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Prostitution, Sexuality, and the Law in Ancient Rome$
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Thomas A. J. McGinn

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195161328

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161328.001.0001

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The Lex lulia de Adulteriis Coercendis

The Lex lulia de Adulteriis Coercendis

Chapter:
(p.140) 5 The Lex lulia de Adulteriis Coercendis
Source:
Prostitution, Sexuality, and the Law in Ancient Rome
Author(s):

Thomas A. J. McGinn (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161328.003.0005

This chapter examines the ancient Roman law lex Iulia de adulteriis coercendis, a companion statute to the lex Iulia de maritandis ordinibus that was brought before the concilium plebes by Augustus acting once more on the authority of his tribunicia potestas. The lex Iulia de adulteriis coercendis had as its principal aim the repression of those forms of non-marital sexual relations considered unacceptable by Roman society, particularly adultery. Aside from adultery and criminal fornication, there is disagreement as to what the adultery law punished. There is controversy over whether it punished incest, but the late classical jurists treat this as a separate crime, to the extent that even incestuous marriages might in some cases receive protection under the adultery statute. Before the passage of the lex Iulia, the repression of sexual misbehavior was generally conceded to the private sphere.

Keywords:   ancient Rome, prostitution, Lex Iulia de Adulteriis Coercendis, statute, adultery, social policy, prostitutes, pimps

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