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Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113).  Letters.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
LXXII. Trajan to Pliny
 
 
THE QUESTION concerning children who were exposed by their parents, and afterwards preserved by others, and educated in a state of servitude, though born free, has been frequently discussed; but I do not find in the constitutions of the princes my predecessors any general regulation upon this head, extending to all the provinces. There are, indeed, some rescripts of Domitian to Avidius Nigrinus and Armenius Brocchus, which ought to be observed; but Bithynia is not comprehended in the provinces therein mentioned. I am of opinion, therefore, that the claims of those who assert their right of freedom upon this footing should be allowed; without obliging them to purchase their liberty by repaying the money advanced for their maintenance. 1  1
 
Note 1. “This decision of Trajan, the effect of which would be that persons would be slow to adopt an abandoned child which, when brought up, its unnatural parents could claim back without any compensation for its nurture, seems harsh, and we find that it was disregarded by the later emperors in their legal decisions on the subject.” Church and Brodribb. [back]
 

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