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By Leanne Bablitz

What might you spot when you attended an ordeal in a court within the early Roman empire? What used to be the behaviour of litigants, advocates, judges and viewers? It was once typical for Roman contributors out of basic curiosity to wait a few of the courts held in public locations within the urban centre and as such, the Roman courts held a huge place within the Roman neighborhood on a sociological point in addition to a litigious one. This ebook considers many facets of Roman courts within the first centuries advert, either civil and felony, and illuminates the interplay of Romans of each social crew. Actors and viewers within the Roman court is a vital source for classes on Roman social background and Roman legislations as a ancient phenomenon.

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As their number could apparently fluctuate greatly, the overall number of people present at the emperor’s court could also vary widely. Other possible factors may also have determined the amount of space required for the emperor’s court. The size of the general audience in attendance could have been a factor, although difficulties of interpretation quickly arise. 175 On one occasion, as we saw, the crowd surrounding Claudius’ tribunal in the Forum Romanum was large enough to drive him from it into a corner of the Forum; however, this crowd panicked by ill omens and famine seems not to have been attending 38 T H E L O C AT I O N O F L E G A L A C T I V I T I E S I N R O M E the legal hearings specifically, but rather to have descended upon the emperor in an accessible location.

For when that man,” he said, “that impudent advocate had requested the following he had replied: ‘All the business, most excellent sir, which you said you would examine today, has been completed by means of your attentiveness and quickness; only one matter remains, which, I beg, you will hear,’ then the praetor with suitable wit: ‘Whether that business which you say that I have examined already has been completed, indeed, I know not. ’”83 It seems clear that the praetor did at some point announce the matters he would hear on that given day.

Based on their findings, Giuliani and Verduchi envision a square enclosure of small corner pillars connected to external slabs of marble or travertine, the top surface of which was probably accessed by a short set of encased stairs located on the north side. 63 The date and subject matter of these two reliefs are in dispute. Presently, scholars date them to either Trajan’s or Hadrian’s reign. 64 In the scene, to the right (west) of the platform, is the statue of Marsyas and a fig tree. 65 Scholars attempting to identify the overall subject of the scene naturally see the platform and its occupants as an important element, and thus assign various meanings to it, depending on what scene they believe the entire relief depicts.

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