Actors and Audience in the Roman Courtroom

Actors and Audience in the Roman Courtroom

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by Leanne Bablitz
     
 

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While the death of Cicero marks the end of an era within the Roman courtroom, the evolution of the state into a Principate brought transformation to the Courts rather than decay. The Roman courtroom, like the theatre or arena, brought together individuals from every social group of the population. While gathered together within the same space, these individuals… See more details below

Overview

While the death of Cicero marks the end of an era within the Roman courtroom, the evolution of the state into a Principate brought transformation to the Courts rather than decay. The Roman courtroom, like the theatre or arena, brought together individuals from every social group of the population. While gathered together within the same space, these individuals participated in diverse manners. Advocates tried to convince the judges and the audience of their cases, litigants looked dejected and clung to family members, and audiences cheered, jeered, and hissed through it all.

In this innovative book, using evidence from archaeology, epigraphy, and Latin literature, Leanne Bablitz, presents detailed reconstructions of the Roman courtroom and its participants, and also offers insight into many of the more practical aspects of the daily functioning of the Roman legal system. Much as with the Roman arena and theatre, we find in the Roman courtroom an opportunity to study the symbiotic interaction between people of diverse social standing, and the manifestation and reinforcement of several cultural practices such as the patron/client relationship. Through such examination emerges a new appreciation of the practice and atmosphere of the courtrooms found in early imperial Rome.

About the Author:
Leanne Bablitz is Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"As Leanne Bablitz demonstrates in this engaging, bold, and erudite book, Roman trial participants were ... acutely aware of the theatricality of courtroom proceedings and rituals ... Her portrait of a city 'teeming with courts' in the early imperial period is both convincing and fascinating. ... Throughout, Bablitz draws on an impressive range of evidence, including relevant archaeological and topographical studies, numismatic evidence, epigraphy, and literary evidence. ... Bablitz's rich and detailed research more than justifies her conclusion that 'the concrete theatrical elements' of courtrooms 'cannot be overlooked.'" – Caroline Humfress (Birkbeck College, University of London), Phoenix

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415594837
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
08/18/2010
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.64(d)

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