What was crime in ancient Rome? Was it defined by law or social attitudes? How did damage to the individual differ from offences against the community as a whole? This book explores competing legal and extra-legal discourses in a number of areas, including theft, official malpractice, treason, sexual misconduct, crimes of violence, homicide, magic and perceptions of deviance. It argues that court practice was responsive to social change, despite the ingrained conservatism of the legal tradition, and that judges and litigants were in part responsible for the harsher operation of justice in Late Antiquity. Consideration is also given to how attitudes to crime were shaped not only by legal experts but also by the rhetorical education and practices of advocates, and by popular and even elite indifference to the finer points of law.
Although the Romans lived in a society very different from ours, they were like us in fearing crime and in hoping to control it by means of the law. Ordinary citizens wanted protection from muggers in the streets or thieves at the public baths. They demanded laws to punish officials who abused power or embezzled public monies. Even emperors, who feared plotters and wanted to repress subversive ideas and doctrines, looked to the law for protection. In the first book in English to focus on the substantive criminal law of ancient Rome, O. F. Robinson offers a lively study of an essential aspect of Roman life and identity. Robinson begins with a discussion of the framework within which the law operated and the nature of criminal responsibility. She looks at the criminal law of Rome as it was established in the late Republic under Sulla's system of standing jury-courts. Grouping offenses functionally into five chapters, she examines crimes committed for gain, crimes involving violence, sexual offenses, offenses against the state, and offenses against the due ordering of society.
An interdisciplinary, edited collection on social science methodologies for approaching Roman legal sources. Roman law as a field of study is rapidly evolving to reflect new perspectives and approaches in research. Scholars who work on the subject are i
Release on 2012-10-11 | by Scott Fitzgerald Johnson
Author: Scott Fitzgerald Johnson
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press
The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity offers an innovative overview of a period (c. 300-700 CE) that has become increasingly central to scholarly debates over the history of western and Middle Eastern civilizations. This volume covers such pivotal events as the fall of Rome, the rise of Christianity, the origins of Islam, and the early formation of Byzantium and the European Middle Ages. These events are set in the context of widespread literary, artistic, cultural, and religious change during the period. The geographical scope of this Handbook is unparalleled among comparable surveys of Late Antiquity; Arabia, Egypt, Central Asia, and the Balkans all receive dedicated treatments, while the scope extends to the western kingdoms, and North Africa in the West. Furthermore, from economic theory and slavery to Greek and Latin poetry, Syriac and Coptic literature, sites of religious devotion, and many others, this Handbook covers a wide range of topics that will appeal to scholars from a diverse array of disciplines. The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity engages the perennially valuable questions about the end of the ancient world and the beginning of the medieval, while providing a much-needed touchstone for the study of Late Antiquity itself.
Rome was the law-giver for much of the modern world. She was also the greatest military power of antiquity, operating her military organization with remarkable efficiency and effectiveness throughout most of the then-known world. In view of the importance of both the legal and military aspects of the Roman Empire, an account of their combination in a system of disciplinary control for the Roman armies is of considerable significance to historians in both fields—and, in fact, to scholars in general. In Roman Military Law, C. E. Brand describes this system of control. Since a characterization of such a system can be made most meaningful only against a background of Roman constitutional government and in the light of ideologies current at the time, Brand follows his initial “Note on Sources” with a sketch of the contemporary Roman scene. This first section includes a discussion of the Roman constitution and an examination of Roman criminal law. The history of Rome, as a republic, principate, and empire, extended over a period of a thousand years, so any attempt to represent a generalized picture must be essentially a matter of extraction and condensation from the voluminous literature of the whole era. Nevertheless, from the fantastic evolution that is the history of Rome, Brand has been able to construct a more or less static historical mosaic that may be considered typically “Roman.” This comes into sharpest focus during the period of the Punic Wars, when the city and its people were most intensely Roman. The picture of the Roman armies is set into this basic framework, in chapters dealing with military organization, disciplinary organization, religion and discipline, and offenses and punishments. The final section of the book considers briefly the vast changes in Roman institutions that came about under the armies of the Empire, and then concludes with the Latin text and an English translation of the only known code of Roman military justice, promulgated sometime during the later Empire, preserved in Byzantine literature, and handed down to medieval times in Latin translations of Byzantine Greek law, which it has heretofore been confused.
What are states but large bandit bands, and what are bandit bands but small states? So asked St Augustine, reflecting on the late Roman world. Here nine original studies, by historians of Greece and Rome, explore the activities and the images of ancient criminals, comparing them closely and provocatively with the Greek and Roman governments which the criminals challenged.
Law was central to the ancient Roman's conception of themselves and their empire. Yet what happened to Roman law and the position it occupied ideologically during the turbulent years of the Iconoclast era, c.680-850, is seldom explored and little understood. The numerous legal texts of this period, long ignored or misused by scholars, shed new light on this murky but crucial era, when the Byzantine world emerged from the Roman Empire. Law, Power, and Imperial Ideology in the Iconoclast Era uses Roman law and canon law to chart the various responses to these changing times, especially the rise of Islam, from Justinian II's Christocentric monarchy to the Old Testament-inspired Isaurian dynasty. The Isaurian emperors sought to impose their control and morally purge the empire through the just application of law, sponsoring the creation of a series of concise, utilitarian texts that punished crime, upheld marriage, and protected property. This volume explores how such legal reforms were part of a reformulation of ideology and state structures that underpinned the transformation from the late antique Roman Empire to medieval Byzantium.