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February 13 , 2008

A History of Exile in the Roman Republic


Roman senators and equestrians were always vulnerable to prosecution for their official conduct, especially since politically motivated accusations were common. When charged with a crime in Republican Rome, such men had a choice concerning their fate. They could either remain in Rome and face possible conviction and punishment, or go into voluntary exile and avoid legal sentence. For the majority of the Republican period, exile was not a formal legal penalty contained in statutes, although it was the practical outcome of most capital convictions. Despite its importance in the political arena, Roman exile has been a neglected topic in modern scholarship. This 2006 study examines all facets of exile in the Roman Republic: its historical development, technical legal issues, the possibility of restoration, as well as the effects of exile on the lives and families of banished men.

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