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Proditio

(156 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[German version] Actually Latin for 'surrender', in a more specific sense treachery in war, or treason. The word was probably never a legal technical term; in particular, proditio was not a sub-category of perduellio ('treacherous links with an enemy of the fatherland'). Proditio was related to the specifically military crimes of transfugium ( transfuga , 'defector') and desertio ( desertor ). Like these, it fell under the jurisdiction of the field commander, and like these it was generally punished by lashing and execution by axe (cf.…

Talion

(631 words)

Author(s): Hengstl, Joachim (Marburg/Lahn) | Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
(Latin talio, 'equal retribution') means that the penalty must be appropriate to the evil committed against the victim. [German version] I. General points Talion is found in many ancient laws, e.g. Cod. Hammurapi 229 (killing the son of the builder because of the builder's responsibility for the death of the landlord's son) or Ex 21:22-25 ("An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, blood for blood"). From a historical perspective, talion can be regarded as a mitigation compared to the unrestricted right of revenge of th…

Perjury

(263 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[German version] I. Greece Oath [2]; Pseudomartyrion dike Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck) [German version] II. Rome Although the oath had widespread application in Roman law (cf. for instance iusiurandum in iure), it was predominantly limited to the realms of religion. The punishment for perjury ( periurium; in addition to that the verbs periurare, peierare) was therefore a matter for the gods. A secular punishment was at first invoked only when the perjury also generated a testimonium falsum (false testimony); perjury in court remained bound to the way …

Quaestio

(994 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[German version] A. Definition Quastio (lit. 'question') in Roman legal terminology denotes generally, on the one hand, the trial itself, but also the hearings, esp. torture ( quaestio per tormenta ). In a narrower, technical sense, quaestio refers to the penal process of the late Republic and the Principate, in which a bench of senatorial jurors sat under the chairmanship of a magistrate. It also refers to this jury court itself. Such courts were only ever created by law - most importantly the leges Corneliae of Cornelius [I 90] Sulla (81 - 79 BC) and the leges Iuliae of Augustus (as far …

Stellionatus

(258 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[German version] In Roman law, the misdemeanour of malicious cozenage. Prosecuted as a criminal offence from no earlier than the reign of Antoninus Pius (2nd cent. AD), it was a 'crime out of the usual order' ( crimen extraordinarium , Ulp. Dig. 47,20,2), in regard to which negotiations were carried out by the cognition process ( cognitio ) before imperial officials ( praefectus urbi , provincial governors). According to Ulp. Dig. 47,20,3,1, the crimen stellionatus, like the private action for deceit ( actio de dolo, dolus ), was subsidiary, i.e. it was only pr…

Peculatus

(262 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[German version] In Roman law essentially any criminal appropriation of wealth, belonging to the state or intended for a temple or a burial cult ( pecunia publica, sacra or religiosa). Unlike the private delict of furtum , peculatus was punished in a iudicium publicum (public criminal proceedings) before a quaestio , possibly instituted by the lex Cornelia, but certainly by lex Iulia (of Caesar or Augustus) of an unknown date. This law also treated as peculatus the forging of coins and the mixing of metal of lower value (Counterfeiting). It seems to have provided for a…

Testimonium falsum

(168 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[German version] False witness in Roman law. Witnesses had an important function in the orally defined law of the early period. Probably above all for this reason, the perpetrator of f. t. dicere (false statement by a witness before the court) was under threat of being thrown from the Tarpeian Rock ( Tarpeium saxum ) as early as c. 450 BC in the law of the Twelve Tablets ( tabulae duodecim , tab. 8,23). While this punishment was later abandoned, the death penalty may have survived for those who brought about a sentence of death through TF, because the corresponding provision of the lex Cornelia …

Quaestio per tormentum

(247 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[German version] examination by torture, was an important source of evidence in Roman criminal proceedings, as is evident from the substantial tradition in Dig. 48,18 and Cod. Iust. 9,41. In the Republic and Principate, it was as a rule only used on slaves, though free Roman citizens could be subjected to it in exceptional cases. Augustus did not want it allowed as a first source of evidence, and Hadrian (2nd cent. AD) went so far as only to allow it when other forms of evidence backed it up. Hadr…

Parricidium

(294 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[German version] also par(r)icidas signified, at the latest towards the end of the Roman Republic, the murder of relatives, which from c. 50 BC was distinguished from other forms of manslaughter by a lex Pompeia de parricidiis (Dig. 48,9). The punishment derived from the mores maiorum (custom of the elders; mos maiorum ) for the killing of ascendants dictated that the condemned be scourged and sewn into a bag ( culleus ) together with various animals, and the bag be then thrown into the water (graphic description Cic. Rosc. Am. 70). In early Roman legal language, parricidium was a key expr…

Lapidation

(258 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[German version] As a form of lynch law, lapidation was probably very widespread in antiquity. It occurred not only to vent the rage of the people (tumultuary lapidation), but also as punishment after proper proceedings. In this way, primarily among the Jews, lapidation was quite simply capital punishment ( Stephanus [4]). But unlike the Romans, the Greeks also appear to have used lapidation especially in the case of offences against the community and against religion. It is incontestable that leg…

Stuprum

(261 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[German version] A sexual offence punishable in Roman law. Originally stuprum was synonymous with turpitudo ('violation of morals'), later restricted to a sexual relationship between a man and a free, respectable and unmarried (thereby legally distinguished from adulterium , 'adultery', Mod. Dig. 48,5,35) woman. Violence may (then a crimen vis , crime of violence), but in no way has to be connected with stuprum. Prosecuting it in the Roman Republic is obscure (perhaps lynching; iudicium domesticum ('domestic trial'); indictment through an aedile in the comitium; unknown laws?).…

Peculatus

(244 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[English version] Nach röm. Recht im wesentlichen jede strafbare Aneignung staatlichen oder dem Tempel- bzw. Grabkult gewidmeten Vermögens ( pecunia publica, sacra und religiosa). Anders als das private Aneignungsdelikt furtum wurde der p. in einem iudicium publicum (öffentlichen Strafverfahren) vor einer quaestio geahndet, die vielleicht schon eine lex Cornelia, sicher jedoch eine nicht genau datierbare lex Iulia (des Caesar oder des Augustus) einrichtete. Dieses Gesetz behandelte als p. auch die Verfälschung von Münzen und Beimischung minderwertigen Metalls (…

Parricidium

(249 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[English version] auch par(r)icidas bezeichnet spätestens seit der ausgehenden röm. Republik den Verwandtenmord, der seit ca. 50 v.Chr. durch eine l. Pompeia de parricidiis (Dig. 48,9) aus den übrigen Tötungsfällen herausgegriffen wurde. Die auf die mores maiorum (Altvätersitte; mos maiorum ) zurückgeführte Strafe bestand zumindest für den Mord an Vorfahren im Einnähen des gegeißelten Täters mit diversen Tieren in einen Sack ( culleus ), der dann ins Wasser geworfen wurde (eindringliche Schilderung Cic. S. Rosc. 70). In der frühen lat. Rechtssprache ist p. ein Schlüsselausdru…

Occentare

(225 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[English version] Mit o. (“ansingen”) wird in den 12 Tafeln (Tabulae Duodecim) eine Handlung bezeichnet, die mit Todesstrafe bedroht war (Lex XII tab. 8,1 b). Spätere Quellen deuten sie als das öffentliche Absingen eines Schmähgedichts, das einer bestimmten Person Schande zufügte (Cic. rep. 4,12; Fest. 190f., vgl. Cic. Tusc. 4,4); das Verbot habe vor allem Angriffe von Dichtern bekämpfen sollen (Cic. rep. 4,11f., vgl. Aug. civ. 2,12). Dieser angebliche Zweck ist wohl ein Anachronismus der späten Re…

Proditio

(136 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[English version] Eigentlich lat. die “Preisgabe”, im weiteren Sinn der Kriegs- und Landesverrat. Das Wort war wohl niemals ein juristischer t.t.; insbesondere war die p. kein Unterfall der perduellio (“verräterische Verbindung mit dem Landesfeind”). Die p. stand den spezifisch mil. Delikten transfugium ( transfuga , “Überläufer”) und desertio ( desertor ) nahe. Wie diese unterlag sie der Gerichtsbarkeit des Feldherrn, und wie diese wurde sie in der Regel durch Auspeitschung und Hinrichtung mit dem Beil bestraft (vgl. den exe…

Quaestio per tormentum

(214 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[English version] die Befragung auf der Folter, war im röm. Strafverfahren, wie schon die umfangreiche Überl. in Dig. 48,18 und Cod. Iust. 9,41 zeigt, ein wichtiges Beweismittel. In der Republik und im Prinzipat wurden ihr regelmäßig nur Sklaven, freie röm. Bürger hingegen lediglich in Ausnahmefällen unterzogen. Augustus wollte sie nicht als erstes Beweismittel zulassen und Hadrian (2. Jh. n. Chr.) sogar erst dann, wenn der Verdacht mit anderen Beweismitteln erhärtet war. Außerdem betont Hadrian, …

Interrogatio

(242 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[English version] meint allg. die Befragung vor Gericht und hat im röm. Strafprozeß des iudicium publicum als i. legibus und im Zivilprozeß als i. in iure eine engere technische Bedeutung. Erstere bezeichnet die Frage an den Angeklagten, ob er sich schuldig bekenne; sie wird in den Quellen der späten röm. Republik mitunter geradezu als Bezeichnung für die Anklage der quaestio verwendet. Mit der letzteren, der Befragung des Beklagten vor dem Gerichtsmagistrat, will der Kläger Klarheit über die Passivlegitimation schaffen, also darüber,…

Occentare

(254 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[German version] According to the Twelve Tables (Tabulae Duodecim), occentare (to sing to) referred to an act punishable by death (Lex XII tab. 8,1 b). Later sources describe it as the public singing of a defamatory song, designed to humiliate a specific person (Cic. Rep. 4,12; Fest. 190f., cf. Cic. Tusc. 4,4); The prohibition was said to be especially designed to prevent attacks by poets (Cic. Rep. 4,11f., cf. Aug. civ. 2,12). This alledged purpose was probably an anachronism based on the later Republic…

Interrogatio

(276 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[German version] Generally refers to questioning before the court and has a narrower technical meaning in the Roman criminal procedure of the  iudicium publicum as interrogatio legibus and as interrogatio in iure in civil procedure. The former refers to the question put to the defendant, whether he pleaded guilty; it was occasionally used in the sources of the late Roman Republic to denote the indictment by the   quaestio . The latter, the questioning of the defendant before the court magistrate, was a means for the plaintiff to clarify liabili…

Meineid

(235 words)

Author(s): Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck)
[English version] I. Griechenland Eid [2]; Pseudomartyrias dike Völkl, Artur (Innsbruck) [English version] II. Rom Der Eid wurde, obwohl seine Anwendung im röm. Recht weit verbreitet war (vgl. etwa iusiurandum in iure), überwiegend dem Sakralbereich zugerechnet. Die Bestrafung des M. ( periurium; dazu die Verben periurare, peierare) galt daher als Sache der Götter. Eine weltliche Strafe gab es zunächst nur, wenn der M. ein testimonium falsum (Falschaussage) darstellte; an dessen Behandlung blieb der M. vor Gericht auch weiterhin gebunden. Im Rahmen der kaiserzeitlichen
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