Application of Patria Potestas to the Coloni, c. 530 [Xl.48.xiii]
Among the steps taken to protect the family of the colonus was the passing of a law
upholding, according to Roman ideas, paternal authority. But in the event of a transfer,
which was only permitted in certain cases, of coloni from one estate to another the family
might be broken up.
Xl.48.xiii. We define that, among inquilini and coloni, to vindicate the
birth of whom it pertains as much to the one as to the other, and the condition appears to
be the same without distinction, although there be discrimination in name, adopted
children shall recognize paternal authority whether both or neither parent be enrolled in
the census. It must also be observed that, if (when the same lord of two estates
transfers, to that which is hard-pressed, coloni from a possession well supplied with
cultivators) the same estates should pass under the jurisdiction of different lords by any
chance, the transfer made shall remain an accomplished fact, but in such a way that the
lord of that estate, from which the coloni are proved to have been transferred, may
recover the male children of those transferred.
From: P. Krueger, ed., Codex Justinianus, (Berlin, 1877), p. 984; 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. 267-268.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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