Stoiс philosophy and roman «criminology»
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stoicism, Roman law, crime, tort, nature, cosmopolitanism

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Kovnerova, I. (2019). Stoiс philosophy and roman «criminology». Multiversum. Philosophical Almanac, (5-6), 116-126.


The article is devoted to the influence of philosophical ideas of stoicism on the formation of Roman criminal law. The author points to the growing popularity of stoicism in modern philosophy. Stoicism is becoming a modern philosophy of life, influencing the legal consciousness. Ancient stoicism, according to many scholars, had a decisive influence on the formation of the philosophical foundations of Roman law. The article argues that the cosmocentric paradigm of the early and middle Stoics became the basis for Roman stoicism, which takes on a purely ethical character. Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, defending the main concepts of the stoic doctrine: faith in fate, the need to endure courageously all life's hardships and inner freedom, which consists in the ability to choose among possible forms of behavior, were the basis of classical Roman law. The cosmopolitan ideas of the Stoics laid the foundation for the emergence of legal norms that are universal in nature. Roman lawyers - the founders of classical Roman law also proceeded from the idea of ​​natural law, which also has stoic roots. The philosophical ideas of the Stoics gave the whole combination of various laws of Roman law and the whole mass of opinions and positions of practicing lawyers the necessary integrity. The Roman Stoics also created a rather original concept of crime, which was used by representatives of Roman law.There is a separation of two concepts - tort (delictum), aimed at violating the rights of individuals and crime (crimen), which violates the interests of the whole society. Criminal behavior is a deliberate violation of the nature of the Cosmos and its own nature. The Roman “criminology” draws particular attention to the subjective side of the crime on the basis of this interpretation. With the advent of Christianity, this will lead to the identification of crime with sin.
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