Political Ideologies in the Legal Realm

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:

Series: Oxford Studies in Ancient Documents

Political Ideologies in the Legal Realm

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This chapter is concerned with the impact of the legal system at the level of political ideology. The spectacle of the courtroom and the rhetoric of administrators served to reinforce the majesty and terror of the state. The rhetorical features of petitions also had ideological messages. These include: discourses concerning legal rationality and the rule of law; an image of officials (especially high officials) as euergetai (benefactors); and statements about the punishments inflicted by the laws. Petitions containing threats of flight from fiscal burdens (anachōrēsis) are also discussed.

Keywords: political ideology; rationality; rule of law; terror; anachōrēsis; punishments

Chapter.  18149 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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