Chapter

Who Used the Justice System?

Benjamin Kelly

in Petitions, Litigation, and Social Control in Roman Egypt

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599615
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731525 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599615.003.0004

Series: Oxford Studies in Ancient Documents

Who Used the Justice System?

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This chapter discusses the economic status and ethnicity of petitioners and litigants. A good number of people of high and middling economic status appear as petitioners and litigants, and there is no reason to believe that any of the major ethnic groups of the province avoided the justice system as a rule. Nevertheless, the very poor seem to be underrepresented as petitioners and litigants. The costs of petitioning and litigation perhaps deterred some. But the economic profile of petitioners was also the result of ideas about what sorts of disputes were appropriate to bring before a state official: overwhelmingly, the petitions complain of wrongs that involved property or economic transactions.

Keywords: economic status; ethnicity; litigation costs; property; economic transactions

Chapter.  19610 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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