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CONTUBERNIUM, civ. law. As among the Romans, slaves had no civil state, their marriages, although valid according to natural law, when contr acted with the consent of their masters, and when there was no legal bar to them, yet were without civil effects; they having none except what arose from natural law; a marriage of this kind was called contubernium. It was so called whether both or only one of the parties was a slave. Poth. Contr. de Mariage, part 1, c. 2, Sec. 4. Vicat, ad verb.

References in periodicals archive ?
Take noble Decimus Felix and two contubernia of legionnaires," he ordered, "and salt the Carthaginian's soil, that not so much as a tare or vetch may sprout forth in the days of living men.
Since we had not received a fresh supply of salt, the contubernia were left to their leisure.
Decimus had left the contubernia to their quoits and followed me out to the solitary ficus.