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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

Antoninus Augustus de Nominibus Propriis Pandect


[Footnote

75: General receivers was a common title of the Greek miscellanies, (Plin. Praefat. ad Hist. Natur.) The Digesta of Scaevola, Marcellinus, Celsus, were already familiar to the civilians: but Justinian was in the wrong when he used the two appellations as synonymous. Is the word Pandects Greek or Latin--masculine or feminine? The diligent Brenckman will not presume to decide these momentous controversies, (Hist. Pandect. Florentine. p. 200--304.) Note: The word was formerly in common use. See the preface is Aulus Gellius--W]

[Footnote 76: Angelus Politianus (l. v. Epist. ult.) reckons thirty-seven (p. 192--200) civilians quoted in the Pandects--a learned, and for his times, an extraordinary list. The Greek index to the Pandects enumerates thirty-nine, and forty are produced by the indefatigable Fabricius, (Bibliot. Graec. tom. iii. p. 488--502.) Antoninus Augustus (de Nominibus Propriis Pandect. apud Ludewig, p. 283) is said to have added fifty-four names; but they must be vague or second-hand references.]

[Footnote 77: The item of the ancient Mss. may be strictly defined as sentences or periods of a complete sense, which, on the breadth of the parchment rolls or volumes, composed as many lines of unequal length. The number in each book served as a check on the errors of the scribes, (Ludewig, p. 211--215; and his original author Suicer. Thesaur. Ecclesiast. tom. i. p 1021-1036).]

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. Among the various combinations of ideas, it is difficult 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 ancient laws, he seems to have viewed his predecessors without jealousy, and with equal regard: the series could not ascend above the reign of Adrian, and the narrow distinction of Paganism and Christianity, introduced by the superstition of Theodosius, had been abolished by the consent of mankind. But the jurisprudence of the Pandects is circumscribed within a period of a hundred years, from the perpetual edict 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. The favorite 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 wisdom 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


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