Severitas and clementia in punishing the crimen maiestatis from the Principate to the Dominate



Year of publication 2013
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Graeco-Latina Brunensia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web Digital Library of the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University
Field History
Keywords political judicial trials; crimen maiestatis; torture; death sentence; Principate; Dominate
Description The image of immense cruelty of Roman emperors and their officials under the Dominate, presented with lots of details by the historian Ammianus Marcellinus, is discussed as an aspect of the emperors' attitude toward the law in political charges evolving from the Principate to the Dominate. The paper's aim is to point out that (illegal) atrocities formed part of the criminal investigation already under the Principate, while death was not the only punishment for crimes associated with politics under the Dominate, even though the law recommended it.
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