Based on what can be inferred from the passages, which one of the following acts would have been illegal under Roman ...

Shiyi on May 31, 2019

Why is E correct?

Could someone explain each answer choice? I am really confused by the answer choices.

1 Reply

Ravi on June 4, 2019


Happy to help.

The question says, "Based on what can be inferred from the passages,
which one of the following acts would have been illegal under Roman
law, but would not be illegal under Canadian and U.S. common law? "

(A) says, "bribing tax officials in order to avoid paying taxes"

Neither passage covers bribery, so we don't know if it is legal or
illegal in either of the systems. Thus, (A) is out.

(B) says, "revealing to public authorities that a highranking military
officer has embezzled funds from the military’s budget"

(B) would definitely hurt the reputation of the military officer, but
the revealing of this information would most certainly be positive for
the state, as the state was having information stolen from them. Thus,
(B) is out.

(C) says, "testifying in court to a defendant’s innocence while
knowing that the defendant is guilty"

Lying is not discussed in either of the passages, so we can't make a
conclusion about whether or not it would be legal or illegal for
either of the systems.

(D) says, "informing a government tax agency that one’s employers have
concealed their true income"

(D) would almost certainly be legal in ancient Rome because based on
the passage, it's apparent that the Roman government would have a
strong interest in knowing about if someone was lying on their tax

(E) says, "revealing to the public that a prominent politician had
once had an adulterous affair"

For this question, we're searching for an answer choice that would be
considered to be illegal in ancient Rome but legal in the U.S. and
Canada. In reviewing the passage, one of the largest differences
between the two sets of laws is their take on freedom of speech. In
America and Canada, freedom of speech is protected, but in ancient
Rome, the fact that something was true was not sufficient to make that
thing legal to speak/profess. In ancient Rome, the amount of harm
caused by saying something was also factored in. As noted in lines
52-55, the revelation of shameful information was protected only if
the revelation had been made for a legitimate purpose and dealt with a
matter that the public authorities had an interest in having revealed.
In the answers, this means we're looking for a choice that looks like
it'd cause harm to an individual's reputation and it does not have any
real benefit to the public good. (E) gives us this nicely, as
revealing that a politician had an affair could be thought to damage
the politician's reputation, but this fact does not confer any sort of
benefit to the public. This why it'd probably be illegal in ancient
Rome but would be legal in America and Canada. Thus, (E) is correct.

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have any more questions!