IL PRINCIPIO DI EGUAGLIANZA E I DIRITTI UMANI:
DALL’ESPERIENZA ROMANA ALL’OGGI
The locution “human rights” is a variable hazy knowledge. Concerning this matter, infact,
are a wide range of laws acknowledeged by the International community: civil freedom,
political rights, economic rights of minorities and peoples.
It’s not possible to succeed in to finding in the early Rome the real antecedents of actual
But the Roman culture had not a secondary role in the progressive formation of the human
Basic principles: the ius gentium, that contains the nuclear component of rules that iden-
tify some elementary duties “Rights and Duties of the men to men” (humanum officium:
Seneca, Ep. 95.52-53; look Terenzio, Heaut. 77); the concept of humanitas, the central
position of the person (Gai 1.8; D.1.5.2).
But especially the word processing on legal position of the equality which is connected to
the idea of rules of issued laws on the respect of freedom (Cic., De rep. 1.32.49; De off.
2.14.42; Pro Cluentio 53.146; Liv., 2.3; look, furthermore, Cic., De rep. 1.27.43): ideas
that are elements of the Universal Declaration of the Riights of man of 1948.
“Nowdays” the human rights shows many lights and shades.
Their future is very difficult.
We notice the need to warrant equality, also among generations, with the carefull conduct
of the natural resources and financial resources, avoiding the event of bankruptcy or
avoiding exorbitant debts that represent a danger, a plague: this is a date traceable in the
ancient thought ever since Greece times showing disregard for danger of usury showed by
Aristotle (Pol. I (A) 10, 1258b, 4-5), but also prescriptive interventions and in the many
contributions of intellectuals and jurists against an excessive critical pressure over insol-
Excessive debts, in fact, don’t undermine only the connections among privates, because at
public level, a public unrestrained debt causes dangers not only to economic growth, but
also to welfare, and international balance.
In un celebre saggio, composto alcuni anni or sono, il Bobbio defini-
va “molto vaga” l’espressione “diritti dell’uomo”1. La locuzione riguarda
infatti un’ampia gamma di diritti, riconosciuti anche dalla comunità in-
ternazionale, e sanciti da norme rivolte sia agli Stati sia agli individui.
Abbraccia fattispecie non omogenee, e cioè, secondo l’efficace sintesi del
Cassese2: le libertà civili (che “consistono in primo luogo negli ‘spazi li-
beri’ che ogni governo deve garantire all’individuo, non interferendo nel-
1 N. BOBBIO, L’età dei diritti, Torino, 1990, 8.
2 Nell’introduzione di un contributo del 1994: I diritti umani nel mondo contempo-
raneo, Roma-Bari, VI s.