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DCHindley

"Acta (commentarii) of Pilate, the Gospels & Maximinus Daia

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Hello,

 

I am a newbie here, and have not yet searched the archives for the subject above, but hope that I can get some straight answers.

 

It is frequently stated in tertiary literature that during the Principate Roman officials were expected to maintain a daily commentarii (acta in Greek) of their official actions. I'd like citations of original sources that specify this habit and whether it was strictly held to. Where would such reports be sent, or would they go no farther than the official's private library? Would summaries of official actions carried out (12 criminal cases, 30 property disputes resolved, 2 asses kicked, etc) be sent up the chain of command?

 

I also understand that criminal trials of provincials held by Roman officials were of a different sort than those that were pressed against Roman citizens. Where can I find sources that describe how an early-mid 1st century criminal trial of a non-citizen such as Jesus should have proceeded? Also, are any papyri or literary remains of such a commentary of a criminal trial against an individual available?

 

The purpose of this is to determine what kind of language and information a "genuine" acta of the trial of Jesus should contain. I plan to evaluate whether the Gospel accounts of Jesus' trial before Pilate could have been based on official acta, and the liklihood that the flatterers of Maximinus Daia could have actually found acta of a trial held in Judaea.

 

Many thanks!

 

Dave

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Hello,

 

First of all, welcome to the board! I hope that you will enjoy it.

 

In regards to your questions; I cannot help much (as my books are at my office) but I would suggest that you take a look at the letters of Pliny the younger. I reckon that he is describing his work at the courts quite often. These trials will, of course, be of Roman citizens but you might very well find references to other proceedings as a point of comparison, as well as in absentia arguments. His letters are also well worth reading just for the enjoyment of his world descriptions and thoughts.

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Thanks for the Welcome!

 

Pliny book X letters 95/6 (the letter numbers vary by edition) tells us a lot about how someone might submit an anonymous libellus alleging wrongdoing and how the Prefect might go about interrogating suspects (he submitted servent girls acting as deaconesses to torture the ensure they spoke the truth).

 

What I hope for is a papyrus fragment/letter from Oxyrhynchus or the Fayoum that records the steps of the proceedings, and any "official" language.

 

We have Acts of Martyrs from the 3rd & 4th centuries that are clearly based on genuine acta, but not from the 1st or 2nd century (at least I don't think).

 

But I am especially interested in the source documents that specify that an official must keep a daybook of his official acts.

 

Thanks!

 

Dave

 

Hello,

 

First of all, welcome to the board! I hope that you will enjoy it.

 

In regards to your questions; I cannot help much (as my books are at my office) but I would suggest that you take a look at the letters of Pliny the younger. I reckon that he is describing his work at the courts quite often. These trials will, of course, be of Roman citizens but you might very well find references to other proceedings as a point of comparison, as well as in absentia arguments. His letters are also well worth reading just for the enjoyment of his world descriptions and thoughts.

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