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Roman Law before the Twelve TablesAn Interdisciplinary Approach$
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Sinclair W. Bell and Paul J. du Plessis

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474443968

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474443968.001.0001

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Beyond the Pomerium: Expansion and Legislative Authority in Archaic Rome

Beyond the Pomerium: Expansion and Legislative Authority in Archaic Rome

Chapter:
(p.133) Chapter 8 Beyond the Pomerium: Expansion and Legislative Authority in Archaic Rome
Source:
Roman Law before the Twelve Tables
Author(s):

Jeremy Armstrong

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474443968.003.0009

This chapter explores the principle of legislative authority in early Rome as it relates to the pomerium, the comitia curiata, the comitia tributa, and the traditional powers of patres familiarum. It argues for an ongoing negotiation between various entities within Rome during the first half of the fifth century BC over which held legal authority over which areas. It suggests that, visible in the legal disputes and tensions that mark the early ‘Struggle of the Orders’, there may be an authentic memory of Rome’s early legal evolution which saw the community, under the guise of the comitia tributa, attempting to extend its authority beyond the geographic boundary of the pomerium, which had bound the comitia curiata, and into the traditional sphere of influences of the patres familiarum. Although this early fifth century BC attempt was ultimately unsuccessful, it set the foundation for Rome’s later use of the tribes and comitia tributa as a mechanism to organize and control territory outside of the community’s normal boundaries.

Keywords:   legislative authority, curiae, tribes, pomerium, patres familiarum

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