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Quote of the day: This Tiberius did not approve, either in
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XII Chapter 60: On the commissioners of the imperial treasury[AD 53]
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That same year the emperor was often heard to say that the legal decisions of the Commissioners of the imperial treasury ought to have the same force as if pronounced by himself. Lest it might be supposed that he had stumbled inadvertently into this opinion, its principle was also secured by a decree of the Senate on a more complete and ample scale than before. It had indeed already been arranged by the Divine Augustus that the Roman knights who governed Egypt should hear causes, and that their decisions were to be as binding as those of Roman magistrates, and after a time most of the cases formerly tried by the praetors were submitted to the knights. Claudius handed over to them the whole administration of justice for which there had been by sedition or war so many struggles; the Sempronian Laws vesting judicial power in the equestrian order, and those of Servilius restoring it to the Senate, while it was for this above everything else that Marius and Sulla fought of old. But those were days of political conflict between classes, and the results of victory were binding on the State. Gaius Oppius and Cornelius Balbus were the first who were able, with Caesar's support, to settle conditions of peace and terms of war. To mention after them the Matii, Vedii, and other too influential names of Roman knights would be superfluous, when Claudius, we know, raised freedmen whom he had set over his household to equality with himself and with the laws. Eodem anno saepius audita vox principis, parem vim rerum habendam a procuratoribus suis iudicatarum ac si ipse statuisset. ac ne fortuito prolapsus videretur, senatus quoque consulto cautum plenius quam antea et uberius. nam divus Augustus apud equestris qui Aegypto praesiderent lege agi decretaque eorum proinde haberi iusserat ac si magistratus Romani constituissent; mox alias per provincias et in urbe pleraque concessa sunt quae olim a praetoribus noscebantur: Claudius omne ius tradidit, de quo toties seditione aut armis certatum, cum Semproniis rogationibus equester ordo in possessione iudiciorum locaretur, aut rursum Serviliae leges senatui iudicia redderent, Mariusque et Sulla olim de eo vel praecipue bellarent. sed tunc ordinum diversa studia, et quae vicerant publice valebant. C. Oppius et Cornelius Balbus primi Caesaris opibus potuere condiciones pacis et arbitria belli tractare. Matios posthac et Vedios et cetera equitum Romanorum praevalida nomina referre nihil attinuerit, cum Claudius libertos quos rei familiari praefecerat sibique et legibus adaequaverit.