<b>Emperors, Jurists, and the <i>Lex lulia de Adulteriis Coercendis</i> </b>

Thomas A. J. McGinn

in Prostitution, Sexuality, and the Law in Ancient Rome

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780195161328
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199789344 | DOI:
 Emperors, Jurists, and the Lex lulia de Adulteriis Coercendis

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This chapter examines the ancient Roman law lex Iulia de adulteriis coercendis, with emphasis on imperial law generated by emperor and Senate and the law of the jurists. The juristic definition of “prostitute” under the adultery statute is discussed, along with criminal pimping under the statute, the moral significance that the jurists attributed to the main species of lenocinium, and the offenses against the lex Iulia that came to be viewed by the jurists as a species of lenocinium. The lex Iulia de adulteriis coercendis was the only special criminal law on which the jurists wrote monographs. Three of the Severan greats, Ulpian, Papinian, and Paul, made notable contributions in this area. If these men felt any hostility toward the statute, it is well masked. Their approach to the interpretation of the law is typical of the general juristic position. This in turn may be described as quite favorable, insofar as it aids the policy goals pursued by the statute wherever possible through extensive interpretation.

Keywords: ancient Rome; prostitution; jurists; Lex Iulia de Adulteriis Coercendis; adultery; statute; legislation; policymaking; elite

Chapter.  18038 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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