Crime And Community In Ciceronian Rome

Paperback | January 1, 1999

byAndrew M. Riggsby

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In the late Roman Republic, acts of wrongdoing against individuals were prosecuted in private courts, while the iudicia publica (literally "public courts") tried cases that involved harm to the community as a whole. In this book, Andrew M. Riggsby thoroughly investigates the types of cases heard by the public courts to offer a provocative new understanding of what has been described as "crime" in the Roman Republic and to illuminate the inherently political nature of the Roman public courts.

Through the lens of Cicero's forensic oratory, Riggsby examines the four major public offenses: ambitus (bribery of the electorate), de sicariis et veneficiis (murder), vis (riot), and repetundae (extortion by provincial administrators). He persuasively argues that each of these offenses involves a violation of the proper relations between the state and the people, as interpreted by orators and juries. He concludes that in the late Roman Republic the only crimes were political crimes.

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From Our Editors

If Matlock had been practicing law during the late Roman Empire, he would of course have known about the differences between private courts and public courts: crimes against individuals were handled in the private courts, and crimes against the Republic were tried in public court. Further, he would likely agree with Andrew M. Riggsby t...

From the Publisher

In the late Roman Republic, acts of wrongdoing against individuals were prosecuted in private courts, while the iudicia publica (literally "public courts") tried cases that involved harm to the community as a whole. In this book, Andrew M. Riggsby thoroughly investigates the types of cases heard by the public courts to offer a provocat...

From the Jacket

In the late Roman Republic, acts of wrongdoing against individuals were prosecuted in private courts, while the iudicia publica (literally "public courts") tried cases that involved harm to the community as a whole. In this book, Andrew M. Riggsby thoroughly investigates the types of cases heard by the public courts to offer a provocat...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:267 pages, 8.92 × 6.01 × 0.77 inPublished:January 1, 1999Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292770995

ISBN - 13:9780292770997

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsAbbreviations Chapter 1. What Can We Know and How Can We Know It? Chapter 2. Ambitus and the Varieties of EconomyChapter 3. Murder (and How to Spot It) Chapter 4. Vis: A Plague on the State Chapter 5. Criminals AbroadChapter 6. The Iudicia Publica in Roman State and SocietyAppendixes:A. Summary of Cicero's Criminal CasesB. Published vs. Delivered SpeechesC. Some NontrialsNotesBibliographyGeneral IndexIndex Locorum

From Our Editors

If Matlock had been practicing law during the late Roman Empire, he would of course have known about the differences between private courts and public courts: crimes against individuals were handled in the private courts, and crimes against the Republic were tried in public court. Further, he would likely agree with Andrew M. Riggsby that by those definitions, the only crimes committed in the late Roman Empire were of a political nature. Crime and Community in Ciceronian Rome is a wonderful and detailed look at the nature of ancient Roman crimes.

Editorial Reviews

This is an extraordinary work of scholarship.... By examining in detail the arena where general discussions about 'crime' would be most likely to occur, Riggsby can make a strong argument that the general concept of 'crime,' so frequently discussed in our own society, is simply insignificant in Cicero's world. This is a new, penetrating, and fundamental insight for our understanding of Roman society in this period. - Christopher P. Craig, author of Form and Argument in Cicero's Speeches