This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Counterfeit according to Roman law

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman coins
Roman coins

Due to the growing administration and advanced law, ancient Rome finally had to deal with the issue of document forgery, and it was one of the most serious felonies.

The Law of XII Tables contained only the provisions concerning the forgery of the testament – the witness who issued a false testimony was thrown from the Tarpeian Rock. The forgery (falsum) was regulated separately by the   Lex Cornelia Act and has since been prosecuted on public prosecution. The legal act established a special court to punish certain types of falsum, e.g. counterfeiting money, as well as damaging coins, scraping gold, altering or destroying a testament or signing a false testimony.

Initially, the penalty was an exile, during the empire period also with the loss of property and citizenship. Higher social classes, such as equites, officials, senators, were punished with work in the mines, the lower caste of citizens with the death penalty and crucifixion was provided for slaves. This law was in force even in the late Justinian period, supplemented by other types of offences, including prosecution of falsification of names, titles, ranks and offices has been added. The forgery had to be intentionally intent, and its prosecution had statue of limitations after 20 years.

Author: Sebastian Gruszka
Sources
  • Witold Wołodkiewicz, Prawo rzymskie, Słownik Encyklopedyczny, Warszawa 1986

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

Your financial help is needed, in order to maintain and develop the website. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server. I believe that I can count on a wide support that will allow me to devote myself more to my work and passion, to maximize the improvement of the website and to present history of ancient Romans in an interesting form.

Support IMPERIUM ROMANUM!

News from world of ancient Rome

If you want to be up to date with news and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Roman bookstore

I encourage you to buy interesting books about the history of ancient Rome and antiquity.

Check out bookstore

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: