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LATROCI´NIUM, LATRO´NES. 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 a frequent accompaniment (Sen. de Ben. 5.14; Dig. 49, 15, 24; 50, 16, 118). Under the Republic latrones were apprehended by the public magistrates, such as consuls and praetors, and forthwith executed (Liv. 39.29, 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 times (Dig. 48, 19, 28; Sen. de Clem. 2.1, Epist. 7; Petron. 91); from the 2nd century onwards the praefectus urbi had summary jurisdiction in such crimes in the city and for a circuit of 100 Roman miles about it (see Marquardt, Staatsverwaltung, 1.225; Mommsen, Staatsrecht, 2.1067). The grassatores were another kind of robbers, who robbed people in the streets and roads, and besides robbing murdered and kidnapped (Suet. Aug. 32; Tib. 8; cf. Juv. 3.305, 10.22,13.145; Friedländer, 2.29). The name grassator seems strictly to belong to the unarmed footpad: if they used arms, they were punished, like the latrones, capitally, or in less flagrant cases they were condemned to the mines or exiled. (Cic. de Fato, 15; Dig. 48, 19, 28: see also Rein, Criminalrecht, p. 424.)

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