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[right arrow]  This article is about the procedure whereby one magistrate might stay the judgment of another. If you are looking for intercessio in the sense of a procedure whereby one person might assume another person's debt, see this separate article of Smith's Dictionary.

p641 Intercessio

Article by George Long, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College
on pp641‑642 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

INTERCE′SSIO was the interference of a magistratus to whom an appeal [Appellatio] was made. The object of the Intercessio was to put a stop to proceedings, on the ground of informality or other sufficient cause. Any magistratus might "intercedere," who was of equal rank with or of rank superior to the magistratus from or against whom the appellatio was. Cases occur in which one of the praetors interposed (intercessit) against the proceedings of his colleague (Cic. in Verr. I.46).

The Intercessio is most frequently spoken of with reference to the Tribunes who originally had not jurisdictio, but used the Intercessio for the purpose of preventing wrong which was offered to a person in their presence (Gell. XIII.12). The Intercessio of the Tribunes of the Plebs, was Auxilium (Liv. VI.38; Cic. pro Quinctio, 7, 20); and it might be exercised either in jure or in judicio. The tribune qui intercessit could prevent a judicium from being instituted. That there could be an Intercessio after the Litis Contestatio appears from Cicero (pro Tullio, 38). The tribunes could also use the Intercessio to prevent execution of a judicial sentence (Liv. VI.27). T. Gracchus interfered (intercessit) against the praetor Terentius, who was going to order execution, in the case of L. Scipio who was condemned for peculation (Liv. XXXVIII.60; Gell. VII.19), and he prevented Scipio being sent to prison, but he did not interfere to prevent execution being had on his property. A single tribune could effect this, and against the opinion of p642his colleagues, which was the case in the matter of L. Scipio [Tribuni].

The term Intercessio and the verb intercedo also applied to the tribunitian opposition to a rogatio (Liv. VI.35; Cic. de Orat. II.47).


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Page updated: 26 Nov 06