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By Leanne Bablitz

What could you notice for those who 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 was once familiar for Roman members out of basic curiosity to wait a few of the courts held in public areas within the urban centre and as such, the Roman courts held a massive 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 team. Actors and viewers within the Roman court is a necessary source for classes on Roman social heritage and Roman legislations as a ancient phenomenon.

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The connection between the emperor, the foundation of Rome, and ideas of justice and peace must have filled Roman visitors to the forum with pride in their city and citizenship. 74 Such a scene must have firmly told a visiting non-citizen that he or she was the “other”, outside the Roman mantle of empire. One wonders if Trypho, the defendant from Herculaneum disagreeing with a citizen, really expected to obtain justice after walking down that colonnade of generals and triumphators, each with an elogium citing the peoples he had conquered in the name of Senatus Populusque Romanus.

108 It is likely that the presiding magistrate would occupy the same platform and so we should envision a platform slightly larger still. While there would be no difficulty in making such a structure, visibility is an issue. 25 m, those judges seated in the centre of the block would have had difficulty seeing anyone standing before the platform. This problem could be rectified by constructing the platform as a set of bleachers, each level being able to hold a bench. 109 A statement by Quintilian supports this conclusion.

46 Thus, the court of the praetor urbanus can be placed within the Forum of Augustus as early as 40 and as late as 75. We can perhaps push the terminus post quem date for the praetor urbanus’ occupation back still earlier. As mentioned above, there is a strong possibility (although little direct evidence) that Augustus’ planned uses of this forum included this court. 48 Augustus’ forum likely had fulfilled its function, achieving the goal of removing some of the pressure from the Forum Romanum.

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