Twelve Tables

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Acc. to Roman tradition, popular pressure led to the appointment for 451 bc of ten men with consular imperium, for writing down statutes, in order to put an end to the patrician and priestly monopoly of the law. They compiled ten tables, were reappointed for 450, and compiled two more, including the ban on intermarriage between patricians and plebeians, which was rapidly abrogated by the lex Canuleia of 445. An attempt to remain in office for 449 also failed. The fundamental consequence was that customary law was now enacted by statute and given legislative basis; and the Twelve Tables were seen as the starting‐point of the development of Roman law.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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