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The ‘Leges Iudiciariae’ of the Pre-Sullan Era

  • Miriam T. Griffin (a1)

Mommsen invented the notion that the ancient sources provide clear evidence for placing the pre-Sullan laws affecting the iudicia publica in two distinct categories, i.e. laws affecting courts in general (leges iudiciariae) and laws affecting one court (leges repetundarum, maiestatis, etc.). Fraccaro demolished it, arguing that the term lex iudiciaria had no such precise meaning in the ancient authors and that all the laws to which it was applied, before the Lex Aurelia of 70, were, in fact, leges repetundarum.

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page 108 note 1 Mommsen Th., Ges. Schrift. i. 19 ff.; iii. 339 ff.; Staatsrecht3, 530–2. P. Fraccaro, ‘Sulle “Leges iudiciariae” romane’ (1919), Opuscula, ii (1957), 255 ff. Before him, Strachan-Davidson J. L. in Problems of the Roman Criminal Law (Oxford, 1912), ii. 81–4 had raised objections to the notion, but did not argue the case in any detail.

page 108 note 2 On the Tarentum Fragment, see Badian E., ‘From the Gracchi to Sulla (1940–1959)’, Historia, xi (1962), 197 ff., and literature reviewed there. Kunkel W., ‘Untersuchungen zur Entwicklung des romischen Kriminalverfahrens in vorsullanischer Zeit’, Abh. d. Bayer. Akad. d. Wiss. (1962); PW s.v. ‘quaestio’ (1963). The notion of ‘leges iudiciariae’ in the sense discussed is accepted by Badian, Kunkel, and, since then, by P. Brunt, ‘The Equites in the Late Republic’, 2nd ht. Cory': of Econ. Hist. 1962, i. 117 ff.; Hands A. R., ‘The Political Background of the lex Acilia de Repetundis’, Latomus, xxiv (1965), 225 ff.; Meier C., Res Publica Amissa (Wiesbaden, 1966); Baumann R. A., The Crimen Maiestatis in the Roman Republic and Augustan Principate (Johannesburg, 1967), 38–9 (though in n. 13 he seems to regard Caepio's law as affecting only the extortion court); Gruen E., Roman Politics and the Criminal Courts 149–78 B.C. (Cambridge, U.S.A., 1968); Mattingly H., ‘The Extortion Law of the Tabula Bembina’, lx (1970), 160–2. Nicolet C., L'Ordre dquestre a re'poque republicaine, i (Paris, 1966) attacks the notion on p. 478, n. 32, but appears to accept it on pp. 536, 572. Since this paper was drafted, a posthumous work of Jones A. H. M., The Criminal Courts of the Roman Republic and Principate, ed. Crook J. A. (Oxford, 1972) has presented the view that the ancient authorities used the term lex iudiciaria to indicate coverage of all the courts, but that they were wrong to apply this term to the laws of Gaius Gracchus, Caepio, and Glaucia, right in the case of Livius Drusus.

page 108 note 3 Nicolet, L'Ordre équestre, 478, n. 32; Gruen, Criminal Courts, 87, 295.

page 108 note 4 By Badian , ‘Quaestiones Variae’, Historia, xviii (1969), 475, and Mattingly , I.R.S. lx (1970) 154 ff.

page 109 note 1 On the ‘iudiciariae leges Caesaris’ of Cicero, Philip. 1. 19, see p. 10.

page 109 note 2 Strachan-Davidson, Problems, ii. 76 ff.

page 109 note 3 Macrobius 3. 16. 6; Livy, Epit. 58. Fraccaro's interpretation (Opuscula, ii. 256–7) is certainly right. Macrobius is introducing a citation from a speech by Scipio Aemilianus against this law (0.R.F.2, p. 133) which, as it contains an attack on the degeneracy of young Roman nobiles, can hardly have been opposing a transfer of the courts from senatorial iudices. What its relevance to the lex agraria was is obscure; on this see Astin A. E., Scipio Aemilianus (Oxford, 1967), 239.

page 109 note 4 Epit. 71.

page 109 note 5 De Invention I. 92.

page 110 note 1 Nicolet, L'Ordre équestre, 478, n. 32 Cicero, Philip. i. 19.

page 110 note 2 Philip. I. 20, 22. Nicolet's argument unaffected, even if the allusion in 23 to law: of Caesar ‘quae iubent ei qui de vi itemqui ei qui maiestatis damnatus sit aqua et ign interdici’ is to Caesar's extortion law anc not to two other laws (the view of Kunkel PW ‘quaestio’ 749).

page 110 note 3 Asconius 79 C. Cicero, in the passageAsconius is discussing, shows that the law affected the takes who tried cases under another statute, but he does not show that more than the tribunal created by the Lex Varia was affected.

page 110 note 4 So Fraccaro, Opuscula, ii. 281; Henderson M. I., ‘The Process De Repetundis’, I.R.S. xli (1951), 82; Gruen, Criminal Courts, 87.

page 110 note 5 Verr. I. 51; De Or. 2. 199.

page 111 note 1 Kunkel, PW ‘quaestio’, 738–9; Gruen, Criminal Courts, 124–5; 261. Gruen (p. 177) suggests that a permanent quaestio de peculatu was set up by the faction of Saturninus and Glaucia c. 103. But Plutarch's evidence about the trial of the elder Lucullus for aAwirij is too vague to prove that a permanent court then existed. The only real terminus ante quem is provided by the evidence regarding Pompey's trial on that charge in 86, which shows that the decision of the iudices was binding and that a iudex quaestionis presided (Kunkel, PW ‘quaestio’, 739). Gruen thinks that a terminus post is provided by the special court set up to deal with Caepio and the gold of Tolosa. But the establishment of an extraordinary tribunalto deal with a public scandal does not, in itself, show that no standing court dealing with the general charge did not exist at the time (Seager R., ‘Lex Varia de Maiestate’. Historia, xvi [1967], 40–2;Badian , Historia, xviii [1969], 449–50).

page 111 note 2 ‘Untersuchungen zur Entwicklung des rOmischen Kriminalverfahrens’, especially 61 ff.; PW ‘quaestio’, 731–7.

page 111 note 3 Cicero, 2 Verr. 2. 77. According to Kunkel (PW ‘quaestio’, 740) no source refers to such a Sullan ‘lex iudiciaria’, but Cicero in Pro Cluentio 55 could be referring to such a law.

page 111 note 4 For Caepio's law, see the admirably brief summary in Gruen, Criminal Courts, 158, n. q; Cicero ap. Asconius 79 C.

page 112 note 1 Criminal Courts, 236, 298–303.

page 112 note 2 Balsdon J. P. V. D., ‘History of the Extortion Court at Rome, 123–70 B.C.P.B.S.R. xiv (1938), Ica. The implication that the equites did sit alone is particularly strong if Madvig's reading is adopted (as it is by Klotz in the 1923 Teubner): ‘<in> nullo iudice [equite Romano iudicante] ne tenuissima quidem suspicio …’, instead of the Oxford text's ‘<in> nullo, iudices, equite Romano iudicante …’

page 112 note 3 Schönbauer E., ‘Die rOmische Repetundengesetzgebung and das neue GesetzesFragment aus Tarent’, Anz. Wien. xciii (1956), 37.

page 112 note 4 This suggestion was made by Brunt , 2nd Int. Conf. of Econ. Hist. 1962, i. 117 ff. s Vell. Pat 2. I3; Livy, Epit. 70.

page 112 note 6 Asconius 79 C. Its main purpose was to change the iudices of the special equestrian Varian tribunal. For a reaffirmation of this traditional view, see Badian , Historia, xviii (1969), 475.

page 112 note 7 See n. 4.

page 113 note 1 In Tacitus, Ann. 12. 60, ‘Semproniae rogations’ is clearly a rhetorical plural, like ‘Serviliae leges’ which refers to the Lex Servilia Caepionis.

page 113 note 2 Appian, B.C. 1. 22. 93; Diod. 34/5. 27 ( Jacoby, F.G.H. iiA, no. 87 [Poseidonios] frag. e); 37. 9 (where it is explicitly connected with the judiciary law).

page 113 note 3 Diod. 34/5. 25 (F.G.H. iiA, no. 87, frag. I I b). Appian, B.C. 1. 22. 95–6 preserves atrace of the same view.

page 113 note 4 H. Malcovati, O.R.F.2, pp. 179–80, 182, 187–8, 190–2.

page 113 note 5 See Appendix A for a brief discussion of the arguments now presented by Mattingly, I.R.S. lx (1970), 154 ff. against this identification.

page 113 note 6 See Kunkel, PW ‘quaestio’, 750 for various suggestions to meet this difficulty.

page 114 note 1 Kunkel, PW ‘quaestio’, 738.

page 114 note 2 Gruen, Criminal Courts, 87 n. 44.

page 114 note 3 Strachan-Davidson, Problems, ii. 77–8.

page 114 note 4 Gruen, Criminal Courts, 86–90, 294–5. I have substantially repeated his arguments here under (b) and (c) only because they have not convinced Badian nor reached Mattingly (see p. 108 n. 4).

page 114 note 5 Cicero, De Orat. 2. 199.

page 114 note 6 Cicero, Rab. Perd. 20. The inference is drawn by A. E. Douglas in his edition of Cicero's Brutus (Oxford, 1966), 124.

page 115 note 1 Florus 2. 5. 5. Gruen, Criminal Courts, 206 discusses the trial.

page 115 note 2 Gruen, Criminal Courts, 166. The whole problem is simply ignored by Weinrib E. J., ‘The Judiciary Law of M. Livius Drusus (tr. pl. 91 n.c.)’, Historia, xix (1970), 414 ff.

page 115 note 3 Badian, ‘Lex Servilia’, C.R. iv (1954), cf, defended by Gruen , ‘Cicero Pro Balbo 54’, C.R. xix (1969), 8 That this identification implies that Caepio's law was a lex repetundarum is noted now by Jones, Criminal Courts, 53.

page 115 note 4 Cicero, Div. in Caec. 18. Schonbauer ('Das Gesetzes-Fragment aus Tarent in neuer Schau', IURA vii [1956]), 111 argues that these rewards could be given for successful prosecution in trials for ambitus and maiestas which could fit Cicero's ‘exsenatoris calamitate’—but he does not prove the point: he cites Cicero, Pro Balbo 57 and Pro Cluentio 98 as examples of rewards whereby what the man condemned for ambitus loses the accuser gains, but neither is an example of a reward to a non-citizen (Balbus could have acquired his superior tribe some time after his enfranchisement). In fact, on p. 554, Schonbauer limits the supposed awards concerning maiestas to non-citizen informers. But Cicero makes it very clear that those rewarded under the Lex Servilia were accusers. Brunt (‘Provincial Maladministration under the Early Principate,’ Historia, x [5961], 193–4) thinks that peregrini could prosecute under other criminal laws, but does not prove it even for the Empire.

page 116 note 1 For discussion of this problem, see Appendix B.

page 116 note 2 Appian B.C. I. 35. 158; Diod. 37. It/.

page 116 note 3 Pro Cluentio 553; Rob. Post. 16.

page 116 note 4 Pro Cluentio 104, /14; Rab. Post. 16.

page 116 note 5 Rab. Post. 8–9, 12.

page 116 note 6 U. Ewins, ‘The Lex “Ne Quis Iudicio Circumveniatur”’, I.R.S. 1 (1960), 104- 6; Gabba E., ‘Osservazioni sulla legge giudiziaria di M. Livio Druso’, Par. Pass. xi (1956), 367 ff.; Gruen, Criminal Courts, 208–9.

page 116 note 7 Particularly significant is the singular in Livy Epit. 71: ‘legibus agrariis frumentariisque latis, iudiciariam quoque pertulit’.

page 116 note 8 Miners N. J., ‘The Lex Sempronia nequis iudicio circumueniatur’, C.Q. viii (1958), 241; Ewins, J.R.S.1 (1960), 94.

page 116 note 9 The latter is the suggestion of Weinrib, Historia, xix (1970), 422 n. 35, who adduces several arguments against the view that Drusus' bribery measure was an extension of the lex ne quis (pp. 419–25). The argument on p. 424 that ‘ilk nihil aliud ageret... nisi ut ei qui rem iudicassent huiusce modi quaestionibus in iudicium vocarentur’ (Pro Clu. 153) shows that the sole, or at least primary, purpose of Drusus' measure was to extend liability to iudices is vulnerable: Cicero means no more than that Drusus' measure would have the same effect as the precedent created by Cluentius' conviction, i.e. the putting of equestrian jurors before tribunals. The argument that Cicero would have drawn a closer parallel with Cluentius' prosecution if he could have, disappears if my suggestion that Cicero's rhetoric is addressed to the iudices at this point is correct.

page 117 note 1 In Pro Rabirio Postumo 54 ff. Cicero similarly uses the parallel with Drusus' bribery provision to bring home to the equestrian iudices the threat to the equester ordo that the conviction of Rabirius would pose. The distortions there are less, probably because Cato's attempt in 61 to make equestrian jurors liable for taking bribesunder the extortion law had made the threat seem real enough, without further rhetoric, in 54.

page 117 note 2 Florus 2. 5; Asconius 21 C.

page 117 note 3 Diod. 37. o. 3. The passage is difficult to interpret (Weinrib, Hist. xix [5970], 459, n. 21), but it is likely that ‘the plunderers of the provinces’ who would be brought to account before courts for bribery are equites as the whole passage is about the senate betraying its own interests by opposing Drusus' legislation.

page 117 note 4 Cicero, Brutus 164; De Orat. 5. 225.

page 117 note 5 So Meier, Res Publica Amissa, 81, n. 502.

page 118 note 1 Cicero, Brutus 224. The explanation suggested in the text would run into a difficulty if Saturninus' maiestas law preceded Glaucia's extortion law. But that is unlikely.

page 118 note 2 Weinrib, Historia, xix (1970), 426–33.

page 118 note 3 Because he ignores the evidence for the restitution of equestrian juries by loo, Weinrib assumes that the courts for ambitus and murder had mixed panels at this time.

page 119 note 1 Veil. Pat. 2. 13. 2. For his credibility in these matters, see Balsdon, P.B.S.R. xiv (1938), too.

page 119 note 2 Appian, B.C. I. 35.157: inline-graphicinline-graphicinline-graphic. Livy, Epit. 70: ‘Senatus … omni vi eniti coepit ut ad se iudicia trans-ferret …’

page 119 note 3 Appian, B.C. 1.35. 158; de viris illustribus 66. t o.

page 119 note 4 Appian, B.C. 1. 35. I60: inline-graphicinline-graphicinline-graphic. Weinrib, Historia, xix (1970), 433 cannot be right that the antithesis implied in inline-graphic is that between some courts and all courts, for Appian says simply inline-graphic.

page 119 note 5 Haug I., ‘Der römische Bundesgenossenkrieg 91–88 v. bei Titus Livius’, Würzburger jahrbücher fur die Altertumswissenschaft, ii (1947) 104, 125 ff., 122 ff., 130 ff.

page 119 note 6 Cicero, De Orat. 3. 2 ff.

page 120 note 1 I Val. Max. 6. 2. 2.

page 120 note 2 Strachan-Davidson, Problems, ii. 79.

page 120 note 3 I have omitted from the text consideration of Weinrib's suggestion (Hist. xix [1970], 417, 419) that the senatorial invalidation of Drusus' judiciary law can only be explained if it provided for an adlection which was unpalatable to that body. But it is a moot point whether the senate would prefer mixed juries to an adlection. In any case, Diodorus and Velleius both indicate that the senate was sacrificing its own interests as regards the courts in rejecting Drusus' legislation. The grounds for invalidation applied to all his laws, which in fact were passed uno sortitore, and so all the laws had to beinvalidated at once (Lintott A. W., Violence in Republican Rome [Oxford, 1968], 141–2).

page 120 note 4 Cicero, Brutus 304. For the nature of the Lex Varia, see Seager R., ‘Lex Varia de Maiestate’, Historia, xvi (1967), 37 ff. and Badian, Historia, xviii (1969), 447 ff., against Gruen , ‘The Lex Varia’, J.R.S. lv (1965), 59 ff. It is too often forgotten that Cicero has a special motive for describing it as the Lex Varia de maiestate in the Pro Cornelio. Cicero, as the preceding fragment shows (ap. Asconius 78 C), was appealing to the mixed senatorial/equestrian jury for acquittal and draws a parallel between Cornelius' trial de maiestate and that of the odious Pomponius (who, presumably, was acquitted).

page 121 note 1 I am indebted for many helpful criticisms and suggestions to Mrs. Ursula Hall (née Ewins) and Mr. Martin Frederiksen.

page 126 note 1 I have not been able to take account of Sherwin-White's A. N.The Date of the Les Repetundarum and its Consequences’, JRS lxxii (1972), 83 ff. which appeared after the proofs of this paper had been corrected. Thatarticle covers most of the points in Appendix A far more thoroughly and proposes an interpretation of Pro Balbo 54 similar in some respects to that in Appendix B.

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