Brill’s New Pauly

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Hostis originally referred to the foreigner (peregrinus), i.e. the enemy (perduellis) as well as the guest (hospes), as Cicero (Off. 1,37) correctly concludes from the provisions in the XII Tables ( tabulae duodecim ) (aut status dies cum hoste: 2,2; adversus hostem aeterna auctoritas: 6,4). At the same time they show that even a foreigner without  commercium could bring a lawsuit before the Roman magistrate. In the same way, with regard to the sphere of international relations, the older view that a ‘permanent state of war’ (Mommsen)…

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von Ungern-Sternberg, Jürgen (Basle), “Hostis”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 19 September 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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