(465 Sept. 25)

Text submitted by Dr. Alexandr Koptev ).

     Impp. Leo et Severus aa. Basilio p(raefecto) p(raetorio) et patricio. Cum per virum inlustrem Ausonium cunctorum ad nos provincialium querella pervenit, eo quod ... laeti et ... aliaque corpora publicis obsequiis deputata quorundam se colonis vel famulis ignorantibus dominis sociassent, et nunc sub specie publicae corporationis procreatos liberos conantur iugo servitutis absolvere, idcirco agnoscat sublimis magnificentia tua divali nos in aeternum lege sanxisse, si qui vel si qua ex corporibus publicis ubi et ubi vel ex corporatis urbis Romae servis vel colonis se crediderint copulandos, agnationem eorum ad eos dominos pertinere, quorum inquilinus vel colonus fuisse constiterit : exceptis his, qui ante eam legem non taliter latam sese iunxisse noscuntur. Data VII Kal. Oct. Hermenerico et Basilisco coss.

English translation ( C. Pharr, Princeton, 1952 ).


     Emperors Leo and Severus Augustuses to Basilius, Praetorian Prefect and Patrician. A complaint of all the provincials has come to Us through the Illustrious Ausonius, because … the laeti … and other guilds assigned to public services have united themselves to the coloni and household slaves of certain persons without the knowledge of the masters, and now under the pretext of membership in a public guild they are attempting to absolve from the yoke of slavery the children that they have procreated. Therefore Your Sublime Magnificence shall know that by a divine imperial law which shall live forever. We have sanctioned that if any man or any woman from the public guilds anywhere at all, even from the guildsmen of the City of Rome, should suppose that he should be united with a slave or colonus, their children belong to those masters to whom it is proved that the inquilinus or colonus belonged. Those persons shall be excepted who are known to have so united themselves previously, when this law had not been issued to this effect.