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The science of law is the one branch of Roman literature which had a purely national development. From an early date there were definite legal ordinances in Rome, and shortly after the expulsion of the kings a collection of leges regiae was made by a certain Gaius Papirius. These consisted of archaic customary laws of a strongly sacerdotal character, and arbitrarily attributed to individual kings (known as the Ius Papirianum). However, the foundation of the collective legal life of the Romans was primarily the well known law of the Twelve Tables, B.C. 451-450. (See TWELVE TABLES.) This put an end to the want of a generally known law; for the knowledge of previous legal decisions, like the whole of the judicial procedure, had been hitherto kept in the exclusive possession of the patricians. The administration of the law remained as formerly in the hands of the patricians alone, for they kept from the plebeians all knowledge of the dies fasti and nefasti, i.e. the days on which legal proceedings might or might not be taken, as also the forms of pleading which were regularly employed (legis actiones). The latter were so highly important that the least infraction of them would involve the loss of the cause. This condition of things existed for a long time, until Appius Claudius Caecus drew up a calendar of the days on which causes could be pleaded, and a list of ihe form of pleading. These were made public about 304 B.C. by his secretary, Gnaeus Flavius, after whom they were then called Ius Flavianum. By these means a knowledge of the law became generally attainable. It soon had eminent representatives among the plebeians in the persons of Publius Sempronius Sophus and Tiberius Coruncanius. In ancient days, however, the work of the jurists was purely practical. It was considered an honourable thing for men learned in the law to allow people to consult them (consulere, hence iuris, or iure consulti) either in the Forum or at appointed hours in their own houses, and to give them legal advice (responsa). It was mainly by a kind of oral tradition that the knowledge of law was handed down, as the most eminent jurists allowed younger men to be present at these consultations as listeners (auditores or discipuli). The beginning of literary activity in this department, as in others, dates from the second Punic War. It begins with the earliest exposition of existing law. Sextus Aelius Catus published in 204 B.C. a work named Tripertita (from its being divided into three parts) or Ius Aelianum, which consisted of the text of the laws of the Twelve Tables together with interpretations, and the legal formulae for carrying on suits. From the middie of the 2nd century it became common to make collections of the responsa of eminent jurists, and to use them as a source of legal information. Among others, Marcus Porcius Cato, the son of Cato the Elder, made a collection of this kind. In some families knowledge of the law was in a measure hereditary, as in those of the Aelii, Porcii, Sulpicii, and Mucii. A member of the last family, the pontifex Quintus Milcius Scoevola (died B.C. 82), was the first who, with the aid of the formal precision of the Stoic philosophy, gave a scientific and systematic account of all existing law, in his work, De Iure Civili. Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the contemporary and friend of Cicero, further advanced this new and more methodical treatment of law by his numerous writings and by training up pupils, such as Aulus Ofilius and Publius Alfenus Varus. The former rendered great assistance to Caesar in his scheme for forming the whole of the Ius Civile into a single code. Besides these there were several eminent jurists at the close of the Republic: Gaius Trebatius Testa, Quintus Aelius Tubero, Gaius Aelius Gallus, and Aulus Cascellius. While under the Republic the learned jurist had hold an inferior position to the orator in influence and importance, there is no doubt that under the Empire public eloquence became subordinate, and the position of the jurists was the most coveted end influential in the State, especially when Augustus decreed that the opinions of jurists authorized by the head of the State were to have the validity of law. It was from the jurists as advisers of the emperor that all legislation now proceeded. They had access to all the highest offices of the court and of the State. Accordingly the men of the highest gifts and character betook themselves naturally to this profession, and even introduced into the laws an increased unity, consistency, and systematic order. Under Augustus two jurists were pre-eminent, Quintus Antistius Labeo and Gaius Ateius Capito, the founders of the two later schools, named, after their pupils Sempronius Proculiani and Masurius Sabinus, the Proculiani and Sabini respectively. Labeo sought to extend his professional knowledge, whilst Capito held fast to the traditions of former jurists. The first scientific collection of laws was made under Hadrian by the Sabinian lawyer Salvius Iulianus, with his Edictum Perpetuum, a classified collection of the praetorian edicts from the times of the Republic. (See EDICTUM.) Sextus Pomponius, his somewhat younger contemporary, composed amongst other things a history of the law till the time of Hadrian. Under the Antonines jurisprudence was able to claim a remarkable representative in the Asiatic Gaius, but it received its completion and conclusion in the first half of the 3rd century A.D., through Aemilius Papinianus, Domitius Ulpianus, and Iulius Paulus. After their time there were no jurists of great and original capacity. In the 4th century literary activity revived again, but confined itself to the collection of legal authorities, especially that of imperial ordinances. Thus the Codex Theodosianus, finished in A.D. 438, contains an official record of all the enactments decreed by the emperors from the time of Constantine. Under Justinian I (527-565 A.D.) the last and most complete Roman collection of laws was made, under the name of the Corpus Iuris Civilis (q.v.).
AELIUS 100.00%
Aelius Catus. See JURISPRUDENCE.
A Roman jurist, founder of the school called after him the Proculiani. (See ANTISTIUS LABEO and JURISPRUDENCE.)
Sextus Pomponius. A distinguished jurist of the first half of the 2nd century A.D. He composed, among other works, a history of law and jurisprudence down to the time of Hadrian, which is frequently quoted in the Digest.
The name of the first public educational institution at Rome, built by Hadrian about 135 A.D. The building was in the form of a theatre, and brilliantly fitted up. There rhetoricians and poets held their recitations, and salaried professors gave their lectures in the various branches of general liberal education, philosophy and rhetorie, as well as grammar and jurisprudence. This continued until late in the imperial age.
SABINUS 40.81%
One of the most celebrated Roman jurists, a pupil of Ateius Capito in the time of Tiberius, and founder of the school of jurists called after him that of the Sabiniani. (See ATEIUS CAPITO and JURISPRUDENCE.)
The name of the great collection of authorities on Roman law, made by the lawyer Tribonianus, of Side in Pamphylia at the instance of the Eastern Emperor Justinian (527-565 A.D.). To this collection we owe the preservation of the treasures of the ancient jurisprudence, which must certainly otherwise have been lost. The Corpus Iuris consists of four parts: (1) Codex Iustinianeus, called repititoe, proelectionis, as being the revised edition of a code now lost, but which had appeared in 529. This was published in 534, and contains in twelve books the imperial law (ius principale), or the constitutiones of the emperors since Hadrian. (2) Pandectoe, or Digesta. The law of the jurists (ius vetus). These, published A.D. 533, are extracts from the works of thirty-nine ancient jurists, arranged in fifty books, according to subjects. (3) Institutiones. A handbook of jurisprudence, founded mostly upon Gaius, and published in the same year. (4) Novelloe (constitutiones), or supplementary ordinances of Justinian, mostly in Greek. These are preserved only in private collections of various compass, one of which, the Authenticum or Liber Authenticorum, was recognised as the authorized text, and gives the Greek rescripts in a Latin version.
A term in Athenian jurisprudence, denoting a prosecution in notorious cases, as, for instance, against the Prytanes, if they refused to put a question to the vote in the great assembly. It was especially employed against persons who, although lying under atimia, presumed to claim a share in civic rights, as (particularly) by instituting prosecutions, or appearing, speaking, and voting in the assembly [Aristotle, Const. of Athens, 29, 52, 63].
The laws of the Twelve Tables represent the first attempt made by the decemvirs, 451-450 B.C., to reduce to a regular code the older unwritten and imperfectly formulated laws of custom-criminal, civil, and religious (ius publicum, privatum, sacrum) - which had up to that time prevailed in Rome. To this end improvements were adopted which were suggested by the constitutions and laws of other nations. The code thus formed was the source of the whole system of Roman jurisprudence, and, so far as civil law was concerned, survived until the latest times. The importance ascribed to the Twelve Tables by the Romans is clear from their forming a principal part of the education of Roman boys; even in the boyhood of Cicero they were still learnt by heart in the schools of Rome. As in course of time many passages became obscure, through changes in the language and in the state of the laws, various commentaries were added to them, some as early as 204 B.C., by Aelius Catus (see JURISPRUDENCE); some as late as the 2nd century A.D., by Gains. The laws were written on twelve tablets of bronze, but it is doubtful whether the originals survived the capture of Rome by the Gauls in 390 B.C. It was probably copies of these that were still standing in the Roman Forum in the 2nd century after Christ. Only detached fragments, occasionally quoted in other writings, have survived to modern times, yet these give a clear idea of the succinct style in which the laws were written. [The standard critical edition is by R. Schoell, 1866, followed in the main in Wordsworth's Fragments and Specimens of Early Latin, Bruns' Fontes Iuris Romani, and F. D. Allen's Remnants of Early Latin, 1880, §§ 174-207.]
A grammarian who flourished towards the end of the 4th century A.D. He wrote a Latin grammar for Greek boys, with a literal Greek translation, which was not fully completed. With this was bound up (whether by Dositheus himself is uncertain) a miscellany of very various contents by another author. This comprises (1) anecdotes of the Emperor Hadrian, (2) fables of Aesop, (3) an important chapter on jurisprudence, (4) mythological stories from Hyginus, (5) an abridgment of the Iliad, (6) an interesting collection of words and phrases from ordinary conversation.
Servius Sulpicius Rufus. A Roman jurist, born about 105 B.C., praetor in 65, and consul in 51. He supported Caesar in the civil war, and was appointed by him proconsul of Achaia in 46; he died in 43 on the journey to Mutina as ambassador of the Senate to Antonius [Cicero, Phil. ix]. After he had abandoned his rivalry with his contemporary Cicero in the field of oratory, he applied himself to jurisprudence, and contributed to its systematic development by numerous writings [cp. Cicero, Pro Murena, §§ 15-30, and De Legibus i 17].
The technical term in Roman jurisprudence for the seizure of goods. If a man sentenced to pay a certain sum did not perform his obligation within thirty days, the creditor obtained permission from the praetor to attach his goods. After a renewed respite of thirty days the sale followed by auction to the highest bidder, the intending purchaser bidding for the whole property, with its assets and liabilities. The former proprietor might intervene and promise payment at any time before the fall of the hammer. The property once knocked down to him, the buyer became the absolute owner. A person against whom these proceedings were taken incurred infamia.
The most important among the Roman jurists; born about 140 A.D., a contemporary and friend of the emperor Septimius Severus, whom he accompanied on his expedition to Britain in the capacity of praefectus praetorio. Severus, on his deathbed at York, left to him the guardianship of his sons Geta and Caracalla; yet the latter caused Papinianus to be put to death in the next year, 212, on the day after the murder of his brother Geta. Of all his works, the thirty-seven books of Quaestiones (legal questions), and the nineteen books of Responsa (legal decisions) were considered the most important. Till the time of Justinian these formed the nucleus of that part of jurisprudence which was connected with the explanation of the original authorities on Roman law. We only possess fragments of them, in the form of numerous excerpts in the "Digest." (See CORPUS JURIS CIVILIS.)
One of the most important of the Latin Fathers. He was born at Carthage of pagan parents about 160 A.D., and died about 230. After receiving a careful education in rhetoric and jurisprudence (and probably practising as a lawyer), he embraced Christianity, and became a presbyter in his native town. After defending Christianity against paganism, he joined the ascetic and fanatic sect of the Montanists, and became their champion against the Church. His writings reflect with faithfulness his general ability; his rhetorical training and legal subtlety; his rugged, combative, and passionate character; and his lively and often impetuous imagination. They are written in the colloquial language of his time, which had many points of close contact with that spoken by the lower classes. His literary activity, which extended over a considerable length of time, was at its height in the reigns of Severus and Caracalla. His Apologia, written about 198, holds the foremost place amongst his works. It is one of his earliest writings, and was addressed to the provincial governors of the Roman empire, in defence of Christianity, during a time of bitter persecution.
Properly, an announcement made in presence of a legal authority. In Attic jurisprudence eisangelia was a special form of public prosecution, instituted especially for offences which appeared to inflict injury, directly or indirectly, upon the state, but which it was impracticable to prosecute under the regular and customary procedure. The accusation was put into writing and handed in to the senate; if the senate received it, the accused was arrested, or had to get three persons to stand surety for him. But if the charge were one of treason, or an attack upon the constitution, this was not allowed. If the voting on the guilt or innocence of the accused were unfavourable, the senate itself fixed the penalty, supposing it fell short of the amount which lay within its competence (500 drachmae or £16 13s. 4d.). If not, the senate referred the case at once to one of the courts of the Heliaea, or even to the ecclesia, to which the prosecutor might, indeed, have applied from the first. If the ecclesia decided to take up the case, the first thing it did was to fix the penalty, in case there were no legal provisions on this point. It then either entered on the investigation and decided the case, or handed it over to a court of law. The name eisangelia, was also given to the prosecution of judges in office for neglect of their duties ; and to certain charges lodged before the archons : namely, charges against children for illtreatment of parents, against husbands for ill treatment of heiresses, and against guardians for ill-treatment of their wards. (See ARCHONS.)
A member of the highest priestly college in Rome, to which belonged the superintendence over all sacred observances, whether performed by the State or by private persons. The meaning of the name is uncertain; the interpretation which follows most obviously from the form of the word, that of "bridge-builder," referred in particular to the sacred bridge on piles (pons sublicius) over the Tiber, is open to many objections. 1 The foundation of the college is ascribed to Numa; at first it probably consisted of six patrician members, with the addition of the king, whose place, after the abolition of the Monarchy, was transferred to the pontifex maximus (high-pontiff); from 300 B.C. it was composed of nine members (4 patrician and 6 plebeian), from the time of Sulla of fifteen (7 patrician and 8 plebeian); Caesar added another member; and the emperors also raised the number at their pleasure. The office was for life, us was also that of the president. While, in the time of the Monarchy, the pontiffs were probably named by the king, under the Republic the college for a long time filled up its own numbers by co-optation, and also appointed the high-pontiff from among its members. From somewhere about 250 B.C. the election of the latter took place in the comitia of the tribes under the presidency of a pontiff, and, from 103 B.C., the other members were also elected in the comitia out of a fixed number of candidates presented by the college. Under the Empire a preliminary election was held by the Senate, and merely confirmed by the comitia. Besides the pontiffs proper, there were also included in the college the rex sacrorum, the three higher flamens and the three pontifices minores, who assisted the pontiffs in transactions relating to sacrifices and in their official business, besides sharing in the deliberations and the banquets of the whole college: these ranked according to length of service. In the earlier time an advanced age, with freedom from secular offices, was necessary for eligibility to the pontificate; the high-pontiff, among other restrictions, was not allowed to leave Italy, was obliged to have a wife without reproach, and might not enter upon a second marriage or see a dead body, much less touch one. As regards his position, he was, as spiritual successor of the king, the sole holder and exerciser of the pontifical power; and his official dwelling was in the king's house, the regia of Numa adjoining the Forum, the seat of the oldest State worship. The college existed by his side only as a deliberative and executive body of personal assistants. He appointed to the most important priestly offices of the State, those of flamen, of vestal, and of rex sacrorum; he made public the authoritative decisions of the college. In matters which came within the limits of his official action, he had the right of taking: auspices, of holding assemblies of the people, and of publishing edicts. He also exercised a certain jurisdiction over the persons subject to his high-priestly power, especially the flamens and Vestals, over whom his authority was that of an actual father. Owing to the great importance of the office, the emperors from the time of Augustus undertook it themselves, and retained it, even in Christian times, until the year 382. As regards the functions of the college, besides performing a number of special sacrifices in the service of the household gods, they exercised (as already mentioned) a superintendence over the whole domain of the religious services recognised by the State, public and private. In all doubts which arose concerning the religious obligations of the State towards the gods, or concerning the form of any religious offices which were to be undertaken, their opinion was asked by the Senate and by the other secular bodies, who were obliged unhesitatingly to follow it. In the various religious transactions, expiatory offerings, vows, dedications, consecrations, solemn appropriations, undertaken on behalf of the State, their assistance was invited by the official bodies, in order that they might provide for the correct performance, especially by dictating the prayers. The knowledge of the various rites was handed down by the libri pontificii, which were preserved in the official dwelling of the high-pontiff and kept secret. These included the forms of prayer, the rules of ritual for the performance of ceremonial observances, the acta pontificum, i.e. the records relating to the official actions of the college, and the commentarii pontificum, i.e. the collection of opinions delivered, to which they were as a rule obliged to have recourse when giving new ones. An important and indeed universal influence was exercised by the pontiffs, not only on religious, but also on civic life, by means of the regulation of the calendar, which was assigned to them as possessing technical knowledge of the subject; and by means of their superintendence over the observance of the holidays. Owing to the character of the Roman reckoning of the year, it was necessary from time to time to intercalate certain days, with a view to bringing the calendar into agreement with the actual seasons to which the festivals were originally attached; and special technical knowledge was needed, in order to be sure on what day the festivals fell. This technical knowledge was kept secret by the pontiffs as being a means of power. It was for the month actually current that they gave information to the people as to the distribution of the days, the festivals falling within the month, and the lawful and unlawful days (fasti and nefasti, q.v. for civil and legal transactions. In 304 B.C. the calendar of the months was made public by Gnaeus Flavius; but the pontiffs still retained the right of regulating the year by intercalations, and thereby the power of furthering or hindering the aims of parties and individuals by arbitrary insertion of intercalary months. This they kept until the final regulation of the year introduced by Caesar as high-pontiff in 46 B.C. Closely connected with the superintendence of the calendar was the keeping of the lists of the yearly magistrates, especially of the consuls, since it was by their names that the years were dated, as well as the keeping of the yearly chronicle. (See ANNALS.) As experts in the law of ritual, the pontiffs had the superintendence over many transactions of private life, so far as ceremonial questions were connected with them, such as the conclusion of marriages, adoption by means of arrogation, and burial. Even upon the civil law they had originally great influence, inasmuch as they alone were in traditional possession of the solemn legal formuloe, known as the legis actiones, which were necessary for every legal transaction, including lawsuits. They even gave legal opinions, which obtained recognition in the courts as customary law, by the side of the written law, and grew into a second authoritative source of Roman law. Until the establishment of the praetorship (866 <smalCaps>B.C.), a member of the college was appointed every year to impart information to private persons concerning the legal forms connected with the formulating of plaints and other legal business. The legis actiones were made public for the first time by the above-mentioned Flavius at the same time as the calendar. (See JURISPRUDENCE.)
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