By Richard A. Bauman
Punishment used to be an crucial component to the Roman justice method and as arguable because it is at the present time. Bauman examines the mechanics of the administering of punishment and the philosophical ideals from which attitudes to penalty have been born. The emphasis is put on crimes opposed to the general public throughout the Republic and Principate with much less dialogue of both civil circumstances or matters. targeted reference is made to adjustments in attitudes about the dying penalty.
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Extra resources for Crime and Punishment in Ancient Rome
Cal. 18. 61. , Div. Claud. 29. Emperors at Work 11 is certainly no room in the story for a ‘‘bureau,’’ headed by a freedman, by which the documents were produced. A considerable amount of an emperor’s time was taken up with libelli which went to him with requests for beneﬁcia (favours) or legal guidance. The essential element of the procedure was for the emperor to write on the libellus a subscriptio (a brief answer to the question, literally ‘‘written under’’ the petition), in his own hand. I have noted already the passages showing Iulius Caesar and Marcus Aurelius busy with this at the shows.
You, I say, are not allowed to weep; in order that you may be able to listen to the many who weep—in order that you may dry the tears of those who are in peril and desire to obtain mercy from Caesar’s clemency, it is your own tears that you 98. Phrynichus, Ecloga 379 (Lobeck ccclvi; Rutherford). 99. There are, however, signiﬁcant indications that the style of imperial letters became more discursive and ‘‘literary’’ from about the middle of the third century. Even if one disregards the long letter of Decius to Philippopolis ‘‘quoted’’ by Dexippus (FGrH 100 F 26), one may note the sentiments discursively aired by Valerian and Gallienus writing to Philadelphia in 255, Anz.
With that we can come one stage nearer the question of oﬃcial correspondence and look at the handling of libelli—for the moment just libelli brought to the emperor by their authors, not ones sent on by oﬃcials such as Pliny. Libelli in this context divide into two types—ones containing information against third parties and ones containing petitions or requests for legal decisions. Here again we ﬁnd the informant or petitioner giving the libellus direct to the emperor himself—as witness the anecdote of Augustus saying to a man who proﬀered his libellus with excessive timidity.