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QUAESTIO 100.00%
The Roman term for a court of inquiry, either extraordinaria, an extraordinary commission appointed by the senate or people for special criminal cases, or perpetua, an ordinary criminal court for certain defined offences. The first court of this kind was held B.C. 149 to try a case of extortion.
The Roman title of the president of an extraordinary or ordinary criminal court (quoestio extraordinaria or perpetua). According to Sulla's rules of procedure, six praetors chosen for criminal cases presided, and, when this number was not sufficient, additional judges, iudices quoestionis, were provided.
The name given by the Romans to the charge brought against officials for extorting money from Roman subjects or allies. Such charges were at first brought before the Senate, which heard the case itself, or else passed it on to a commission, or, again, caused it to be brought before the comitia by the tribunes. At last, in 149 B.C., a standing court of justice (See QUAeSTIO perpetua), in fact, the first in Rome, was instituted by the Lex Calpurnia, containing more precise definitions of acts liable to punishment, with forms of legal procedure, and determining the amount of the penalty. The increasing inclination of the officials to use the administration of the provinces as means of enriching themselves at the expense of the provincials led to repeated legislation with a view to increasing the penalty. The last law on the subject was Caesar's Lex Iulia, which was the basis of the procedure in such cases under the Empire. During that period, in consequence of the improved condition of provincial government, extortion on the part of officials became much rarer. Such extortion was generally punished by having to pay four times the amount extorted it was also attended with a certain degree of disgrace (infamia), even if a still more severe punishment were not added for other offences committed at the same time and (as usual) included in the indictment (e.g. the offence of laesa maiestas).
The Roman term for misappropriation of public property, whether by officials (e.g. in the delivery of booty) or by private persons. Such offences, which seldom occurred in the more ancient times of the Republic, were then judged by the national tribunal. In later times they must have become more frequent, since various laws were issued against them, and a special court of justice (see QUAeSTIO) was appointed to try them. Besides the payment of compensation, the condemned person suffered disgrace and banishment (interdictio aquoe et ignis, see EXILIUM), and, in the time of the Empire, transportation.
VIS 22.28%
The Roman legal term for acts of violence. In earlier times offences of this kind were included under the head of perduellio (q.v.) and high treason (see MAIESTAS). A special offence termed vis, including disturbances of the peace, violent attacks upon the magistrates and the Senate, and the illegal use of weapons, was first taken cognisance of by the law of Plautius, 89 B.C., and a special standing court established to deal with it. (See QUAeSTIO.) The penalty was proscription (interdictio aquoe et ignis). Afterwards more serious cases of vis, which had meanwhile become subject to civil process, came to be considered as criminal offences, and were punished with confiscation of the third part of one's property and disqualification for public offices. Under the Empire the penalties were increased to death or exile.
Denoted among the Romans the sovereign power of the people and the State, or that of the emperor. To detract from this sovereign power was a crime (crimen minetae maiestatis). Originally the term perduellio (q.v.) included all offences of this kind; distinctions were first made in B.C. 100 by the Lex Apuleia, which declared some offences to be treason that had previously been regarded as perduellio, such as hindering the tribunes and exciting to sedition. The idea of treason was considerably extended by the Lex Cornelia of the dictator Sulla in B.C. 80, which made it include inciting to sedition, hindering a magistrate in the exercise of his functions, and acting in a manner prejudicial to the Roman prestige or beyond the limits of one's authority. It also instituted a permanent lawcourt (see QUAeSTIO PERPETUA) to take cognisance of such cases; and made exile (interdictio aquae et ignis) the penalty. (See EXILIUM.) Caesar's Lex Iulia, B.C. 46, made perduellio pass over into crimen maiestatis, which was held to cover all actions prejudicial to the State and the existing constitution (such as treason, plots, conspiracies, sedition, illegal assumption of authority). The Julian Law also formed the basis for punishing offences of this kind under the Empire; to these were now added all those against the person and the authority of the emperor. The term was very elastic, and received whatever interpretation the emperor preferred, so that when a charge, e.g. that of embezzlement (see REPETUNDARUM CRIMEN), was brought against a man, he could often be also charged with the crimen maiestatis, especially as the accusers were rewarded if the offence was proved. After the closing of the quaestiones these cases were decided by the senate; later still, the emperor was judge, or entrusted them to the praefectue urbi. The regular penalty was confiscation, and sometimes banishment or death. Charges of treason could he brought or the trial could be continued, even after the death of the accused; and in the most serious cases the penalty had to be borne by the children, in accordance with a decree of the emperor, and even with the law at a later period.
A term used among the Romans for the murder of any relative with whom one is united by bonds of blood or duty, but sometimes also for treason and rebellion against one's country. In earlier times the examination in trials for homicide was conducted by two quoestores parricidii, on whom it was also incumbent to bring the accusation before the comitia for trial. Sulla transferred the decision in all cases of parricide to a standing tribunal (see QUAeSTIO PFRPETUA, which had also to try cases of assassination and poisoning. The punishment for parricide was drowning in a leathern sack (culleus), into which were sewn, besides the criminal, a dog, a cock, a viper, and an ape [Cicero, Rosc. Am. 70; Juvenal viii 214]. The murder of relations in other degrees of relationship was punished by exile (interdictio aquoe et ignis). See EXILIUM.
The Roman term for the appeal from the verdict of the magistrate to the decision of the people. Under the kings the court of appeal was the comitia curiata; after Servius Tullius, the comitia centuriata. While, under the arbitrary rule of the kings, the right of appeal was allowed, on the establishment of the Republic, in 509 B.C., this was imposed on the consuls as a duty, and was repeatedly enjoined by special enactments in all cases where it was a question of life and death, or of corporal punishment. The appeal was only valid within the city, and the pomerium, but not in the camp. Moreover, no one could appeal against the dictator. When afterwards (454 B.C.), besides the consuls, the tribunes and aediles acquired the right of imposing a fine (multa, q.v.), a maximum limit was fixed for it, and if that was exceeded, there was an appeal to the comitia tributa. As this appeal was expected in all legitimate cases, trials of this kind were held immediately before the comitia concerned with such appeals; and after the verdict had been pronounced by the magistrate presiding, it was either confirmed or reversed by the votes of the people. About 195 B.C. the right of appeal was extended over the whole of Italy and the provinces. After permanent courts for certain offences had been established, the quoestiones perpetuoe (SeeQUAeSTIO), the jurisdiction of the people, and with it the appeal thereto, became more and more limited. For the provocatio under the Empire, See APPELLATIO.
Originally a title of the Roman consuls, but afterwards used to denote that magistrate to whom the administration of justice in Rome was transferred when the consulship, to which this power had hitherto been attached, was thrown open to the commons in 366 B.C. At first reserved for the patricians, it became a plebeian office as early as 337. The praetor was elected in the comitia centuriata, with one of the consuls presiding, on the same day and with the same auspices as the consuls, who entered on their office simultaneously with him. On account of the increase in legal business, a second praetor was appointed in 242, to whom was transferred the hearing of cases between citizens and foreigners (inter cives et peregrinos), and between foreigners (inter peregrinos), while the other decided between citizens. The latter, who ranked first, was called praetor urbanus (city praetor); the former, praetor inter peregrinos, and (after the time or Vespasian) praetor peregrinus. The praetors had their respective departments determined by lot after their election. While the praetor peregrinus might have a military command also entrusted to him, the city praetor, on account of the importance of his office, might not be absent from Rome, strictly speaking, for longer than ten days. He represented his absent colleague, and also the consuls in their absence, presiding, as the highest magistrate present, at the public games, watching over the safety of Rome, summoning the comitia centuriata, holding the military levies, and the like. As early as 227 the number was further increased by two. To these was entrusted the administration of Sicily and Sardinia. Two others were added in 197 to administer the two provinces of Spain. In 149, on the establishment of the questiones perpetuae (q.v.) a standing criminal court for certain stated offenders, the rule was introduced that the entire body of praetors should stay in Rome during their year of office; the praetors urbanus and inter peregrinos having jurisdiction in civil cases, as hitherto, while the others presided in the quoestiones, and had to instruct the jurors as to the case before the court, and to carry out the sentence passed. After the completion of their year of office, they all proceeded as proprcetors or proconsuls to the prcetorian provinces assigmed them by lot. In consequence of the multiplication of the quoestiones and of the provinces, the number of paetors was raised by Sulla to eight, by Caesar to ten, fourteen, and sixteen. Under the Empire the praetorship lost its former importance, the civil jurisdiction of the proetor urbanus and peregrinus being in part transferred to the proefectus urbi and proefectus proetorio, while the criminal jurisdiction of the others ceased with the gradual decay of the quoestiones, and the prestors only retained particular departments of their judicial power and general administration. Their most important function was the management of the games, some of which had aleady, in republican times, been assigned to the proetor urbanus. When their year's office had expired, they went as proconsuls to the senatorial provinces. Their election was transferred to the Senate by Tiberius. Under the Republic, the statutory age for the office was forty; under the Empire, thirty. The praetor's insignia were, the toga proetexta, the sella curulis, and, in the provinces, six lictors; in Rome, probably two. Like the consul, he had the honour of a triumph open to him.
JUDEX 8.42%
In the Roman constitution a general designation of all judges, whether officials exercising judicial functions or individuals in a private position, entrusted on oath with the duty of deciding in either civil or criminal trials. For standing and for extraordinary criminal courts (see QUAeSTIO) the iudices were at first chosen from the number of the senators by agreement of the parties concerned. Gains Gracchus first introduced a list of iudices (album) for the permanent tribunals (quoestiones perpetuoe). At first this list was permanent, but afterwards it was published annually by the proetor urbanus, who had to swear that he would be impartial in his selection of names. Under the Empire, as long as the quoestiones perpetuoe, existed, it was published by the emperor, who nominated the iudices to hold office for life, and from time to time revised and completed the list. By the lex Sempronia of Gaius Gracchus, B.C. 123, the office of judge was taken away from the senators, who had held it previously, and transferred to the possessors of the knight's census (the equites). In B.C. 80 a lex Cornelia of L. Cornelius Sulla restored it to the Senate. In B.C. 70 the office was equally divided between the senators, the knights, and the tribuni oerdii. These last were once more excluded by Caesar. Augustus formed four decurioe, or divisions, of iudices. Of these the first three were obliged to possess the knight's census, and the last the half of it. Caligula added a fifth decuria. Under the Empire the judicial functions, hitherto confined to certain definite classes, had become so general in their obligations, that it was considered a privilege to be freed from them. This exemption was granted to a man with many children, and, afterwards, to those following the professions of grammarians and teachers. The requisite qualifications, apart from that of property, were that a person should be by birth a citizen, and not less than thirty years of age (after Augustus, not less than twentyfive). The other requirements were bodily and mental capacity, an unblemished reputation, and a long residence in Italy. Under the Republic, the number of those who were sworn in varied at different times; under the Empire it was fixed at 4,000, and later at 5,000. For every court of justice the judges were taken from the general list by lot, and out of this special list the presiding magistrate appointed a definite number for each trial. Out of these a certain number might be challenged and rejected by either side; perhaps the president filled up the vacancies by again drawing lots. The swearing in took place before the trial. When the number of the praetors appointed for the quoestiones was not sufficiently large, a iudex guoestionis was appointed, generally one who had served as aedile. In civil cages it was customary from early times for the judicial magistrates, i.e. the praetors, to depute the investigation and decision to a person instructed by them and appointed by consent of both sides. From the time of Augustus a single judge (iudex unus.) was appointed in each case from the general album of sworn iudices, but for certain cases several judges were introduced. (See RECUPERATORES, and JUDICIAL PROCEDURE, II, below.) The iudices centumviri formed the single great judicial body for trying civil cases. (See CENTUMVIRI) Concerning the iudices litibus iudicandis, who were also appointed in civil cases, see VIGINTI-SEX VIRI.
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