438 . POLITICAL SCIENCE.
(Xen., Mem., ii., 2, 13), which, however, was merely an act
of self-defence on the part of the people. The action referred
to by Xenophon can be no other than the public suit of ill-
usage towards parents (tfa/ceocw ryoviw). This could be
brought against children who abused their parents by word
or deed, when they refused them food, being able to provide
it, and when they refused to bury them. The first of these
acts implies more than immorality; the second, on account
of the close family tie, may be looked on as almost a viola-
tion of right; the third was not only ungrateful, but irreli-
gious. It is said also that in the mutual aid societies at Athens
this action of ingratitude could be brought against a member.
This kind of suits is a very obscure subject; but, if there were
a suit answering to this title, it could be explained on the
ground that the mutuality in those clubs conferred an obliga-
tion upon each of the persons benefited.* The only thing
that I know of in Roman law which looks like the treatment
of ingratitude as a wrong to be estimated or punished, is a
provision of the lex ^Elia Sentia, passed in A.D. 3, which
gave the patron the right—besides that of relegating the
freedman beyond the hundredth mile from Rome (Tac.,
Annal., xiii., 26), of accusing him ut ingratum. This law
then qualified mamumission, and the duties owed to the pa-
tron almost turned into claims.f
* Comp. Meier u. Schoem., Att. Proc., pp. 448, 449 ; and for the
suits against members of thfc same cpavos, K. F. Hermann, Gr.
Staatsalt., § 146, 9.
f Com. Dig., xl., 9, 30. For ingratitude as a ground of public
prosecution among the Persians, comp. Xen. Cyrop., i., 2, 7. The
laws of Manu lay a fine on one who forsakes father, mother, wife, or
son, viii., 388 (p. 281 of Houghton's ed. of Jones's transl.). The in-
pfficiosum testamenturn (§ 48), as defined by J. Paulus, Sentent.,
iv., 5 (in Huschke's Jurispr. Antejustin.), is that which, " frustra liberis,
ex heredatis, non ex officio pietatis videtur esse conscriptum." It is the
want of pietas, as in the case of a freedman, which constitutes the
injury to the natural heir.