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Pompey, Cato, and the Governance of the Roman Empire$
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Kit Morrell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198755142

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198755142.001.0001

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The last lex repetundarum

The last lex repetundarum

(p.129) 4 The last lex repetundarum
Pompey, Cato, and the Governance of the Roman Empire

Kit Morrell

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the content and context of the extortion law passed by Julius Caesar as consul in 59, the lex Julia de pecuniis repetundis. Cicero describes it as a ‘perfect law’, but its innovations should not be exaggerated. Many of its important features, such as the detailed prescription of a governor’s entitlements and the inclusion of maiestas-type offences, had precursors in a long series of previous extortion laws. Neither should the law be seen as solely Caesar’s project. The chapter draws a link between the lex Julia of 59, the trials of Gaius Antonius and Lucius Flaccus the same year, and Pompey’s interest in provincial reform. Indeed, even Caesar’s opponent Cato seems to have helped shape Caesar’s law, which incorporated new regulations decreed by the senate the previous year on Cato’s initiative.

Keywords:   Gaius Julius Caesar, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey), Lex Julia de pecuniis repetundis, Extortion, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Maiestas, Gaius Antonius, Lucius Valerius Flaccus, Marcus Porcius Cato ‘Uticensis’

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