1st Edition

Actors and Audience in the Roman Courtroom

By Leanne Bablitz Copyright 2008
    300 Pages
    by Routledge

    304 Pages
    by Routledge

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    What would you see if you attended a trial in a courtroom in the early Roman empire? What was the behaviour of litigants, advocates, judges and audience?

    It was customary for Roman individuals out of general interest to attend the various courts held in public places in the city centre and as such, the Roman courts held an important position in the Roman community on a sociological level as well as a litigious one.

    This book considers many aspects of Roman courts in the first two centuries AD, both civil and criminal, and illuminates the interaction of Romans of every social group.

    Actors and Audience in the Roman Courtroom is an essential resource for courses on Roman social history and Roman law as a historical phenomenon.

    1. The Location of Legal Activities in the City of Rome  2. Reconstruction of the Roman Courtroom  3. The Litigant  4. The Judge  5. The Audience  6. The Advocate  7. The Advocate’s Role Outside and in the Courtroom


    Leanne Bablitz is Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, where she teaches Imperial Roman History and Roman Law.

    "As Leanne Bablitz demonstrates in this engaging, bold, and erudite book, Roman trial participants were ... acutely aware of the theatricality of courtroom proceedings and rituals ... Her portrait of a city 'teeming with courts' in the early imperial period is both convincing and fascinating. ... Throughout, Bablitz draws on an impressive range of evidence, including relevant archaeological and topographical studies, numismatic evidence, epigraphy, and literary evidence. ... Bablitz's rich and detailed research more than justifies her conclusion that 'the concrete theatrical elements' of courtrooms 'cannot be overlooked.'" – Caroline Humfress (Birkbeck College, University of London), Phoenix