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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

Quod familiam ducit in jure civili


56: The stoic philosophy was first taught at Rome by Panaetius, the friend of the younger Scipio, (see his life in the Mem. de l'Academis des Inscriptions, tom. x. p. 75--89.)]

[Footnote 57: As he is quoted by Ulpian, (leg.40, 40, ad Sabinum in Pandect. l. xlvii. tit. ii. leg. 21.) Yet Trebatius, after he was a leading civilian, que qui familiam duxit, became an epicurean, (Cicero ad Fam. vii. 5.) Perhaps he was not constant or sincere in his new sect. * Note: Gibbon had entirely misunderstood this phrase of Cicero. It was only since his time that the real meaning of the author was apprehended. Cicero, in enumerating the qualifications of Trebatius, says, Accedit etiam, quod familiam ducit in jure civili, singularis memoria, summa scientia, which means that Trebatius possessed a still further most important qualification for a student of civil law, a remarkable memory, &c. This explanation, already conjectured by G. Menage, Amaenit. Juris Civilis, c. 14, is found in the dictionary of Scheller, v. Familia, and in the History of the Roman Law by M. Hugo. Many authors have asserted, without any proof sufficient to warrant the conjecture, that Trebatius was of the school of Epicurus--W.]

[Footnote 58: See Gravina (p. 45--51) and the ineffectual cavils of Mascou. Heineccius (Hist. J. R. No. 125) quotes and approves a dissertation of Everard Otto, de Stoica Jurisconsultorum Philosophia.]


eloquence, and the study of the civil law, promoted a citizen to the honors of the Roman state; and the three professions were sometimes more conspicuous by their union in the same character. In the composition of the edict, a learned praetor gave a sanction and preference to his private sentiments; the opinion of a censor, or a counsel, was entertained with respect; and a doubtful interpretation of the laws might be supported by the virtues or triumphs of the civilian. The patrician arts were long protected by the veil of mystery; and in more enlightened times, the freedom of inquiry established the general principles of jurisprudence. Subtile and intricate cases were elucidated by the disputes of the forum: rules, axioms, and definitions, [59] were admitted as the genuine dictates of reason; and the consent of the legal professors was interwoven into the practice of the tribunals. But these interpreters could neither enact nor execute the laws of the republic; and the judges might disregard the authority of the Scaevolas themselves, which was often overthrown by the eloquence or sophistry of an ingenious pleader. [60] Augustus and Tiberius were the first to adopt, as a useful engine, the science of the civilians; and their servile labors accommodated the old system to the spirit and views of despotism. Under the fair pretence of securing the dignity of the art, the privilege of subscribing legal and valid opinions was confined to the sages of senatorian or equestrian rank, who had been previously approved by the judgment of the prince; and this monopoly prevailed, till Adrian restored the freedom of the profession to every citizen conscious of his abilities and knowledge. The discretion of the praetor was now governed by the lessons of his teachers; the judges were enjoined to obey the comment as well as the text of the law; and the use of codicils was a memorable innovation, which Augustus ratified by the advice of the civilians. [61] [6111]

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