CICERO: LAW SPEECHES

MS 699
MS Short Title CICERO: LAW SPEECHES
Text
  1. CICERO: PRO CAECINA
  2. CICERO: DE LEGE AGRARIA 1 – 3
  3. CICERO: IN PISONEM
  4. CICERO: PRO RABIRIO POSTUMO
  5. CICERO: PRO RABIRIO PERDUELLIONIS
  6. CICERO: PRO ROSCIO COMOEDO
Description MS in Latin on vellum, Milano, Italy, 2nd quarter of 15th c., 86 ff. (complete), 28x20 cm, single column, (17x11 cm), 31 lines in a calligraphic humanistic book script, a sketch of a man apparently making a speech.
Binding England, 20th c., mottled boards, morocco spine gilt, sewn on 3 cords, marbled endleaves.
Provenance 1. Johannes Maria de Pusterla, Milano or Piacenza, Italy (15th or 16th c.); 2. Sebastianus de Bubalis Romano, Italy (15th or 16th c.); 3. Internationaal Antiquariaat, Amsterdam cat. 247(1964):68; 4. Sotheby's 21.6.1988:87; 5. Maggs cat. 1093(1990):2.
Commentary

These 8 speeches were rediscovered by Poggio Bracciolini in 1417 in Langres ( text 1) and in the library of Köln Cathedral (texts 2-6). Texts 4-6 were until then unknown. The text of the present MS, containing only these 8 speeches, is closely related to Poggio's MS, Vatican Lat. 11458, though apparently a descendant of Bodley MS D'Orville 78, of 1418.

Text 1 is involving Roman republican inheritance law as well as criminal law: The agent Aebutius who bought a farm on behalf of Caesennia, who bequeathed her property to Aulus Caecina, pretended he had bought it for himself. When Caecina tried to enter his land, he was driven off by Aebutius at the head of a band of armed slaves. Caesina obtained an "Interdictum" from the praetor, a provisional decree, the legal term being "vis contra jus moremque".

Text 2. Cicero delivered 3 speeches in the Roman Senate against a new agrarian law by the new tribune Publius Servius Ruclus. The law purported to appoint 10 commissioners (decemviri) absolute power for 5 years over all the revenue of the Roman Republic, to freely redistribute lands as they thought fit, to settle colonies, to distribute lands and spoils taken in wars, and to determine the rights of the present possessors of lands.

Text 6 involves Roman republican criminal and indemnity law in relation to compensation for the murder of a slave.

Location