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The Code of Justinian, A. D. 528, Fe

bruary 13; A. D. so,

74 This story is related by Hesychius (de Viris Illustribus), Pro

copius (Anecdot. c. 13.), and Suidas (tom. iii. p. 501.). Such

flattery is incredible !
—Nihil est quod credere dese
Non potest, cum laudatur Diis acqua potestas.

Fontenelle (tom. i. p. 32—39 ) has ridiculed the impudence of the
modest Virgil. But the same Fontenelle places his king above the
divine Augustus; and the sage Boileau has not blushed to say “Le
“ destin a fes yeux n'oseroit balancer.” Yet neither Augustus nor
Louis XIV. were fools.

9 year

year of his reign, he directed the faithful Tribo

nian, and nine learned associates, to revise the ordinances of his predecessors, as they were contained, since the time of Hadrian, in the Gregorian, Hermogenian, and Theodosian codes; to purge the errors and contradićtions, to retrench whatever was obsolete or superfluous, and to select the wise and salutary laws best adapted to the pračtice of the tribunals and the use of his subjects. The work was accomplished in fourteen months; and the twelve books or tables, which the new decemvirs produced, might be designed to imitate the labours of their Roman predecessors. The new code of Justinian was honoured with his name, and confirmed by his royal signature: authentic transcripts were multiplied by the pens of notaries and scribes; they were transmitted to the magis. trates of the European, the Asiatic, and afterwards the African provinces: and the law of the empire was proclaimed on solemn festivals at the doors of churches. A more arduous operation was still behind: to extract the spirit of jurisprudence from the decisions and conjectures, the questions and dis. putes of the Roman civilians. Seventeen lawyers, with Tribonian at their head, were appointed by the emperor to exercise an absolute jurisdićtion over the works of their predecessors. If they had obeyed his commands in ten years, Justinian would have been satisfied with their diligence; and the rapid composition of the DIGEST or PANDECTs '', - w

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7s mayora (general receivers) was a common title of the Greek miscellanies (Plin. Praefat. ad Gist. Natur.). The Digesia of Scaevola, Marčelinus, Celsus, were already familiar to the civilians; but JusD 3 tinian

The Pan-
dects or
Digest,
A. D. 530,
Dec 15 ;
A. D. 533,
Dec. 16.

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in three years, will deserve praise or censure, aecording to the merit of the execution. From the library of Tribonian, they chose forty, the most eminent civilians of former times *: two thousand treatises were comprised in an abridgment of fifty books; and it has been carefully recorded, that three millions of lines or sentences", were reduced, in this abstraćt, to the moderate number of one hundred and fifty thousand. The edition of this great work was delayed a month after that of the INSTITUTEs ; and it seemed reasonable that the elements should precede the digest of the Roman law. As soon as the emperor had approved their labours, he ratified, by his legislative power, the speculations of these private citizens: their commentaries, on the twelve tables, the perpetual edićt, the laws of the people, and the decrees of the senate, succeeded to the authority of the text; and

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the text was abandoned, as an useless, though ve-
nerable, relic of antiquity. The Code, the Pan-
dedis, and the Institutes, were declared to be the
legitimate system of civil jurisprudence; they alone
were admitted in the tribunals, and they alone were
taught in the academies of Rome, Constantinople,
and Berytus. Justinian addressed to the senate and
provinces, his eternal oracles ; and his pride, un-
der the mask of piety, ascribed the consummation
of this great defign to the support and inspiration
of the Deity.
Since the emperor declined the fame and envy
of original composition, we can only require at
his hands, method, choice, and fidelity, the humble,
though indispensable, virtues of a compiler. A-
mong the various combinations of ideas, it is diffi-
cult to assign any reasonable preference; but as the
order of Justinian is different in his three works, it
is possible that all may be wrong; and it is certain
that two cannot be right. In the selection of an-
cient laws, he seems to have viewed his predeces.
fors without jealousy, and with equal regard: the
series could not ascend above the reign of Hadrian,
and the narrow distinčtion of Paganism and Chris.
tianity, introduced by the superstition of Theodo-

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But the jurisprudence of the Pande&ts is circumscribed within a period of an hundred years, from the perpetual edićt to the death of Severus Alexander: the civilians who lived under the first Caesars, are seldom permitted to speak, and only three

names can be attributed to the age of the republic. D 4 The

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The favourite of Justinian (it has been fiercely urged) was fearful of encountering the light of freedom and the gravity of Roman sages. Tribonian condemned to oblivion the genuine and native wis. dom of Cato, the Scaevolas, and Sulpicius; while he invoked spirits more congenial to his own, the Syrians, Greeks, and Africans, who flocked to the Imperial court to study Latin as a foreign tongue, and jurisprudence as a lucrative profession. But the ministers of Justinian 7° were instructed to labour, not for the curiosity of antiquarians, but for the immediate benefit of his subjećts. It was their duty to select the useful and practical parts of the Roman law; and the writings of the old republicans, however curious or excellent, were no longer suited to the new system of manners, religion, and government. Perhaps, if the preceptors and friends of Cicero were still alive, our candour would acknowledge, that, except in purity of language”, their intrinsic merit was excelled by the school of Papinian and Ulpian. The science of the laws is the slow growth of time and experience, and the advantage both of method and ma

C H. A. P.
XLIV.

73 An ingenious and learned oration of Shcultingius (Jurisprudentia Ante-Justinianea, p. 881–907.) justifies the choice of Tribonian, against the passionate charges of Francis Hottoman and his sectaries.

79 Strip away the crust of Tribonian, and allow for the use of technical words, and the Latin of the Pandects will be found not unworthy of the silver age. It has been vehemently attacked by Laurentius Valla, a fastidius grammarian of the xvth century, and by his apologist Floridus Sabinus. It has been defended by Alciat and a nameless advocate (most probably James Capellus). Their various treatises are colle&ted by Duker (Opuscula de Latinitate veterum

Jurisconsultorum, Lugd, Bat. 1721, in 12*). terials,

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