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As regards decisions in previous courts, these fall under three heads. First, we have matters on which judgment has been given at some time or other in cases of a similar nature: these are, however, more correctly termed precedents, as for instance where a father's will has been annulled or confirmed in opposition to his sons. Secondly, there are judgments concerned with the case itself; it is from these that the name praeiudicium is derived: as examples I may cite those passed against Oppianicus1 or by the senate against Milo.2 Thirdly, there are judgments passed on the actual case, as for example in cases where the accused has been deported,3 or where renewed application is made for the recognition of an individual as a free man,4 or in portions of cases tried in the centumviral court which come before two different panels of judges.5

1 pro Cluent. xvii. sqq.

2 pro Mil. v.

3 Banished persons who have been accused afresh after their restoration.

4 When a slave claimed his liberty by assertio through a representative known as assertor, his case was not disposed of once and for all by a first failure, but the claim might be presented anew.

5 The meaning is not clear. The Latin suggests that portions of a case might be tried by two panels sitting separately, while the case as a whole was tried by the two panels sitting conjointly. The hasta (spear) was the symbol of the centumviral court. cp. XI. i. 78.

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