Foedus Cassianum

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The Foedus Cassianum (German "Cassischer contract") was a contract between the Roman Republic and the Latins , which either already existed in 493 BC. Or only in the year 370 BC Chr. Was closed.

According to the ancient view, the treaty was concluded shortly after the establishment of the Roman Republic in 493 BC. Closed at the instigation of the Magistrate Spurius Cassius Vecillinus . Most modern research today assumes that the contract was actually signed that early. Only a minority of research maintains that the date is an annalistic interpolation and that the actual contract dates back to the 4th century BC. Is to be dated. After that, the common defensive struggle against the Acres and Volscians , which in the 5th century BC In BC they had advanced into the Latin plain, giving rise to the alliance of Latin cities, among which Rome only gradually gained a leading position. Right from the start, Rome seems to have dominated this alliance.

Main features of the contract

  • common foreign and military policy
  • Marriage law between Romans and Latins ( ius conubii )
  • Commercial law between Rome and Latin cities ( ius commercii )

Dionysius of Halicarnassus states these as the terms of the contract:

  • There should be peace between Rome and all the Latin cities as long as heaven and earth are on the same level. They should neither fight each other nor initiate wars from abroad, nor leave attackers safe access.
  • You should give the attacked help with all your might.
  • The booty from common wars should be divided equally between the two parties.
  • Decisions in private commercial cases should be made at the place where the contract is concluded within ten days ( lex contractus ).
  • Only with the mutual consent of the Romans and the Latins may anything be added or deleted from these contractual terms.

Through the military coordination, the parties were able to fight back the Etruscans as well as the hernics .

In 340 BC However, the situation changed and a conflict arose between the Romans and Latins, which led to the Latin War , after which the Latins were integrated into the territory of Rome.

As Marcus Tullius Cicero and Titus Livius indicate, an inscription with the text of the treaty was still in use until the 1st century BC. Mounted on a bronze column behind the speaker's platform ( Rostra ) in the Roman Forum .


  1. Ernst Baltrusch , Foreign Policy, Bünde and Reichsbildung in der Antike , (Oldenbourg, Munich 2008), p. 95 (with further literature).
  2. Titus Livius, from urbe condita 2, 33, 9. A renewal of the treaty dates Livius, from urbe condita 7, 12, 7 to the year 358 BC. Chr.
  3. ^ Alfred Heuss , Römische Geschichte , 5th edition (Westermann, Braunschweig 1983), pp. 14 and 44.
  4. Jochen Bleicken: History of the Roman Republic , Munich 2004, pp. 17-18.
  5. Jochen Bleicken: History of the Roman Republic , Munich 2004, p. 19.
  6. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, quae extant 6, 95, 2. Roman early history . In research, however, it is controversial whether the conditions mentioned by Dionysius were the same in the original.
  7. Jochen Bleicken: History of the Roman Republic , Munich 2004, p. 20.
  8. Cicero, Pro Balbo 53 , Titus Livius, from urbe condita 2, 33, 9.