), called also fusti
was a capital punishment inflicted upon Roman soldiers
for the highest military offences. It is thus described by Polybius (6.37
):--When a soldier was condemned, the tribune
touched him slightly with a stick, upon which all the soldiers of the legion
fell upon him with sticks and stones, and generally killed him upon the
spot. If however he escaped, for he was allowed to fly; he could not return
to his native country, nor did any of his relatives dare to receive him into
their houses. The fustuarium occurs throughout Roman history, in the
earliest and latest times. It was inflicted for desertion, cowardice in
action, quitting a man's commander, his standard, or his post (Liv. 5.6.14
; Cic. Phil.
, § 14; Tac. Ann.
; Serv. ad Aen. 6.825
also for any neglect of duty, such as failure to pass the watchword,
&c. which might endanger the safety of an army (Polyb. l.c.
). Its infliction upon a primuspilus
by Calvinus, proconsul of Spain in B.C. 39, is
mentioned as unusual, and a revival of antique severity (Vell. 2.78
). (Cf. Marquardt, Staatsverw.
This punishment must be distinguished from the vitis,
the badge of a centurion's authority, and used by him at
his discretion upon the heads and shoulders of gregarii
in keeping them up to their work (Juv. 8.247
). Different also from the fustuarium was the animadversio fustium,
which was a corporal
punishment inflicted under the emperors upon free men, but only those of the
lower orders (tenuiores,
). It was a less severe
punishment than the flogging with flagella, which punishment was confined to
slaves. (Dig. 48