Lives behind the Laws: The World of the Codex Hermogenianus

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Indiana University Press, Feb 5, 2010 - History - 296 pages
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In this exploration of the administration of law and its role in the lives of ordinary people in the northern provinces of the Roman Empire, Serena Connolly draws upon a rich but little-known legal collection from the late 3rd century known as the Codex Hermogenianus. The codex is composed of imperial responses to petitions sent to Rome, written by a team of the emperor's legal experts. These petitions and responses provide a wealth of information about provincial legal administration and the lives of the non-elite petitioners. The man who prostituted his wife, the mother whose malicious son undersold her farm, and the slaves who posed as free men to get a loan are just a few of the lives to encounter. Lives behind the Laws makes a valuable contribution to Roman social, political, and legal history.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Seeking Justice in the Roman World
16
Petitioning in the Roman World
22
2 The Rescript System
39
The Rescript System in Motion
47
The Work of the scrinium libellorum
55
3 The Rescript System in Context
63
Petitioners
67
5 The Emperor and His Petitioners
137
The New Understanding of Poverty
138
The Roles of the Emperor
140
Limits on the Emperor
154
Emperor Officials Petitioners
155
Conclusion
159
Appendix 1 The Skaptopara Inscription
167
Appendix 2 Catalog of Extant Entries from the Codex Hermogenianus
175

Places
83
4 Using the System
98
With the Law
102
Before the Law
112
Against the Law
129
Map
205
Notes
207
Bibliography
245
Index
261
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Serena Connolly is Assistant Professor of Classics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick.

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