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Theodor Mommsen is considered as one of the most famous classical scholars, historians and jurists. With his book on roman public law he has until now a days a influence on study of the law of the roman republic. Nevertheless Mommsen himself feeld insatisfied with his results. The present contributions states, that this discontentedness on his own work has to be seen in context with the methodical approach chosen by Mommsen. The interpretation he gave on the roman republic was very much influenced by the liberal thinking of his own time. We examine the signification of the word „Willkür” (arbitrariness) in Mommsens work on the roman public law. The examination of this notion offers a possibility to see, how Mommsen structured the sources of roman law in order to construct the system of the roman public law created by himself.

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In contrast to the very high estimation of the roman censorship in times of the high republic Livy underlines in his account of the first appointment of roman censors the small beginnig of the magistracy. It has not been easy for scholers to classify this roman institution properly. As in so many other fields of roman public law the theories of Theodor Mommsen had a great influence to later scholers. Methodology applied by Mommsen was characterized strongly by the systematic approach, creating a system which tended to be its own truth. In opposition to Mommsen the present study wants to emphasize the chronological aspect presenting the development of the magistracy from its beginning in the year 443 B.C. until the last censorship helt in roman republic. Using this different methodology the paper wants to contribute to a better understanding of the competences of roman censors and to enlighten its influence to the organization of the roman res publica.

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