free ebooks

History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

Travers Twiss's Epitome of Niebuhr


[Footnote

161: The nice and various subject of contracts by consent is spread over four books (xvii.--xx.) of the Pandects, and is one of the parts best deserving of the attention of an English student. * Note: This is erroneously called "benefits." Gibbon enumerates various kinds of contracts, of which some alone are properly called benefits.--W.]

[Footnote 162: The covenants of rent are defined in the Pandects (l. xix.) and the Code, (l. iv. tit. lxv.) The quinquennium, or term of five years, appears to have been a custom rather than a law; but in France all leases of land were determined in nine years. This limitation was removed only in the year 1775, (Encyclopedie Methodique, tom. i. de la Jurisprudence, p. 668, 669;) and I am sorry to observe that it yet prevails in the beauteous and happy country where I am permitted to reside.]

[Footnote 163: I might implicitly acquiesce in the sense and learning of the three books of G. Noodt, de foenore et usuris. (Opp. tom. i. p. 175--268.) The interpretation of the asses or centesimoe usuroe at twelve, the unciarioe at one per cent., is maintained by the best critics and civilians: Noodt, (l. ii. c. 2, p. 207,) Gravina, (Opp. p. 205, &c., 210,) Heineccius, (Antiquitat. ad Institut. l. iii. tit. xv.,) Montesquieu, (Esprit des Loix, l. xxii. c. 22, tom. ii. p. 36). Defense de l'Esprit des Loix, (tom. iii. p. 478, &c.,) and above all, John Frederic Gronovius (de Pecunia Veteri,

l. iii. c. 13, p. 213--227,) and his three Antexegeses, (p. 455--655), the founder, or at least the champion, of this probable opinion; which is, however, perplexed with some difficulties.]

[Footnote 164: Primo xii. Tabulis sancitum est ne quis unciario foenore amplius exerceret, (Tacit. Annal. vi. 16.) Pour peu (says Montesquieu, Esprit des Loix, l. xxii. 22) qu'on soit verse dans l'histoire de Rome, on verra qu'une pareille loi ne devoit pas etre l'ouvrage des decemvirs. Was Tacitus ignorant--or stupid? But the wiser and more virtuous patricians might sacrifice their avarice to their ambition, and might attempt to check the odious practice by such interest as no lender would accept, and such penalties as no debtor would incur. * Note: The real nature of the foenus unciarium has been proved; it amounted in a year of twelve months to ten per cent. See, in the Magazine for Civil Law, by M. Hugo, vol. v. p. 180, 184, an article of M. Schrader, following up the conjectures of Niebuhr, Hist. Rom. tom. ii. p. 431.--W. Compare a very clear account of this question in the appendix to Mr. Travers Twiss's Epitome of Niebuhr, vol. ii. p. 257.--M.]

[Footnote 165: Justinian has not condescended to give usury a place in his Institutes; but the necessary rules and restrictions are inserted in the Pandects (l. xxii. tit. i. ii.) and the Code, (l. iv. tit. xxxii. xxxiii.)]

[Footnote 166: The Fathers are unanimous, (Barbeyrac, Morale des Peres, p. 144. &c.:) Cyprian, Lactantius, Basil, Chrysostom, (see his frivolous arguments in Noodt, l. i. c. 7, p. 188,) Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, Jerom, Augustin, and a host of councils and casuists.]


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us