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Medieval Sourcebook:
Codex Justinianus:
Return of Fugitive Slaves & Coloni, c. 530 [Xl.48.xii.]


To strengthen the laws binding slaves and coloni to the soil precautions were taken to prevent landlords employing fugitives and to ensure their return.

Xl.48.xii. We ordain that slaves, or tributaries, or inquilini shall remain with their lords. For, when, dismayed by a fear of Ioss, each landowner begins to drive away those who are unknown to him, the will to flight will not be with the slaves; for no one deserts his lord knowing that there is nowhere a refuge for him as a fugitive. But either each one will employ those known to be free men, or will dismiss him who feigns freedom, fearing that he will be liable to those punishments which are ordained by the law. If, therefore, any known fugitive be found anywhere, his detainer shall bring to our fisc twelve pounds of silver, but we decree that to him whose slave he is he shall bring another of the same value in addition to that same fugitive.


Source.

From: P. Krueger, ed., Codex Justinianus, (Berlin, 1877), p. 983; 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. 264-265.

Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by Prof. Arkenberg.


This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

© Paul Halsall, October 1998
halsall@fordham.edu