Children of the Unfree, c. 530 [Xl.48.xxi.]
In marriages between those of unfree status, when within that category the parents
were of different social classes, the children followed the condition of the mother. For
all practical purposes slaves and adscripticii were equal before the law.
Xl.48.xxi. Lest there be any further doubt, if any one is descended from a
bondwoman and a slave or adscripticius and a female slave, who is (and this might
be worse fortune) either of bond or of servile rank, we decree that those things which
were provided in former laws for such offspring, born of bondwoman and freeman, shall be
left in their present state, and the offspring procreated from such connection shall be of
bond status. But if any one were born either of a slave and a bondwoman or of a female
slave and a bondman, he should follow the condition of his mother and be of such condition
as she was, either slave or bondwoman; which rule has hitherto been observed only in cases
of marriage between free and servile. For what difference is evident between slaves and
adscripticii when both are placed in the potestas of a lord and he is able to manumit a
slave with his goods and to expel from his dominion an adscripticius with land?
From: P. Krueger, ed., Codex Justinianus, (Berlin, 1877), p. 988; reprinted in
Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, eds., A Source Book for Medieval Economic
History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo
& Tannen, 1965), pp. 268-269.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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