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p951 Praeda

Article by George Long, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College
on pp951‑952 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

PRAEDA signifies moveable things taken by an enemy in war. Such things were either distributed by the Imperator among the soldiers (Liv. II.42, VI.13; Sall. Jug. 68), or sold by the quaestors, and the produce was brought into the Aerarium:—

"istos captivos duos,

Here quos emi de praeda de Quaestoribus."

(Plaut. Capt. I.2.1)

The difference between Praeda and Manubiae is explained by Gellius (XIII.25) to be this:— Praeda is the things themselves that are taken in war, and Manubiae is "pecunia per quaestorem populi Romani ex praeda vendita contracta": nor can any objection to this explanation be derived from the words of Cicero (de Leg. Agr. II.22). When prisoners were sold, they were said to be sold "sub corona," the true explanation of which expression is probably that given by Gellius (est autem alia, &c. VI.4).º The mode of sale of other things than slaves was at first probably in detail, but afterwards in the lump, that is, the whole praeda might be sold to the highest bidder, or it might be sold in large masses which contained a great number of separate things, in which cases the whole or the mass would pass to the purchaser as a universitas, and he might retail it if he chose. This mode of sale in the lump was called "sectionem venire," and the purchaser was called sector. It p952was the practice to set up a spear at such sales, which was afterwards used at all sales of things by a magistratus in the name of the people. [Sectio.]

Corresponding to the acquisition of moveable things in warfare, and their being made private property, is the transfer of Ager publicus, which was acquired in war, to individuals by a Lex Agraria or de coloniis deducendis or by a sale by the quaestors (ager quaestorius). [Postliminium.]


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