It is our duty to lay every discouragement on the importation of slaves; but this amendment would give thee jus trium liberorum to him who would import slaves.
He does not appear to have been known to that emperor, but rose into great favour with Titus, which was continued under Domitian, who conferred on him the Jus trium liberorum and the tribunate, together with the rank of a Roman knight, and a pension from the imperial treasury, probably attached to the position of court poet. It is difficult to ascertain the truth as to his circumstances.
The Romans had a law called Jus Trium Liberorum, by which every man who had been a father of three children, had particular honours and privileges. This incited the youth to quit a dissolute single life and become fathers of families, to the support and glory of the empire.
It is our duty to lay every discouragement on the importation of slaves; but this amendment would give the jus trium liberorum to him who would import slaves.
'Tis a ground and principle in the law, said Triptolemus, that things do not ascend, but descend in it; and I make no doubt 'tis for this cause, that however true it is, that the child may be of the blood and seed of its parents that the parents, nevertheless, are not of the blood and seed of it; inasmuch as the parents are not begot by the child, but the child by the parents For so they write, Liberi sunt de sanguine patris & matris, sed pater & mater non sunt de sanguine liberorum.
In the year 131, just after Tiberius Gracchus had been trying to revive the population of Italy by his agrarian law, Metellus Macedonicus the censor did what he could to induce men to marry "liberorum creandorum causa"; and a fragment of a speech of his on this subject became famous afterwards, as quoted by Augustus with the same object.
does not say "liberûm" as many of us do say in such an expression as cupidos liberûm, or in liberûm loco, but, as these men approve, "Neque tuum unquam in gremium extollas liberorum ex te genus." And again he says, "Namque aesculapi liberorum...." And another of these poets says in his Chryses, not only "Cives, antiqui amici majorum meûm,"
His first wife was Cleopatra, of whose morose temper he complains, and from whom he was divorced soon after obtaining the Jus trium liberorum. His second was Marcella, whom he married after his return to Spain. Of her he speaks with respect and even admiration.
It is our duty to lay every discouragement on the importation of slaves; but this amendment would give the jus trium liberorum to him who would import slaves: that other kinds of property were pretty equally distributed through all the colonies: there were as many cattle, horses, and sheep, in the North as the South, and South as the North; but not so as to slaves: that experience has shown that those colonies have, been always able to pay most, which have the most inhabitants, whether they be black or white: and the practice of the Southern colonies has always been to make every farmer pay poll taxes upon all his laborers, whether they be black or white.