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date: 02 February 2023



  • Barry Nicholas


This article considers advocacy as a profession. For advocacy in its wider sense and in particular for its techniques, see rhetoric.A party to a Roman trial might entrust the presentation of his case to an advocate (advocatus, patronus, causidicus). These men, who appear as a class in the late republic under the influence of Greek rhetoric, and of whom *Cicero and the younger *Pliny (2) are prominent representatives, were orators rather than *lawyers. They would necessarily have, or acquire, some knowledge of law (Cicero evidently knew a lot), but their reputations were founded on their skill in forensic rhetoric. They and the jurists regarded each other as distinct classes, with different (and in the eyes of the other class inferior) functions, though occasionally an advocate might become a jurist. Advocates were forbidden to accept any reward for their services, but this rule was evidently often ignored and by the end of the 2nd cent. ce imperial recognition was given (Dig.


  • Roman Law

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