10. CONTUMELIES AND DEFAMATORY WRITINGS
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BOOK FORTY-SEVEN /CONTUMELIES 285 shall ensure that night fishermen do not, by display of light, deceive those at sea as though guiding them to some port, thereby leading the ship and its complement into danger and preparing for themselves a damnable prize. 11 MARCIAN, Institutes, book 14: If a fire be caused by chance, it merits indulgence unless the carelessness be so great as to be rank and nearer to deliberate intent. 12 ULPIAN,Duties of Proconsul, book 8: It is established that it is lawful for anyone to collect with impunity his wrecked property; so ruled the Emperor Antoninus and his deified father in a rescript. 1. Those who deliberately start a fire in a city, if they be of lower rank, are usually thrown to the beasts; but if they be of some standing, they are subjected to capital punishment or certainly deported to an island. CONTUMELIES AND DEFAMATORY WRITINGS 1 ULPIAN, Edict, book 56: Wrong is so called from that which happens not rightly; for everything which does not come about rightly is said to occur wrongfully. This in general . But, specifically, "wrong" is the designation for contumely. Sometimes again, by the term "wrong" there is indicated damage occasioned by fault, as we say in respect of the lex Aquilia; then, too, we sometimes call unfairness wrong; for when someone delivers judgment unfairly or unjustly, it is called wrong; for it lacks lawfulness and justice, as not being rightful; but contumely derives from despising or deriding. 1. Labeo says that contumely can be perpetrated by act or by words: by act, when an assault is made; by words, there is insult whenever there is no physical attack. 2. Every contumely is inflicted on the person or relates to one's dignity or involves disgrace: It is to the person when someone is struck; it pertains to dignity when a lady's companion is led astray; and to disgrace when an attempt is made upon a person 's chastity. 3. Again, a contumely can be effected against someone personally or through others: personally, when a head of household or matron is directly affronted; through others, when it happens by consequence, as when the affront is to one's children or slaves, one's wife or daughter-in-law; for a contumely affects us which is suffered by those who are subject to our power or are the objects of our affection. 4. And if perchance the corpse should be contumeliously treated of a deceased to whom we are heirs or recipients of his estate, we have the action for insult in our own right; for it affects our own reputation, if any insult be directed at the corpse. The same applies if the good repute of one to whom we are heirs be damaged. 5. So far does an affront to our children affect our own honor that if someone should sell another 's son, even with his consent, the father will indeed have the action for insult in his own right; but there will be no action on behalf of the son, because there is no affront where the victim consents. 6. Now whenever there be any affront at the testator 's funeral or to his corpse, if it occur after the inheritance has been accepted, it must be said that in a sense, the insult is to the heir (for it is always the heir's obligation to vindicate the reputation of the deceased); but if it be before acceptance, the insult is rather to the inheritance itself and it is thus through the inheritance that the heir will acquire the action. Then Julian writes that if a testator's corpse be detained by someone before acceptance of the inheritance, there is no doubt that the action vests in the inheritance. He also thinks that the same is true if, even before the inheriBOOK FORTY-SEVEN /CONTUMELIES 285 shall ensure that night fishermen do not, by display of light, deceive those at sea as though guiding them to some port, thereby leading the ship and its complement into danger and preparing for themselves a damnable prize. 11 MARCIAN, Institutes, book 14: If a fire be caused by chance, it merits indulgence unless the carelessness be so great as to be rank and nearer to deliberate intent. 12 ULPIAN, Duties ofProconsul, book 8: It is established that it is lawful for anyone to collect with impunity his wrecked property; so ruled the Emperor Antoninus and his...