Ager exceptus and fundi excepti: on the question of social significance of «excluded» fields

Cover Page

Cite item


The article discusses the concepts existing in historiography regarding ager exceptus, a land category that appears in the agrarian law of 111 BC. The data of this law are used, among other things, for the reconstruction of the Gracchan agrarian legislation, in particular the initiatives of the youngest of the brothers, Gaius. Among all the hypotheses regarding the essence of ager exceptus, the author singles out as the most reasoned the one put forward by T. Mommsen: according to the latter, ager exceptus is, first of all, a Campanian field, ager Campanus. V.G. Telminov also speaks of ager Campanus as the material basis of “excluded” fields, although on other grounds than T. Mommsen. The idea that the fields of the Italian allies were excluded from the division is very attractive, however, the data of the agrarian law of 111 BC do not support this idea of F.T. Hinrichs. There is shown the difference between the ager exceptus of the agrarian law of 111 BC and fundi excepti, which are mentioned by Roman surveyors. In this regard, the author criticizes the concept of the French researcher C. Nicolet, who suggested that ager exceptus could be a mechanism for the formation of large landed property, and, consequently, contribute to the deterioration of the social climate in Roman society. The author of the article shows that C. Nicolet relied on the data of only one of the surveyors, Siculus Flaccus, although the information of Hyginus Gromatikus looks both more complete and more reliable. The social role of the lands ager exceptus and fundi excepti is noted.

About the authors

Vladimir Alexandrovich Konyukhov

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
postgraduate student, Department of the History of the Ancient World, Faculty of History 1 Leninskiye Gory St, Moscow, Russian Federation, 119991


  1. Crawford M. Roman Statutes (BICS Supplement 64). L., 1996. Vol. I.
  2. Lapyrenok RV. Nasledie agrarnogo zakona Tiberija Grakha: zemel’nyj vopros i politicheskaja bor’ba v Rime 20-h gg. II v. do n. e. [The legacy of the agrarian law of Tiberius Gracchus: the land issue and the political struggle in Rome in the 20s. 2nd century BC]. Moscow, 2016. (In Russ.).
  3. Tel’minov VG. Reformatorskaja dejatel’nost’ Gaja Grakha: Kand. diss. [Telminov V.G. Reform activities of Gaius Gracchus]. Moscow, 2018. (In Russ.).
  4. Mommsen Th. Gesammelte Schriften. Bd. 1. Berlin, 1905, р. 65 — 145.
  5. Roselaar ST. Public Land in the Roman Republic. A Social and Economic History of Ager Publicus in Italy, 396 — 89 BC. Oxford, 2010.
  6. Mjakin TG. Grakhi i narod (k ideologii grakhanskogo dvizhenija): stat’ja vtoraja [Gracchi and the people (on the ideology of the Gracchane movement): article two]. Vestnik NGU. Serija: Istorija, filologija. 2010; 9 (1):11–18. (In Russ.).
  7. Hinrichs FT. Die lex agraria des Jahres 111 v. Chr. Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte. Romanistische Abteilung. 1966;(83):252–307.
  8. Burdese A. Studi sull’ager publicus. Torino, 1952.
  9. Lintott A. Judicial Reform and Land Reform in the Roman Republic. A new edition with translation and commentary of laws from Urbino. Cambridge, 1992.
  10. Thulin C. (ed.). Corpus agrimensorum Romanorum (=CAR (Th.)). Lipsiae, 1913.
  11. Johannsen K. Die lex agraria des Jahres 111 v. Chr. Text und Kommentar. München, 1971.
  12. Sisani S. L’ager publicus in età graccana (133 –111 a. C.): Una rilettura testuale, storica e giuridica della lex agraria epigrafica. Roma, 2015.
  13. Nicolet C. Économie, société et institutions au IIe siècle av. J.-C.: de la lex Claudia à l’ager exceptus. Annales. Economies, sociétés, civilisations. 1980;35(5): 871–894.
  14. Campbell B. The Writings of the Roman Land Surveyors. London, 2000.
  15. Hygin l’Arpenteur, L’établissement des limites (=Hyginus Gromaticus. Constitutio limitum). Naples, 1996.

Copyright (c) 2022 Konyukhov V.A.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies