The Edict was written down by one Ansoald, not a bishop or lawyer, but a scribe of Lombard origin. It was affirmed by a gairethinx convened by Rothari in 643. The gairethinx was a gathering of the army who passed the law by clashing their spears on their shields in old Germanic fashion, a fitting passing for so Germanic a Latin code.
The Edict makes no references to public life, the governance of trade, the duties of a citizen
Edict of Rothari
INCIPIT EDICTVM QVEM RENOVAVIT DOMINVS ROTHARI
143. De eo, qui post accepta conpositione se vindicaverit. Si homo occisus fuerit liber aut servus et pro humicidio ipso conpositio facta fuerit et pro ampotandam inimicitia sacramenta prestita: et postea contegerit, ut ille, qui conpositionem accepit, se vindicandi causam occiderit hominem de parte, de qua conpositionem accepit: iubemus,ut in dublum reddat ipsam conpositionem iterum parentibus aut domino servi. Simili modo de plagas aut feritas:qui post conpositionem acceptam se vindicare temptaverit, in
dublum, quod accepit, restituat; excepto si hominem occiderit: conponatur ut supra.
144. De magistros commacinos. Si magister commacinus cum collegantes suos cuiuscumque domum ad restaurandam vel fabricandam super se, placitum finito de mercedes, susceperit et contigerit aliquem per ipsam domum aut materium elapsum aut lapidem mori, non requiratur a domino, cuius domus fuerit, nisi magister commacinus cum consortibus suis ipsum homicidium aut damnum conponat; quia, postquam fabulam firmam de mercedis pro suo lucro suscepit, non inmerito damnum sustinet.
145. De rogatos aut conductos magistros. Si quis magistrum commacinum unum aut plures rogaverit aut conduxerit ad opera dictandum aut solatium diurnum prestandum inter servûs suos, domum aut casa sibi facienda, et contegerit per ipsam casam aliquem ex ipsis commacinis mori, non requiratur ab ipso, cuius casa est. Nam si cadens arbor aut lapis ex ipsa fabrigam occiderit aliquem extraneum, aut quodlebit damnum fecerit, non
repotetur culpa magistris, sed ille, qui conduxit, ipse damnum susteneat.
Section 144. Of the Comacine Master - If a Comacine Master with his associates (colligantes) shall undertake to restore or build the house of any person whatsoever, after an agreement shall have been closed as to payment, and it chances that someone should be killed, by reason of the house, through the falling of either material or stone, no claim shall be lodged against the owner of the house, in case the Comacine Master or those working with him (consortibus) shall fall to settle for the death or the damage done; because who after having contracted to do work f or his own advantage, must assume, not undeservedly, the damage done.
Section 145. Of masters called or brought in. - If any person shall call or bring in Comacine Masters one or several - to design a work or to daily assist his retainers (servi) at the building of his house (domun aut casa), and it should happen that, by reason of this house (casa), one of the Comacines is killed, the owner of the house (casa) shall not be held responsible. On the other hand, if falling timber or stone should kill an outsider or cause injury to anyone, the fault shall not be imputed to the Masters, but to him who called them in, and he shall be responsible for the damage.
Translated by Ossian Lang, Grand Historian,
The Grand Lodge of New York in 1925:
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© Masonic High Council 2005