Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Ius Trium Liberorum, The Three Children Law
The marriage laws of Augustus ( Lex Iulia de marit andis ordinibus / Lex Papia Poppaea ) intended to stop Rome's depopulation. Rome's demographic situation was becoming desperate at that time, the Empire was successful and needed more people. The only people still reproducing was - imagine - those obnoxious Judeans. All Greek authors (the Eastern Empire spoke Greek) remark the fertility of the Jews, and are indignant that Jews do not share the universal custom of killing unwanted babies but they care for all the children they have. There was a vast antisemitic literature at the time (evil Professor Kevin MacDonald studied it carefully) and most attributed excessive sexual appetite to Jews (as if the number of children was consequence of excessive sex) and some, depraved sexual behaviour. The Evil Professor says that Christianity was a a reaction of the Empire to Jewish fertility, who were called the people of the flesh (vs. people of the spirit, the childless citizens of the decaying Empire).
The three-child law (including three children's rights, Latin ius trium liberorum ) intended to promote natality. It granted important privileges to Roman Citizens having at least three children, such as free admission to the circus, right to the best seats, fast advancement in the Civil Service and tax allowances. Later the distinction lost its original intention and the JTL (this was an honorary title attached to one's name, like OBE - Order of the British Empire) was being awarded not for children but for other non-demographic achievements. The pic shows Trajan's gold coin celebrating the Alimenta, the Government program that took upon the State the burden of feeding all children. Everything failed to achieve population stabilization.
The Romans were a very talented race but failed miserably in maintaining their numbers and to hold their Empire together. They waged a terrible war of extermination against Judea, precisely in the era of Augustus, which can be understood only if they saw in the Jews their most dangerous enemies and competitors. The Romans were decent and generous a goyishe folk, and never mass-killed conquered peoples. They applied extermination policies only against Cartago (Kyriath Hadasha in Tunis) and Judea.
If history is repeating itself, European peoples are doomed to another cycle of decadence and conquest by foreign barbarians. But that is very bad news for us Jews. The 20th Century was very bad for us, and the 21th one may be even worse.
Nota bene: I got interested in Roman Law when I was a teenager in the University. During two years I shared a room with a law student, a Spanish boy from Tierra del Fuego, living a disciplined, austere, monkish life. I was so thoroughly bored that read all his books on Roman Law and even went to some of his classes. Contemporary youth cannot even start to imagine Roman concepts like Patria Potestas.