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By Gordon P. Kelly

Roman senators and equestrians have been continuously at risk of prosecution for his or her authentic behavior, specifically seeing that politically inspired accusations have been universal. while charged with against the law in Republican Rome, such males had a decision referring to their destiny. they can both stay in Rome and face attainable conviction and punishment, or cross into voluntary exile and stay away from criminal sentence. for almost all of the Republican interval, exile used to be now not a proper felony penalty contained in statutes, even though it was once the sensible consequence of such a lot capital convictions. regardless of its significance within the political area, Roman exile has been a missed subject in smooth scholarship. This examine examines all elements of exile within the Roman Republic: its ancient improvement, technical criminal concerns, the potential of recovery, in addition to the results of exile at the lives and households of banished males.

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Extra resources for A History of Exile in the Roman Republic

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3, Levick (“Poena Legis,” 364–365) adds that ten days may have been the prescribed interval. This passage, however, deals with a senatus consultum of ad 21 that established a ten-day “waiting period” before all decrees of the senate were deposited in the aerarium and became official. Thus this act would have only affected trials before the senate. The ten-day interval may have reflected the practice of the criminal courts, but there is insufficient evidence to make that assumption. Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2009 aquae et ignis interdictio 25 effect.

From Polybius we know that the accused before iudicia populi had to take flight before condemnation. The plebs would normally pass an aquae et ignis interdictio to prevent the subsequent return of the banished man. This method of interdicting individuals certainly would have functioned adequately for cases tried before the people as well as the occasional quaestio extraordinaria. Those convicted of capital crimes in the provinces (such as Sthenius), however, would have been too numerous to deal with by individual plebiscites.

60 The use of the passive voice is significant. It suggests that the plebs are not performing the act of interdiction, but are requesting that the appropriate officials do so. Certainly, as with any law, the actual execution is left for the pertinent magistrates to accomplish. 61 Although the actual enforcement of the decree of outlawry was accomplished by the consuls (or presumably the praetor urbanus in their absence), the initiative to interdict customarily rested with the plebs. 62 The expulsion of foreigners (and other undesirables such as philosophers and astrologers) is attested several times in the historical record.

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