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[Rationals, vincial receivers, of whom eignteen were honoured with the title of count, corresponded with the treasurer; and he extended his jurisdiction over the mines, from whence the precious metals were extracted, over the mints, in which they were converted into the current coin, and over the public treasuries of the most important cities, where they were deposited for the service of the state. The foreign trade of the empire was regulated by this minister, who directed likewise all the linen and woollen manufactures, in which the successive operations of spinning, weaving, and dyeing were executed, chiefly by women of a servile condition, for the use of the palace and army. Twenty-six of these institutions are enumerated in the west, where the arts had been more recently introduced, and a still larger proportion may be allowed for the industrious proThe privat, vinces of the east.” 5. Besides the public revenue, which an ** absolute monarch might levy and expend according to his pleasure, the emperors, in the capacity of opulent citizens, possessed a very extensive property, which was administered by the count, or treasurer, of the private estate. Some part had perhaps been the ancient demesnes of kings and republics; some accessions might be derived from the families which were successively invested with the purple; but the most considerable portion flowed from the impure source of confiscations and forfeitures. The Imperial estates were scattered through the provinces, from Mauritania to Britain ; but the rich and fertile soil of Cappadocia tempted the monarch to acquire in that country his fairest possessions,” and either Constantine or his successors embraced the occasion of justifying avarice by religious zeal. They suppressed the rich temple of Comana, where the high priest of the goddess of war supported the dignity of a sovereign prince; and they applied to their private use the consecrated lands, which were inhabited bw six thousand subjects or slaves of the Deity and her ministers.” But these were not the valuable inhabitants; the plains that stretch from the foot of Mount Argaeus to the banks of the Sarus bred a generous race of horses, renowned above all others in the ancient world for their majestic shape and incomparable swiftness. These sacred animals, destined for the service of the palace and the Imperial games, were protected by the laws from the profanation of a vulgar master.” The demesnes of Cappadocia were important enough to require the inspection of a count; 1% officers of an inferior rank were stationed in the other parts of the empire; and the deputies of the private, as well as those of the public, treasurer were maintained in the exercise of their independent functions, and encouraged to control the authority of the provincial magistrates.” 6, 7. The chosen bands of rhe.sount. cavalry and infantry which guarded the person of the emperor, ...” were under the immediate command of the two counts of the domestics. The whole number consisted of three thousand five hundred men, divided into seven schools, or troops, of five hundred each ; and in the east, this honourable service was almost entirely appropriated to the Armenians. Whenever, on public ceremonies, they were drawn up in the courts and porticoes of the palace, their lofty stature, silent order, and splendid arms of silver and gold displayed a martial pomp, not unworthy of the Roman majesty.” From the seven schools two companies of horse and foot were selected, of the protectors, protectors: whose advantageous station was the hope and reward of the most deserving soldiers. They mounted guard in the interior apartments, and were occasionally dispatched into the provinces to execute with celerity and vigour the orders of their master.”
corresponds to the fiscus of the principate. The title comes sacrarum largitionum came into use about the middle of the fourth century; under Constantine he was called rationalis summa rei (C. I. L. 6, 1145), and had the rank of a count of the first order. At first a perfectissimus, he finally became an illustris.]
16. In the departments of the two counts of the treasury, the eastern part of the Motitia happens to be very defective. It may be observed that we had a treasurychest in London, and a gyneceum or manufacture [of wool] at Winchester. But Britain was not thought worthy either of a mint or of an arsenal. Gaul alone
sessed three of the former, and eight of the latter.
is. Cod. Theod. 1. vi. tit. xxx. leg. 2, and Godefroy ad loc. [With Diocletian there ceased to be any real distinction between the fiscus and the res privata, but the double treasury was maintained. Under Diocletian the title was magister: Constantine changed it to rationalis rei privatae; subsequently this minister is called comes largittonum privatarum.]
163 Strabon. Geograph. l. xii. p. 809. The other temple of Comana, in Pontus, was a colony from that of Cappadocia, l. xii. p. 825. The president Des Brosses (see his Saluste, tom. ii. p. 21) conjectures that the deity adored in both Comanas was Beltis, the Venus of the east, the goddess of generation ; a very different being indeed from the goddess of war.
184 Cod. Theod. 1. x, tit. vi. de Grege Dominico. Godefroy has collected every circumstance of antiquity relative to the Cappadocian horses. One of the finest breeds, the Palmatian, was the forfeiture of a rebel, whose estate lay about sixteen miles from Tyana, near the great road between Constantinople and Antioch.
16 Justinian (Novell. 30 [44, ed Zacharia]) subjected the province of the count of Cappadocia to the immediate authority of the favourite eunuch who presided over the sacred bed-chamber. [The divina domus Cappadociae is placed under the praep. sacri cubiculi in the Notitia orientis, x.]
1°Cod. Theod. 1. vi. tit. leg. 4, &c.
167 Pancirolus, p. 102, 136. The appearance of these military domestics is described in the fat. poem of Corippus, de Laudibus Justin. l. iii. 157-179, p. 419, 420 of the o. Hist. Byzantin. Rom. 1777. [See Appendix 13.]
188Ammianus Marcellinus, who served so many years, obtained only the rank of a Protector. The first ten among these honourable soldiers were Clarissimi,
The counts of the domestics had succeeded to the office of the Praetorian praefects; like the praefects, they aspired from the service of the palace to the command of armies. ão. The perpetual intercourse between the court and the pro"vinces was facilitated by the construction of roads and the institution of posts. But these beneficial establishments were accidentally connected with a pernicious and intolerable abuse. Two or three hundred agents or messengers were employed, under the jurisdiction of the master of the offices, to announce the names of the annual consuls and the edicts or victories of the emperors. They insensibly assumed the licence of reporting whatever they could observe of the conduct either of magistrates or of private citizens; and were soon considered as the eyes of the monarch,” and the scourge of the people. Under the warm influence of a feeble reign, they multiplied to the incredible number of ten thousand, disdained the mild though frequent admonitions of the laws, and exercised in the profitable management of the posts a rapacious and insolent oppression. These official spies, who regularly corresponded with the palace, were encouraged, by favour and reward, anxiously to watch the progress of every treasonable design, from the faint and latent symptoms of disaffection to the actual preparation of an open revolt. Their careless or criminal violation of truth and justice was covered by the consecrated mask of zeal; and they might securely aim their poisoned arrows at the breast either of the guilty or the innocent, who had provoked their resentment or refused to purchase their silence. A faithful subject, of Syria perhaps, or of Britain, was exposed to the danger, or at least to the dread, of being dragged in chains to the court of Milan or Constantinople, to defend his life and fortune against the malicious charge of these privileged informers. The ordinary administration was conducted by those methods which extreme necessity can alone palliate; and the defects of evidence were diligently supplied by the use of torture. 170
* Xenophon, Cyropaed. 1. viii. Brisson, de Regno Persico, l. i. No. 190, p. 264. The emperors adopted with pleasure this Persian metaphor. [Originally, like the frumentarii, superintendents of the supplies of public corn, the agentes in rebus acted as secret police and became so much detested that Diocletian abolished them. They were revived as a military schola, and employed in the same way as confidential agents.]
* For the Agentes in Rebus, see Ammian. l. xv. c. 3, 1. xvi. c. 5, 1. xxii. c. 7, with the curious annotations of Valesius. Cod. Theod. l. vi. t. xxvii., xxviii., xxix. Among the passages collected in the Commentary of Godefroy, the most remarkable one is from Libanius, in his discourse concerning the death of Julian,
The deceitful and dangerous experiment of the criminal otwr. question, as it is emphatically styled, was admitted, rather than approved, in the jurisprudence of the Romans. They applied this sanguinary mode of examination only to servile bodies, whose sufferings were seldom weighed by those haughty republicans in the scale of justice or humanity: but they would never consent to violate the sacred person of a citizen, till they possessed the clearest evidence of his guilt.” The annals of tyranny, from the reign of Tiberius to that of Domitian, circumstantially relate the executions of many innocent victims; but, as long as the faintest remembrance was kept alive of the national freedom and honour, the last hours of a Roman were secure from the danger of ignominious torture.” The conduct of the provincial magistrates was not, however, regulated by the practice of the city or the strict maxims of the civilians. They found the use of torture established, not only among the slaves of oriental despotism, but among the Macedonians, who obeyed a limited monarch ; among the Rhodians, who flourished by the liberty of commerce; and even among the sage Athenians, who had asserted and adorned the dignity of human kind.” The acquiescence of the provincials encouraged their governors to acquire, or perhaps to usurp, a discretionary power of employing the rack, to extort from vagrants or plebeian criminals the confession of their guilt, till they insensibly proceeded to confound the distinction of rank and to disregard the privileges of Roman citizens. The apprehensions of the subjects urged them to solicit, and the interest of the sovereign engaged him to grant, a variety of special exemptions, which tacitly allowed, and even authorized, the general use of torture. They protected all persons of illustrious or honourable rank, bishops and their presbyters, professors of the liberal arts, soldiers and their families, municipal officers, and their posterity to the third generation, and all
17. The Pandects (l. xlviii tit.xviii.) contain the sentiments of the most celebrated civilians on the subject of torture. They strictly confine it to slaves; and Ulpian himself is ready to acknowledge that Res est fragilis, et periculosa, et quae veritatem fallat.
**In the conspiracy of Piso against Nero, Epicharis (libertina mulier) was the only person tortured; the rest were intacti tormentis. It would be superfluous to add a weaker, and it would be difficult to find a stronger, example. Tacit. Annal. xv. 57.
* Dicendum . . . de institutis Atheniensium, Rhodiorum, doctissimorum hominum, apud quos etiam (id quod acerbissimum est) liberi civesque torquentur. Cicero. Partit. Orat. c. 34. We may learn from the trial of Philotas the practice of the Macedonians (Diodor. Sicul. i. xvii. p. 604. Q. Curt. 1. vi. c. 11).
children under the age of puberty.” But a fatal maxim was introduced into the new jurisprudence of the empire, that in the case of treason, which included every offence that the subtlety of lawyers could derive from an hostile intention towards the prince or republic,” all privileges were suspended, and all conditions were reduced to the same ignominious level. As the safety of the emperor was avowedly preferred to every consideration of justice or humanity, the dignity of age and the tenderness of youth were alike exposed to the most cruel tortures; and the terrors of a malicious information, which might select them as the accomplices, or even as the witnesses, perhaps, of an imaginary crime, perpetually hung over the heads of the principal citizens of the Roman world.” These evils, however terrible they may appear, were confined to the smaller number of Roman subjects, whose dangerous situation was in some degree compensated by the enjoyment of those advantages, either of nature or of fortune, which exposed them to the jealousy of the monarch. The obscure millions of a great empire have much less to dread from the cruelty than from the avarice of their masters; and their humble happiness is principally affected by the grievance of excessive taxes, which, gently pressing on the wealthy, descend with accelerated weight on the meaner and more indigent classes of society. An ingenious philosopher" has calculated the universal measure of the public impositions by the degrees of freedom and servitude; and ventures to assert that, according to an invariable law of nature, it must always increase with the former, and diminish in a just proportion to the latter. But this reflection, which would tend to alleviate the miseries of despotism, is contradicted at least by the history of the Roman empire; which accuses the same princes of despoiling the senate of its authority and the provinces of their wealth. Without abolishing all the various customs and duties on merchandises, which are imperceptibly discharged by the
174 Heineccius (Element. Jur. Civil part vii. p. 81) has collected these exemptions into one view. 179 This definition of the sage Ulpian (Pandect. 1. xlviii. tit. iv.) seems to have been adapted to the court of Caracalla rather than to that of Alexander Severus. See the Codes of Theodosius and Justinian ad leg. Juliam majestatis. 179 Arcadius Charisius is the oldest lawyer quoted in the Pandects to justify the universal practice of torture in all cases of treason; but this maxim of tyranny, which is admitted by Ammianus (l. xix. c. 12) with the most respectful terror, is enforced by several laws of the successors of Constantine. See Cod. Theod. l. ix. tit.xxxv. In majestatis crimine omnibus aequa est conditio. 177 Montesquieu, Esprit des Loix, l. xii. c. 13.