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date: 04 February 2023

punishment, Greek and Roman practicelocked

punishment, Greek and Roman practicelocked

  • Andrew Lintott


According to *Cicero (Ad Brut. 23. 3), it was a dictum of *Solon's that a community was held together by rewards and penalties, and the ascription seems plausible, in so far as Archaic Greek law-codes already show the city asserting its authority in laying down penalties both for universally recognized crimes and for failure to perform the duties imposed by its statutes. Cicero himself argued that the instinct to take vengeance (vindicatio) is nature's gift to man to ensure his own and his family's survival (Inv. 2. 65). Both in Greece and Rome criminal law emerged as an attempt to circumscribe and replace private revenge. Accordingly, just as prosecution in many cases fell to injured persons or their relatives, so the treatment of the convicted man was often closely related to his victims, for example in early homicide law and in matters of physical injury and *theft.


  • Greek Law
  • Roman Law

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