Petitions in the Epigraphic Record: Development of the Legal Order outside of the Imperial Hierarchy Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Kallmes, Kevin
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Classics
  • The Roman imperial bureaucracy in the 2nd and 3rd centuries had expanded to include direct provincial administration, which led to disputes between imperial representatives and provincial subjects. To resolve these disputes, subjects turned to the burgeoning petition and response system of the Roman emperors, but the petitioners themselves lacked the legal education to effectively utilize precedent or rhetorical formulas. Despite this, fifteen petitions found in inscriptions from the 2nd and 3rd century AD in Latin and Greek from disparate regions contained the same structure and persuasive formulas. Based on these cross-empire similarities, I argue that these methods of presentation were maintained by legal counsels, whose services represented an organic growth of systematic aid based on the unmet needs of petitioners. Then, as a part of Diocletian’s reform, the content of petitions was used as a source of legal precedent and to identify issues in the provincial bureaucracy that needed resolution.
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  • In Copyright
  • Baragwanath, Emily
  • Rives, James
  • Grillo, Luca
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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