By Leanne Bablitz
What might you notice in case you attended an ordeal in a court docket within the early Roman empire? What used to be the behaviour of litigants, advocates, judges and viewers? It used to be primary for Roman contributors 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 an enormous place within the Roman group on a sociological point in addition to a litigious one. This booklet considers many facets of Roman courts within the first centuries advert, either civil and felony, and illuminates the interplay of Romans of each social workforce. Actors and viewers within the Roman court docket is a vital source for classes on Roman social historical past and Roman legislations as a ancient phenomenon.
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Additional resources for Actors and Audience in the Roman Courtroom (Monographs in Classical Studies)
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.
Augustus established a temple to Mars Ultor, “the Avenger”, within his forum to commemorate his success at avenging the murder of his great-uncle, Julius Caesar. He then placed in one exedra statues of Aeneas and his own Iulian family, and in the other Romulus and summi viri, and he filled both porticoes with additional summi viri. Through this artistic program Augustus promoted himself as “the avenger”, the one who brought the assassins of Caesar to “justice”. Thus, the link to the two courts is made clear.
Courts of other magistrates While the courts of the praetors dominated the legal system in the early imperial period, and thus appear most often in the ancient sources, several other magistrates had jurisdictions. Unfortunately, the evidence is so limited that the courts of only a few of these magistrates can be located in the city with any certainty; for the rest nothing is known. 177 These two magistrates, like the emperor, investigated disputes extra ordinem, and hence they could hear cases in their entirety, thereby disposing of the multiphase procedures used by the other courts.