CICERO AND THE TRIAL OF VERRES

J .E. Atkinson

Abstract


Toe legal background
The legal remedy for extortion by a provincial governor was first provided - in a non-ad hoc
way- by the Lex Calpurnia de rebus repeturulis of 149 BC, which established a standing court
(quaestio) of senators presided over by a praetor. The procedure prescribed by the Lex
Calpurnia was legis actio sacramento,2 in which plaintiff and defendant (here treated as two
claimants) made their separate claims on oath (sacramentum) before a praetor, and the two
sworn statements were then referred to a iudex for a decision (Gaius Institutes 4.13-17). Since
legis actiones were the privilege of citizens, non-citizens would have been debarred from
presenting their case directly to the extortion court.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7445/37-3-4-826

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