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Cicero's LawRethinking Roman Law of the Late Republic$
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Paul J. du Plessis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474408820

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408820.001.0001

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Early-career Prosecutors: Forensic Activity and Senatorial Careers in the Late Republic

Early-career Prosecutors: Forensic Activity and Senatorial Careers in the Late Republic

Chapter:
(p.205) Chapter 12 Early-career Prosecutors: Forensic Activity and Senatorial Careers in the Late Republic
Source:
Cicero's Law
Author(s):

Catherine Steel

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408820.003.0012

The focus of this chapter is on the ways in which members of the senatorial order in the late Republic (and those who aspired to join that order) exploited a knowledge of the law to further their careers. Cicero is the best-documented example, whose activity demonstrates a complex relationship between those who claimed expert theoretical knowledge of the law and those who spoke in the courts, between ‘jurists’ and ‘orators’. Drawing on the results of a ERC-funded project based at the University of Glasgow which is editing the fragments of Republican oratory (‘The Fragments of Republican Roman Oratory’), this chapter explores the intersections between political careers and the varieties of forensic activity. It argues that forensically-active senators formed only a very small proportion of the Senate, and that forensic activity was not a normal part of public life, but as a specialised task which only added consistent value to a career if pursued with diligence and a high degree of technical competence.

Keywords:   prosecution, defence, senators, Cicero 

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