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Latin Right

Latin Rights (Latin: ius Latii or ius latinum) was a term for a set of legal rights that was originally granted to the Latins (Latin: "Latini", the People of Latium, the land of the Latins) who had not been incorporated into the Roman Republic after the Latin War and to the settlers of Roman colonies with Latin status, which colonies were denominated "Latin colonies".

The definition of the term changed as a result of three laws which were introduced during the Social War between the Romans and their allies among the Italic peoples ("socii") which rebelled against Rome. The Lex Iulia de Civitate Latinis (et sociis) Danda of 90 BC conferred Roman citizenship on all citizens of the Latin towns and the Italic towns who had not rebelled. The Lex Plautia Papiria de Civitate Sociis Danda of 89 BC granted Roman citizenship to all federated towns in Italy south of the River Po (in northern Italy). The Lex Pompeia de Transpadanis of 89 BC granted the ius Latii to the communities of Transpadania, a region north of the Po, which had sided with Rome during the Social War. It also granted Roman citizenship to those who became officials in their respective municipia (cities). This introduced a status that was intermediate between that of Roman citizen and foreigner ("peregrinus"). Prior to that, peregrini comprised the Latini, socii (Italic allies), and provinciales (Roman subjects outside Italy). "Latinitas" became commonly used by Roman jurists to denote this status.Cicero used this term in relation to Julius Caesar's grant of Latin rights to the Sicilians in 44 BC. This use of "ius Latii" or "Latinitas" persisted to the reign of Emperor Justinian I in the sixth century AD. This status was later given to whole towns and regions: Emperor Vespasian granted it to the whole of Hispania and Emperor Hadrian gave it to many towns.