Brill’s New Pauly

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(192 words)

[German version]

Unlike a mere desertor , i.e. a citizen evading military service or a soldier not on leave, whose desertion was severely punished by Rome, a transfuga was a Roman citizen (or subject of the Empire), who as a soldier or civilian (Dig. 48,4,2,3) committed treason ( perduellio ), and thus a crime against the polity (crimen publicum) by defecting to the enemy (Erl. Dig. 49,15,5), which Rome punished according to the law of war (War, law of) through the magistrates by coercitio or in criminal law as a crimen maiestatis ( Maiestas ). A transfuga was considered pro hoste ( Hostis ; Dig.…

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Kehne, Peter (Hannover), “Transfuga”, 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 21 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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