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Murder Among Relatives

Murder Among Relatives Abstract This article provides a thorough analysis of two Roman institutions: the vitae necisque potestas and the regulation of parricidium . Moving from the traditional interpretations of these institutions, connected to a supposedly very high degree of violence inside Roman families, the article demonstrates that they were no relicts of an “archaic” society, but a specific historical formation, connected with the “cultural revolution” of the third and second centuries BCE. In particular, this article shows that both the power of the pater familias to kill his relatives (which was not as absolute as often assumed) and the special position taken by the murder of relatives in the Roman juridical system and mentality, must be read against the background of the negotiation between the central institutions of the Republic and the autonomy sphere of the gentes . http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Ancient History de Gruyter

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by the
ISSN
2324-8106
eISSN
2324-8114
DOI
10.1515/jah-2016-0015
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract This article provides a thorough analysis of two Roman institutions: the vitae necisque potestas and the regulation of parricidium . Moving from the traditional interpretations of these institutions, connected to a supposedly very high degree of violence inside Roman families, the article demonstrates that they were no relicts of an “archaic” society, but a specific historical formation, connected with the “cultural revolution” of the third and second centuries BCE. In particular, this article shows that both the power of the pater familias to kill his relatives (which was not as absolute as often assumed) and the special position taken by the murder of relatives in the Roman juridical system and mentality, must be read against the background of the negotiation between the central institutions of the Republic and the autonomy sphere of the gentes .

Journal

Journal of Ancient Historyde Gruyter

Published: Jun 7, 2017

References