Norme delle XII tavole

Inciso su lastre di bronzo, fu la stesura del primo testo di leggi redatto nel 451 – 450 a.C. da dieci magistrati, i Decemviri Legibus Scribundis Consulari Imperio.

Le XII Tavole, esposte nel Foro dell’Antica Roma, furono distrutte durante l’incendio appiccato dai Galli nel 390 a.c.

Non ci è pervenuto il testo originale, tuttavia grazie ad autori come Cicerone o il giurista Gaio che ne riportarono gran parte, sappiamo che le XX Tavole regolavano ogni campo del diritto.

In materia processuale regolavano l’antico processo privato detto per legis actiones. Posero le prime limitazioni all’esercizio della patria potestas stabilendo che il padre che vendeva il figlio per tre volte consecutive perdeva la patria potestà su di lui.

In materia ereditaria, stabilirono a quali parenti e in che ordine l’eredità dovesse essere divisa in caso che il defunto non avesse fatto testamento.

Altre regole determinavano i principali atti del commercio del diritto di proprietà e dei rapporti di vicinato.

Relativamente al diritto penale, una tavola stabiliva quali comportamenti meritassero una punizione. Per esempio una regola stabiliva che se una persona, aveva fratturato un arto ad un’altra, doveva essere sottoposto alla legge del taglione.

Ciò comportava che la persona che aveva aggredito, subisse lo stesso trattamento e se la vittima non era in grado di farlo, il compito spettava al suo parente più stretto.

Due regole particolarmente severe.

Una era quella che in determinati casi autorizzava il derubato ad uccidere il ladro e quella che prevedeva che il debitore insolvente potesse essere punito con la morte. Se i creditori erano più di uno, potevano squartare il debitore, prendendo ciascuno una parte del cadavere.

Un’altra disposizione decretava che i falsi testimoni e gli spergiuri dovevano essere gettati dalla rupe Tarpea.

Infine una serie di norme riguardava le condizioni igieniche della città. Proibiva di seppellire e bruciare i cadaveri dentro le mura e tentava di limitare il lusso dei funerali vietando di bruciare monili d’oro insieme ai cadaveri

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