Crime Question

Facets of everyday Roman life, from food to travel to petkeeping. "How did the Romans...?" answered here!

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Postby Tiberius Dionysius Draco on Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:36 pm

Salve Kaeso,

Interesting question.

I'm certain that there was crime in Rome(every major city has trouble with that) and I can imagine that there were certain districts in Rome that you wouldn't want to be at night.

An example of crime that surely would have to have been organized was smuggling. Pirates were also well known and I can already imageine that bribery was frequently used too.

However, I don't know if there was something like a Roman maffia or yakuza.

Vale bene,
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Thu Jul 01, 2004 11:02 am

Salvete

Are you kidding? Rome was run like the mafia. The closest parallel I can think of on how Roman government in the Late Republic operated is to compare it with the mafia. Julius Caesar is the very model of a mafia boss, and some of his opponents would foot the bill as mafioso, too. The way Caesar charmed people, remembered the names of the very least of his people, took care of his own in order to build networks of people through extending favors and personal obligations, his ruthlessness at times, he is the very essence of a capo di cape. The way the Roman economy was organized and controlled through such networks of 'families' is reminicent of how the mafia conducts its business operations. Who needs a mafia when you had the Roman Senate?
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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Thu Jul 01, 2004 4:00 pm

At the risk of starting an "Italian Inquisition", I think that should be capo di capi. :D
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sat Jul 03, 2004 1:57 pm

Salve Kaeso!

Indeed, I was thinking of the same things Piscinus said. Added to that, the whole system of patroni and clientes is very reminiscent of organised crime. Let's not forget the circus factiones as well, which each had their strong political and criminal undercurrents. To our modern thinking, organised crime was omnipresent in Rome, but I don't think the Romans themselves saw it this way.

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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Sun Jul 04, 2004 11:30 am

Salve Tergeste

Primus Aurelius Tergestus wrote:At the risk of starting an "Italian Inquisition", I think that should be capo di capi. :D


You haven't met my aunts :wink:
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