Download Bandits in the Roman Empire: Myth and Reality by Thomas Grunewald PDF

By Thomas Grunewald

This wide-ranging and informative survey of 'outsider' teams within the Roman Empire will give a contribution significantly to our figuring out of Roman social background. analyzing males resembling as Viriatus, Tacfarinus, Maternus and Bulla Felix, who have been referred to as latrones after clashing with the imperial specialists, targeted consciousness is given to might be the best-known 'bandit' of all, Spartacus, and to those that impersonated the emperor Nero after his loss of life. themes coated contain: * Whom did the Romans see as bandits (latrones)? * What did they comprehend as theft (lactrocinium)?* How urgent used to be the chance that the bandits posed?* How did their contemporaries understand the chance? we're proven that the time period latrones used to be not only used to consult criminals yet used to be metaphorically and disparagingly utilized to failed political rebels, opponents and avengers. The observe additionally got here to symbolize the 'noble brigands', idealising the underdog as a way of criticising the profitable facet. the writer consequently offers 'the bandit' as a literary build instead of a social style.

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This is a standard wording, frequently employed, that says nothing about the use of violence. As already explained, in Roman as in modern law the crime of robbery occurred only when removal of property not belonging to the perpetrator was accompanied by violence against the person. 115 The suspiciously frequent use of the phrase leistrikoi tropoi in Euhemeria therefore leads to the reasonable supposition that the usage was not always employed in a strictly juristic sense, but was sometimes applied ‘non-technically’, as an expression of outrage by the victim.

The fact that women took part in only four of the crimes registered by the depositions speaks for itself. Perhaps the most spectacular case in this respect (no. 124) took place in the public baths at Euhemeria. It was there that Aplounos, wife of a certain Hippalos, and her mother, Thermis, were violently assaulted by two women and two men, all named. Battered by blows all over their bodies, and robbed, amongst other things, of their earrings and a necklace, the two ladies eventually had to seek refuge under a bed.

It was ambiguous and could without raising eyebrows also conjure up romantic associations, especially when set in the mythical past. Similarly, herdsmen and bandits were more or less synonymous. 26 In the case of Viriatus, the bandit herdsman, it was the positive Romulus-style associations that soon predominated. 28 Other ‘bandits’ of the Roman period enjoyed a similar progression. 30 What distinguishes their careers are the opposing directions taken by each man – Viriatus towards good and Spartacus towards evil.

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