Human Rights in Ancient Rome

By Richard A. Bauman | Go to book overview

NOTES

1Introduction
1
Seneca Epistulae Morales 95.51-53. That the concluding sentence is a quotation of Terence Heautontimorumenos 77, from which our leitmotif is taken, is self-evident. Seneca provides a complete answer to those who deny the Terentian phrase any human rights connotations. Their arguments, and further reasons for rejecting them, will be discussed in due course. See especially chapter 3, under the rubric 'Humanus: Terence and universalism'. Also the more detailed examination of Seneca's exposition in chapter 8 under 'Universalism: the merits'.
2
There are also adverbial forms, humaniter/humanitus, as well as inhu-manitas/inhumanus. These will be noticed when necessary. But our main focus is on humanitas/humanus.
3
For the text see Davies 1988: xvii-xxv.
4
Pol. I 81.5-11. Cf. I 68.3-70.7, 72.1-3, 78.10-15, 79.8-14, 80.2-81.4. Cf. perhaps Cicero Off. 3.32.
5
Doctorow 1993:65 (abridged). Cf. perhaps Henkin 1979, prefatory note and 109-13. He notes the imperfect realisation of the Universal Declaration's expectations, drawing attention to the controversies on political, philosophical and legal issues and the violations perpetrated by slavery, ghettos and mass murders.
6
On the modern concept in general see Owen 1978:15; Henkin 1979:5-30; Holcombe 1948:23-46; D. Weissbrodt, in Davies 1988:1-8. On the legislation of the seventeenth to twentieth centuries see Schabas 1996:15-42. On medieval and early modern theorists see Henkin 1979: 'The first two hundred years of an idea'. For a concise historical survey of humanism see Guillermand 1994:194-216. On the claim that 'rights' were unknown in the classical period see Constant, 1957:1026-59; Dagger 1989.
7
See the 6th and 8th preambles and articles 2, 18, 19, 20, 28, 29, 30.
8
See chapter 4 s.v. 'Early Rome: ius humanum'.
9
Despite Veyne 1993:347-8. To him modern universalism is 'one of the greatest exploits in human thought'; the possession of human rights by all humans will have originated in twentieth-century sociological thought. He asserts that it implies culture rather than nature, invention rather than discovery, and has 'a radiant future'. None of this stands up to scrutiny. Universalism was fully canvassed in antiquity; culture was at the root of humanitas; invention is not significantly different from discovery; and as for the radiant future, see Doctorow (above).
10
The installation of Roman law in, especially, the East was not completed until much later. But the courts, including those of

-130-

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