Summoned to the Roman Courts is the first work by Detlef Liebs, an internationally recognized expert on ancient Roman law, to be made available in English. Originally presented as a series of popular lectures, this book brings to life a thousand years of Roman history through sixteen studies of famous court cases—from the legendary trial of Horatius for the killing of his sister, to the trial of Jesus Christ, to that of the Christian leader Priscillian for heresy. Drawing on a wide variety of ancient sources, the author not only paints a vivid picture of ancient Roman society, but also illuminates how ancient legal practices still profoundly affect how the law is implemented today.
Summoned to the Roman Courts Famous Trials from Antiquity
About the Book
“Liebs has written a work that will be welcomed by both novice and expert students of law and society. . . . Entertaining yet profound. . . . Highly recommended.”—P. Lorenzini, Saint Xavier University Choice
“Liebs provides an interesting mixture of detailed examination of several legal problems and consideration of more broadly conceived legal change over time. Only a scholar of Liebs’ breadth of knowledge could undertake such work.”—Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR)“This book covers sixteen ‘famous trials’—some familiar to readers with a classical background, others less well known—all of which shed light on uncommon aspects of social and legal history. Liebs draws attention to two important but relatively understudied issues in particular: the role of the judge in procedure and the significance of trials and their outcomes in the evolution of Roman law.”—Jill D. Harries, Professor of Ancient History, University of St Andrews, and author of Cicero and the Jurists.
Table of Contents
1. Killing a Sister for Mourning a Fallen Enemy
2. Temporary End to Trials Involving Black Magic
3. A Dowry Hunter Loses Out
4. A Naive Buyer
5. The Party’s Intention vs. the Pedantry of Jurists?
6. Cicero Thwarts the Intrigue of a Powerful Man
7. Defense against a Lover’s Malice
8. Corrupter of Morals through Poetry, or Accessory to a Conspiracy?
9. A Precautionary Crucifixion
1. “They Hate Mankind"
11. A Criminal Organization?
12. Brutal Slave Owners
13. Self-Help Is Punished
14. Protecting a Ward Prevails over Standard Payment Practices
15. A Dispute among Christians
16. The Execution of Heretics