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LAWS OF THE DECEMVIRI, OR, THE
XII TABLES.

VARIOUS authors have endeavoured to collect and arrange the fragments of the Twelve Tables. Of these the most eminent is Godfrey (Jacobus Gothofredus.)

According to his account,

The I. table is supposed to have treated of law-suits; the II. of thefts and robberies; III. of loans, and the right of creditors over their debtors; IV. of the right of fathers of families V. of inheritances and guardianships; VI. of property and possession; VII. of trespasses and damages; VIII. of estates in the country; IX. of the common rights of the people; X. of funerals, and all ceremonies relating to the dead; XI. of the worship of the gods, and of religion; XII. of marriages, and the right of husbands.

Several ancient lawyers are said to have commented on these laws, Cic. de Legg. ii. 23. Plin. xiv. 13., but their works are lost.

The fragments of the Twelve Tables have been collected from various authors, many of them from Cicero. The laws are in general very briefly expressed: thus,

SI IN JUS VOCET, ATQUE (i. e. statim) EAT.

SI MEMBRUM RUPSIT (ruperit), NI CUM EO PACIT ( paciscetur), TALIO ESTO.

SI FALSUM TESTIMONIUM DICASSIT (dixerit) SAXO DEJI

CITOR.

PRIVILEGIA NE IRROGANTO; sc. magistratus.

DE CAPITE (de vitâ, libertate, et jure) CIVIS ROMANI, NISI PER MAXIMUM CENTURIATUM (per comitia centuriata) NE FE

RUNTO.

QUOD POSTREMum populus juSSIT, ID JUS RATUM ESTO. HOMINEM MORTUUM IN URBE NE SEPELITO, NEVE URITO.

AD DIVOS ADEUNTO CASTE: PIETATEM ADHIBENTO, OPES AMOVENTO. QUI SECUS FAXIT, DEUS IPSE VINDEX ERIT. FERIIS JURGIA AMOVENTO. EX PATRIIS RITIBUS OPTIMA

COLUNTO.

PERJURII POENA DIVINA, EXITIUM; HUMANA, DEDECUS.
IMPIUS NE AUDETO PLACARE DONIS IRAM Deorum.

NEQUIS AGRUM CONSECRATO, AURI, ARGENTI, EBORIS SA

CRANDI MODUS ESTO.

The most important particulars in the fragments of the Twelve Tables come naturally to be mentioned and explained elsewhere in various places.

After the publication of the Twelve Tables, every one understood

derstood what was his right, but did not know the way to obtain it. For this they depended on the assistance of their patrons.

From the Twelve Tables were composed certain rites and forms, which were necessary to be observed in prosecuting law-suits (quibus inter se homines disceptarent), called ACTIONES LEGIS. The forms used in making bargains, in transferring property, &c. were called ACTUS LEGITIMI.There were also certain days on which a law-suit could be raised (quando lege agi posset), or justice could be lawfully administered (dies FASTI), and others on which that could not be done (NEFASTI); and some on which it could be done for one part of the day, and not for another (INTERCISI). The knowledge of all these things was confined to the patricians, and chiefly to the Pontifices, for many years; till one Cn. Flavius, the son of a freedman, the scribe or clerk of Appius Claudius Cæcus, a lawyer, who had arranged in writing these actiones and days, stole or copied the book which Appius had composed, and published it, A. U. 440. (fastos publicavit, et actionis primùm edidit.) In return for which favour he was made curule ædile by the people, and afterwards prætor. From him the book was called JUS CIVILE FLAVIANUM, Liv. ix. 46. Cic. de Orat. i. 41. Muran. 11. Att. vi. 1. 1. 2. § 7. D. de Orig. Juris. Gell. vi. 9. Valer. Max. ii. 5. 2. Plin. xxxiii. 1. s. 6.

The patricians, vexed at this, contrived new forms of process; and to prevent their being made public, expressed them in writing by certain secret marks, (NOTIS, Cic. pro Mur. 11., somewhat like what are now used in writing short-hand,) or, as others think, by putting one letter for another, (as Augustus did, Suet. Aug. 88.) or one letter for a whole word, (per SIGLAS, as it is called by later writers.) However, these forms also were published by Sextus Ælius Catus, (who for his knowledge in the civil law, is called by Ennius egregiè cordatus homo, a remarkably wise man, Cic. de Orat. i. 45.) His book was named JUS ALIANUM.

The only thing now left to the patricians was the interpretation of the law; which was long peculiar to that order, and the means of raising several of them to the highest honours of the state.

The origin of lawyers at Rome was derived from the institution of patronage. (See p. 28.) It was one of the offices of a patron, to explain the law to his clients, and manage their -law-suits.

TITUS CORUNCANIUS, who was the first plebeian Pontifex Maximus, A. U. 500., Liv. epit. 18., is said to have been the first who gave his advice freely to all the citi

zens

zens without distinction, Z. 2. § 35. 38. D. de Orig. Jur., whom many afterwards imitated; as, Manilius, Crassus, Mucius Scavola, C. Aquilius, Gallus, Trebatius, Sulpicius, &c.

Those who professed to give advice to all promiscuously, used to walk across the forum (transverso foro), and were applied to (ad eos adibatur) there, or at their own houses, Cic. Orat. iii. 33. Such as were celebrated for their knowledge in law, often had their doors beset with clients before day-break, Hor. Sat. i. 1. u. 9. Epist. ii. 1. 103., for their gate was open to all, (cunctis janua patebat, Tibull. i. 4. 78.) and the house of an eminent lawyer was as it were the oracle of the whole city, Cic. de Orat. i. 45. Hence Cicero calls their power REGNUM JUDICIALE, Att. i. 1.

The lawyer gave his answers from an elevated seat (er solio, tanquam ex tripode), Cic. de Legg. 1. 3. Orat. ii. 33. iii. 33. The client coming up to him said, LICET CONSULERE? Cic. pro Mur. 13. The lawyer answered, CoNsule. Then the matter was proposed, and an answer returned very shortly; thus, QUERO AN EXISTIMES? vel, ID JUS EST NECNE?. SECUNDUM EA, QUE PRoponuntur, EXISTIMO, PLACET, PUTO, Horat. Sat. ii. 3. 192. Lawyers gave their opinions either by word of mouth, or in writing; commonly without any reason annexed, Senec. Epist. 94., but not always.

Sometimes in difficult cases, the lawyers used to meet near the temple of Apollo in the Forum, Juvenal. i. 128., and after deliberating together, (which was called DISPUTATIO FORI,) they pronounced a joint opinion. Hence what was determined by the lawyers, and adopted by custom, was called RECEPTA SENTENTIA, RECEPTUM JUS, RECEPTUS MOS POST MULTAS VARIATIONES RECEPTUM; and the rules observed in legal transactions by their consent, were called REGULA

JURIS.

When the laws or edicts of the prætor seemed defective, the lawyers supplied what was wanting in both from natural equity; and their opinions in process of time obtained the authority of laws. Hence lawyers were called not only in→ terpretes, but also CONDITORES et AUCTORES JURIS, Digest. and their opinions, JUS CIVILE, Cic. pro Cacin. 24., de Offic. iii. 16., opposed to leges, Cæcin. 26.

Cicero complains that many excellent institutions had been perverted by the refinements of lawyers, pro Mur. 12.

Under the republic, any one that pleased might profess to give advice about matters of law; but at first this was only done by persons of the highest rank, and such as were distinguished by their superior knowledge and wisdom. By the Cincian law, lawyers were prohibited from taking fees or presents from those who consulted them; hence, turpe reos

EMPTA

EMPTA miseros defendere linguá, Ovid. Amor. i. 10. 39., which rendered the profession of jurisprudence highly respectable as being undertaken by men of rank and learning, not from the love of gain, but from a desire of assisting their fellow-citizens, and through their favour of rising to preferments. Augustus enforced this law by ordaining that those who transgressed it should restore four-fold, Dio. liv. 18. Under the emperors lawyers were permitted to take fees (HONORARIUM, certam justamque mercedem, Suet. Ner. 17.) from their clients; but not above a certain sum, (capiendis pecuniis posuit modum (sc. Claudius) usque ad dena sestertia, Tac. Annal. xi. 7.) and after the business was done. (Peractis negotiis permittebat pecunias duntaxat decem millium dare, Plin. Epist. v. 21.) Thus the ancient connection between patrons and clients fell into disuse, and every thing was done for hire. Persons of the lowest rank sometimes assumed the profession of lawyers, Juvenal. viii. 47., pleadings became venal (venire advocationes), advocates made a shameful trade of their function by fomenting law-suits (in lites coire); and, instead of honour, which was formerly their only reward, lived upon the spoils of their fellow-citizens, from whom they received large and annual salaries, Plin. Ep. v. 14. Various edicts (edicta, libri, vel libelli) were published by the emperors to check this corruption, ibid., also decrees of the senate, Id. v. 21., but these were artfully eluded.

Lawyers were consulted, not only by private persons, but also (in consilium adhibebantur, vel assumebantur) by magistrates and judges, Cic. Top. 17. Muræn. 13. Cacin. 24. Gell. xiii. 13. Plin. Ep. iv. 22. vi. 11., and a certain number of them attended every proconsul and proprætor to his province.

Augustus granted the liberty of answering in questions of law only to particular persons, and restricted the judges not to deviate from their opinion, l. 2. § ult. D. de Orig. Jur., that thus he might bend the laws, and make them subservient to despotism. His successors (except Caligula, Suet. 34.) imitated this example; till Adrian restored to lawyers their former liberty, Dig. ibid., which they are supposed to have retained to the time of Severus. What alterations after that took place, is not sufficiently ascertained.

Of the lawyers who flourished under the emperors, the most remarkable were M. ANTISTIUS LABEO, (incorruptæ libertatis vir, Tacit. Annal. iii. 75. Gell. xiii. 12.) and C. ATEIUS CAPITO (cujus obsequium dominantibus magis probabatur, Tacit. ibid.) under Augustus; and these two, from their different characters and opinions, gave rise to various sects of lawyers after them; CASSIUS, under Claudius, (Cas·sianæ schola princeps,) Plin. Ep. vii. 24.; SALVIUS JULIA

NUS,

NUS, under Hadrian; POMPONIUS, under Julian; CAIUS, under the Antonines; PAPINIANUS, under Severus; ULPIANUS and PAULUS, under Alexander Severus ; HERMOGENES, under Constantine, &c.

Under the republic, young men who intended to devote themselves to the study of jurisprudence, after finishing the usual studies of grammar, Grecian literature, and philosophy, (Cic. in Brut. 80. Off. i. 1. Suet. de Clar. Rhet. 1, 2., studia LIBERALIA V. HUMANITATIS, Plutarch. in Lucull. princ.) usually attached themselves to some eminent lawyer, as Cicero did to Q. Mucius Scævola, Cic. de Amic. 1., whom they always attended, that they might derive knowledge from his experience and conversation. For these illustrious men did not open schools for teaching law, as the lawyers afterwards did under the emperors, whose scholars were called AUDITORES, Senec. Contr. 25.

The writings of several of these lawyers came to be as much respected in courts of justice (usu fori), as the laws themselves, l. 2. § 38. D. de Orig. Juris. But this happened only by tacit consent. Those laws only had a binding force, which were solemnly enacted by the whole Roman people assembled in the Comitia. Of these, the following are the chief.

LAWS OF THE ROMANS MADE AT DIFFERENT TIMES.

LE

EX ACILIA, 1. About transplanting colonies (de coloniis deducendis), by the tribune C. Acilius, A. U. 556., Liv. xxxiii. 29..

2. About extortion (de repetundis), by Manius Acilius Glabrio, a tribune, (some say consul,) A. U. 683. That in trials for this crime, sentence should be passed, after the cause was once pleaded (semel dictâ causá), and that there should not be a second hearing (ne reus comperendinaretur), Cic. proœm. in Verr. 17. i. 9. Ascon. in Cic.

Lex ÆBUTIA, by the tribune Æbutius, prohibiting the proposer of a law concerning any charge or power, from conferring that charge or power on himself, his colleagues, or relations, Cic. in Rull. ii. 8.

Another concerning the Judices, called Centumviri,_which is said to have diminished the obligation of the Twelve Tables, and to have abolished various customs which they ordained, Gell. xvi. 10. ix. 18., especially that curious custom borrowed from the Athenians, (Aristoph. in nub. v. 498. Plato, de Legg. xii.) of searching for stolen goods without

any

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