Roman Society in the Courtroom

Leanne Bablitz

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780195188004
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Roman Society in the Courtroom

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  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Roman History
  • Greek and Roman Law



This article explains the presence of the Roman courtrooms in society. It reveals that the Roman courts are valuable sources of information on the social history of Rome. It then identifies the various individuals that compose the Roman legal system, such as the praetors and urban praetors. The next sections present a detailed discussion of the litigants, judges, audiences, and advocates of the Roman courtroom. It notes that the courts had a measure of social, political, cultural, and physical centrality, and that their predominantly public nature made them impossible to ignore.

Keywords: courtroom; legal system; praetors; urban praetors; public nature; litigants; judges; audiences; advocates

Article.  8250 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Roman History ; Greek and Roman Law

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