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Appellatio

The Latin term for an appeal to a magistrate to veto the decision of an equal or inferior magistrate. Thus a consul could be appealed to against the other consul, and against all other magistrates except the tribunes; but a tribune against both his colleagues and all other magistrates whatsoever. On the other hand, the provocatio (q. v.) under the Republic was an appeal from a magistrate's sentence to the people as supreme judge. During the imperial period the two processes run into one, for the emperor held united in his person both the supreme judicial function and the plenary power of all magistrates, particularly the tribunician veto, so that an appeal to him was at once an appellatio and a provocatio. This appeal, in our sense of the word, was only permitted in important cases; it had to be made within a short time after sentence was passed, and always addressed to the authority next in order, so that it only reached the emperor if no intermediate authority was competent. If the result was that the disputed verdict was neither quashed nor awarded, but confirmed, the appellant had to pay a fine. As the power of life and death rested with the emperor and the Senate alone, governors of provinces were bound to send to Rome any citizen appealing on a capital charge. See Ephesis.

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