Lex Canuleia

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The Lex Canuleia is a law of the Roman Republic passed in the year 445 BC.[1]

Named after the tribune Gaius Canuleius, who proposed it, it abolished a corresponding[clarification needed] prohibition in the Twelve Tables and allowed marriage between patricians and plebeians, with children inheriting the father's social status. It is also referred to in Latin as the Lex de conubio patrum et plebis.

Canuleius also carried through a law that permitted plebeians to hold the office of consul, the highest of the Roman magistracies, which the patricians had retained as their prerogative.

In fiction[edit]

In the 1930s novella Goodbye Mr Chips,[2] which is set in an English Public School, its protagonist is trying to explain the law to his Remove Class:

“So, if Mr Patrician told Miss Plebs that, love you as I do, I cannot marry you; she would reply ‘Oh yes you can, you liar!’”

See also[edit]