8. THE ADMINISTRATION OF PROPERTY BELONGING TO THE [PROVINCIAL] COMMUNITIES
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436 BOOK FIFTYIADMINISTRATION O F P R O P E R T Y business matter arises for someone before an embassy is undertaken, he ought to be defended even if he is absent; once an embassy is undertaken, he may not perform any task except a munus which is imposed on him. 18 (17) POMPONIUS, Quintus Mucius, book 37: If someone strikes an ambassador of the enemy, he is regarded as having acted against the law of nations, because ambassadors are regarded as sacred. And likewise if, when the ambassadors of some people were with us and war was declared against it and the reply was given that they were free to remain; for this befits the law of nations. So Quintus Mucius was accustomed to reply that someone who struck an ambassador was surrendered to the enemy whose ambassador he was. If the enemy did not accept him, the question arose whether he remained a Roman citizen. Some people thought that he did, some the opposite, because whomsoever the people had once ordered to be surrendered seemed to have been expelled from the state, as happened when someone was forbidden fire and water. Publius Mucius seems to have held this view. But the question arose most notably in the case of Hostilius Mancinus, whom the Numantines did not accept when he was surrendered to them; a law was later passed about him, however, making him a Roman citizen, and he is even said to have held the praetorship. THE ADMINISTRATION OF PROPERTY BELONGING TO THE [PROVINCIAL] COMMUNITIES 1 ULPIAN,Disputations, book 10: Anything left to the particular use of a community cannot be converted to other uses. 2 ULPIAN,Opinions, book 3: It is by no means appropriate for the basis of earlier contracts of hire, which had their own formats, to be investigated starting from a later contract. 1. Anything which a man is debarred from doing in his own person he is also debarred from doing through a subordinate. And so if a decurion through intermediaries farms public property which cannot legally be rented by decurions, it is to be resumed as having been taken over illegally. 2. If anything has been converted to another use from the corn account, it is to be returned with the proper interest to its proper account. And even if this decision has been made against someone who is absent , any complaint is in vain. The basis of administration, however, is to be taken as being the trustworthiness of records, receipts, and expenses. 3. A debtor to the corn account is to settle as soon as possible from his own resources. For the corn account which is necessary to all communities must not suffer from delayed payment; but debtors may be forced to payment by the governor of the province if he has any in this position. 4. Money given for the purchase of corn must be restored to a community and not balanced by money spent on services to the community. But if money for corn has been converted to other uses than those, for which it was intended, as, for instance, the building of public baths, even if it can be shown that this was done in good faith, it is not right for the amount to be credited as far as the corn account is concerned, but the curator rei publicae will order the actual amount to be paid. 5. If settlement of a debt to the corn account is made with interest, the limit to excessive and illegal computation, namely on compound interest, is not applied. 6. The curator rei publicae may order restitution to be made to an owner of the value of grain removed wrongfully after a purchase which is made for the public account. 7. If someone who was suitable at the time when he was nominated later suffers a decline in wealth and causes loss to the community because of his debts, because no human counsel can foresee chance disasters, the man who nominated him is not obliged to pay anything under this head. 8. The law of a community cannot be altered by an agreement for the magistrates to be less liable even on behalf of a colleague under those heads where liability is legally possible. 9. But an action which is usually decided on under these heads against a colleague falls in equity to the man who spends on behalf of someone else. 10. Whatever is shown to have been spent...