed later, and there is much to commend the view that this law formed part of the Appuleian Law of ca. 103 B.C.
The bronze tablet, discovered near Bantia in 1790, containing this text is broken in the middle, and the half of each line is missing. Apparently much of the beginning of the law and some of its final clauses are lost. The translation follows Mommsen's restoration.

I.   I.
. . . . . neque  provinciam . . . . . . . . . . . in  senatu  seive  in  poplico ioudicio ne sen[tentiam rogato tabellamve nei dato . . . | . . . neive is testumon]ium deicito neive quis mag(istratus) testumonium poplice ei de[fenri neive den]ontiari | [sinito. Neive ioudicem eum neive arbitrum neive recupe]ratorem dato. Neive is in poplico luuci praetextam neive soleas h[abeto, neive quis || mag(istratus) ibei praetextam      soleasve      habere     eum     sini]to. Mag(istratus) queiquomque comitia conciliumve habebit, eum sufragium ferre nei sinito, | [neive eum censor in senatum legito neive in senatu] relinquito. |
. . . If anyone acts in violation of this law, he shall not be elected to any magistracy nor be drawn in the lot for any province . . . The presiding officer shall not ask his opinion in the Senate or in a public trial nor shall give him. a voting tablet . . . nor shall he act as witness, and no magistrate shall allow his testimony to be presented in a public trial or to be requested. He shall not appoint him as judex or arbiter or recuperator. He shall not wear the toga praetexta or sandals publicly in daytime nor shall any magistrate allow him to do so. The magistrate who holds meetings of the people or of the plebs shall not permit him to cast a vote, and the censor neither shall enroll him in the Senate nor shall allow him to retain his seat.
II.   II.
[Sei tr(ibunus) pl(ebei), q(uaestor), IIIvir cap(italis), IIIvir a(greis) d(andeis) a(dsignandeis), ioudex], quei ex hace lege plebeive scito factus erit, senatorve fecerit gesseritve, quo ex hace lege | [quae   fieri   oporteat    minus    fiant,   quaeve   ex] h(ace)  1(ege)  facere  oportuerit  oportebitve,  non fecerit sciens d(olo) m(alo) ; seive advorsus hance legem    feceri[t    |    sciens    d(olo)   m(alo), HS . . . n(ummum) populo dare damnas esto et]eam pequniam quei volet magistratus exsigito. Sei postulabit quei petet, pr(aetor) recuperatores || . . . [quos quotque dari opo]rteat dato, iubetoque eum, sei ita pariat, condumnari popul(o), facitoque ioudicetur. Sei condemnatus | [erit, quanti condemnatus    erit,    praedes]    ad    q(uaestorem) urb(anum) det, aut bona eius poplice possideantur facito. Sei quis mag(istratus) multam inrogare volet, | [quei volet dum minoris] partus familias taxsat, liceto eiq(ue) omnium rerum siremps lexs esto,  quasei  sei  is  haace  lege  |  [pequniam, quae s(upra) (scripta) e(st), exigeret. |
If a plebeian tribune, a quaestor, a triumvir capitalis, a triumvir for giving and assigning lands, or the judex who is created by this law or plebiscite, or a senator so does or acts that the provisions of this law are not executed or with malice aforethought does not do what properly should be done in accordance with this law, or with malice aforethought acts in violation of this law, he shall be liable to the people for a fine of . . . sesterces; and any magistrate who wishes shall have power to exact it. If the person who brings suit demands it, the praetor shall appoint recuperators . . . of the number and qualifications required and shall order the defendant, if his guilt is proved, to be condemned to pay the fine to the people, and shall provide that the judgment shall be enforced. If the defendant is condemned, he shall furnish bondsmen to the urban quaestor for the amount of the fine or the quaestor shall provide that public slaves shall take possession of his property. If any magistrate wishes to impose a greater penalty, it shall be permissible to one so minded to exact it, provided that it does not exceed half of the value of the offender's property, and the law for the aforesaid magistrate shall be the same in all respects as if he were exacting the fine that is prescribed above by this law.
Co(n)s(ul)       pr(aetor),         aid(ilis),        tr(ibunus) ple(bei),      q(uaestor),     IIIvir    cap(italis),  IIIvir  a(greis) d(andeis)  a(dsignandeis),  qu]ei  nunc  est,  is  in  diebus V proxsumeis quibus queique eorum sciet h(ance) 1(egem)  populum  plebemve  |  [iousisse, iouranto,  utei  infra)  s(criptum  est.  Item]  dic(tator),  co(n)s(ul), pr(aetor),  mag(ister)  eq(uitum),    cens(or),   aid(ilis),  tr(ibunus)  pl(ebei), q(uaestor),     IIIvir     cap(italis),     IIIvir   a(greis)  d(andeis)      a(dsignandeis),     ioudex    ex    h(ace)  l(ege)  plebive  scito | [factus . . . queiquomque eorum p]ost hac factus erit, eis in diebus V proxsumeis, quibus quisque eorum mag(istratum) imperiumve     inierit,     iouranto,     |    [utei   i(nfra) s(criptum) est. Eis consistunto pro aede Castorus palam luci in forum vorsus et eidem in diebus V apud q(uaestorem) iouranto per Iovem deosque | Penateis : sese quae ex h(ace) l(ege) oport]ebit facturum, neque sese advorsum h(ance) l(egem) facturum scientem d(olo) m(alo), neque seese facturum   neque   intercesurum,   |   [quo,   quae  ex h(ace) l(ege) oportebit, minus fiant]. Quei ex h(ace) l(ege) non iouraverit, is magistratum inperiumve nei petito neive gerito neive habeto, neive in senatu || [sententiam  deicito  deicereve  eum]  ne  quis  sinito,  neive  eum censor in senatum legito. Quei ex     h(ace)     l(ege)     ioudicaveritis    facito   apud q(uaestorem) urb(anum) | [eius quei ita utei s(upra) s(criptum) e(st) iourarit nomen persc]riptum siet ; quaestorque   ea   nomina   accipito,  et eos, quei ex h(ace) l(ege) apud sed iurarint, facito in taboleis | [popliceis praescribantur.
The consul, the praetor, the aedile, the plebeian tribune, the quaestor, the triumvir capitalis, and the triumvir for giving or assigning lands now in office shall take the oath as given below within the five days immediately following the day on which any one of the aforesaid officials knows that the people or the plebs have authorized this law. Likewise the dictator, the consul, the praetor, the master of the horse, the censor, the aedile, the plebeian tribune, the quaestor, the triumvir capitalis, the triumvir for giving or assigning lands, or the judex appointed by this law or plebiscite . . . whoever of these officials, who hereafter is created, shall take the oath as given below within the five days immediately following his entry into his magistracy or imperium. They shall take their stand together in front of the Temple of Castor, facing the Forum in daytime and openly, and within five days in the presence of the quaestor the aforesaid officials each shall swear by Jupiter and the household gods that he will do what properly should be done in accordance with this law, and that he, with malice aforethought, neither will act in violation of this law nor will act nor will interpose a veto whereby any of the provisions of this law may be annulled. If anyone does not take the oath in accordance with this law he neither shall canvass for nor shall administer nor shall hold a magistracy or the imperium. He shall not give his opinion in the Senate, nor shall anyone allow him to do so, nor shall a censor enroll him in the Senate. The judex appointed by this law shall provide that the name of anyone who has taken the oath as above required shall be recorded with the urban quaestor. The quaestor shall receive these names and shall enter in the public records the names of those who have taken the oath in his presence in accordance with this law.
IV.   IV.
Quei senator est eritve inve senatu sententi]am deixerit post hance legem rogatam, eis in diebus X proxsumeis, quibus quisqu[e eorum sciet | hance legem popolum plebemve iousisse], iouranto apud quaestorem ad aerarium palam luci per Iovem deosque Penateis : [sese quae ex h(ace) l(ege) || oportebit facturum esse, neque se]se advorsum hance legem facturum esse, neque seese, quominus sei | . . . . se hoice leegei.  . . anodni . . . iuraverint . . | . . . . . . . . . . . |
. . . . . . . . . . . e quis magistratus p . . . | . . . . . . . . |
. . . . . . . . . . uti in taboleis popliceis . . . || . . . . . . . . trinum    nondinum   . . . . | . . . . . . . . . . . . is     erit uu . . . . , , |
Anyone who is a senator or expresses his opinion in the Senate after the passage of this law, in the ten days immediately following the day on which he knows that the people or the plebs have authorized this law, shall swear in the presence of the quaestor at the treasury in daytime and openly by Jupiter and the household gods that he will do what properly should be done in accordance with this law and that he neither will act in violation of this law nor will do anything whereby ...