( 6 BC

( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, p. 124, n. 147


      The system of appeals in the imperial period was formulated fairly early. Appeals from local courts to the provincial governor were always permissible, though there were probably some restrictions and more serious offenses were apparently barred from local jurisdiction. Appeals from the governor's court to Rome seem to have been limited to those of Roman citizens. Where the death penalty was involved, the right of appeal was automatic ; in other cases there were probably some safeguards against an unlimited abuse of the right.
      The marble inscription of this letter was found on Astypalaea in the Aegean Sea before 1834 and first was edited fully in 1845.


      Emperor Caesar Augustus, son of the deified, pontifex maximus, consul-designate for the twelfth time, and holding the tribunician power for the eighteenth time, to the magistrates, the Senate, the people of Cnidos, greetings.
      Your envoys Dionysius and Dionysius II, son of Dionysius, have appeared before me in Rome and, having presented your decree, have accused Eubulus, son of Anaxandrides, now deceased, and his wife Tryphera, still alive, with the murder of Eubulus, son of Chrysippus.
      When I ordered my friend Asinius Gallus of my retinue to examine by torture their slaves, who were accused in the charge, I learned that Philinus, son of Chrysippus, had gone for three successive nights to the dwelling of Eubulus, son of Anaxandrides, and Tryphera, crying out insults and threatening to break in by force. On the third night Philinus was joined in the attack by his brother Eubulus, son of Chrysippus. Eubulus, son of Anaxandrides, and Tryphera, the owners of the house, seeing that they neither had a quarrel with Philinus nor were able to find safety in their own home, though they barricaded themselves against their attacks, gave orders to one of their slaves not to commit murder, as perhaps one might be inclined with justifiable anger, but to repel them by pouring the contents of the chamber pots over their heads. But the slave—whether accidentally or intentionally, for he persisted in his denial—let go the pot with its contents, and Eubulus fell, though it would have been more in accordance with justice, if his brother had been killed instead. I am sending you their testimony.
      I may express my surprise why the defendants feared so greatly the examination of their slaves in your court, unless you seemed excessively stern toward them and hating them as scoundrels, although they have suffered misfortune, when they tried to protect themselves, and have committed no crime whatsoever, instead of being stern with their opponents, who deserve every punishment, who thrice by night with arrogant force have attacked private homes, and who in their anger seek to destroy the common security of all of you. Accordingly, you will act correctly in my judgment if you consider my opinion in this matter and if you acknowledge my letter in your public records.