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WHEN from the secluded retreat of books and masters I had come forth among men and into the light of the forum, I remember that it was the [p. 447] subject of inquiry in many of the quarters frequented by those who gave public instruction in law, or offered counsel, whether a quaestor of the Roman people could be cited by a praetor. Moreover, this was not discussed merely as an academic question, but an actual instance of the kind had chanced to arise, in which a quaestor was to be called into court. Now, not a few men thought that the praetor did not have the right to summon him, since he was beyond question a magistrate of the Roman people and could neither be summoned, nor if he refused to appear could he be taken and arrested without impairing the dignity of the office itself which he held. But since at that time I was immersed in the books of Marcus Varro, as soon as I found that this matter was the subject of doubt and inquiry, I took down 1 the twenty-first book of his Human Antiquities, in which the following is written: 2 “It is lawful for those magistrates who have the power neither of summoning the people as individuals nor of arrest, even to be called into court by a private citizen. Marcus Laevinus, a curule aedile, was cited before a praetor by a private citizen; to-day, surrounded as they are by public servants, aediles not only may not be arrested, but even presume to disperse the people.” This is what Varro says in the part of his work which concerns the aediles, but in an earlier part of the same book he says 3 that quaestors have the right neither to summon nor to arrest. Accordingly, when both parts of the book had been read, all came over to Varro's opinion, and the quaestor was summoned before the praetor. [p. 449]
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