February 15th, 2009

Prosecution of Slaves in Ancient Rome

Googled: Ancient Rome capital crimes slavery

Setting: 1st Century CE. A fictional city in the Roman Empire about two days ride from Rome (I.E. in present-day Italy)It's for an RPG where the mod is a bit loose with historical accuracy (but I'm trying to be as accurate as possible).

I have a situation coming up where a slave kills a freedman. The freedman is not his master--he was a slave who was extremely recently manumitted.

1) I'm presuming that the penalty would be death for the slave, but I need clarification on the method. Google told me that the typical methods of execution for slaves were either the axe or crucifixion. Was there any guideline as to when one method would be decreed over the other? And by 'the axe' is that beheading?

2) What was the actual process involved? Would his master drag him before the proper authorities? (And normally, who would those authorities be?) Could he summarily execute the slave? Could HE be liable for his slave's actions?

ETA: Wow! That was fast! Thanks, for your help, I think I have what I need!