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Petitions, Litigation, and Social Control in Roman Egypt$
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Benjamin Kelly

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599615

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599615.001.0001

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Who Used the Justice System?

Who Used the Justice System?

(p.123) 4 Who Used the Justice System?
Petitions, Litigation, and Social Control in Roman Egypt

Benjamin Kelly

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the economic status and ethnicity of petitioners and litigants. A good number of people of high and middling economic status appear as petitioners and litigants, and there is no reason to believe that any of the major ethnic groups of the province avoided the justice system as a rule. Nevertheless, the very poor seem to be underrepresented as petitioners and litigants. The costs of petitioning and litigation perhaps deterred some. But the economic profile of petitioners was also the result of ideas about what sorts of disputes were appropriate to bring before a state official: overwhelmingly, the petitions complain of wrongs that involved property or economic transactions.

Keywords:   economic status, ethnicity, litigation costs, property, economic transactions

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