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p670 Latrocinium

Article by George Long, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College
on p670 of

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

LATROCINIUM, LATRONES. Armed persons, who robbed others abroad on the public roads, or elsewhere, were called Latrones, and their crime Latrocinium. Murder was not an essential part of the crime, though it was frequently an accompaniment (Sen. de Ben. V.14; Festus, p118, ed. Müller; Dig.49 tit. 15 s24, 50 tit. 16 s118). Under the republic, Latrones were apprehended by the public magistrates, such as consuls and praetors, and forthwith executed (Liv. XXXIX.29, 41). By the Lex Cornelia de Sicariis of the dictator Sulla, they were classed with sicarii, and punished with death, and this law continued in force in the imperial period (Paulus, V.23; Dig. 48 tit. 19 s28 § 15; Sen. de Clem. II.1, Epist. 7; Petron. 91). The Grassatores were another kind of robbers, who robbed people in the streets or roads. The name seems to have been originally applied to those robbers, who did not carry arms, and who followed their trade alone. They appear to have been classed with the sicarii by the Lex Cornelia; and if they used arms or were united with others in committing the robbery, they were punished in the same manner as latrones (Cic. de Fato, 15; Suet. Oct. 32; Dig. 48 tit. 19 s28 § 10). Cf. Rein, Das Criminalrecht der Römer, pp424‑426.


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