Tuesday, 21 May 2019
Carmen Palomo Pinel: Ius fraternitatis in Lactantian thought: from the Roman partnership contract to the brotherhood of all men.
The content of DI V, 22, 7 summarizes several of Lactantius' essential ideas: piety as the supreme virtue –which consists of the recognition and worship of the true God, of the God paterfamilias- and the human fraternity that it founds. This link is not something merely sentimental for Lactantius, but truly legal: ius humanitatis, ius fraternitatis. The latter is a genuinely Lactantian expression. No other author has used it before and only Maximus of Torino will use it later. It only appears also in some texts of Roman law. What purpose does Lactantius pursue by linking fraternity to ius? Why was not the term fraternitas just enough? It is necessary to deepen in the legal meaning of the expression to discover it. Probably, the answer is that Lactantius intended to achieve a greater enforceability of the behaviours due to the rest of human kind.