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  • 1 University of Southampton
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Traditionally, the place of oratory in Roman law has been approached from two points of view: its place in Roman litigation and the possible influence of rhetoric in Roman jurisprudence and its methodology.2 I would like to focus on three main aspects of these two perspectives in the context of the age of Augustus. These are: first, the influence of rhetoric in Roman jurisprudence and its methodology; second, the impact of the Augustan Lex Iulia iudiciorum privatorum, which affected the judicial procedure; and third, the effect of the so-called “Augustan Classicism”3 (concerning the debate about style in oratory) in the language employed in Roman litigation. All these aspects connect rhetoric and Roman law, here focusing on the Augustan age. To understand the discourse, it is necessary to clarify that while the term “oratory” refers to the process of giving a speech, being the theoretical frame that embodies diverse disciplines, such as the speech, the dissertation, or the conference, on the other hand, “rhetoric” must be understood as the method employed in oratory, by which the speaker tries to give the written or spoken language enough efficacy to delight, persuade or touch the audience or the reader.4 So, on one side we have the theory and on the other, the practice. These terms are going to be used in this paper depending on whether we refer to the theoretical science or the practice carried out by the diverse subjects. This paper will display the role of Augustus as an organiser, settling on practices that have been carried out before his procedural reform, and how his preference for a concrete style on rhetoric can also have been influential on the Roman procedure that was being employed at the beginning of the Empire.