By Richard A. Bauman
Crime and punishment have involved humanity because the starting of social lifestyles. Their manifestations in old Rome continues to be an attractive subject, because the legislation of such a lot ecu international locations at the present time is derived from historic Roman legislation. the writer tells the heritage of punishment from the Roman Republic to the overdue Empire, therefore laying off gentle on a few decisive elements of Roman historical past. Trials for treason, sedition and corruption remove darkness from political historical past; universal legislation crimes like homicide, poisoning, rape, adultery and forgery sharpen the conception of social heritage; discussions of freedom of speech bring up the certainty of highbrow heritage; and non secular persecutions fill out the image of spiritual heritage. This research should still supply priceless studying not just for the Roman historian, yet for contemporary historians and legal professionals, sociologists and people often drawn to classical antiquity.
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Extra resources for Crime and Punishment in Ancient Rome
22). She was acquitted, but at least the accuser had read Cicero. We have already sketched the link between humanitas and clementia, in the passage in which clementia and mansuetudo yield to severitas when the public interest (rei publicae utilitas) is at stake. Although clementia and mansuetudo are constituent elements of humanitas,27 Cicero was inclined to be lukewarm about them—not from conviction, but because there was no room for clemency in jury-trials. 28 In 46 Cicero, defending Ligarius before Caesar, was able to plead deprecatio, the appeal for mercy, because Caesar was trying the case personally.
3). But Cicero is touching on an important principle. To many wrongdoers the most frightening part of capital punishment was the affront to their dignity. 2). This no doubt included physical fear,7 but in the Principate the liberum mortis arbitrium, the free choice of one’s manner of death, was seen as a boon because it preserved one’s dignity. Indeed one of the reasons for the distinction, in the Principate, between ‘regular’ death or exile for honestiores and death in the most undignified forms for humiliores was that it enabled the former to avoid contumelia.
No particular method of execution was specified; capite puniatur, ‘let him be punished capitally’, was all that was required. It was only in earlier times that specific methods of execution had been spelled out-at the trial of Horatius and under the XII Tables. The first century BC saw a radical change. In some of his laws Sulla, and after him Caesar, replaced 26 TRIAL BY JURY actual and immediate execution by aquae et ignis interdictio, the interdiction from water and fire which denied the wrongdoer shelter and sustenance and made him an outlaw liable to be killed by anyone with impunity.
Crime and Punishment in Ancient Rome by Richard A. Bauman