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By Richard A. Bauman

Punishment used to be an critical component to the Roman justice method and as arguable because it is at the present time. Bauman examines the mechanics of the administering of punishment and the philosophical ideals from which attitudes to penalty have been born. The emphasis is put on crimes opposed to the general public in the course of the Republic and Principate with much less dialogue of both civil situations or concerns. exact reference is made to alterations in attitudes in regards to the demise penalty.

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Crime and Punishment in Ancient Rome

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The lex frumentaria regularized Rome’s food supply and helped ensure that the poorer citizens could find adequate food at an affordable price. The laws forbidding arbitrary execution and judicial murder became an accepted part of Roman law, and were clearly salutary measures. The land allotment law, however, was not much more successful than Tiberius’s had been, and the law on the farming of the Asian taxes led to frightful exploitation of the province of Asia by Roman tax farmers, with the connivance of provincial governors.

Provinces were systematically misruled and often shamelessly plundered, giving rise eventually to the perceived need for permanent courts to try the endless complaints of harassed provincials against bad governors. Wars were at times provoked for no reason other than a commander’s desire for glory and booty. Wars were almost routinely mismanaged, so that it became almost commonplace for Roman wars to start with a disaster or two, and Roman armies frequently became severely demoralized as a result.

In order to ensure that Marius would remain firmly in charge of dealing with the German threat, the people – against all precedent – re-elected him to successive consulships for each of these years. He reformed the combat training of the Roman soldiery, using experts from the gladiatorial schools to impart greater skill with weapons and hand-to-hand combat. He changed the tactical formation of the legion, using the 600-strong cohort as the basis for intra-legionary organization in place of the old 200-strong maniple.

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