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FREEDMEN
The emancipation of slaves was tolerably common, both among Greeks and Romans. The Greeks had no special legal form for the process, and consequently no legal differences in the status of freedmen. At Athens they took the position of resident aliens, and lay under certain obligations to their liberators as patrons. They could be called to legal account for any injury done to their patrons, and if condemned could be given back to them as slaves, or sold by the state. In the latter case the price was paid to their liberators. Among the Romans emancipation (manumissio) was a lucrative proceeding for the State, as a tax of 5 per cent. on the value of the slave was paid on his being set free. Emancipation was either formal or informal. (1) Of formal emancipation there were three kinds: (a) the manumissio vindicta, in which the owner appeared with the slave before an official with judicial authority, who in later times would generally be the praetor or governor of the province. A Roman citizen, usually one of the magistrates' lictors, laid a staff (vindicta) on the slave's head and declared him free. The master, who was holding the slave with his hand, thereupon signified his consent, and let him go, as a symbol of liberation (manu misit). This formality was in later times restricted to the simple declaration of the master in the presence of the magistrate. (b) The manumissio censu, in which the master enrolled the slave's name in the list of citizens. (c) The manumissio testamento, or manumission by will. Here the master declared his slave free in his will, or bound his heir to emancipate him. The heir might adopt the formal or informal process. Constantine added a new form, the manumissio in ecclesia, or emancipation in the church in presence of the congregation. (2) Informal emancipation took place in virtue of an oral declaration on the part of the master, in presence of friends (inter amicos), or by letter (per epistulam), or by inviting the slaves to the master's table. The freedmen were called liberti in relation to the liberator (e.g. libertus Coesaris) and libertini in their legal relation to the State. After formal emancipation they at once became Roman citizens, and members of the urban tribes and of the lowest classes in the centurioe, with full right of voting. But, not being free born, they were not eligible to office, and were excluded from military service. The latter was, however, the case only till the 1st century B.C. They obtained the right to be enrolled in the country tribes several times in the republican period, but not permanently till the imperial age. Their descendants, however, were, as being free-born (ingenui), admitted into all the tribes, and in the second, or at least in the third generation, eligible to office. Informal emancipation conferred only practical freedom without civic rights. It was not until 17 A.D., under Tiberius, that freedmen of this kind won the commercium, or the right of acquiring and transferring property. Even then they had no power of testamentary bequest, and their property, at their death, went to their liberators. It was permissible, however, to pronounce a formal emancipation after their death. To obviate abuses, and to check the excessive increase in the number of freedmen, the right of manumission was limited in several directions under Augustus. Among other things, if a slave under thirty years of age was to be manumitted vindicta, a proof of sufficient reason was required; and, in case of testamentary manumission, the number was limited to a certain proportion of the whole number of slaves, and never allowed to exceed 100. A mutual obligation continued to exist between the freedman and his liberator, based on the fact that the freedman belonged to the family of his patron. This is seen in the circumstance that the freedman assumed the nomen and the proenomen of his patron. In and after the 1st century B.C. we generally find a Greek cognomen added. A well-known freedman of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, for instance, was called Lucius Cornelius Epicadus. The patronus was bound on his side to care for his libertus, and in consequence either retained him altogether in his home and service, or supplied him with a farm and capital to start it; buried him in the family tomb after his death, and took charge of his children if not grown up. On the other side the freedman was bound to support his patronus, in case of need, out of his own resources, and if he was reduced to poverty, to maintain him. If he died childless, his patron inherited his property ut the rights of the patron in respect of his freedman did not pass to the patron's heirs. If the freedman neglected his duties, he was liable to severe punishment. In special cases, at least under the Empire, he might be sold for his patron's profit, or given back to him as a slave.

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PLAN OF THE ROMAN FORA. (From Droysen's Historischer Handatlas, 1886, p. 11, with slight alternations.)
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PLACE HOLDER FOR COUNTER
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