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Bill Thayer

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T. I, Vol. 2

Article by G. Humbert in

Daremberg & Saglio,
Dictionnaire des Antiquités Grecques et Romaines,
Librairie Hachette et Cie., Paris, 1877‑1919.

translation and © William P. Thayer

Callis. — It can be conjectured, based on two passages, one of which is that of the law commonly known as Thoria, that callis, as opposed to via publica, designated the trackways leading to the public woods or pastures (silvae, pascua, saltus). The law known as the Thoria agraria,​1 in order to encourage agriculture, exempted owners of herds from the future payment of fees [scriptura, vectigal] for the passage of animals being pastured, in callibus viisve publicis. On the other hand, Suetonius​2 informs us that when Julius Caesar was elected consul with Bibulus, the senate, at the behest of the noble party, assigned to the future consuls functions bereft of any importance whatsoever; it fell to them to administer woods and paths:​a ut provinciae futuris consulibus minimi negotii, id est silvae callesque, decernerentur. This pairing and the insignificance of the work certainly seem to indicate that this was not the management of the major roads, but indeed public paths of a lesser order, used in the exploitation of State woods and pastures, the superintendence of which usually fell to the censors [censor].

The Author's Notes:

1 § XI, see Egger, vet. Latini serm. reliquiae selectae p214, Paris, 1843, and the article agrariae leges.

2 Suet. Jul. 19.

Thayer's Note:

a But see J. C. Rolfe, The So‑Called Callium Provincia (AJP 36:323‑331).

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