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Latin Rights (also latin citizenship,
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant language ...
: ''ius Latii'' or ''ius latinum'') were a set of legal
rights Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory. ...
that were originally granted to the Latins (Latin: "Latini", the People of
Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Definition Latium was originally a small triangle of fertile, volcanic soil (Latium vetus) on whi ...
, the land of the
Latins The Latins were originally an Italic tribe in ancient central Italy from Latium. As Roman power and colonization spread Latin culture, during the Roman Empire, Latins came to mean mostly unified Italic Latin-speaking people and the Latin-speaking ...
) under
Roman law Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand years of jurisprudence, from the Twelve Tables (c. 449 BC), to the ''Corpus Juris Civilis'' (AD 529) ordered by Eastern Roman Emperor Justini ...
. "''Latinitas''" was commonly used by Roman jurists to denote this status. With the
Roman expansion in Italy The Roman expansion in Italy covers a series of conflicts in which Rome grew from being a small Italian city-state to be the ruler of the Italian peninsula. Roman tradition attributes to the Roman kings the first war against the Sabines and the ...
, many settlements and
coloniae A Roman colonia (plural ''coloniae'') was originally a Roman outpost established in conquered territory to secure it. Eventually, however, the term came to denote the highest status of a Roman city. It is also the origin of the modern term ''colo ...
outside of
Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Definition Latium was originally a small triangle of fertile, volcanic soil (Latium vetus) on whi ...
had Latin rights. All the ''Latini'' of Italy obtained Roman citizenship as a result of three laws which were introduced during the Social War between the Romans and their allies among the
Italic peoples The Italic peoples were an ethnolinguistic group identified by their use of Italic languages a branch of the Indo-European language family. The Italic peoples are descended from the Indo-European speaking peoples who inhabited Italy from at least t ...
("socii") which rebelled against Rome. The '' Lex Iulia de Civitate Latinis (et sociis) Danda'' of 90 BC conferred Roman citizenship on all citizens of the Latin towns and the Italic towns who had not rebelled. The ''Lex Plautia Papiria de Civitate Sociis Danda'' of 89 BC granted Roman citizenship to all federated towns in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a continental part, delimited by the Alps, a peninsula and several islands surrounding it. Italy is located in Southern Europ ...
south of the River Po (in northern Italy). The ''Lex Pompeia de Transpadanis'' of 89 BC granted the ''ius Latii'' to the communities of Transpadania, a region north of the Po, which had sided with Rome during the Social War. It also granted Roman citizenship to those who became officials in their respective ''municipia'' (cities). The exact content of the ''ius Latii'', under
Roman law Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand years of jurisprudence, from the Twelve Tables (c. 449 BC), to the ''Corpus Juris Civilis'' (AD 529) ordered by Eastern Roman Emperor Justini ...
, varied from city to city. It could include some or all of the following rights: * ''Ius commercii'': the right to trade, i. e., the right to have commercial relations and trade with Roman citizens on equal status and to use the same forms of contract as Roman citizens; * ''Ius connubii'': the right to marry pursuant to law; * ''Ius migrationis'': the right to migrate, i. e., the right to retain one’s degree of citizenship upon relocation to another ''municipium''. In other words, Latin status was not lost when moving to other locales in Italy. * ''Ius suffragii'': the right to vote, but only if they migrated to Rome. * ''Ius civitatis mutandae'': the right to become Roman citizens. Outside of Italy, the term ''Latinitas'' continued to be used for other cases.
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold republican principles during the political crises that led to the establishm ...

Cicero
used this term in relation to Julius Caesar's grant of Latin rights to the Sicilians in 44 BC. This use of "''ius Latii''" or "''Latinitas''" persisted to the reign of
Emperor Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός, Ioustinianós; 11 May 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor from 527 to 565. His reign is marked by the ambi ...
in the sixth century AD. This status was later given to whole towns and regions:
Emperor Vespasian Vespasian (; la, Vespasianus ; 17 November AD 9 – 24 June 79) was Roman emperor from 69 to 79. The fourth and last in the Year of the Four Emperors, he founded the Flavian dynasty that ruled the Empire for 27 years. Vespasian was the first em ...
granted it to the whole of
Hispania Hispania ( ; ) was the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula and its provinces. Under the Roman Republic, Hispania was divided into two provinces: Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior. During the Principate, Hispania Ulterior was divided into ...
and
Emperor Hadrian Hadrian (; la, Caesar Traianus Hadrianus ; 24 January 76 – 10 July 138) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born into a Roman Italo-Hispanic family that settled in Spain from the Italian city of Atri in Picenum. His father was of sen ...
gave it to many towns.


Origin

Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The territo ...
was one of the many
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant language ...
cities of Italy. From 340 to 338 BC the
Latin League The Latin League (c. 7th century BC – 338 BC)Stearns, Peter N. (2001) ''The Encyclopedia of World History'', Houghton Mifflin. pp. 76–78. . was an ancient confederation of about 30 villages and tribes in the region of Latium near the ancient ci ...
, a confederation of circa 30 towns in
Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Definition Latium was originally a small triangle of fertile, volcanic soil (Latium vetus) on whi ...
(land of the Latins) which was allied with Rome, rebelled in what has been called the
Latin War The (Second) Latin War (340–338 BC)The Romans customarily dated events by noting the consuls who held office that year. The Latin War broke out in the year that Titus Manlius Imperiosus Torquatus and Publius Decius Mus were consuls and ended ...
. The Romans won the war and dissolved the Latin League. Many of the city-states of Latium were fully incorporated into the Roman Republic, while others were given limited rights and privileges which could be exercised in dealings with Roman citizens. These came to be known as ''ius Latii''. The ''ius Latii'' was given to some
Roman colonies Colonies in antiquity were post-Iron Age city-states founded from a mother-city (its "metropolis"), not from a territory-at-large. Bonds between a colony and its metropolis remained often close, and took specific forms during the period of classica ...
which were founded around Italy in the fourth and third centuries BC to strengthen Roman control, as Rome expanded its hegemony over the peninsula. They were colonies which were given Latin legal status, and their settlers the ''ius Latii'', instead of the Roman legal status of other colonies whose settlers were given Roman citizenship. Colonies of Latin status were called "Latin colonies" and those of Roman status were called "Roman colonies". Roman citizens who settled in a Latin colony lost their Roman citizenship and acquired ''ius Latii''. Latin colonies were usually smaller than Roman colonies. With Roman expansion beyond Italy, Latin colonies were also founded outside Italy, e. g.
Carteia Carteia ( grc, Καρτηίᾳ) was a Phoenician and Roman town at the head of the Bay of Gibraltar in Spain. It was established at the most northerly point of the bay, next to the town of San Roque, about halfway between the modern cities of Algeci ...
(contemporary San Roque), which was founded in
Hispania Hispania ( ; ) was the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula and its provinces. Under the Roman Republic, Hispania was divided into two provinces: Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior. During the Principate, Hispania Ulterior was divided into ...
in 171 BC and was the first Latin colony outside of Italy. In 122 BC, the plebeian tribune Gaius Gracchus introduced a law which extended the ''ius Latii'' to all other residents of Italy. This reflected the increasing ties between Rome and the
Italic peoples The Italic peoples were an ethnolinguistic group identified by their use of Italic languages a branch of the Indo-European language family. The Italic peoples are descended from the Indo-European speaking peoples who inhabited Italy from at least t ...
through trade and the ties between the leading families in the Italian towns and patrician families in Rome. In 44 BC, Julius Caesar granted the ''ius Latii'' to all free-born Sicilians.


Under the Empire

Following the great spate of colonial settlements under
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman general and statesman who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. In 60 BC, Caesar, Crassus and Po ...

Julius Caesar
and
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate (the first phase of the Roman Empire) has consolidated ...

Augustus
, the ''ius Latii'' was used more as a political instrument that aimed at integration of provincial communities via their local leadership. Latin status included the acquisition of Roman citizenship upon the holding of municipal magistracy (''ius adipiscendae civitatis per magistratum''), which presumed a trajectory of development that would carry at least the local magistrates along the path to the institution of a Roman-style community. In AD 123,
Emperor Hadrian Hadrian (; la, Caesar Traianus Hadrianus ; 24 January 76 – 10 July 138) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born into a Roman Italo-Hispanic family that settled in Spain from the Italian city of Atri in Picenum. His father was of sen ...
made a key modification to Latin rights. He introduced "''Latium maius''" ("greater Latin ights), which conferred Roman citizenship on all the decurions of a town as opposed to "''Latium minus''", which conferred it only on those who held a magistracy.''Studi in onore di Remo Martini'', Vol. 3 (Guffre Editore), 210, p. 470 The acquisition of ''ius Latii'' was wholly dependent on imperial gift. This beneficence could span the whole range from grants to individuals to awards made to whole towns, and could even be applied to an entire population, as when
Emperor Vespasian Vespasian (; la, Vespasianus ; 17 November AD 9 – 24 June 79) was Roman emperor from 69 to 79. The fourth and last in the Year of the Four Emperors, he founded the Flavian dynasty that ruled the Empire for 27 years. Vespasian was the first em ...
gave the ''ius Latii'' to all of Hispania in AD 74. Although this decree could encompass whole cities, it is important to note that it did not necessarily entail the establishment of a
municipium Municipium (pl. municipia) was the Latin term for a town or city. Etymologically the ''municipium'' was a social contract among ''municipes'', the "duty holders," or citizens of the town. The duties, or ''munera'', were a communal obligation assumed ...
(self-governing town). Often, as in Hispania, formal ''municipia'' might have been constituted several years after the initial grant.


Notes


Sources


"ius Latii"
from Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1875.
"jus Latii"
from Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007
"Latin Revolt"
*
Livy Titus Livius''Titus'' is the praenomen (the personal name); ''Livius'' is the nomen (the ''gentile'' name, i.e. "belonging to the gens Livia"). Therefore, Titus Livius did not have a cognomen (third name, i.e. family name), which was not unusual ...
XLIII. 3-4. cf. Galsterer 1971, 8-9: (G 15); Humbert 1976, 225-34: (H 138). * Bowman, A. K., Champlin, E., Lintott, A., (Eds), The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 10: The Augustan Empire, 43 BC-AD 69, Cambridge University Press, 2nd Edition, 1996; * Bowman, A. K., Garnsey, P., Rathbone, D., (Eds), The Cambridge Ancient History Volume XI: The High Empire A.D. 70-192, Cambridge University Press, 2nd Edition, 2000, 364-365; * S. A. et al (Eds.), The Cambridge Ancient History Volume VII: The Hellenistic Monarchies and the Rise of Rome, Cambridge University Press; 5th edition 1928, pp 269–271; * Lewis, N., Reinhold, M Roman Civilization: Selected Readings, Vol. 1: The Republic and the Augustan Age, 3rd Edition, Columbia University Press, 1990; * Lewis, N., Reinhold, M Roman Civilization: Selected Readings, Vol. 2: The Empire, 3rd Edition, Columbia University Press, 1990; {{ISBN, 978-0231071338


External links


Discussion of Latin rights in Roman history
Roman law