25 July 2012

Homo Sacer

At homo sacer is est, quem populus iudicavit ob maleficium; neque fas est eura immolari, sed qui occidit, parricidi non damnatur; nam lege tribunicia prima cavetur “si quis eum, qui eo plebei scito sacer sit, occiderit, parricidia ne sit.” Ex quo quivis homo malus atque im-probus sacer appellari solet. (De verborum significatione)
The sacred man is the one whom the people have judged on account of a crime. It is not permitted to sacrifice this man, yet he who kills him will not be condemned for homicide; in the first tribunitian law, in fact, it is noted that “if someone kills the one who is sacred according to the plebiscite, it will not be considered homicide.” This is why it is customary for a bad or impure man to be called sacred.
Pompeius Festus

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