Hunter Myers’ “Brutus, Cassius, Judas, and Cremutius Cordus: How Shifting Precedents Allowed the Lex Maiestatis to Group Writers with Traitors” represents a fine work of scholarship that shows how the Roman concept of Maiestas (the “majesty of the state”) developed over time. It concludes with persuasive evidence that the Emperor Tiberius twisted that element of Roman law to his own advantage—in the process corrupting the Senate, the courts, and the public itself. More dramatically, Mr. Myers shows us that Tiberius presided over his own descent into corruption—in his case marked by hypersensitivity to criticism, openness to malicious prosecutions, a thirst for vengeance, and other aspects of cold-hearted paranoia. Hunter Myers is a member of the Class of 2022, University of Alabama School of Law and the forthcoming Editor-in-Chief of the Alabama Law Review.
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