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the persons the most exposed to the avarice or resent- CHAP. ment of a provincial magistrate, were thus removed from his obscure persecution to the more august and impartial tribunal of the Prætorian præfect. 2. As it was reasonably apprehended that the integrity of the judge might be biassed, if his interest was concerned, or his affections were engaged ; tbe strictest regulations were established, to exclude any person, without the special dispensation of the emperor, from the government of the province where be was born's; and to prohibit the governor or his son from contracting marriage with a native or an inhabitant:16; or from purchasing slaves, lands, or houses, within the extent of his jurisdiction"7. Notwithstanding these rigorous precautions, the emperor Constantine, after a reign of twenty-five years, still deplores the venal and oppressive admini. stration of justice, and expresses the warmest indig. nation that the audience of the judge, his despatch of business, his seasonable delays, and his final sentence, were publicly sold, either by himself or by the officers of his court. The continuance, and perhaps the impunity, of these crimes, is attested by the repetition of impotent laws, and ineffectual menaces'18. All the civil magistrates were drawn from the pro- The pro
fession of 'fession of the law. The celebrated Institutes of Jus-th
Jus- the law. tinian are addressed to the youth of his dominions, who had devoted themselves to the study of Roman jurisprudence; and the sovereign condescends to ani
115 Ut,nulli patriæ suæ administratio sine speciali principis permisst permittat . Cod. Justinian, 1. j. tit. xli. This law was first enacted by - the emperor Marcus, after the rebellion of Cassius (Dion. I. lxxi.). The same regulation is observed in China, with equal strictness and with equal
116 Pandect. l. xxii. tit. ii. n. 38. 57. 63.
117 In jure continetur, ne quis in administratione constitutus aliquid compararat. Cod. Theod. l. viii. tit. xv. leg. 1. This maxiin of common law was enforced by a series of edicts (see the remainder of the title) from Constantine to Justin. From this prohibition, which is extended to the meanest offices of the governor, they except only clothes and provisions.-The purchase within five years may be recovered; after which, on information, it devolves to the treasury.
118 Cessent rapaces jam nunc officialium manus; cessent, inquam; nam si moniti non cessaverint, gladiis præcidentur, &c. Cod. Theod. I. i. tit. vii.. leg. 1. Zeno enacted, that all governors should remain in the province, to answer any accusations, fifty days after the expiration of their power. Cod Justinian, 1. ii. tit. xlix. leg. 1.
Plan præfear, and of vierupted by the business
CHAP, mate their diligence by the assurance that their skill
and ability would in time be rewarded by an adequate share in the government of the republic". The rudi. ments of this lucrative science were taught in all the considerable cities of the east and west; but the most famous school was that of Berytus120, on the coast of Phænicia; which flourished above three centuries from the time of Alexander Severus, the author perhaps of an insti. tution so advantageous to his native country. After a regular course of education, which lasted five years, the students dispersed themselves through the provinces, in search of fortune and honours ; nor could they want an inexhaustible supply of business in a great empire, already corrupted by the multiplicity of laws, of arts, and of vices. The court of the Præto. rian præfect of the east could alone furnishi employment for one hundred and fifty advocates, sixty-four of whom were distinguished by peculiar privileges, and two were annually chosen with a salary of sixty pounds of gold, to defend the causes of the treasury.
The first experiment was made of their judicial talents, by appointing them to act occasionally as assessors to the magistrates; from thence they were often raised to preside in the tribunals before which they had pleaded. They obtained the government of a province; and by the aid of merit, of reputation, or of favour, they ascended, by successive steps, to the illustrious dignities of the state121. In the practice of the bar, these men had considered reason as the instrument of dispute; they interpreted the laws according to the dictates of private interest; and the same pernicious habits might still'adhere to their characters in the public administration of the state. The honour of a liberal profession has indeed been vindicated by ancient and modern advocates, who have filled
119 Summâ igitur ope, et alacri studio has leges nostras accipite; et vosmetipsos sic eruditos ostendite, at spes vos pulcherrima faveat; toto legitimo opere perfecto, posse etiam nostram rempublicam in partibus ejus vobis credendis gubernari. Justinian in proem. Institutionum.
120 The splendour of the school of Berytus, which preserved in the east the language and jurisprudence of the Romans, may be computed to have lasted from the third to the middle of the sixth century. Heinecc. Jur. Rom. Hist. p. 351-356.
121 As in a former period I have traced the civil and military promotion of Pertinax, I shall here insert the civil honours of Mallius Theodorus.
promotion of lawyanan ju.
whilhant with mischief
the most important stations, with pure integrity, and CHAP. consummate wisdom : but in the decline of Roman ju. risprudence, the ordinary promotion of lawyers was pregnant with mischief and disgrace. The noble art, which had once been preserved as the sacred inherit. ance of the patricians, was fallen into the hands of freedmen and plebeians122, who, with cunning rather than with skill, exercised a sordid and pernicious trade. Some of them procured admittance into fami. lies for the purpose of fomenting differences, of encouraging suits, and of preparing a barvest of gain for themselves or their bretlven. Others, recluse in their chambers, inaintained the dignity of legal professors, by furnishing a rich client with subtleties to confound the plainest truth, and with arguments to colour the most unjustifiable pretensions. The splendid and popular class was composed of the advocates, who filled the Forum with the sound of their turgid and loquacious rhetoric. Careless of fame and of justice, they are describeil, for the most part, as ignorant and rapacious guides, who conducted their clients through a maze of expense, of delay, and of disappointment; from whence, after a tedious series of years, they were at length dismissed, when their patience and fortune were almost exhausted123.
1. He was distinguished by his eloquence, while he pleaded as an advocate in the court of the Prætorian præfect. 2. We governed one of the provinces of Africa, either as president or consular, and deserved, by his atlministration, the honour of a brass statue. 3. He was appointed vicar, or vice præfect of Macedonia. 4. Quæstor. 5. Count of the sacred largesses. 6. Prætorian præfect of the Gauls; whilst he might yet be represented as a young man. 7. After a retreat, perhaps a disgrace of many years, which Mallius (confounded by some critics with the poet Manilius, see Fabricius Bibliothec. Latin. Edit. Ernest. tom i. c. 18. p. 501.) employed in the study of the Grecian philosophy, he was named Prætorian præfect of Italy, in the year 397. 8. While he still exercised that great office, he was created, in the year 399, consul for the West; and his name, on account of the infamy of his colleage, the eunuch Eutropius, often stands alone in the Fasti. 9. In the year 408, Mallius was appointed a second time Prætorian præfect of Italy. Even in the venal panegyric of Claudian, we may discover the merit of Mallius Theodorus, who, by a rare felicity, was the intimate friend both of Symmachus and of St. Augustin. See Tillemont, Hist. des Emp. tom. v. p. 1110-1114.
122 Mamertinus in Panegyr. vet. xi. 20. Austerius apud Photium, p. 1500.
123 The curious passage of Ammianus (l. xxx. C. 4.), in which he paints the manners of contemporary lawyers, affords a strange mixture of sound sense, false rhetoric, and extravagant satire. Godefroy (Prolegom. ad Cod. Theod. c. i. p. 185.) supports the historian by similar complaints, and auVOL. II.
himself." 'ested with at least otroduced
CHAP. III. In the system of policy introduced by Augus
tus, the governors, those at least of the Imperial pro
li- vinces, were invested with the full powers of the sove. tary offi- reign himself. Ministers of peace and war, the dis.
tribution of rewards and punishments depended on them alone, and they successively appeared on their tribunal in the robes of civil magistracy, and in com. plete armour at the head of the Roman legions124. The influence of the revenue, the authority of law, and the command of a military force, concurred to render their power supreme and absolute; and whenever they were tempted to violate their allegiance, the loyal province which they involved in their rebellion, was scarcely sensible of any change in its political state. From the time of Commodus to the reign of Constantine, near one hundred governors might be enumerated, who, with various success, erected the standard of revolt; and though the innocent were too often sacrificed, the guilly might be sometimes prevented, by the suspicious cruel. ty of their master125. To secure his throne and the public tranquillity from these formidable servants, Con. stantine resolved to divide the military from the civil administration; and to establish, as a permanent and professional distinction, a practice which had been adopted only as an occasional expedient. The supreme jurisdiction exercised by the Prætor an præfects over the armies of the empire, was transferred to the two masters general whom he instituted, the one for the cavalry, the other for the infantry; and though each of these illustrious officers was more peculiarly responsible for the discipline of those troops which were under his immediate inspection, they both indiffe. rently commanded in the field the several bodies, whether of horse or foot, which were united in the same
thentic facts. In the fourth century, many camels might have been laden
125 The Abbé Dubos, who has examined with accuracy (see Hist. de la Monarchie Francoise, tom. i. p. 41-100. edit. 1742.) the institutions of A4gustus and of Constantine, observes, that if Otho had been put to death the day before he executed his conspirasy, Otho would now appear in history as innocent as Corbulo.
army126. Their number was soon doubled by the divi. CHAP. sion of the east and west; and as separate generals of the same rank and title were appointed on the four important frontiers of the Rhine, of the Upper and the Lower Danube, and of the Euphrates, the defence of the Roman empire was at length committed to eight masters general of the cavalry and infantry. Under their orders, thirty-five military commanders were stationed in the provinces : three in Britain, six in Gaul, one in Spain, one in Italy, five on the upper, and four on the lower Danube; in Asia eight, three in Egypt, and four in Africa. The titles of counts and dukesiz?, by which they were properly distinguished, have ob. tained in modern languages so very different a sense, that the use of them may occasion some surprise. But it should be recollected, that the second of those ap. pellations is only a corruption of the Latin word, which was indiscriminately applied to any military chief. All these provincial generals were therefore dukes; but no more than ten among them were diguified with the rank of counts or companions, a title of honour, or rather of favour, which had been recently invented in the court of Constantine. A gold belt was the ensign which distinguished the office of the counts and dukes; and besides their pay, they received a liberal allow. ance sufficient to maintain one hundred and ninety servants, and one hundred and fifty-eight horses. They were strictly prohibited from interfering in any matter which related to the administration of justice or the revenue ; but the command which they exercised over the troops of their department, was independent of the authority of the magistrates. About the same time that Constantine gave a legal sanction to the ecclesiastical order, he instituted in the Roman empire the nice balance of the civil and the military powers. The emulation, and sometimes the discord,
126 Zosimus, 1. ï. p. 110. Before the end of the reign of Constantius, the magistra militum were already increased to four. See Valesius ad Ammian. I. xvi. c. 7. '
127 Though the military counts and dukes are frequently mentioned, both in history and the codes, we must have recourse to the Notitia for the exact knowledge of their number and stations. For the institution, rank, privileges, &c. of the counts in general, see Cod. Theod. l. vi. tit. xii.IX, with the Commentary of Godefroy.