Supplication, Republic, and Principate
This chapter shows how the Romans devise a more complex relation between supplication and the law, notably in court. Here again, supplication molds itself both to the political system and to moral and legal norms, notably the concept of mercy, almost entirely missing from Athenian supplication but crucial for Roman supplication in wartime. Meanwhile, magistrates and then emperors replace the courts and assemblies of Athens as the characteristic supplicandi. From the late Republic onwards, the Romans regulate and restrict supplication at temples, effectively replacing it with supplication at the emperor's statue — in other words, supplication to the chief magistrate. The Romans also use supplication as a form of appeal against mistaken verdicts and as a means of rectifying inadequate legislation.
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