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Metzger, E. (2007)
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Languages: English
Types: Part of book or chapter of book
Subjects: K1
The study of Roman procedure has benefited enormously from the discovery of wooden tablets near Pompeii. They are variously referred to as 'the Murecine tablets' (after the Agro Murecine, their place of discovery), 'the Pompeian tablets' (after the ancient site near their place of discovery), 'the Puteoli tablets' (after the ancient site from which they were removed in antiquity), or 'the archive of the Sulpicii' (after the presumed owner of the archive in antiquity).\ud \ud Unfortunately, the tablets are sometimes misinterpreted, for the simple reason that the procedures they describe do not always match the procedures which more familiar sources have (wrongly) led us to believe existed. The tablets, in fact, give us the rare opportunity to revise our understanding of procedure, particularly when taken together with another remarkable find, the lex Irnitana.\ud \ud This article gives a sketch of the 'new' Roman civil procedure now available to us as a result of these exciting finds.
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    • 6 D 12.2 (rubric).
    • 7 See D 12.2.17pr.; D 12.2.28.10 (Paul 18 ed.).
    • 8 It is apparently a suit on iniuria (Camodeca, Tabulae Pompeianae Sulpiciorum, 94), and though the point is disputed, this does not appear to be among the actions for which this type of oath was allowed. See Kaser/Hackl, Das römische Zivilprozessrecht, 268 n. 19; cf. D 47.10.5.8 (Ulpian 56 ed.); Roby, Roman Private Law, 296.
    • 9 TPSulp 28: Camodeca, Tabulae Pompeianae Sulpiciorum, 93-4; E. Metzger Litigation in Roman Law (Oxford 2005) 188 (no. 29).
    • 10 Camodeca, Tabulae Pompeianae Sulpiciorum, 94.
    • 11 TPSulp 29: Camodeca, Tabulae Pompeianae Sulpiciorum, 94-6. The words are only partly preserved, but the oath itself is apparent in the words ex tui animi se[ntentia], at tab. 1, p. 2, l. 5 (see Cic. Off. 3.108) and si sciens at tab. 1, p. 2, l. 8 (see Livy 22.53.11). See Camodeca, Tabulae Pompeianae Sulpiciorum, 95.
    • 12 Gröschler proposes a solution in which Cinnamus assumes the role of plaintiff in the vadimonium. Gröschler, 'Der Eid', 124-5. He bases his argument on the ambiguity of roles in the formula vadimonium quod X haberet cum Y (see TPSulp. 28, page 2, ll. 1-4). He is certainly correct that the word vadimonium sometimes refers simply to the 'appointment' rather than to the contract itself (see, e.g., Cic. Quinct. 22 and, metaphorically,
    • 17 Humbert, Wolf, and Gröschler offer several 'extra-judicial' alternatives in the cited works.
    • 18 See Gai Inst 4.86-87; Kaser/Hackl, Das römische Zivilprozessrecht, 210-13.
    • 19 For literature, see M. Zabłocka, 'La costituzione del “cognitor”', 150 nn. 1-9.
    • 20 See A. Bürge, 'Zum Edikt De edendo' 1995 (112) ZSS (rA) 14-15; F. de Zulueta (ed.), The Institutes of Gaius, 2 (Oxford 1953) 275; Kaser/Hackl, Das römische Zivilprozessrecht, 211 n. 11. Both forms of words are in Gai Inst 4.83:
    • 23 TPSulp 27: Camodeca, Tabulae Pompeianae Sulpiciorum, 88-92; Metzger, Litigation in Roman Law, 188 (no. 28). Camodeca titles the document 'Conventio finiendae controversiae'.
    • 24 TPSulp 2: Camodeca, Tabulae Pompeianae Sulpiciorum, 56; Metzger, Litigation in Roman Law, 182-3 (no. 11). TPSulp 3: Camodeca, Tabulae Pompeianae Sulpiciorum, 56-7; Metzger, Litigation in Roman Law, 183 (no. 12).
    • 25 See Lenel, Das Edictum Perpetuum, § 6; R. Domingo, Estudios sobre el primer título del edicto pretorio, 2 (Santiago de Compostela 1993) 54-64; A. Rodger, 'Vadimonium to Rome (and Elsewhere)', 1997 (118) ZSS (rA) 160-96; D. Johnston, 'Vadimonium, the lex Irnitana, and the edictal commentaries', in U. Manthe and C. Krampe (eds.), Quaestiones Iuris (Berlin 2001) 111-23; Metzger, Litigation in Roman Law, 10-12, 22-27, 155-63.
    • 26 TPSulp 27, p. 2, l. 5 - p. 3, l. 4.
    • 27 TPSulp 27, p. 2, l. 12 - p. 3, l. 8.
    • 36 See D 45.1.126.3 (Paul 3 quaest.); D 45.1.81pr. (Ulpian 77 ed.).
    • 37 This does seem to be the assumption. Lenel, for example, assumes that the magistrate's permission is needed if the parties wish to omit the penalty clause. See Lenel, Das Edictum Perpetuum, 515, and the discussion in Metzger, Litigation in Roman Law, 69.
    • 38 The argument below is set out more extensively in Metzger, Litigation in Roman Law, 68-73.
    • 39 The formula is followed with remarkable consistency in the documents from Herculaneum and the Murécine archive. The one genuine departure is TPSulp 10. Also, some documents add items of information (e.g., the nature of the action is named in TPSulp 2, 15), though without disturbing the formula.
    • 40 This language has been studied exhaustively, most recently in J. Platschek, 'Vadimonium Factum Numerio Negidio' 2001 (137) ZPE 281- 91; Metzger, Litigation in Roman Law, 55-64.
    • 44 But see note 34 above.
    • 45 Certain related issues, such as why a defendant would wish to include a penalty, and how a plaintiff determines what sum to demand, are treated in Metzger, Litigation in Roman Law, 73-87.
    • 46 P. E. Huschke, Das alte Römische Jahr und seine Tage (Breslau 1869) 317; O. Karlowa, Der römische Civilprozess zur Zeit der Legisactionen (Berlin 1872) 360-5.
    • 47 See also the text of Macrobius, cited in note 71 below.
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