The Evidence Given by Slaves in the Trials of crimen maiestatis

Marzena Dyjakowska

Abstract


According to the rule being in force in Republican Rome, the slave testimony could not be used to the detriment of their owners, in particular in cases punishable by death (in caput domini), and the slaves could not bring charges against the owners. The few crimes in which exceptions were permitted was the crime of majesty. This article presents the most important views of Roman authors on the credibility of testimony given under torture and also explains the reasons for using torture in interrogating slaves. During the Principate period, the ban on interrogating slaves against their owners in maiestas cases was circumvented and then was abolished by imperial constitutions. During the Dominate period, the crime of lese-majesty was the only one in which a slave was allowed to accuse his master.


Keywords


interrogation; the Principate period; the Dominate period; slaves; crime of lese-majesty

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/sil.2021.30.2.125-138
Data publikacji: 2021-06-30 23:18:49
Data złożenia artykułu: 2020-02-02 15:31:34


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