LEX. Giustizia e diritto dall’Etruria a Roma
An exhibition that introduces the most significant aspects of the concept of Justice in Rome through more than 80 works: a narrative constructed with the contribution of pieces from the collections of the Civic Museums of Roma Capitale, national museums and institutions, and works from private collections.
The experience and legal production of ancient Rome constitute an indispensable legacy for the study of law and the development of modern legal institutions. The exhibition proposes some reflections on the concept of justice and the legal system in ancient Rome, through personalities, places and legal texts.
The exhibition is promoted by Roma Capitale, Assessorato alla Cultura, Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali and is conceived and organised by the European Centre for Tourism (CET) with the organisational support of Zètema Progetto Cultura. The exhibition and the catalogue, published by Gangemi Editore, are edited by archaeologist Vincenzo Lemmo.
The exhibition starts from some historical and social premises on the concept of Justice, on the role of Law in Etruscan-Italic society and in the fabric of monarchic Rome, and then emphasises the important passage from an oral tradition to the constraints of devices fixed by writing. Beyond a chronological contextualisation of certain phenomena and institutions, the exhibition aims to offer visitors a concise overview of the founding elements of Roman law, its pervasiveness in the daily life of a civis, and the most important legal institutions. The itinerary unfolds through more than 80 works from the collections of the Civic Museums of Roma Capitale, national museums and institutions, and private collections, divided into 11 thematic sections.
From a first section, dedicated to mythical narratives through which to read social and cultural aspects that are fundamental to understanding the concept of Justice and its connection with the world of the gods and the ethics of heroes, the itinerary proposes reflections on law in monarchic Rome, highlighting its essential elements, also due to the difficulties linked to the scarcity of available sources. There was a strong link between justice, law and religion: the need was for an administration of justice that made repression a necessary instrument to maintain a balanced relationship with the gods, the pax deorum.
The central part of the narrative focuses on a number of themes characterising politics and the administration of justice in Republican Rome: from an important moment of transition, the written fixation of laws, to the main magistracies, up to the concept of imperium and the symbols that some of them had in common, essentially distinguished by their competences. In this context, a small window on the everyday work of the magistrate is offered by some works from private collections.
The tour then offers a reflection on the persistence of the relationship between politics, the administration of justice and religion in imperial times: this is read through the evidence of the representations of Aequitas and Iustitia on coins and the personification of these same concepts with members of the imperial family.
The more general narrative concludes with a section devoted to the places where justice was administered, the daily setting of trials in both the Republican and Imperial periods.
In the last part of the narrative, the path dwells on the pervasiveness of law and legal institutions on the daily life of the Roman citizen through the exemplification of marriage and the servile condition. There is also a section devoted specifically to the administration of justice in the military sphere with rare and precious testimonies showing symbols of power and objects of judgement.
Closing the tour is a brief overview of the mechanisms through which legal texts were created, with some practical examples.
Finally, the exhibition itinerary is enriched by a section that bears witness to the important activities of the Carabinieri's Cultural Heritage Protection Command with works of various types and chronologically transversal, exhibited for the first time to the public.
The Capitoline Superintendency renews, also on the occasion of this exhibition, its commitment to making temporary exhibitions accessible to the widest possible public. For the visually impaired, a calendar of free tactile tours is available (in progress), accompanied by a specialised operator. Also available for the deaf public are free guided tours (in progress) of the exhibition with interpreters of the Italian Sign Language - LIS, a service provided by the Department of Social and Health Policies - Directorate of Personal Services of Roma Capitale and realised by the Cooperative Segni d'Integrazione - Lazio.
Catalogue: Gangemi Editore
May 27 to Sept. 10, 2023, extended to Oct. 1, 2023
Daily 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Last admission one hour before closing
Before planning the visit, CONSULT THE NOTICES