By Andrew Lintott
This e-book examines the roots of violence in Roman Republican legislation and society and the expansion of violence in urban conflict and the ability of armies. It discusses political clash, violence, army insurrection, and authoritarian executive of the Republic.
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Extra resources for Violence in Republican Rome
5 51. 20 and 52. 13. 6 Clu. 171. CRUELTY 46 death is ludicrous. 2 One would not expect the Romans to be indifferent to the fates of those for whom they felt great affection. The vital question is how far their sympathies extended to enable them to be moved by the sufferings of men whom they neither liked nor even knew as acquaintances. Fundamentally, it seems, sympathy for another's suffering was in proportion to his worth and deserts, his dignitas in the widest sense of the word. Cruelty in a provincial governor was the maltreatment of men who did not deserve to suffer at all or whose suffering was unduly aggravated by their position as men of substance, dignitas in the narrower sense.
Though Cicero's arguments smack of sophistry, his point of view was legitimate in Roman eyes. Genuine expediency was a complete defence especially if it was backed by tradition. Cicero was harsh in Brutus' view because he neglected the considerations of amicitia which were normally expected to mitigate strict justice. In another matter during the same year Cicero was on less good ground. He wanted Brutus to execute C. Antonius and the members of his staff who had surrendered to Brutus, particularly when the decree was passed after Mutina that the partisans of M.
113. Gai. Inst. i. ; iv. ; 26 ff. 4 Cf. Strachan-Davidson, Problems of the Roman Criminal Law, i. 36 ff. Staszköw suggests that this formal violence was designed to arouse the interest of state officials, who would not want a private war between two clans. VIOLENCE AND THE LAW 33 right by virtue of superior force was the basis in fact of the masterslave relationship, the relationship between the possessor and the original owner of a pledge, the relationship between the creditor and the man assigned to him in debt.