Roman judges and their participation in the “theatre of justice”.

Author: Hall, Jon
Title: Roman judges and their participation in the “theatre of justice”.
Review/Collection: In S. Papaioannou, A. Serafim & B. da Vela (Eds.), The theatre of justice: Aspects of performance in Greco-Roman oratory and rhetoric
Place edition: Leiden
Editor: Brill
Year edition: 2017
Pages: 243-262
Keywords: Rhétorique - Retorica - Rhetorics
Description: Jon Hall examines some of the unusual actions undertaken by judges during certain trials of the Late Republican period. These actions suggest that judges enjoyed considerably greater latitude in their behaviour in court than is allowed in judicial settings in many Westernised societies today— a fact that Cicero often sought to exploit in his use of highly emotional pleading.The judges’ actions also show that they were not always willing to play the role of passive observer; on occasion, they sought to manipulate the court’s highly public profile for their own political and personal ends. To this extent, they could be actors in Rome’s theatre of justice, as well as its audience.
Author initials: Hall 2017