Roman Revision


Laws and Lawmakers

  • Senate and consuls made the laws.
  • During the Roman Empire, the emperor, made the laws.
  • First recordedlaws were the 12 tables and they were successful.
  • We still use the judge/jury/trial today.
  • Most famous Roman Lawmaker was Emperor Justinian.
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Minor Crimes

  • Theft
  • Polluting the river tiber
  • Littering the streets
  • Assualt and gang violence
  • Fraud, selling underweight bread
  • Failing to maintain buildings/property.
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Major Crimes

  • Arson
  • Assassination
  • Attempted assassination
  • Rebellions
  • riots
  • murder
  • misbehaviour of slaves
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Crimes took most seriously





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Catching Criminals

  • Victims responsiblity to catch criminals and the evidence.
  • VIGILES ~ men who put out fires and patrolled the streets at night.
  • URBAN CONORTS ~ 3000 men to stop riots.
  • PRAETORIAN GUARD ~ Protect the emperor.
  • AEDILES ~ check for weight on food and wine.
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  • Minor crimes = dealt with in magistrates court, a Judge was chosen to listen to the victim and advice from a lawyer to reach a verdict.
  • Major Crimes = dealt with by a jury and a magistrate, both sides give evidence. Jury decides the verdict, magistrate decides the punishment.
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For citizens:

  • Execution = arson, theft, attacking the emperor.
  • Whipping, confiscation of property or repayment of cost of goods stolen = theft, selling underweight goods.

For nobles:

  • Execution = serious crimes such as rebellion.
  • For murder they could be executed but they were usually exiled and avoided death by agreeing to live outside of Rome.

For Slaves:

  • If a slave murdered the master, or attempted, then all slaves in the house would be crucified.
  • After Spartacus' slave revolt 6000 slaves were crucified and their bodies were displayed by the roads into Rome.
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Punishments cont.

For soldiers:

  • If anyone ran away they would be executed.
  • As an extra deterrence, one if every ten men from the army would be chose at random to be executed. DECIMATION.

For Christians:

  • Seen as rebels and a threat to Rome because they stood up for equality and refused to worship Emperors as Gods.
  • After a Jewish rebellion in Palestine, one million Jews were killed and thousands more were brought back to Rome to the arena.
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Additional info

Religious punishments were harsh.

The Roman legal system was fair for citizens but biased towards the rich, or those in power.

They had no effective police force.

Punishments were for fear and deterrence.

Punishments were also used as entertainment.

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