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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Trial-at-Law

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1. Primitive justice.-The earliest form of justice was personal redress. An injury sustained by any primitive tribe, or individual member of the tribe, must be requited by those to whom the honour of the tribe was sacred. No account was taken of the motive; nor was it necessary to bring home crimes like murder to the actual perpetrator of the deed, still less to mete out vengeance by the exact measure of the wrong. The whole family or tribe of the criminal was held as guilty as himself, and had often to pay ten-fold the price of blood. Among the heathen Arabs the most honoured tribes were such as could boast, ‘Never is blood of us poured forth without vengeance’ (Hamâsa, ed. F. Rückert, Berlin, 1846, p. 15), and ‘Never shall the avengers cease without their fifty’ (ib., p. 328). But murder was not the only crime that called for vengeance in blood. Everything that prejudiced the honour of the tribe-adultery, insult, wounds, and even robbery-was an offence worthy of death. The sensitive tribesman would not hesitate to shed blood ‘but for the shoe’s latchet’ of his friend (C. J. Lyall, Translations of Ancient Arabic Poetry, London, 1885, p. 6f.).

In this system of reprisals there were at least the germs of social justice; for the very ferocity of the vengeance deterred men from wrong-doing. But, once set in motion, tribal feuds were the source of interminable bloodshed. Thus society was driven in self-defence to seek a way out of them. It was hardly possible, indeed, to restrain the avenger of blood from exacting the due penalty of deliberate wrong. But compensation might be made for unpremeditated crimes by their price in cattle or money. Thus arose the widespread custom of submitting such cases to an arbiter or umpire chosen by the parties, with the full approval of the people. A suggestive example is found in the well-known picture on the shield of Achilles (Homer, Il. xviii. 497ff.), where two men are represented ‘striving about the blood-price of a man slain,’ the one maintaining that he has paid the price in full, the other refusing to take aught (for to him there is no case for compensation), but both desirous of placing the issue in the hand of a daysman, and to this end demanding judgment of the elders, having first deposited in the midst the two talents of gold ‘to give to him among them that spake the justest doom’ (cf. Leaf’s note sub loco).

We are still at the stage where the reference of a cause to an arbiter is purely voluntary, and neither party is legally bound by the decision given. But the force of public opinion was exerted increasingly on the side of law and order. The actual execution of justice was left to the injured party, and in the case of ‘manifest’ crimes like open murder and house-breaking ancient codes interposed no check on summary vengeance; but where the least doubt existed, and the accused claimed the privilege of trial, society demanded clear evidence of his guilt, at the same time seeking to control the fierce impulses of the avenger by limiting punishment to the responsible wrong-doer, and making the penalty correspond as nearly as possible to the gravity of the offence; in other words, replacing the principle of unrestricted vengeance by the ius talionis-‘an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ This higher platform of justice is represented by the simple courts that survive to the present day among the Arabs of the desert, and in the primitive village communities of Southern Russia. The suspected offender is haled before the council of elders, presided over by the local sheikh or village headman. As the result of a sharp canvassing of the facts and testing of evidence, often supported by oath, and in earlier times by the ordeal of battle, fire, or water, a decision is arrived at, inspired by that swift instinct for justice so characteristic of the primitive mind, which the condemned party can evade only at the cost of expulsion from his kindred and tribe.

2. Hebrew procedure.-The roots of Hebrew justice are embedded in the primeval principle of reprisals. Thus the patriarchal legends of Israel claim among that people’s ancestors the Bedouin chieftain Lamech, whose standard of vengeance was a life for a bruise, and seventy-and-seven lives for one (Genesis 4:23 f.). But from the very dawn of national history the principle was restricted by the ius talionis, while summary execution was forbidden, except in the case of the red-handed criminal (Exodus 21:12 ff., Deuteronomy 19:11 ff.), or the son who defied his parents’ authority (Deuteronomy 21:18 ff.). Disputed cases were brought before the headman or leader of the people, who, in his combined capacity of priest and judge, submitted them to God (for decision by oracle, oath, or ordeal), and in His name gave authoritative sentence (cf. Exodus 18:13 ff.). Such resort to the ‘ordeal’ of Divine judgment continued to be made in difficult questions (cf. Exodus 22:8 ff., Numbers 5:11 ff., Joshua 7:16 ff; Joshua 7 :1 Samuel 14:37 ff.); but ordinary cases were decided by the ‘elders’ (i.e. the heads of families) seated as a formal court of justice. The institution of judgment by wise and able ‘elders’ is by the Elohistic writer ascribed to Moses, acting on the advice of his father-in-law Jethro (Exodus 18:17 ff.), and appears in full force with the settlement of the people in Palestine. The procedure before these ‘courts’ was much the same as among other primitive nations. A formal charge or complaint must first be lodged by the injured party in the case, who forthwith summoned, or forcibly dragged, the offender before the elders. In grave matters of blasphemy or notorions crime, the person accused might be openly denounced by ‘witnesses’ in presence of the people (cf. 1 Kings 21:13). At a later date accusations were, occasionally at least, presented in writing (cf. Job 31:35). The case was debated before the elders seated in judgment, usually in the market-place in front of the city gate, and therefore in full audience of the citizens. In times of social disorder, as the prophets lament so frequently, justice could be bought and sold for money (cf. Amos 6:12, Isaiah 5:23, etc.); but as a rule judicial procedure in Israel was marked by a stern regard for right. Each party was allowed the fullest freedom to present his case (רִיב) before the judges. The strongest emphasis was placed on the character of the evidence given by each. If tangible proofs were not forthcoming, the presence of competent witnesses was encouraged by every means. A solemn adjuration was laid upon the eye-witness; and he that refused to tell what he had seen or heard was accounted a criminal (Leviticus 5:1, Proverbs 29:24). The defendant’s rights were carefully safeguarded. In the précis of rules laid down in Deuteronomy, no doubt as the formulation of ancient practice, the testimony of two witnesses at least is required for condemnation. ‘One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter be established’ (Deuteronomy 19:15). Even the evidence of two or three witnesses must not be accepted without proof. The judge is to examine their testimony as they stand ‘before the Lord’ (i.e., doubtless, on oath administered by the priest), and to carry out on the person of the false witness ‘as he had thought to do unto his brother,’ thus putting away such evils from the midst of the people (Deuteronomy 19:16 ff.). Later laws excluded the evidence of women and slaves, that of the former, according to Josephus, ‘on account of the levity and boldness of their sex,’ and of the latter ‘on account of the ignobility of their soul’ (Ant. IV. viii. 15).

Judgment was pronounced orally in the presence of both parties, and immediate effect was given to the sentence. Civil injuries were compensated, as a rule, by the exact equivalent of the loss sustained, though in the case of theft by two-, four-, or five- fold the amount (cf. the scale of damages in the Book of the Covenant, Exodus 22:1 ff.). More serious crimes were punished by scourging, mutilation, or death by stoning. In the last case the witnesses cast the first stones, the rest of the people carrying through the execution, and thus sharing responsibility for the act of justice (Deuteronomy 17:7).

Though the old district courts survived till at least the age of Ezra, the establishment of the monarchy imposed limits on their authority. As supreme judge, the king not merely acted as a final court of appeal, but exercised independent powers as well. Thus David sat by the gate, in person or through his deputy, to hear the suits that came to him for judgment (2 Samuel 14:4; 2 Samuel 15:1 ff.), while Solomon had a judgment-hall attached to his palace, where he tried such cases as baffled the ordinary judge (e.g. 1 Kings 3:16 ff.), and matters generally affecting the welfare of the people. The judgment of kings like David and Solomon was naturally influenced by regard for the best interests of the people; but in the hands of more reckless monarchs this judicial absolutism was the source of grave perversions of justice, such as the suborning of false witnesses to compass the death of the innocent (1 Kings 21:8 ff.), or the removal by banishment or imprisonment of good citizens whose presence was obnoxious to the king (e.g. Jeremiah 32:2 ff.).

A certain safeguard against injustice was found in the growing influence of the priesthood. As administrators of the oath, and keepers of the sacred lot (the Urim and Thummim), they had long enjoyed special authority in the courts. To them was further entrusted the codifying of legal decisions (מִשְׁפֶטִים). They thus acquired a definite position as judicial advisers (cf. Deuteronomy 17:9; Deuteronomy 19:17). On the fall of the monarchy they assumed the full responsibilities of justice. The high priest was the virtual king of the new spiritual community, with the lower priests as a council of assessors to confer with him in judgment. Thence was evolved the court of the Sanhedrin, the institution of which dates probably from the beginning of the Greek era. The name is sometimes used of the local courts of seven that now finally superseded the original councils of elders. It was technically applied, however, to the Great Sanhedrin of Jerusalem, the 71 members of which decided all cases of appeal from the lower courts, as well as the graver questions of law and conduct. The rules of procedure are codified in the Mishna Sanhedrin (circa, about a.d. 200), and show how strongly the passion for justice still possessed the Jewish mind-although gross miscarriages of justice may sometimes have occurred in practice-and how closely mercy is linked with judgment. Even in civil suits the principle is laid down that ‘the court shall not listen to the claims of one party in the absence of the other’ (i. 1); proof is required of every claim, however slight a bearing it may have on the main issue; the evidence of relatives and other interested persons, also of gamblers, usurers, and those ‘vicious in money matters’ (though not necessarily ‘in heavenly matters’), is disallowed; and judgment must be given for the defendant if the case fails of proof (iv. 1 ff.). Far more stringent rules are prescribed for the conduct of criminal charges where life is at stake. Each witness must be carefully examined, after the most solemn adjuration to tell the truth, in the name of ‘the Holy and the Blessed.’ In the event of discrepancies, the accused was allowed the benefit of the doubt. Expert students of the law were likewise permitted to speak on his behalf, but not against him. In civil cases the judges might pronounce their opinions in any order; in criminal trials those in favour of acquittal must speak first. For acquittal a bare majority was sufficient, while for condemnation a majority of two at least was required; and, whereas a judge who had voted for guilt might change his mind, a vote for acquittal was irrevocable. If the accused was found innocent, the case was dismissed before nightfall; otherwise, judgment was deferred till the following day, the court meanwhile conferring together, ‘eating little meat, and drinking no wine during that whole day.’ On the morrow they voted afresh on the case, with the same precautions as before. Even after sentence of death was finally passed, the court remained sitting, to receive any evidence that might yet be brought in the criminal’s favour; and he would be recalled, at a given signal, from the very place of execution (v. 5, vi. 1).

3. Procedure in Roman courts.-The judicial procedure of the Romans shows a decided advance in legal precision. There are still, indeed, survivals of primitive justice. Thus the technical term for joinder of issue-manus consertio-recalls the physical struggle for possession which originally took the place of judgment, while ‘the magistrate carefully simulated the demeanour of a private arbitrator casually called in’ (H. S. Maine, Ancient Law, p. 383 f.). The earlier method of decision, too, was by the sacramentum or oath taken before the pontiffs. But the religious administration of oaths soon yielded to a purely secular process. Clear distinctions were drawn between cases civil and criminal, separate courts being assigned to each. By the strict division between procedure in iure (before the magistrate) and that in iudicio (before the judge), the first bold steps also were taken towards the modern system of trial by jury.

In civil cases, the principal form of action was the Legis actio sacramento, a survival of the trial by oath before the pontiffs. Proceedings were invariably begun by the plaintiff, who found his man, summoned him by word of mouth to accompany him before the magistrate, haling him by force (manus iniectio) if he refused, or poinding his goods (pignoris capio) if he shut himself up in his house. The plaintiff stated his ground of complaint before the magistrate (king, consul, or praetor), and a date was fixed for further procedure, both parties engaging to present themselves, and the defendant offering securities (vades). On the day appointed, each appeared in court with a staff (festuca), the symbol of ownership, by which he laid claim (vindicatio) to the person or property in question. Issue being thus joined, both took the sacramentum (now secularized into a mere staking of money against defeat), and the case was referred to a special iudex or arbiter, before whom proceedings passed in iudicium. The formal question to be here decided was, ‘Is the sacramentum of N. N. just or unjust?’ This, however, raised the whole question afresh. According to ancient custom, the persona or res in dispute must be present in court. If the res were immoveable, the court adjourned to the place, and vindicatio was made there, though at a later date some turf or stone taken from the spot was accepted in lieu of the property. The claim being made and disputed, probation was led before the iudex, and judgment given always in view of the specific charge, any failure to make good the full claim being regarded as a ground for acquittal.

The cumbrous methods and insecurity of the sacramental process led to the gradual adoption of the ‘formular’ system so widely in vogue during the Ciceronian age. Under this system the praetor (who from 367 b.c. presided over Roman justice as a whole), on hearing the claims of both parties in iure, drew up a judicial formula, embodying a brief statement of the case in dispute (demonstratio), the plaintiff’s claim (intentio), a request to the judge to adjudicate the person or property as he thought most fitting (adjudicatio), and instructions to condemn the accused or dismiss the case as the evidence warranted (condemnatio). The formula being accepted by both parties and their respective witnesses (litis contestatio), it was forwarded to a index, to be tried on a day fixed by the court. The hearing before the judge was always in public, the judge being usually accompanied by a board of assessors (concilium), and the parties by skilled lawyers and orators (advocati and patroni), who helped them in their pleadings. The charge was presented by plaintiff or his counsel, the defence following with the counter-plea, a sharp altercatio or cross-examination usually terminating this part of the proceedings. Evidence was produced and commented on during the pleadings. In civil cases witnesses appeared voluntarily, their evidence being taken on oath (that of slaves under torture, but only in default of other witness). Written documents and declarations (tabulae, codices, or instrumenta) might also be produced; and the opinions of juris-consults were often laid before the judge. The burden of proof rested, as a rule, on the pursuer; but the judge was allowed a wide discretion, subject only to the instructions given in the formula. On the full hearing of the case, the judge retired in consilium, to discuss the evidence with his assessors and arrive at an equitable decision. Judgment was delivered orally, without reasons given, in presence of both parties. Execution of judgment was left to the winner; but strong judicial pressure was brought to bear on a recalcitrant debtor. Appeal was allowed, either by a simple Appello in court, or by application for a dimissory letter to the judge of appeal, the letter stating the fact of the appeal and the names of parties and judge. The appeal involved a rehearing of the whole case, new facts and witnesses being freely allowed. Final judgment was arrived at through the evidence submitted to the higher court; and an unsuccessful appellant was made liable for four-fold his rival’s costs in appeal.

Criminal cases were originally tried before the king in person; but at an early date special duumviri perduellionis and quaestores parricidii were appointed for charges of treason and murder. Appeal to the people against the death sentence (provocatio ad populum) was allowed as a right from the first year of the Republic; thus criminal cases came more and more to be tried directly before the comitia populi. Proceedings here began with an inquisitio or preliminary investigation, conducted by the magistrate in presence of a contio, or informal gathering of the people, which sat for three days, and heard evidence on both sides. The result of each day’s investigation was embodied in a tentative accusatio, which could be modified or expanded by subsequent evidence. On the third day the charge was definitely formulated; and after an interval of three market-days (24 days), as a quarta accusatio, backed by a fresh contio of the people, it was brought before the comitia in the shape of a Bill (inrogatio) to be passed or rejected by vote of the assembly. The case against the accused was formally presented by the magistrate; defence was made in person, or by friends of the accused (the assistance of advocates being permitted in the later period of the Republic); witnesses were heard and examined as in civil suits; the comitia then voted as in the regular legislative proceedings of the assembly, and sentence was pronounced by the magistrate in terms of the vote. Execution was forthwith carried out by officials of the court, unless the accused had previously made good his escape and become an exile.

The multiplicity of criminal cases under the Republic suggested the institution of special courts (quaestiones), which Maine has aptly compared with the Committees of the House of Commons (Ancient Law, p. 391). The 1st cent. b.c. saw a vast development of this system in the shape of the quaestiones perpetuae, or Standing Committees, which dealt with all the more serious crimes. The institution of these courts was ‘in some sort a fusion of the processes of civil jurisdiction with those of the old criminal courts’ (A. H. J. Greenidge, The Legal Procedure of Cicero’s Time, p. 415). Here, however, the old distinction between ius and iudicium was abolished, the praetor presiding during the whole progress of the case. A criminal charge was likewise opened by a personal postulatio or request to the praetor for permission to institute proceedings. This might be made by any citizen (except an official), but must be supported by an oath of good faith. After some interval the nominis (or criminis) delatio-a more precise specification of the charge-was presented to the magistrate, usually in presence of the accused. A brief interrogatio or oral examination of the accused satisfied the praetor whether a prima facie case existed for further proceedings or the charge was the result of mere malice, and exposed the accuser to action for calumnia. If the case was allowed, the praetor drew up a written statement of the charge (inscriptio), which was signed by the prosecutor and his supporters (subscriptores), and formally accepted by the praetor (nominis receptio). The court was summoned to meet on a certain date, not earlier than ten days from the delatio. Parties were cited by herald, and witnesses for the prosecution by a denuntiatio or mandate from the magistrate. Jurors were empanelled-originally from the senatorial order, but afterwards in equal numbers from the Senate, equites, and tribuni aerarii-and sworn. The praetor acted as president of the jury, sitting with them on the tribunal, he on his sella curulis and they on benches (subsellia) around him, while the parties with their advocates and witnesses occupied places in front of the tribunal. As under the older system of public hearings, the case was opened by plaintiff’s counsel and followed up by defendant’s, in set speeches (perpetuae orationes), calculated to appeal not merely to the reason, but even more strongly to the feelings of the court. The effect of this appeal was heightened by the appearance of the accused (now a reus), who sat in court often in mourning, and with the deepest marks of grief on his face. At the close of the speeches evidence was taken, that of personal witnesses under oath, and written statements and testimonials to character (laudationes) when duly signed and attested. Evidence for the prosecution was obligatory, that for the defence voluntary. On both sides it was carefully sifted, and a written précis made in court. The case was finally closed by the reply of the prosecution and the rejoinder of defence, no longer in set speeches, but in the form of brief questions and answers by the respective advocates (altercatio). In the consideration of the verdict the praetor still sat with the jury, discussing the case with them, and thus helping them to reach a just decision. This was arrived at mainly on the evidence. Conviction was never allowed on the unsupported testimony of one witness. The character and standing of the witnesses were likewise taken into account. Judgment was given by ballot, and the verdict pronounced by the praetor in accordance with the vote of the majority. A verdict of ‘not proven’ (non liquet) resulted in a re-hearing of the case; but no appeal was allowed against a clear verdict (except on technical points), though sentence might be reversed through a subsequent decision of quaestio or people (in integrum restitutio).

In the free cities of Italy judicial procedure was modelled upon that of Rome, while the Roman coloniae and municipia were governed by prefects under jurisdiction of the praetor. The over-seas provinces, on the other hand, were subject to the unfettered imperium of the governor. The provincial magistrate was really a king in his own domain. He and his delegates (legati) were responsible for the whole judicial administration of his province. As holder of the imperium, he had full powers of coercion by imprisonment, scourging, or death; and no appeal could be made, except by a Roman citizen, against his decisions. In practice, however, his judicial freedom was carefully restricted. A wise governor respected the customary laws of his province, allowing minor offences to be tried before the local courts, and even in graver crimes directing the proceedings of the national councils with a view to securing full Roman justice, rather than suppressing their former prerogatives. As a rule, too, he sought the assistance of a consilium of advisers, composed partly of Roman citizens and partly of his personal attendants (the cohors praetoria). Cases of grave moment or difficulty might even be sent to Rome. Though the provincials had no direct appeal against the arbitrary acts of an unjust governor like Verres, they could successfully impeach him before the Roman courts, and secure his condemnation and recall.

Imperial government introduced a change in the spirit rather than in the form of justice. The popular comitia, indeed, passed out of existence; but the quaestiones remained as the regular courts for criminal procedure till almost the close of the 2nd cent. a.d. The praetors, too, maintained their position as presidents of the law-courts, their number being actually increased to sixteen. But the real threads of justice were increasingly gathered into the Emperor’s own hand. He had not merely the absolute power of repeal or reversal of the judgments of the regular courts, but in cases involving grave matters of State, or the life and honour of persons in high rank, he held extraordinary jurisdiction, while the right of private complaint in criminal cases passed over to the infamous delator, who was too often a mere creature in the Emperor’s power. Thus the old Roman principles of freedom and equality before the law yielded to the most unblushing absolutism.

4. Trials in the NT.-The trial of Jesus conformed to the letter, at least, of Roman law by its final appeal to Pilate. In the trials of the earlier Christians no such sanction was sought. The case against Peter and John was too vague to warrant criminal proceedings, and the Sanhedrists contented themselves with the scourging usual in minor breaches of the peace (Acts 5:40). The bolder outlook and speech of Stephen rendered him liable to the same charge of blasphemy as his Master had faced; but so infuriated were his judges by the aggressive tone of his defence that they hurried him out to execution without even the semblance of a formal condemnation (Acts 7:57 f.). The proceedings of king Herod were still more summary, the ignominious death of James and imprisonment of Peter being carried through apparently without either accusation or trial (Acts 12:1 ff.). Even the apostle Paul had to endure persecution and stoning apart from the regular forms of trial (Acts 9:23 ff., Acts 14:5 f., 19, etc.). But in his case Roman justice came definitely athwart the hot passions of Jewish prejudice; for the main sphere of his activity lay within the direct administration of Rome, and he himself enjoyed the privileges of a free-born Roman citizen.

His first appearance before a Roman magistrate was in the colonia of Philippi, soon after his landing in Macedonia. The charge levelled against him and Silas was the serious one of ‘impiety’-introducing customs which Roman citizens could neither acknowledge nor observe. In the exercise of their official coercitio, the magistrates (στρατηγοί, praetores) stripped and beat the accused, leaving them in prison till the case might be formally tried, or the riot otherwise quelled. But the public scourging of Roman citizens, without trial, was a scandal that might involve the magistrates themselves in a criminal prosecution, and Paul and Silas were released with honour (Acts 16:19 ff.). At Thessalonica a similar charge of impiety, combined with the suggestion of treason against the Emperor, was brought by jealous Jews; but here the case was disposed of by the simple course of taking securities from the leading Christians of the city, while Paul and Silas went free (Acts 17:5 ff.). A renewed charge of illegal worship brought against Paul by the Jews of Corinth recoiled on their own heads; for the philosophic proconsul, Gallio, not merely resolved the accusation into a mere matter of ‘words and names’ and questions affecting their own law, but calmly permitted the mob to seize and beat Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, before the very tribunal (Acts 18:12 ff.). At Ephesus, again, the Apostle was saved from the fanatical violence of the mob by the sanity of the town-clerk (ὁ γραμματεύς, the city scribe or secretary), who reminded them that the courts were open and the proconsuls (ἀνθύπατοι, plur. of category) ready to hear all matters of public order and justice (Acts 19:35 ff.).

The final long-drawn trial of Paul affords the most interesting example of the interplay of national and Imperial justice around the person of a Roman citizen. The case was opened by the lawless attack of certain Jews from Asia, who laid hold of the Apostle, accusing him of treason against the Jewish law and people (Acts 21:27 f.). His life was saved only through the forcible intervention of the Roman military tribune, who hurried him to the fortress of Antonia, where the garrison was stationed, and would have examined him by scourging, had not Paul once more asserted his privileges as a Roman citizen (Acts 22:24 ff.). The case being apparently one for the Jewish courts, the tribune summoned the Sanhedrin, and set the Apostle on his defence before them (Acts 22:30, Acts 23:1 ff.). No result being thus arrived at, the tribune, in strict harmony with Roman procedure, remanded him to the governor Felix, then residing in Caesarea, with a formal dispatch explaining the main grounds of the charge, and his own tentative judgment on their validity (Acts 23:12 ff.). The prosecution being judicially cited to appear before the governor, the high priest himself accepted summons, with a number of the Sanhedrists, and a trained orator, Tertullus, who formally accused the prisoner on the three counts of heresy, sacrilege, and treason (Acts 24:5). The case broke down, and Paul was detained for two more years simply through the governor’s weakness and greed (Acts 24:26). The rehearing of the case before Felix’ successor, the brave and honourable Porcius Festus, would no doubt have resulted in the Apostle’s acquittal, had he not chosen, in the exercise of his rights as a citizen, to entrust his life and liberty to Roman justice rather than expose them to the malice of his enemies in Jerusalem (Acts 25:10 f.). The appeal was allowed by Festus, after a brief deliberation with his consilium (Acts 25:12), and Paul was sent to Rome, with a dimissory letter strongly in his favour (Acts 25:26 f.). Unhappily, the destinies or Roman citizens were then in the hands of a Nero; and as the result of a tedious process, the details of which are wrapped in obscurity, ‘the prisoner of Jesus Christ’ found no more justice at his court than he had experienced in Jerusalem, the powers of Rome and Jerusalem uniting to stamp out the Christian ‘heresy’ in blood (see article Paul).

Literature.-On primitive justice cf. H. S. Maine, Ancient Law, ed. F. Pollock, London, 1907, ch. x., Lectures on the Early History of Institutions, do., 1875, chs. ix., x.; R. Dareste, Études d’histoire du droit, Paris, 1889, and Nouvelles etudes d’histoire du droit, do., 1902; M. Kovalewsky, Coutume contemporaine et loi ancienne, do., 1893; A. H. Post, Grundriss der ethnologischen Jurisprudenz, ii. [Oldenburg, 1895] 210 ff. On ancient Arabic justice see G. Jacob, Altarab. Beduinenleben2 [= Studien in arab. Dichtern, III], Berlin, 1897, p. 209 ff.; and on justice among the modern Bedouins cf. J. L. Burckhardt, Notes on the Bedouins and Wahábys, London, 1830; C. M. Doughty, Travels in Arabia Deserta, 2 vols., Cambridge, 1888, etc. On Hebrew legal procedure cf. W. Nowack, Lehrbuch der hebr. Archäologie, Freiburg i. B., 1894, and I. Benzinger, Hebräische Archäologie2, Tübingen, 1907, with the Mishna Sanhedrin; and for Roman procedure see T. Mommsen, Römisches Strafrecht, Leipzig, 1899, to be compared with F. P. Walton, Historical Introduction to the Roman Law2, London, 1912; A. H. J. Greenidge, Legal Procedure of Cicero’s Time, do., 1901; H. J. Roby, Roman Private Law in Times of Cicero and of the Antonines, Cambridge, 1903, ii. 312 ff. The student should also consult Cicero, pro Quintio, pro Roscio Comaedo, pro Tullio, and pro Caecina, and The Institutes of Gaius and Rules of Ulpian, translation J. Mairhead, Edinburgh, 1880, bk. iv. On the trial of Jesus cf. J. Moffatt’s article in Dict. of Christ and the Gospels ii. 749 ff., with literature there referred to, especially A. Taylor Innes, The Trial of Jesus Christ: A Legal Monograph, Edinburgh, 1899. On the trial of St. Paul see the standard Lives, and W. M. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen, London, 1895.

A. R. Gordon.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Trial-at-Law'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/t/trial-at-law.html. 1906-1918.

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