Adolf Berger, Barry Nicholas, and Susan M. Treggiari
The Romans made a broad distinction, which was at first social but acquired in the Principate and thereafter an increasing number of legal consequences, between an upper class usually termed honestiores and a lower class of humiliores. No legal definition of the two classes is found, and the allocation of an individual to one or the other was probably at the discretion of the court. The legal consequences lay in part in the private law, but were most marked in the criminal law, honestiores being subject to milder penalties than humiliores (rarely the death penalty, never death by crucifixion or bestiis obicere; *relegatioin insulam in place of forced labour in the mines, etc.). The distinction is not the same as that drawn in the later empire between potentiores and tenuiores. The legal relevance of the latter distinction lies not in privileges conferred on the potentiores, but on the contrary in the restrictions which the legislator attempted to impose on their abuse of their wealth or position.
Peter Sidney Derow
Arnold Hugh Martin Jones
Indictio under the Principate meant the compulsory purchase of food, clothing, and other goods for the army and the court. Owing to the inflation of the mid-3rd cent.
Infamia as a legal term embraces a variable number of disabilities (the common one being an incapacity to act or appear for another at law—postulare pro aliis) imposed in a variety of circumstances. It is at root social, involving loss of fama (‘reputation’) or existimatio (‘good name’), but is given legal content by leges, senatus consulta, imperial constitutions, or by the praetor's edict in specific situations, such as condemnation in ordinary criminal prosecutions, condemnation in civil actions for delict and in other civil actions in which the defendant was guilty of a breach of faith (partnership, guardianship, mandate, etc. ), engaging in certain disreputable occupations. In classical law there is no single concept of infamia (or ignominia—the earlier word: see Gai. Inst. 4. 182), but in the law of Justinian (see
Because of the traditional reluctance of the Roman elite to engage personally in profit-oriented economic activities other than agriculture (Cic., Off. 1.151), entrepreneurs of all kinds formed a distinctive social class and would tend to act as non-advertised agents for those who may have had the needs, the means, and the willingness to operate businesses on a larger scale than the individual, subsistence-level enterprise. However, the concept of agency was foreign to Roman law, because acting on behalf and in the name of someone else smacked of magic. Consequently, agents were, at least originally, legally dependents, as slaves or sons and daughters in power, whose lack of legal personality enabled them to better their principal’s economic condition and eventually to engage both their delictual and contractual liability, under certain circumstances. The key to such a legal arrangement was the formal appointment (praepositio) of business managers (institores).
Andrew Dominic Edwards Lewis
Intercessio, ‘interposition’, was the right of one Roman magistrate (see
Interpolation is the name given to retrospective changes in (legal) texts, especially those made by the compilers of Justinian's 6th-cent.
Under the Roman republic, if both *consuls died or left office (together with the remaining ‘patrician' magistrates) without successors appointed, the ‘auspices reverted to the ‘patres’. The latter, probably the patrician senators, selected one of their number as interrex. Interreges, who were of *patrician birth and usually ex-consuls, held office in succession, each for five days, with consular powers. Their principal duty was to supervise the election of one or both new consuls: the theory that they simply presented one or two names to the assembly for acceptance or rejection has not been substantiated. The name interrex supports Roman assumptions that the institution derived from the regal period (see