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criminum deprehensorum qualitas

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Flaminius, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Hello,

    I am trying to understand an article of a law enacted in the time of Constaninus I.
    si quis in ludum fuerit vel in metallum pro criminum deprehensorum qualitate damnatus, minime in eius facie scribatur (...) quo facies, quae ad similitudinem pulchritudinis caelestis est figurata, minime maculetur etc. (CTh.9.40.2).​

    The article prohibits marks of damnation on the face even for gladiators and miners, the Roman underclass. The part I have difficulty with is (damnatus) pro criminum deprehensorum qualite. Does this mean that the person in question is punished after being sent to a gladiatorial school or a mine? or is he punished by being sent to these places?

    Besides that, I am also curious what way was common in making marks of damnation. Was the usual method tattoo, branding, or scars?
     
  2. Quiviscumque

    Quiviscumque Moderator

    Ciudad del paraíso
    Spanish-Spain
    pro criminum deprehensorum qualitate damnatus

    condemned according to the quality of the crimes found.
     
  3. relativamente Senior Member

    catalan and spanish
    In my view, this law forbids marking the faces of people punished by sending them to the mines or to the games .Says nothing about people seffering other punishments.
     
  4. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Hi, I am wondering if the quoted article should be read like you do or "punished [by marking on the face] for some offences after being sent to the mines or the games."
     
  5. William Stein Senior Member

    San Jose, Costa Rica
    American English
    This is probably presumptuous of me since I'm just a beginner but I think this is similar to my last query about the accusative with verbs + to/into/onto in English that imply a certain directional movement (on a very abstract level, of course): If anyone is condemned to the games (in ludum, accusative) or to the mines (in metallum), then it is prohibited to mark their faces (once they are already there, i.e., once they have already become gladiators or miners). Maybe it means that is prohibited to give a lifelong stigma to someone who was condemned to be a gladiator or miner because they could never get a good job after they were released.

    I can't understand the last part. Does it mean something like: the face should remain unmarked like the sky, which is most beautiful when it is least clouded?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  6. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Hi, William.

    Caelistis (gen. -is) is a metaphor for God, the god of Christianity. I think the metaphor is taken from the Hebrew tradition as it's probably uncommon in the Roman and Greek culture to refer to a god or God as "sky."
     
  7. Quiviscumque

    Quiviscumque Moderator

    Ciudad del paraíso
    Spanish-Spain
    I cannot understand the problem here. Just read our beloved Wikipedia under "Human branding":

    Robbers, like runaway slaves, were marked by the Romans with the letter F (fur); and the toilers in the mines, and convicts condemned to figure in gladiatorial shows, were branded on the forehead for identification. Under Constantine I the face was not permitted to be so disfigured, the branding being on the hand, arm or calf.

    Exactly, what is the problem with the legal text you quote?
    People sent to mines and circus where had been found of serious crimes and part of their punishment was to be branded on the forehead. The law you quote changed the place for the branding.
     
  8. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    My problem was that I doubted if branding was not used in mines and games as a means of punishment for e.g., attempted escape, disobedience. At least I could not exclude the possibility from the quote.

    Your reference to the Wikipedia cleared all up. Thank you, Quiviscumque.
     

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