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 p929  Poena

Article by George Long, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College
on p929 of

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

POENA (Greek, ποινή). The Roman sense of this word is explained by Ulpian (Dig. 50 tit. 16 s13) at the same time that he explains Fraus and Multa. Fraus is generally an offence, Noxa; and Poena is the punishment of an offence, Noxae vindicta. Poena is the general name for any punishment of any offence: Multa is the penalty of a particular offence, which is now (in Ulpian's time) pecuniary. Ulpian says in his time because by the Law of the Twelve Tables, the Multa was pecuaria or a certain number of oxen and sheep (Plin. XVIII.3; Festus, s.vv. Multam, Peculatus). [Lex Aternia Tarpeia.] Ulpian proceeds to say that Poena may affect a person's caput and existimatio, that is, Poena may be loss of citizen­ship and Infamia. A Multa was imposed according to circumstances, and its amount was determined by the pleasure of him who imposed it. A Poena was only inflicted when it was imposed by some lex or some other legal authority (quo alio jure). When no poena was imposed, then a multa or penalty might be inflicted. Every person who had jurisdictio (this seems to be the right reading instead of judicatio) could impose a multa; and these were magistratus and praesides provinciarum. A Poena might be inflicted by any one who was intrusted with the judicial prosecution of the offence to which it was affixed. The legal distinction between Poena and Multa is not always observed by the Roman writers.

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