The Ancient Library

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On this page: Restitutio – Retiarius – Reus – Rex Sacrorum – Rhadamanthys



itself, or else passed it on to a commission, or, again, caused it to be brought before the cOmJtla by the tribunes. At last, in 149 b.c., a standing court of justice (see qilestio perpetna), in fact, the first ill Rome, was instituted by the Lex Calpurnia, containing more precise definitions of acts liable to punishment, with forms of legal procedure, and determining the amount of the penalty. The increasing inclination of the officials to use the administration of the provinces as means of enriching themselves at the expense of the provincials led to re­peated legislation with a view to increasing the penalty. The last law on the subject was Caesar's Lex lulia, which was the basis of the procedure in such cases under the Empire. During that period, in conse­quence of the improved condition of pro­vincial government, extortion on the part of officials became much rarer. Such extor­tion was generally punished by having to pay four times the amount extorted. It was also attended with a certain degree of disgrace (infamia), even if a still more severe punishment were not added for other offences committed at the same time and (as usual) included in the indictment (e.g. the offence of Icesa maicstas).

Eestltitlo (reinstating). A term applied by the Romans to cancelling a legal deci­sion, especially to the restoration of rights of citizenship forfeited by condemnation in a criminal court. Under the Republic this restoration could be legally obtained only by a vote of the people. Under the Empire, the emperor alone possessed the privilege of granting it.

Retlarlus. See gladiatores.

K6us. The term used by the Romans for the person accused, especially in a criminal trial. In such a case custom required the accused to appear in public in the garb of mourning, with beard and hair in an un­kempt condition, in neglected attire, and stripped of every sign of rank. The mere accusation involved some suspense of legal rights, preventing the reus from standing for any office and from exercising the func­tions of a judge. The higher officials were exempt from criminal accusation while in office and when engaged in the discharge of public business. Lastly, lawsuits be­tween two persons connected by ties of family or office, such as parents and chil­dren, patrons and clients, were regarded as inadmissible.

Hex Sacrorum (or Rex Sacrificulus), the " king of sacrifice." The name given by

the Romans to a priest who, after the abolition of the royal power, had to per­form certain religious rites connected with the name of king. He resembles the archon baslleus of the Athenian constitution. Ho was always a patrician, was elected for life by the pontlfex maximus with the assis­tance of the whole pontifical college (of which he became a member), and was in­augurated by the augurs. Although he was externally of high rank and, like the pontlfex maximus, had an official residence in the Regia, the royal castle of Numa, and took the chair at the feasts and other festi­vities of the prmttflces, yet in his religious authority he ranked below the pontifex maximus, and was not allowed to hold any public office, or even to address the people in public. His wife (like the wives of the flamens) participated in the priesthood. Our information as to the details of the office is imperfect. Before the knowledge of the calendar became public property, it was the duty of the rex sacrorum to summon the people to the Capitol on the calends i and nones of each month, and to announce \ the festivals for the month. On the calends he and the rlgma sacrificed, and at the same time invoked Janus. Of the other sacrifices known to us we may mention the regifugium on Feb. 24th, when the rex sacrorum sacrificed at the cdmUlum, and then fled in haste. This has been errone­ously explained as a commemoration of the flight of Tarquinius Superbus,the last of the Roman kings ; but it is much more probably one of the customs handed down from the time of the kings themselves, and perhaps connected with the purificatory sacrifice from which the month of February derived its name. At the end of the Republic the office, owing to the political disability attaching to the holder, proved unattractive, and was sometimes left unfilled : but under Augustus it appears to have been restored to fresh dignity, and in imperial times it con-t tinued to exist, at any rate, as late as the 3rd century.

Khadamanthys (Lat. RMd&manthus). Son of Zeus and Europa, brother of Minos. He was praised by all men for his wisdom, piety, and justice. Being driven out of Crete by his brother, he is described as having fled to the Asiatic islands, where he made his memory immortal by the wisdom of his laws^ Thence he is said to have removed to Ocalea in Bceotia, to have wedded Alcmene, after the death of Amphitryon, and to have instructed her son Heracles in

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