Translated by J.B. Moyle
various ways; either in the holy church, according to the sacred constitutions, or by default in a fictitious vindica- tion, or before friends, or by letter, or by testament or any other expression of a man's last will: and indeed there are many other modes in which freedom may be acquired, introduced by the constitutions of earlier emperors as well as by our own. 2 It is usual for slaves to be manumitted by their masters at any time, even when the magistrate is merely passing by, as for instance while the praetor or proconsul or governor of a province is going to the baths or the theatre.
3 Of freedmen there were formerly three grades; for those who were manumitted sometimes obtained a higher freedom fully recognised by the laws, and became Roman citizens; sometimes a lower form, becoming by the lex Iunia Norbana Latins; and sometimes finally a liberty still more circumscribed, being placed by the lex Aelia Sentia on the footing of enemies surrendered at discretion. This last and lowest class, howeve