Select Papyri, 2.206


Original text: BGU Vol.v
Date: 2nd cent. A.D.

{Preamble} Of the list of directions which the deified Augustus delivered to the administration of the idios logos, with the additions made to it from time to time either by emperors or senate or the praefects or idiologi of the day, I have appended for you a summary of the articles in common use, in order that applying your memory to the simplified form of exposition you may easily master the questions.

5. Property bequeathed by Alexandrians to persons not qualified is given to those who can legally inherit from them, if such there be and if they claim it at law.

6. An Alexandrian may not bequeath to his wife, if he has no offspring by her, more than a fourth part of his estate ; and if he has children by her, he may not allot to his wife a larger share than what he bequeaths to each of his sons.

7. All wills which are not in the form of public instruments are invalid.

8. If to a Roman will is added a clause saying, "whatever bequests I make in Greek codicils shall be valid", it is not admissible, for a Roman is not permitted to write a Greek will.

16. All property which is bequeathed to freedmen of Romans with the stipulation that it is to descend to their offspring is confiscated on the decease of the recipients if it be proved that no offspring had yet been born when the bequest was written.

17. Property left to provide sacrifices to the departed is confiscated when there are no longer any persons to take charge of these.

18. Inheritances left in trust by Greeks to Romans or by Romans to Greeks were confiscated by the deified Vespasianus ; nevertheless those acknowledging their trust have received the half.

19. Bequests made to freedmen who have not yet acquired legal emancipation are confiscated. It is legal emancipation if the person freed is over thirty years old.

20. Bequests made to one who as a slave was put in chains and was afterwards freed or who was freed when not yet thirty years old are confiscated.

21. One who was freed under thirty years of age by receiving manumission through the praefect counts as one who was freed when over thirty.

22. The property of deceased Latins is given to their patrons and to the sons and daughters and heirs of these ; and bequests made by those who have not yet acquired legal Roman freedom are confiscated.

23. Romans are not permitted to marry their sisters or their aunts, but marriage with their brother's daughters has been conceded. Pardalas indeed, when a brother married a sister, confiscated the property.

24. The dowry brought by a Roman woman over fifty years of age to a Roman husband under sixty years of age is after death confiscated by the Treasury.

25. That likewise is confiscated which is brought by a woman under fifty years of age to a husband over sixty.

26. And if a Latin woman over fifty brings any property to a husband over sixty, it is likewise confiscated.

27. Whatever property a Roman sixty years old, who has neither child nor wife, inherits, is confiscated. If he has a wife but no children and declares his position, he is allowed to take the half.

28. If a woman is fifty years old, she does not inherit ; if she is less and has three children, she inherits, but in the case of a freedwoman, if she has four children.

29. A freeborn Roman woman having a property of 20,000 sestertii pays one-hundredth yearly so long as she is unmarried, and a freedwoman possessing 20,000 sestertii pays the same until she marries.

30. Inheritances left to Roman women possessing 50,000 sestertii, if unmarried and childless, are confiscated.

31. A Roman woman is permitted to leave to her husband the tenth part of what she possesses ; anything more is confiscated.

32. Romans possessing more than 100,000 sestertii, if unmarried and childless, do not inherit, but those who have less inherit.

33. A Roman woman is not permitted to bequeath outside of the so-called coemptio. A legacy left by a Roman woman to a Roman girl who was a minor was confiscated.

34. Soldiers in service and after leaving service have been allowed to dispose of their property both by Roman and by Greek wills and to use what words they choose ; but in every case they must leave it to fellow-nationals and to those to whom it is permissible.

35. Children and kinsmen of soldiers who die intestate are permitted to inherit from them, if the claimants are of the same nationality.

53. Egyptian women married to discharged soldiers are, if they formally style themselves Romans, subject to the article on nonconformity to status.

54. A discharged soldier's daughter who became a Roman was not allowed by Ursus to inherit from her mother who was an Egyptian.

55. If an Egyptian serves in a legion without being detected, he returns after his discharge to the Egyptian status. Discharged oarsmen return likewise, except only those belonging to the fleet of Misenum.

56. Soldiers who have not received a legal discharge, if they style themselves Romans, are fined a quarter of their property.

58. Persons who in the household censuses have not registered themselves and those whom they ought are fined a quarter of their property, and if they are reported not to have registered on two occasions, they are sentenced to the same fine doubled.

59. Romans and Alexandrians who have not registered those whom they ought, whether one person or more, are sentenced to a fine of one quarter.

60. Those who have failed to register slaves suffer confiscation of the slaves only.

61. The offspring (?) of unregistered slaves is given to the masters, if they have no means of support except only the slaves.

62. Soldiers in active service are not held responsible if unregistered, but their wives and children are called to account.

63. Persons called to account for not having registered at the last census are excused if the additional subject for registration was under three years old.

64. Cases of persons departing by sea without a pass are now under the jurisdiction of the praefect.

65. Slaves exported owing to their master's ignorance (of the rules) were sold.

66. Persons permitted to depart by sea who sail without a pass are fined a third of their property, and if they export slaves of their own without a pass they suffer confiscation of the whole.

67. Persons who by registration or sale alter the status of house-born slaves of Egyptian origin with a view to their departing by sea have suffered confiscation sometimes of their whole property, sometimes of the half, sometimes of the quarter, and penalties have been ordained against those accessory. But the house-born slaves' maternal descent is not investigated, even if their mothers are not Egyptian.

68. A Roman who departed by sea without having received his departure papers in full was sentenced to a fine of . . . talents.

69. An Egyptian woman who sent out slaves by way of Pelusium along with her sons and . . . was sentenced to a fine of one talent 3000 drachmae.

Attalus' home page   |   10.01.12   |   Any comments?