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Form: "The hundred men".
This was the title of the single jury for the trial of civil causes at Rome. In the republican age it consisted of 105 members, chosen from the tribes (three from each of the thirty-five). Under the Empire its number was increased to 180. It was divided into four sections (consilia), and exercised its jurisdiction in the name of the people, partly in sections, partly as a single collegium. It had to deal with questions of property, and particularly with those of inheritance. In the later years of the Republic it was presided over by men of quaestorian rank; but from the time of Augustus by a commission of ten (decem viri litibus iudicandis). The pleadings were oral, and the proceedings public. In earlier times they took place in the forum; under the Empire in a basilica. In the imperial age the centumviral courts were the only sphere in which an ambitious orator or lawyer could win distinction. The last mention of them is in 395 A.D. The peculiar symbol of the centumviral court was a hasta or spear (see HASTA).
Type: Standard
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