Actors and Audience in the Roman Courtroom (Monographs in by Leanne Bablitz

By Leanne Bablitz

What might you notice in the event you attended a tribulation in a court within the early Roman empire? What used to be the behaviour of litigants, advocates, judges and viewers? It was once frequent for Roman participants out of normal curiosity to wait many of the courts held in public locations within the urban centre and as such, the Roman courts held a tremendous place within the Roman group on a sociological point in addition to a litigious one. This e-book considers many facets of Roman courts within the first centuries advert, either civil and felony, and illuminates the interplay of Romans of each social staff. Actors and viewers within the Roman court is a vital source for classes on Roman social historical past and Roman legislations as a old phenomenon.

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Servenius Gallus was an urban praetor or a peregrine praetor. However, since the issue in this document (the status of one of the petitioners) is very similar to the case involving Calatoria Themis and Petronia before the praetor urbanus, it is likely that L. Servenius Gallus was praetor urbanus. 33 It thus is no surprise that this portico came to be called the Porticus Iulia. 34 It need not trouble us that this document refers to the porticus as being in front of Gallus’ tribunal. The excavations of the Forum of Augustus show that the columns of the porticoes extended across the entire length of the exedrae.

50 Whether the praetors warranted such precipitous action or not, it is plausible that the praetor urbanus occupied this forum space shortly after its completion. Be that as it may, the archives from Herculaneum and Puteoli provide incontrovertible evidence for the praetor urbanus’ residency within the Forum of Augustus during the Julio-Claudian period and beyond. 52 Archaeological findings, however, may enable us to determine the exact placement of the praetor peregrinus’ court within the central area of the Forum Romanum.

Apparently not. 116 Suetonius’ statement that the forum was built to hold the quaestiones is not qualified to include only one or the other phase of the trials. We cannot say unequivocally that if the praetor in charge of a specific quaestio were holding court to hear new charges or to deal with a divinatio, his quaestio was therefore not meeting with a full panel of judges to hear a case at that same time. 117 A possible arrangement of these various elements within the forum could include the several quaestiones hearing cases as full courts occupying the large central area of the forum, the praetors of the various quaestiones – those not attending their quaestio and those whose quaestiones were not meeting – registering new cases or listening to hearings within the porticoes, and the praetor urbanus and the praetor peregrinus doing likewise within the exedrae.

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