oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - Cedere il passo alle signore

Special issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-545X
  • E-ISSN: 2411-7870



Recent investigations dwelled on gestures of deference owed to magistrates (such as giving way, dismounting from a horse, removing one's hat, standing up; principal sources: Serv. 11, 500; Sen. 64, 10) or other citizens (such as , table seats etc.), with the difference that the former are juridically obligatory, the latter are only so socially. On the other hand, very little attention has been granted to an old article giving way to over men, on which Plut. 20,3 e Val. Max. 5,2,1 (). At a later age, a few references to the ancient "positioning" of are found in the Digest, particularly in an excerpt by Ulpian, in D. 1,9,1, best known for the famous sentence . According to the illuminating interpretation of Mario Salomonio degli Alberteschi, Ulpian's should be read in terms of institutional dignities, instead of pre-emption rights in trials of adjudication. According to the scholar, men would "stay ahead" of women () even if they were inferior to them. Stressing the spatial meaning of the verb over that of "to prefer", we suggest that already in Ulpian's age, high-ranking women had lost their place ahead of men (perhaps even ahead of magistrates), which they had in the "matronal age of honor". Even in the case of women with consular dignity, they would be preceded not only by but also by . For instance, this happened in theatre, as it appears in the Ulpianean text's version of B. 6,1,1.

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