5. I. X. Phoenicians in Italy, I. X. Relations Of The Western Italians To The Greeks

6. I. X. Relations Of Italy With Other Lands

7. I. X. Phoenicians in Italy

8. The Phoenician name was Karthada; the Greek, Karchedon; the Roman, Cartago.

9. The name -Afri-, already current in the days of Ennius and Cato (comp. -Scipio Africanus-), is certainly not Greek, and is most probably cognate with that of the Hebrews.

10. The adjective -Sarranus- was from early times applied by the Romans to the Tyrian purple and the Tyrian flute; and -Sarranus-was in use also as a surname, at least from the time of the war with Hannibal. -Sarra-, which occurs in Ennius and Plautus as the name of the city, was perhaps formed from -Sarranus-, not directly from the native name -Sor-. The Greek form, -Tyrus-, -Tyrius-, seems not to occur in any Roman author anterior to Afranius (ap. Fest. p. 355 M.). Compare Movers, Phon. ii. x, 174.


Law And Justice

Modern Character Of Italian Culture

History, as such, cannot reproduce the life of a people in the infinite variety of its details; it must be content with exhibiting the development of that life as a whole. The doings and dealings, the thoughts and imaginings of the individual, however strongly they may reflect the characteristics of the national mind, form no part of history. Nevertheless it seems necessary to make some attempt to indicate--only in the most general outlines--the features of individual life in the case of those earlier ages which are, so far as history is concerned, all but lost in oblivion; for it is in this field of research alone that we acquire some idea of the breadth of the gulf which separates our modes of thinking and feeling from those of the civilized nations of antiquity. Tradition, with its confused mass of national names and its dim legends, resembles withered leaves which with difficulty we recognize to have once been green. Instead of threading that dreary maze and attempting to classify those shreds of humanity, the Chones and Oenotrians, the Siculi and the Pelasgi, it will be more to the purpose to inquire how the real life of the people in ancient Italy expressed itself in their law, and their ideal life in religion; how they farmed and how they traded; and whence the several nations derived the art of writing and other elements of culture. Scanty as our knowledge in this respect is in reference to the Roman people and still more so in reference to the Sabellians and Etruscans, even the slight and very defective information which is attainable will enable the mind to associate with these names some more or less clear glimpse of the once living reality. The chief result of such a view (as we may here mention by way of anticipation) may be summed up in saying that fewer traces comparatively of the primitive state of things have been preserved in the case of the Italians, and of the Romans in particular, than in the case of any other Indo-Germanic race. The bow and arrow, the war-chariot, the incapacity of women to hold property, the acquiring of wives by purchase, the primitive form of burial, blood-revenge, the clan-constitution conflicting with the authority of the community, a vivid natural symbolism --all these, and numerous phenomena of a kindred character, must be presumed to have lain at the foundation of civilization in Italy as well as elsewhere; but at the epoch when that civilization comes clearly into view they have already wholly disappeared, and only the comparison of kindred races informs us that such things once existed. In this respect Italian history begins at a far later stage of civilization than e.g. the Greek or the Germanic, and from the first it exhibits a comparatively modern character.

The laws of most of the Italian stocks are lost in oblivion. Some information regarding the law of the Latin land alone has survived in Roman tradition.


All jurisdiction was vested in the community or, in other words, in the king, who administered justice or "command" (-ius-) on the "days of utterance" (-dies fasti-) at the "judgment platform" (-tribunal-) in the place of public assembly, sitting on the "chariot-seat" (-sella curulis-);(1) by his side stood his "messengers" (-lictores-), and before him the person accused or the "parties" (-rei-). No doubt in the case of slaves the decision lay primarily with the master, and in the case of women with the father, husband, or nearest male relative;(2) but slaves and women were not primarily reckoned as members of the community. Over sons and grandsons who were -in potestate- the power of the -pater familias- subsisted concurrently with the royal jurisdiction; that power, however, was not a jurisdiction in the proper sense of the term, but simply a consequence of the father's inherent right of property in his children. We find no traces of any jurisdiction appertaining to the clans as such, or of any judicature at all that did not derive its authority from the king. As regards the right of self-redress and in particular the avenging of blood, we still find perhaps in legends an echo of the original principle that a murderer, or any one who should illegally protect a murderer, might justifiably be slain by the kinsmen of the person murdered; but these very legends characterize this principle as objectionable,(3) and from their statements blood-revenge would appear to have been very early suppressed in Rome through the energetic assertion of the authority of the community. In like manner we perceive in the earliest Roman law no trace of that influence which under the oldest Germanic institutions the comrades of the accused and the people present were entitled to exercise over the pronouncing of judgment; nor do we find in the former any evidence of the usage so frequent in the latter, by which the mere will and power to maintain a claim with arms in hand were treated as judicially necessary or at any rate admissible.


Judicial procedure took the form of a public or a private process, according as the king interposed of his own motion or only when appealed to by the injured party.

Italian Books
Theodor Mommsen
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book