( June 30, 9 BC )

( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, pp. 119-120, n. 143


   From the construction of Rome's first aqueduct in 312 B.C. the care of the water supply had been entrusted to censors and aediles. The actual maintenance was let by the censors to contractors. At the beginning of Augustus' principate Agrippa assumed the over-all supervision of the water system, adding two new aqueducts to the four already in existence. At his death in 12 B.C. he left to the State as the nucleus of a public water department a staff of specially trained slaves, and the water supply became an imperial charge. The Quinctian Law, passed in 9 B.C., provided penalties for damage to aqueducts and is part of the basic legislation passed early in the period of imperial control. The text of the law is preserved in the writings of Frontinus, imperial curator of the water supply in 97-98 A.D.

T. Quinctius Crispinus consul populum iure rogavit populusque iure scivit in foro pro rostris aedis divi Iulii pr(idie) [k.] Iulias. Tribus Sergia principium fuit, pro tribu Sex.... L. f. virro [primus scivit].
The consul Titus Quinctius Crispinus duly proposed to the people, and the people duly resolved in the Forum before the Rostra of the Temple of the deified Julius on June 30. The tribe Sergia began the voting on the following proposal, and Sextus Virro, son of Lucius Virro, cast the first vote on its behalf.
Quicumque post hanc legem rogatam rivos specus fornices fistulas tubulos castella lacus aquarum publicarum, quae ad urbem ducuntur sciens dolo malo foraverit ruperit foranda rumpendave curaverit peiorave fecerit, quo minus eae aquae earumve quae queat in urbem Romam ire cadere fluere pervenire duci quove minus in urbe Roma et qua aedificia urbi continentia sunt erunt, in is hortis praediis locis, quorum hortorum praediorum locorum dominis possessoribus U. F. aqua data vel adtributa est vel erit, saliat distribuatur dividatur in castella lacus (in) mittatur, is populo Romano [HS.] centum   milia   dare   damnas   esto ; et   qui  d(olo) m(alo) quid eorum ita fecerit, id omne sarcire reficere restituere aedificare ponere excidere demolire damnas esto sine dolo malo ;
Whoever, after the passage of this law, with malice aforethought pierces or breaks or causes to be pierced or broken, or in any way damages mains, conduits, arches, pipes of any size, reservoirs, or cisterns of the public water supply, which is conducted into the city, whereby these waters or any part of them cannot go, fall, flow, reach, or be conducted to the city of Rome ; or whereby the water, which is or shall be granted or assigned to the owner or possessor of gardens, properties, or estates in the city of Rome and the structures now or hereafter neighboring it, diminishes in its flow or distribution to such gardens, prop erties, or estates, or its apportionment to reservoirs, or its storage in cisterns : that person shall be condemned to pay a fine of 100,000 sesterces to the Roman people ; and, more over, whoever does any of these things with malicious de ception shall be condemned also to repair, to remake, to restore, to build or to set up what he has destroyed and to demolish what he has built and to do all this in a proper manner.
eaque omnia ita, ut [recte factum esse volet], quicumque curator aquarum est erit, [aut] si curator aquarum nemo erit, tum is praetor, qui inter cives et peregrinos ius dicet, multa pignoribus cogito coerceto ; eique curatori aut, si curator non erit, tum ei praetori eo nomine cogendi coercendi multae dicendae sive pignoris capiendi ius potestasque esto.
Whoever is curator of the water supply, or, if there is no curator, then the peregrine praetor, shall compel and coerce by fine or by seizure of pledges the proper execution of all these acts. The said curator shall have the right and the power of compulsion, coercion, assessment of fines, and seizure of pledge on this account ; if there is no curator, then the aforesaid praetor shall have this right and power.
Si quid eorum servus fecerit, dominus eius HS. centum  milia  populo  [R(omano)]  d(are)  d(amnas) e(sto).
If a slave does any of these things his master shall be condemned to pay a fine of 100,000 sesterces to the Roman people.
Si qui [locus] circa rivos specus fornices fistulas tubulos castella lacus aquarum publicarum, quae ad urbem Romam ducuntur et ducentur, terminatus est et erit, ne quis in eo loco post hanc legem rogatam quid   obponit(o)   molit(o)   obsaepit(o)   figit(o) statuit(o) ponit(o) conlocat(o) arat(o) serit(o) ; neve in eum quid immittito, praeterquam rerum faciendarum reponendarum causa quod hac lege licebit oportebit. Qui adversus ea quid fecerit, adversus eum siremps lex ius causaque omnium rerum omnibusque esto, atque uti esset esseve oporteret, si is adversus hanc legem rivum specum rupisset forassetve.
If any area is delimited on each side of mains, conduits, arches, pipes of any size, reservoirs, or cisterns of the public water supply, which is or in the future shall be furnished to the city of Rome: after the passage of this law no one shall obstruct, construct, fence, fix, establish, set up, locate, plow, or sow anything therein ; nor shall anyone introduce anything into that area, except what is permitted or ordered by this law for construction or repairs. Whoever does anything contrary to these regulations shall be subjected in every particular to the same law, stature, and procedure as he would be and properly should be, if he pierced or broke a main or a conduit contrary to this law.
Quo minus in eo loco pascere, herbam fenum secare  sentes  [tollere  liceat,  e(ius)  h(ac)  l(ege) n(ihilum) r(ogatur)].
It is nor the intent of this law to revoke the right of pasturage in this area, of cutting grass and hay, or of gathering briers therefrom.
Curatores aquarum qui nunc sunt quique erunt [faciunto, ut in eo loco, qui locus] circa fontes et fornices et muros et rivos et specus terminatus est, arbores vites vepres sentes ripae maceriae salicta harundineta tollantur excidantur effodiantur excodicentur, uti quod recte factum esse volet ; eoque nomine iis pignoris capio multae dictio coercitioque esto, idque iis sine fraude sua facere liceto, ius potestasque esto.
The present and the future curators of the water supply shall provide in a proper manner that trees, vines, brush, briers, banks, fences, willows, or reeds shall be removed, cut off, dug out, and uprooted in such area as is delimited on each side of springs, arches, walls, mains, and conduits, and on this account they shall have the right to seize pledges, to impose fines, and to exact punishment, and they shall have the right and the power to do these things without prejudice to themselves.
Quo minus vites arbores, quae villis aedificiis maceriisve inclusae sunt, maceriae, quas curatores aquarum causa cognita ne demolirentur dominis permiserunt, quibus inscripta insculptave essent ipsorum qui permisissent curatorum nomina, maneant, hac lege nihilum rogato.
It is not the intent of this law to revoke the right of the curators to allow owners to keep vines or trees that are enclosed within farmhouses, buildings, or fences, or to keep fences, if the curators decide that they need not be destroyed, and as long as the names of the curators so ruling are inscribed or engraved thereon.
Quo minus ex iis fontibus rivis specibus fornicibus aquam sumere haurire iis, quibuscumque curatores aquarum permiserunt permiserint, praeterquam rota calice machina liceat, dum ne qui puteus neque foramen novum fiat, eius hac lege nihilum rogato.
It is not the intent of this law to revoke the right of persons to take or to draw water from these springs, mains, conduits, or arches to whom the curators of the water supply have given or shall give such right, except that it is permitted with wheel, water regulator, or other mechanical contrivance, and provided that they dig no well and bore no new aperture into it.