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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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Barracks were divided into contubernia as researched walls are arranged thereon, and between the barracks I-II and III-IV were identified access driveways (bounded by a layer of alluvial gravel) that communicates directly the via principalis.
Through section S01/2011, squares 5-10 was partially uncovered the inside of a barrack (room A and room B) and two interiors of contubernia from barrack III.
En cambio, en algunos yacimientos de caracter eminentemente militar, como los castra o campamentos, se ha localizado este tipo de piezas con inscripciones relativas a contubernia, es decir, agrupaciones militares formadas por ocho soldados de infanteria que compartian, ademas de tienda, la impedimenta comun como las molae (Daremberg y Saglio, 1877: 1489).
En otros asentamientos incluso se ha podido determinar a partir de la epigrafia la propiedad de algunos objetos de bronce o ceramicos a determinadas centuriae y contubernia de las tropas asentadas (Wahl, 1975: 286).
"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." Good heavens!
I summoned both contubernia. "As you can see," I declared, keeping my voice steady as I gestured toward the scene of the disaster, "fortune has not smiled upon us.
Since we had not received a fresh supply of salt, the contubernia were left to their leisure.