Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2001.08.21

T. Corey Brennan, The Praetorship in the Roman Republic. 2 Vols.   Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2000.  Pp. xviii, 972.  ISBN 0-19-511459-0.  $175.  ISBN 0-19-511460-4.  

Reviewed by Greg Rowe, Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland (
Word count: 4784 words

"As it seems to me, the administration of Asia presents no great variety of business," Marcus Cicero consoled his brother Quintus, whose imperiumin Asia the senate had just prorogued for another year; "it all depends in the main on the dispensation of justice" (Cicero Q Fr. 1, 1, 20; tr. Shackleton Bailey). As a model for judicial conduct, Cicero recommended the example of a recent praetor at Rome (ibid. 21; C. Octavius pr. 61 BC). Praetors were the chief Roman judicial magistrates. Praetors governed the permanent provinces abroad. Praetors are attested in a mass of information that demands synthesis. And praetorian history can be an alternative to narratives of consuls and conquest. The praetorship, Brennan writes, was "the most important cog in the Roman administrative machine" (6). The virtue of Brennan's book is that it provides the synthesis. Its defect is that Brennan insists on arguing against his evidence and treating praetors as military commanders.

The Praetorship in the Roman Republic (PRR) may be thought of in two ways. On the one hand, it is a set of tables listing known Republican praetors by province and by date (App. A, "Table of Commands in Some Important Territorial Provinciae, 219-50"; App. B, "Fasti Praetorii"), which are hinged to discussion in the text by the Table of Contents and Indexes. On the other hand, it is a narrative of the dissolution of imperium from the regal period onward. Cicero, De legibus 3, 2/4, recounts how the kings' imperium was transferred to the two consuls of 509 BC. Brennan extends this tale through the "conceptual leap" involved in giving the praetor a second, lesser grade of imperium in 366 BC (12-73) down to the eve of Caesar's dictatorship, when imperium had been so subdivided and spread among magistrates and promagistrates that it was unrecognizable. "Once a pro praetore starts delegating his official power," Brennan writes (638), "we are far away from the idea that imperium was the full power of the old kings of Rome."

In telling his story, Brennan "adopts the vantage point of the Senate" (viii). He adds, "I also might note that when I ascribe decisions to the Senate or the 'senatorial establishment,' I feel reasonably confident in doing so...In any case, recent attempts to emphasize the 'democratic' elements of the res publica have not pretended to offer much on the shaping of the Roman praetorship" (32-3). The senatorial perspective is certainly legitimate; it is the perspective of our two principal sources, Cicero and (essentially) Livy. But it can also produce distortions. For one thing, every one of the nearly 850 praetors catalogued by Brennan was elected by the Roman people. For another, the single most important source for the Republican praetorship outside Cicero and Livy is a statute of the Roman people. About the the Lex de provinciis praetoriis, also known as the "Piracy Law," Brennan writes, "Yet thanks to the discovery of a major inscription from Cnidus (10.1), we are now exceedingly well informed on some of the Senate's arrangements for Macedonia when Didius departed from his provincia, in either 101 or 100" (523-4). To say that a statute of the Roman people reflects "the Senate's arrangements" is (at best) utterly misleading. Something of the democratic element of the res publica comes through in the statute itself (Crawford 1996 no. 12, Cnidos Copy, col. III, lines 28-37; tr. mod.):

The senior consul is to send letters to the peoples and states to whom he may think fit, to say that the Roman people [will have] care, that the citizens of Rome and the allies and the Latins, and those of the foreign nations who are in a relationship of friendship with the Roman people, may sail in safety, and that on account of this matter and according to this statute Cilicia has been made a praetorian province.

Brennan is commendably explicit about the historiographical tradition he draws on. He took his cue from a few paragraphs by Badian: "In a short yet important review, E. Badian has presented a modified sketch of the administrative history of the praetorship which, for the first time (as far as I can tell), asked the major questions the present study seeks to answer" (31-2; Badian 1979). Badian distinguished three phases of praetorian history: from 227 BC, when the senate added praetors as it annexed provinces; from 146 BC, when the senate declined to create new praetors for Africa and Macedonia, making prorogation routine; and from 81 BC, when Sulla dissociated provincial promagistracies from city praetorships.

PRR has other precursors. In treating magistracies as the central feature of the Roman state, Brennan looks back to Mommsen 1887 and its 45 pages on the praetorship (12-14). For his definition of nobility and his view of Roman politics as competition for high offices, he cites Gelzer 1912 (32). For augurs and auspicia, he looks to Linderski 1986 (15-18). In listing praetors by date, he revises Broughton 1951-86; in listing them by province, he revises Jashemski 1966 (viii). Brennan's book also takes its place among recent work on the early and late Republic by younger American scholars (early: Mitchell 1990, Stewart 1998; late: Kallet-Marx 1994), and also beside Hölkeskamp 1987 and Cornell 1995 on early Rome, and Lintott 1993 and 1999 on administrative and constitutional matters.

It is worth mentioning some historiographical traditions that Brennan neglects. He does not try to view the Roman state in terms of citizens' rights and duties, or Roman administrative history in terms of economics and the history of ideas, in the manner of Nicolet (1976, 1977), whose name does not figure in the bibliography (which is odd, since Nicolet might be considered Mommsen's most prominent heir). Nor does Brennan use the work of Nicolet's students Ferrary (1988), who linked Roman expansionism and philhellenism, and David (1992), who studied the praetorian courts as a quasi theatrum of politics. Brennan does not try to see Roman politics as expressions of social struggles, especially over land-ownership, in the manner of Brunt 1971. Brennan says nothing about Brunt's critiques of Gelzer's conceptions of nobilitas and clientela (Brunt 1988), or about Giovannini's critique of Mommsen's conceptions of imperium, promagistracy, and the Sullan reforms (Giovannini 1983). Nor does Brennan attempt to see Roman politics as a communal activity, in the manner of Millar 1998.

Brennan's book is grounded in the implicit, and correct, assumption that constitutional (public and sacred law) questions should matter to us, because they mattered to Romans. Why did they matter to Romans? Perhaps because the forms were felt to be sacred and time-tested; or out of a more profane penchant for rituals, symbols, hierarchies, and arcana; or because there were real clashes of authority that needed to be resolved. It is often said that Romans did not have a constitution. Whatever this might mean, it is a fact that Cicero could draw up a Roman constitution in De legibus, and that someone somewhere wrote the Roman municipal laws. At any rate, we must know something about the constitution just to make sense of our sources. For example, in the famous Corinthian verse-inscription mentioning M. Antonius--"auspicio [[Antoni Marc]]i pro consule classis/Isthmum traductast missaque per pelagus" ("under the auspices of M. Antonius, pro consule, a fleet was carried over the Isthmus and sent across the sea"; ILLRP 342)--we need to know what auspicium was, what a pro consule was, and how someone could be pro consule before he became consul.

But it is not clear that Brennan's way of handling constitutional questions is the best. Brennan attaches supreme importance to a pair of abstract nouns--imperium and auspicia--and regards all of Republican history as a falling-away from an original ideal (12-20). His operative concept is the "dodge," a word he borrows from Daube 1991 to denote "circumvention" or "misinterpretation"--an unwitting breach of constitutional principles (37-8, 598-601). The establishment of the praetorship, with its lesser grade of imperium, exemplifies "a good dodge" (601). But must one impose on history such a schema of orthodoxy and deviation? And why only imperium and auspicia? Why not (say) dicio or ductus? It if it can be demonstrated that imperium and auspicia were indeed key terms, must they be handled so oddly, as both trancendent and reified ("dormant" auspicia, 14)? To study the Roman constitution in terms of abstract nouns, one must (at a minimum) distinguish contemporary from posterior sources, then consider the whole constellation of constitutional terms. A book that meets these criteria is Béranger 1953; its methods could profitably be extended back to the Republic.

Yet better ways of talking about the Roman constitution can be learned from ancient sources. The Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia. treats the Athenian consitution first diachronically, then synchronically. Our sources offering synchronic views of the Roman constitution include Polybius 6, 11-18 and Cicero's De republica and De legibus. De legibus 3, 3/8 reads: "Let the administrator of law, who shall judge or have judged private suits, be the praetor. Let him be the guardian of civil law. Let there be as many praetors, with equal power, as the senate shall decide or the people shall order." Another, under-used synchronic source is the Lex Irnitana, which answers to an ordinary definition of "constitution" and which is explicitly modelled on Roman practices. Ch. 91 on adjournment (intertium) reads in part: "the statute and law and position is to be as it would be if a praetor of the Roman people had ordered that matter to be judged in the city of Rome between Roman citizens" (González 1986; tr. Crawford). For a diachronic perspective, we have Cassius Dio. But for the most serious and complete historical outline of the Roman constitution, we should turn to the Encheiridion of Sextus Pomponius.

In the long extract from the Encheiridion preserved in the first book of Justinian's Digest (1, 2, 2), Pomponius treats three themes: the origin and development of law at Rome, the names and origin of the magistracies, and the names of the men who professed knowledge of civil law. Regarding the praetorship, Brennan rightly observes, Pomponius makes two errors of fact. He says that praetors governed Spain and Narbonensis, not the two Spains; and he says that Sulla added four praetors, not two. Brennan disparages the extract, calling it the work of an "epitomator" and a "quick sketch" (60). He writes, "His survey (the Encheiridion) filled two books, and was doubtless filled with whatever variants he could collect on the development of the Roman political system...In sum, this passage in the Digest is probably several removes from a good source, and it has no real value as an independent account on the creation of the praetorship" (ibid.). But an encheiridion was already a distillation (cf. Epictetus), and there is no reason to think that Pomponius' has been boiled down any further. Pomponius' value lies in his chronological sweep, from the regal period down to his own second-century A.D. present, and in his vision, that Roman legal and administrative history could be seen as part of the social and political history of the Roman "civitas." (The word civitas, evidently a rendering of polis, is best left untranslated.) For Pomponius, the law changed as a function of population growth, difficulties in assembling the plebs or the Roman people, delays in taking the census, the absence of consuls due to distant wars, the influx of foreigners, and territorial annexation. Two interesting consequences of Pomponius' proto-Bruntian approach to Roman history are that he passes from Republic to Principate seamlessly, and that he reduces the senate and emperors to minor roles. Pomponius provides the following sketch of praetorian history (tr. Watson):

(Dig. 1, 2, 2, 27; 367 BC) And when the consuls were being called away to the wars with neighboring peoples, and there was no one in the civitas empowered to attend to legal business in the city, what was done was that a praetor also was created, called the urban praetor on the ground that he exercised jurisdiction within the city. (ibid. 10; after the Lex Hortensia of 287 BC) At the same time, the magistrates also were settling matters of legal right, and in order to let the citizens know and allow for the jurisdiction which each given magistrate would be exercising over any given matter, they took to publishing edicts. These edicts, in the case of the praetors, constituted the ius honorarium: "honorary" is the term used, because the law in question had come from the high honor of praetorian office. (ibid. 28; 244 BC: PRR 85-9) Some years thereafter that single praetor became insufficient because a great crowd of foreigners had come into the civitas as well, and so another praetor was established, who got the name peregrine praetor, because he mainly exercised jurisdiction as between foreigners. (ibid. 32) The annexation of Sardinia and soon afterward of Sicily [227 BC] and in due course of Spain [198 BC] and finally of the province of Narbonensis brought the creation of as many praetors as there were provinces that had come under Roman rule, some of these praetors presiding over affairs of the city, others over provincial affairs. Then [81 BC], Cornelius Sulla set up criminal courts (quaestiones publicae), dealing, for example, with forgery, with parricide, and with stabbings, and he added four other praetors. Next [44 BC] Gaius Julius Caesar set up two praetors and two aediles to oversee the corn supply, and from the name of the goddess Ceres these were called the cereal praetors and aediles. Thus twelve praetorships and six aedileships were created. Subsequently [23 BC], the deified Augustus established sixteen praetors, and then later on [AD 44] the deified Claudius added two praetors to exercise fideicommissary jurisdiction. One of those posts has since been suppressed by the deified Titus [AD 79-81] and reestablished by the deified Nerva [AD 96-8], to exercise jurisdiction between the imperial treasury and private citizens. Thus, there are eighteen praetors exercising jurisdiction in the civitas. (ibid. 34) Therefore, all told, ten tribunes of the plebs, two consuls, eighteen praetors, and six aediles administer justice in the civitas.

Pomponius tells the story one way; Brennan tells it another. Pomponius sees praetorian history in terms of legal history and the evolving needs of the civitas; Brennan sees it in terms of military history. On the legal origins of the urban praetorship (367 BC), Pomponius' view is seconded by Livy, who records the election of "one praetor to exercise jurisdiction in the city" (6, 42, 11). For Brennan, though, "Livy's statement that the praetor was created 'qui ius in urbe diceret' must be in a sense anachronistic...Livy in a sense contradicts his own statement on the motivation for the creation of the praetorship in his own account" (PRR 58-78, at 61). "Again, it must be emphasized that the actual evidence for the early development of the office virtually excludes Livy's explanation that the praetor was introduced 'qui ius in urbe diceret'." (601). As Brennan wrote in the OCD entry "praetor", "...he also had the right to lead an army, and that indeed is the capacity in which we mostly find him in Livy books 7-10." In fact, of the 73 urban praetors from 366 to 292 BC, where Livy's first decade closes, precisely 15 are known; only seven of these are attested as doing anything; and just two are seen commanding armies: L. Pinarius (349 BC) assumed command on the coast after the death of a consul (Livy 7, 25, 12-13), and Ap. Claudius (295 BC) held command in Etruria until the consuls came (ibid. 10, 24, 18-26). The evidence excludes nothing.

As for the peregrine praetor (244 BC), Brennan argues that he, too, was originally a military commander: "The notion of a praetor specifically created to hear mostly cases in which both parties were non-citizens is absurd...If the original jurisdiction of this praetor was to deal with law cases in Rome involving conflicts between citizens and non-citizens...that task would hardly have been so onerous that it could not be performed by the original praetor" (PRR 85-9, at 86). So Brennan proposes translating "inter peregrinos" as "over foreigners" (OCD; PRR 4). Inter peregrinos of course means "in cases involving (one or more) foreigners," just as inter sicarios means "in cases involving (one or more) poisoners." The interesting question, which Brennan does not ask, is who peregrini were in 244 BC. Did they include Latini, or did Latini already have the same private-law rights as Roman citizens?

Roman government was also for non-citizens. It even provided structures for non-citizens to vindicate their rights as against citizens, notably the repetundae court. The Lex de provinciis praetoriis sought to ensure "that the citizens of Rome and the allies and the Latins, and those of the foreign nations who are in a relationship of friendship with the Roman people, may sail in safety". The praetors sent to govern Sicily and Sardinia, from 227 BC on, are often seen working on behalf of provincials. Thus L. Scipio, praetor in Sicily in 193 BC, "laid down in his leges for the local senate of Agrigentum that in the senate there were to be no more colonists than there were original Agrigentores" (Cicero Verr. 2, 2, 50/123), and was honored by the Italici (ILLRP 320). Another second-century governor boasted, "And as praetor in Sicily I hunted down the fugitives of the Italici and returned 917 slaves" (ILLRP 454).

By Brennan's own account, praetors were never more than third-string military commanders. During the Hannibalic War (PRR 98-221), "praetorian commanders in Italy rarely were meant to fight significant battles against the Carthaginians, or to take on Gallic tribes in the field. Generally, praetors (or pro praetoribus) appear in major campaigns only to help a given consular commander" (610). When there were military emergencies in Sicily and Sardinia, the senate made them "double provinces" (both consular and praetorian) and sent consuls with armies (136-53). When a third commander was needed in Italy or overseas, the consuls appointed legates (610-17). The praetor's job was less to conquer than to govern in the wake of conquest.

Grades of imperium were, however, important. When praetors were sent to govern the two Spains (197 BC), they were styled praetors "in place of the consul" (pro consule). For Brennan, the difference between the imperium of a regular praetor and the imperium of a praetor pro consule was "largely symbolic": "It can be shown that enhanced imperium--whether that of a praetor or privatus--does not necessarily imply a larger army, just a larger task and a more independent position. It did always require a popular vote" (610). But Sicily and Sardinia had no permanent legions. The Spains had legions, and consular imperium does seem to have been required for leading a legion in battle. The typical military command of a praetor without enhanced imperium was, on the other hand, the fleet (139-41).

If Pomponius' account of the Roman magistracies has a weakness, it is that it omits prorogation. Polybius, Pomponius' intellectual superior, recognized prorogation to be an important senatorial prerogative (6, 15, 6):

Moreover, it depends on the senate whether commanders' designs and projects are finished or not; for the senate has the sovereign power to send a new commander when the year has ended, or to retain the one in command.

Brennan writes: "A prorogued consul is usually termed 'pro consule' ('in place of a consul'), a prorogued praetor is termed 'pro praetore'; however sometimes they are simply called 'consul' and 'praetor'" (73). This is false (Giovannini 1983, 59-65). A prorogued praetor remained a praetor; if he received enhanced imperium, he became a "praetor pro consule". Of this title, either "praetor" or "pro consule" was an acceptable abbreviation. Thus Marcus Cicero addressed his brother Quintus as "praetor" (Q Fr.. 1, 1) while the demos of Claros honored him as anthypatos (pro consule; SEG 37, 958). M. Antonius was praetor in 102 BC, pro consule in 101 BC (PRR 357), and consul in 99 BC. Brennan also makes a non-existent distinction between prorogued governors and "ex-magistrates" at Rome (241-5); they were the same thing.

Here is how prorogation worked. Praetors received their provinces by annual lot. When their imperium was prorogued, they might stay in place, receive new provinces by senatorial decree, or receive new provinces in the annual lot. In addition, promagistrates could not hold urban provinces (urban praetor, peregrine praetor, praetor presiding over a quaestio). From 146 BC, as Badian saw, only six praetors were elected annually, while up to eight provinces had to be filled; the civitas required more magistrates than it elected, so prorogation became routine. Each year, newly-elected praetors would draw lots for the city praetorships, then the remaining new praetors plus the prorogued praetors would draw lots for the praetorian governorships. Marius, praetor in the city in 115 BC, then allotted Further Spain for 114 BC, is the earliest recorded example of a praetor who was elected once, then allotted provinces twice (Plutarch Marius 6, 1; cf. PRR 498). But we cannot say when the practice began. In 214 BC, all the praetors were prorogued and given new provinces (Livy 24, 10, 4). Already by 183 BC, when an elected praetor was a flamen dialis who could not leave Rome, praetors drew lots for city and territorial provinces separately (Livy 39, 45, 4). Later, praetors normally drew lots twice, first for city praetorships, then, a year later, for provincial governorships. Verres, for example, was allotted the urban province for 74 BC and the province of Sicily for 73 BC (Cicero Verr 2, 1, 40/104; 2, 2, 6/17).

Polybius presents prorogation as a senatorial prerogative. But on any matter the senate could be overridden by the Roman people, as occurred increasingly after the Gracchi. In the Lex de provinciis praetoriis (101 or 100 BC), the people assumed the normally-senatorial task of naming (some of) the praetorian provinces. The statute is one of our best sources for praetorian duties passed over by Livy, such as financial administration (Crawford 1996 no. 12 Cnidos Copy, col. iv, lines 10-30):

And he who has the Chersonese and the Caenice as his province is to hold this province along with Macedonia and is to act as he shall deem it proper in order that, for whomever it shall be appropriate for him to collect those public revenues, he may collect the public revenues in that province according to the lex (locationis); and he is to be in those places each year for not less than sixty days before anyone else takes over from him and he is to devote effort, insofar as it shall be possible, so that those who have a relationship of friendship or alliance with the Roman people may not be expelled from their territories and so that no war or wrong may hereafter affect them; and that praetor or proconsul who holds the province of Macedonia, before he leaves the province, according to the decree of the senate passed in relation to him, should establish the boundaries of the vectigal of the Chersonese, as he shall deem it proper, as quickly as possible.

(It is curious that the praetor collects revenues before establishing tariff-boundaries.) The Lex de provinciis praetoriis also covers the praetorian governor's judicial responsibilities (ibid. lines 31-9):

If the praetor or proconsul to whom the province of Asia or Macedonia shall have fallen abdicate from his magistracy, as described in his mandata, he is to have power in all matters according to his jurisdiction just as it existed in his magistracy, to punish, to coerce, to administer justice, to judge, to appoint iudices and recuperatores, [registrations] of guarantors and securities, emancipations, and he is to be [immune from prosecution] until he return to the city of Rome.

The source that best reveals, in concise detail, the complexity of the praetorian governor's task is Marcus Cicero's letter to his brother Quintus, which Brennan treats rather summarily (Q Fr.. 1, 1; PRR 566-8). Where Brennan, following Badian, generally prefers to call praetors "commanders," Marcus uses the word gubernator (ibid. 5). Marcus says that Quintus' difficultas magna will be not provincials, but Roman publicans, and he explains how to handle them in an excursus (ibid. 32-6). Marcus describes the praetorian governor's entourage, comprising chosen legati and an allotted quaestor, whose capacities for exploiting provincials Quintus must check (ibid. 10), as well as apparitores, personal slaves, and a praetorian cohort (ibid. 11). Marcus describes official relations with provincials (tours and requisitions, ceremonial arrivals, local honors; ibid. 9-10, 30-1), private relations (hospitium, amicitia; ibid. 16), and the temptations of art, bodies, and money (ibid. 8). It is a measure of the potential ramifications of relations between praetorian governors and provincials that Marcus himself, despite being out of office in Rome at the time, received letters and embassies, asking him to intervene with Quintus, from Blaundus, Dionysopolis, Apamea, Antandros, and Colophon (Q Fr. 1, 2, 4).

Quintus Cicero was prorogued in Asia three times, which was about par for the course. It was par for the course before Sulla (cf. e.g. Sulla himself, pr. urb. 97 BC, pr. in Cilicia 96-93 BC: PRR 358; C. Sentius, pr. urb. 94 BC, pr. in Macedonia 93-87 BC: PRR 525-6), and it was par for the course after Sulla (cf. e.g. Verres, pr. urb. 74 BC, pr. in Sicily 73-71 BC: PRR 486-90). That is to say that other than adding two praetorships and two praetorian courts (quaestiones), Sulla made no changes to the office, either formal or informal (Giovannini 1983, 73-101). Brennan acknowledges that "there is no trace of a lex Cornelia on this matter" (396), and that "it is remarkable to see how few territorial provinciae show evidence of a sustained policy of annual succession" (636). But he cannot bring himself to admit that "Sulla's far-reaching reforms" (639) are a mirage (388-402, esp. 389-92). Under the heading "Institutionalization of Ex Magistratu Commands" (394-6), Brennan writes: "A major Sullan development was that it was henceforth understood that both consuls and all praetors should normally remain in Rome for the year of their magistracy" (394). As the examples of Marius and the others show, this had been the status quo ante.

Brennan has reasonably chosen to end his story in 50 BC. In 55 BC, Pompeius Magnus had remained in Rome and governed Spain through legates (518-20, with a valuable survey of precedents at 519). In 52 BC, he had passed a law establishing a five-year hiatus between Roman magistracies and provincial promagistracies (402-3). Through these measures, Pompeius effectively provided the two bases of the imperial provincial system, with its imperial provinces governed by legati Augusti and public provinces governed by promagistrates.

While no one would ask that he had worked any harder, Brennan could have continued the story of the praetorship into the Principate--in the manner of Pomponius. New documents regularly show praetors at work in the new political circumstances. With the Principate, a history of the city praetorships becomes possible. In the customs law for Asia, the peregrine praetor appears in his traditional role (Engelmann and Knibbe 1989; SEG 39, 1180, section 50):

The consuls Lucius Valerius Volesus and Gnaeus Cinna Magnus [AD 5] added: whenever a dispute arises about this law, concerning this dispute... the praetor who gives judgement between Romans and foreigners is to have (the right of) giving..."

While the new praetors of the aerarium receive publicans' cautions (ibid. sec. 43; cf. secs. 45, 54-5, 58, 61):

Let the publican who has contracted for the exaction of duties give satisfaction publicly, with guarantors and land fixtures (pledges), in the judgment of the consuls Gaius Furnius and Gaius Silanus or the praetors in charge of the aerarium.

In the SC de Cn. Pisone patre, one praetor convicts and sentences Piso's equestrian accomplices, and another seizes their goods (Eck, Caballos, Fernández 1996, lines 120-3):

Visellius Karus and Sempronius Bassus, associates of Cn. Piso senior and conspirators and accomplices in all his crimes, ought to be declared outlaws by the praetor who presides over the law of treason; and it is (the senate's) pleasure that their property should be sold and the profits consigned to the aerarium by a praetor in charge of the aerarium.

In a recently-reedited wooden tablet from Puteoli, the urban praetor appears in a new topographical context (Camodeca 1996; AE 1996, 407):

Copied and checked from the edict of L. Servenius Gallus, praetor, which was posted at Rome in the Forum Augustum under the Porticus Iulia on the...column before his tribunal in which was written that which is written below: 'L. Servenius Gallus, praetor, says...'

Imperial praetorian history remains to be written. For the facts of Republican praetorian history, we shall all gratefully consult Brennan's Praetorship in the Roman Republic; for their interpretation, we should also remember Pomponius' Encheiridion.


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