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Village Institutions in Egypt in the Roman to Early Arab Periods$
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Micaela Langellotti and D. W. Rathbone

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266779

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266779.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 11 April 2021

Police Procedures and Petitions in Roman Egypt: The Role of Village Officials

Police Procedures and Petitions in Roman Egypt: The Role of Village Officials

Chapter:
(p.20) 2 Police Procedures and Petitions in Roman Egypt: The Role of Village Officials
Source:
Village Institutions in Egypt in the Roman to Early Arab Periods
Author(s):

Roberto Mascellari

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266779.003.0002

This chapter examines how far village officials were involved in the handling of crimes in the first three centuries of Roman rule in Egypt (AD I–III). Village officials played a primary role in the early enquiries, as they represented the main point of contact for any villager who sought guidance and support in case of offence. They were assigned well-defined tasks in the police system and were able, within fixed limits, to act independently from higher authorities. The evidence shows that the interaction between villagers and local officials after crime was reported often determined the adoption of a specific legal procedure by the offended party: frequently, the prompt submission of written complaints to higher officials. This study suggests that, contrary to some previous views, the work of village officials in dealing with crime was fundamental for the functioning of the broader police and legal system.

Keywords:   village, police, officers, petitions, complaints, investigation, crime, Roman Egypt

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