Lex Pedia

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The Lex Pedia was a 43 BC Law passed in BC to punish the murderers of Caesar . The law was introduced by its namesake Quintus Pedius . He had received the order for this from his fellow consul Octavian , who was just as young in service and who would later become the princeps of the soon to come imperial era .

According to available sources, the Caesar murderers justified their act by stating that it was in fact impossible to bring the dictator Gaius Julius Caesar , who was endowed with all-powerful powers , to a court of law. Octavian reversed the argument and specifically accused her of the fact that Caesar should never have been punished without a trial, precisely because he had full empire; the act was consequently to be judged as unlawful. In his opinion, not punishing the perpetrators would even have violated the pietas , because the murder would have been recognized, as it were. Octavian's first official act was therefore to enforce a law of measures for a quaestion . He received backing from the Senate , which had shortly before withdrawn a state emergency directed against Octavian and also paid him homage for his actions. This also justified the lex from a senatorial point of view.

The law then passed contained the proscription of all those directly and indirectly involved in the conspiracy against Caesar. Although amnesty was initially granted, public opinion had increasingly demanded that the perpetrators should be held accountable. The consuls set up a court of law and all 50 to 60 people believed to have been initiated into the conspiracy were summoned to trial on a specific day. The stipulation was that a guilty verdict would lead to banishment and confiscation of property ("aquae et igni interdictio"). Since none of the accused appeared at the appointment to present their defense, an almost unanimous collective judgment was issued in absentia. According to Dios , only one senator voted against the law, who later became a victim of it. The Caesar murderers ostracized by Octavian, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Marcus Antonius were then ruthlessly persecuted until they were hunted down.

The atonement effect of the Lex Pedia gave the second triumvirate the freedom to pursue underlying interests. So the persecution was extended to a large number of unpopular representatives of the knight or senatorial class , the most prominent victim among the more than two thousandfold ostracisms was Cicero . The assets that were incorporated without compensation were then used to finance the impending civil war .

The Treaty of Misenum rehabilitated most of the delinquents on the proscription list, but the Caesar murderers were expressly excluded.


  • Hermann Bengtson : To the proscriptions of the triumvirs . Publishing house of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Munich 1972, ISBN 3-7696-1445-3 (session reports of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Philosophical-Historical Class, 1972, 3).


  1. Appian IV 93, 390.
  2. Plutarch Brutus 27.
  3. Hans Volkmann : On the case law in the Principate of Augustus. Historical contributions (= Munich contributions to papyrus research and ancient legal history. H. 21, ISSN  0936-3718 ). Beck, Munich 1935, (At the same time: Marburg, Universität, Habilitation-Schrift, 1935; 2nd, reviewed and expanded edition. Ibid. 1969), p. 24 f.
  4. Velleius Paterculus 2, 69, 5; see. Res Gestae Divi Augusti 2; Suetonius, Nero 3, 1.
  5. Appian, Civil War 3, 95, and Storia Romana, Guerre civili , III, 392-393.
  6. Hermann Bengtson : Republic and Imperial Era to 284 AD (= Handbook of Classical Studies. Section 3, Part 5: Outline of Roman History. With Source Studies . Vol. 1). Beck, Munich 1967 (3rd, revised and supplemented edition. Ibid. 1982, ISBN 3-406-08617-9 ), p. 206.
  7. August Friedrich Pauly in: Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswwissenschaft , 4th volume, Stuttgart 1846, p. 989.
  8. ^ After Cassius Dio XLVI 49.5: A certain Publius Silicius.