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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

The savage dialect of the Eugubine tables has exercised


[Footnote

7: This threefold division of the law was applied to the three Roman kings by Justus Lipsius, (Opp. tom. iv. p. 279;) is adopted by Gravina, (Origines Juris Civilis, p. 28, edit. Lips. 1737:) and is reluctantly admitted by Mascou, his German editor. * Note: Whoever is acquainted with the real notions of the Romans on the jus naturale, gentium et civile, cannot but disapprove of this explanation which has no relation to them, and might be taken for a pleasantry. It is certainly unnecessary to increase the confusion which already prevails among modern writers on the true sense of these ideas. Hugo.--W]

[Footnote 8: The most ancient Code or Digest was styled Jus Papirianum, from the first compiler, Papirius, who flourished somewhat before or after the Regifugium, (Pandect. l. i. tit. ii.) The best judicial critics, even Bynkershoek (tom. i. p. 284, 285) and Heineccius, (Hist. J. C. R. l. i. c. 16, 17, and Opp. tom. iii. sylloge iv. p. 1--8,) give credit to this tale of Pomponius, without sufficiently adverting to the value and rarity of such a monument of the third century, of the illiterate city. I much suspect that the Caius Papirius, the Pontifex Maximus, who revived the laws of Numa (Dionys. Hal. l. iii. p. 171) left only an oral tradition; and that the Jus Papirianum of Granius Flaccus (Pandect. l. L. tit. xvi. leg. 144) was not a commentary, but an original work, compiled in the time of Caesar, (Censorin. de Die Natali, l. iii. p. 13, Duker

de Latinitate J. C. p. 154.) Note: Niebuhr considers the Jus Papirianum, adduced by Verrius Fiaccus, to be of undoubted authenticity. Rom. Geschichte, l. 257.--M. Compare this with the work of M. Hugo.--W.]

[Footnote 9: A pompous, though feeble attempt to restore the original, is made in the Histoire de la Jurisprudence Romaine of Terasson, p. 22--72, Paris, 1750, in folio; a work of more promise than performance.]

[Footnote 10: In the year 1444, seven or eight tables of brass were dug up between Cortona and Gubio. A part of these (for the rest is Etruscan) represents the primitive state of the Pelasgic letters and language, which are ascribed by Herodotus to that district of Italy, (l. i. c. 56, 57, 58;) though this difficult passage may be explained of a Crestona in Thrace, (Notes de Larcher, tom. i. p. 256--261.) The savage dialect of the Eugubine tables has exercised, and may still elude, the divination of criticism; but the root is undoubtedly Latin, of the same age and character as the Saliare Carmen, which, in the time of Horace, none could understand. The Roman idiom, by an infusion of Doric and Aeolic Greek, was gradually ripened into the style of the xii. tables, of the Duillian column, of Ennius, of Terence, and of Cicero, (Gruter. Inscript. tom. i. p. cxlii. Scipion Maffei, Istoria Diplomatica, p. 241--258. Bibliotheque Italique, tom. iii. p. 30--41, 174--205. tom. xiv. p. 1--52.) * Note: The Eugubine Tables have exercised the ingenuity of the Italian and German critics; it seems admitted (O. Muller, die Etrusker, ii. 313) that they are Tuscan. See the works of Lanzi, Passeri, Dempster, and O. Muller.--M]

I shall not repeat the well-known story of the Decemvirs, [11] who sullied by their actions the honor of inscribing on brass, or wood, or ivory, the Twelve Tables of the Roman laws. [12] They were dictated by the rigid and jealous spirit of an aristocracy, which had yielded with reluctance to the just demands of the people. But the substance of the Twelve Tables was adapted to the state of the city; and the Romans had emerged from Barbarism, since they were capable of studying and embracing the institutions


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