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date: 20 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Until the mass citizenship grant of 212 CE, Roman law served Roman citizens almost exclusively. However, since the non-Romans’ legal systems generally sufficed, this marginalised status regarding Roman law was generally of little importance. Within the Roman citizen body, the Roman legal system marginalised many because of its expense and preferential treatment of the wealthy. In addition the culture, but not the legal system, through infamia marginalised some for what they did and the kind of person they were. While marginalised in modern eyes, Roman law treated women, freedmen, children and slaves as important participants in a wide range of societal functions, giving them specific abilities as well as disabilities. The most severe legal marginalisation occurred as the laws systematically and increasingly marginalised the humble citizens (humiliores) and evermore favoured the elite (honestiores). The system also treated outlaws, magicians, some cults and, later, Christians as outside the law’s Pale.

Keywords: marginalisation, women, infamia, children, Christians, freedmen, honestiores, humiliores, slaves, outlaws

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