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View Diary: Politico makes me want to vomit (103 comments)

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  •  What do you mean by "proscriptions"? (1+ / 0-)
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    Who's getting proscribed from doing what?  Or is it a historical term of art?  

    •  It's had various meanings... (10+ / 0-)

      but in ancient Rome. It was a way of settling scores.
      Here's a wikipedia entry that's nicely written:

      Sulla proceeded to have the Senate draw up a list of those he considered enemies of the state and published the list in the Roman Forum. Any man whose name appeared on the list was ipso facto stripped of his citizenship and excluded from all protection under law; reward money was given to any informer who gave information leading to the death of a proscribed man, and any person who killed a proscribed man was entitled to keep part of his estate (the remainder went to the state). No person could inherit money or property from proscribed men, nor could any woman married to a proscribed man remarry after his death. Many victims of proscription were decapitated and their heads were displayed on spears in the Forum.
      Now imagine this as a wealthy citizen*, with a huge household staff, and many others who would do business with your household (servants, freemen, slaves, etc.) on a regular basis.

      You could, conceivably, go from an almost untouchable member of the elite, to a man whose "employees" would be hunting him, in a race to get you before the others claimed the prize.

      And that prize is your ass.

      And everywhere you went, everyone you saw would be looking for the same reward.

      It would only be done to someone of incredible power and wealth. It's a rough kind of jiujitsu, b/c you'd be taking the people who were protecting/elevating your enemy and turning them into your own wolf pack.


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