Il riscatto e il ritorno. Considerazioni sulla libertas del redemptus ab hostibus
In: Bullettino dell'Istituto di Diritto Romano "Vittorio Scialoja": 12, 2022
The present contribution aims to reaffirm, in reaction to a recent article expressing a contrary view, the thesis whereby a Roman captus ab hostibus and then redemptus by a fellow-citizen regained his freedom upon returning to Roman territory but remained subject to the redemptor through a vinculum pignoris, a bond so strong as to be defined as a potestas, and which endowed the redemptor with the right to keep the redemptus with him until the restitution or remission of the ransom price. This bond was so intense that when the Emperors Honorius and Theodosius established that the redemptus could free himself after five years of labour, they used the expression labore obsequium vel pere quinquenni, which seems to bring his position closer to that of the libertus.