John Percy Vyvian Dacre Balsdon and Andrew Lintott
Peter Sidney Derow
Piero Treves, Cyril Bailey, and Andrew Lintott
Because the modern legal system used in most western countries derives from ancient Rome, it is easy to assume that Roman courts (and the activities that took place before them) were the same as their modern descendants. However, differences exist—great enough in number and importance that all scholars of the ancient world must take care when drawing conclusions without solid evidence to support them. The history of Roman courts, in both the republican and imperial periods, shows the profound differences between Roman and modern courts in both their cultural and physical aspects.
T. Corey Brennan
M. I. Finley and Susan M. Treggiari
Infamia as a legal term embraces a variable number of disabilities (the common one being an incapacity to act or appear for another at law—postulare pro aliis) imposed in a variety of circumstances. It is at root social, involving loss of fama (‘reputation’) or existimatio (‘good name’), but is given legal content by leges, senatus consulta, imperial constitutions, or by the praetor's edict in specific situations, such as condemnation in ordinary criminal prosecutions, condemnation in civil actions for delict and in other civil actions in which the defendant was guilty of a breach of faith (partnership, guardianship, mandate, etc. ), engaging in certain disreputable occupations. In classical law there is no single concept of infamia (or ignominia—the earlier word: see Gai. Inst. 4. 182), but in the law of Justinian (see
Under the Roman republic, if both *consuls died or left office (together with the remaining ‘patrician' magistrates) without successors appointed, the ‘auspices reverted to the ‘patres’. The latter, probably the patrician senators, selected one of their number as interrex. Interreges, who were of *patrician birth and usually ex-consuls, held office in succession, each for five days, with consular powers. Their principal duty was to supervise the election of one or both new consuls: the theory that they simply presented one or two names to the assembly for acceptance or rejection has not been substantiated. The name interrex supports Roman assumptions that the institution derived from the regal period (see