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The Latin term for an appeal to a magistrate to put his veto on the decision of an equal or inferior magistrate. Thus a consul could be appealed to against his colleague and all other magistrates except the tribunes, but a tribune both against his colleagues and all magistrates whatsoever. Another thing altogether was the Provocatio (q.v.) under the Republic, an appeal from a magistrate's sentence to the People as supreme judge. During the imperial period the two processes run into one, for the emperor held united in his person both the supreme judicial function and the plenary power of all magistrates, particularly the tribunician veto, so that an appeal to him was at once an appellatio and a provocatio. This appeal, in our sense of the word, was only permitted in important cases; it had to be made within a short time after sentence was passed, and always addressed to the authority next in order, so that it only reached the emperor if no intermediate authority was competent. If the result was that the disputed verdict was neither quashed nor awarded, but confirmed, the appellant had to pay a fine. As the power of life and death rested with the emperor and senate alone, governors of provinces were bound to send up to Rome any citizen appealing on a capital charge.
Type: Standard
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