HelRaw: Silvia Schiavo 24.1.2023

The Sententiae Hadriani, the Lex Aelia Sentia and the Lautumiae: some Observations

The Helsinki Research on the Ancient World (HelRAW) is a monthly research seminar. HelRAW is organized by the SpaceLaw project together with the Digital Grammar of Greek Documentary Papyri (PapyGreek) project.

The talk focuses on a text of the Sententiae et epistulae Divi Hadriani (Sent. Hadr. 2), where the case of a conflict between a freedman and a patron is considered. In particular, the text takes into consideration the request made by a patronus to the emperor to obtain the congiarium that would be due to his freedman; the freedman had previously been sentenced in lautumias by the praefectus aerarii, according to the lex Aelia Sentia. The request of the patron is rejected by the emperor.

The sententia presents many points of interest.

First of all, it is the only source in which the punishment of lautumiae is connected to the lex Aelia Sentia.

 Furthermore, it offers matter for reflection on the juridical relationship between patrons and freedmen. Various scholars thought that here reference is made to the accusatio ingrati liberti, probably introduced in 4 AD. precisely through the lex Aelia Sentia. It was a procedure through which the patrons could ask for the punishment of liberti ingrati, the freedmen who held behaviors integrating ingratitude.

Finally, we find reference to the lautumiae, the stone quarries, which could be spaces of detention and punishment for convicts. What do they indicate in this context? Scholars suggested that in the sententia Hadriani the freedman was sent in lautumias as condemned to opus publicum, or ad metalla, or as an expression of the coercitio of praefectus aerarii.

All these aspects will be taken up and developed in the talk.


When: 24th January, 2023, at 17:15.

Where: Room 12, Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40)


Join Zoom Meeting



Meeting ID: 881 717 9967

Passcode: 91YUbA



About the speaker:

Silvia Schiavo is an associate professor of Roman Law at the University of Ferrera where she got her Ph.D. in 2002. She has researched topics including Roman criminal law and then late antiquity with Byzantine Law.