Page images


XII. cum hoc fieri bellissime posset: 'fundus Sabinus meus est': 'immo meus,' deinde iudicium: noluerunt. fundus, inquit, qui est in agro, qui Sabinus vocatur. satis verbose: cedo, quid postea? eum ego ex iure Quiritium meum esse aio. quid tum? inde ibi ego te ex iure manum consertum voco. quid huic tam loquaciter litigioso responderet ille, unde petebatur, non habebat. transit idem iure consultus, tibicinis Latini modo: unde tu me,

xii. 26. Cicero gives an instance of legal formalities, a lis vindiciarum, or actio rei vindicandae. It was one of those conducted with a legal wager or stake (actio sacramenti). The defendant staked a sum of money on the justice of his refusal to give up the property (sponsio), the plaintiff accepting the wager to prove the justice of his claim (restipulatio). Either party gave security to the praetor for the money, and the loser forfeited the fixed sum to the State. Gaius, IV. 13. These actiones were intended to supplement the defective old law.

bellissime] conversational, like Eng. 'nicely.' 'Though it might have been done very nicely thus, "the Sabine estate belongs to me." "No, to me,' " and then the trial and decision; they would not have it so,' i.e. the iuris consulti.


[ocr errors]

inquit] says the jurist.'

ex iure Quiritium] so Gaius IV. 16. in accordance with the legal rights of a Roman citizen.' Opposed to in bonis esse. cf. Gaius II. 40, 41,. . . . ut alius possit esse ex iure Quiritium dominus, alius in bonis habere. nam si tibi rem mancipi neque mancipavero neque in iure cessero, sed tantum tradidero, in bonis quidem tuis ea res efficitur, ex iure Quiritium vero mea permanebit, donec tu eam possidendo usucapias.

inde] for that reason I call you from the praetor's tribunal to join hands with me on the said estate.' inde. sc. quia meum esse aio. cf. unde...inde inf.

ex iure] We learn from Gellius,

XX. 10 SS 6-te, that the solemn joining of hands and claiming of a disputed property was of old performed on the property in the presence of the praetor; for the XII tables said si qui in iure manum conserunt. As the empire of Rome grew in Italy and the praetors were more and more busied with their juridical functions, they found it too much of a burden to go far and near, settling questions of property on the spot; hence by tacit consent the custom was changed; the parties, instead of joining hands in iure (i.e. before the praetor), went on challenge to the property in question ex iure (i. e. from the presence of the praetor), joined hands there, and brought back some piece or other into court, e. g. a clod, to which they laid claim as representing the property. See Appendix E.

loquaciter] with adj. cf. de Off. III. § 112, acerbe severus, Tusc. D. v. § 6, impie ingratus.

unde] sc. a quo fundus petebatur. 'the defendant knew not how to answer such a chattering pettifogger,' the bombastic forms are too much for him.

transit] changes sides and prompts the defendant, as a flute-player accompanies first one singer, then another. Quint. VII. 1. 51, has adopted this simile.

Latini] The story in Liv. IX. 30 shews that they were not Roman citizens. Thus the haruspices were Etruscans. Ern.

unde......inde.] cf. on inde sup.

inquit, ex iure manum consertum vocasti, inde ibi ego te revoco. praetor interea ne pulchrum se ac beatum putaret atque aliquid ipse sua sponte loqueretur, ei quoque carmen compositum est, cum ceteris rebus absurdum, tum vero in illo: suis utrisque superstitibus praesentibus istam viam dico; ite viam. praesto aderat sapiens ille, qui inire viam doceret. redite viam: eodem duce redibant. haec iam tum apud illos barbatos ridicula, credo, videbantur, homines, cum recte atque in loco constitissent, iuberi abire, ut, unde abissent, eodem statim redirent. isdem ineptiis fucata sunt illa omnia: quando te in iure conspicio, et haec: anne tu dicas, qua ex causa vindicaveris? quae dum

revoco] I call in turn.' Of invi tations, pro Rosc. Amer. § 52. Here, I return your challenge.'

pulchrum] Z cf. de Nat. Deor. 1. § 114, deum nihil aliud in omni aeternitate nisi mihi pulchre est' et 'ego beatus sum' cogitantem. 'For fear that, while all this was going on, the praetor might fancy himself a fine lucky fellow, and bring out some remark on his own account, a set form of words was made up for him also.'

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

'As I see you here in court, I want to know whether you are responsible for the title.' This seems to be some part of the formal procedure in a suit concerning a disputed title, and is quoted again in pro Caecina $54, actio est in auctorem praesentem his verbis; quandoque te in iure conspicio.

anne tu dicas] Gaius, IV. 16, has postulo, anne......, but the text there is corrupt, and Z., with great plausibility, maintains that the MSS. postul has been wrongly completed. anne dicas he makes=numquid aliud an dicturus es; but I am not sure that I understand this. It is a part of the proceeding in a case of vindicatio, as above. The clod was brought into court, and was claimed by either party in turn, as above, adding sicut dixi, ecce tibi, vindictam imposui. This was a festuca or wand, symbolizing the hasta spear, the Roman sign of ownership. Then the praetor told both to let the thing go (mittite ambo). The first claimant then asked the defendant (as here), why he had laid claim to the thing; the latter answered ius peregi, sicut vindictam imposui. A went on quando tu iniuria vindicavisti (since your claim is a wrongful one), D aeris sacramento e provoco [or L aeris etc.], and B rejoined similiter ego te. The proceedings


erant occulta, necessario ab eis, qui ea tenebant, petebantur; postea vero pervulgata atque in manibus iactata et excussa inanissima prudentiae reperta sunt, fraudis autem et stultitiae 27 plenissima. nam cum permulta praeclare legibus essent constituta, ea iure consultorum ingeniis pleraque corrupta et depravata sunt. mulieres omnes propter infirmitatem consilii maiores in tutorum potestate esse voluerunt: hi invenerunt genera tutorum, quae potestate mulierum continerentur. sacra interire illi noluerunt: horum ingenio senes ad coemptiones faciendas interimendorum sacrorum causa reperti sunt. in omni denique iure civili aequitatem reliquerunt, verba ipsa

then took the form of a personal action, founded on the alleged neglect of an obligation, and it was regularly tried by a iudex or arbiter. This was in iudicio, as opposed to in iure, before the magistrate. See Lord Mackenzie, Rom. Law, part v. cc. 2, 3; Gaius, IV. 5; and for distinction between civil and criminal causes, Mommsen, book IV. C. IO.

tenebant] 'knew,' were up in them.' cf. tenet § 22. Or perhaps were exclusively in possession of them.' cf. § 25.

[ocr errors]


excussa] 'shaken out,'' examined.' cf. de Off. III, § 81; Tusc. Disp. 1. § 88. fraudis] chicanery' or 'pitfalls,' as one who pleaded informally causa cadebat. cf. on § 9.

27. iure consultorum] This rare form is certainly found here.

infirmitatem consilii] so Gaius, I. 144, propter animi levitatem. Ulp. XI. I, propter sexus infirmitatem et propter forensium rerum ignorantiam. But Gaius, 1. 190, ridicules this latter theory, which however

was not uncommon.

genera tutorum] Sometimes a man, instead of appointing by will a guardian for his wife in event of his own decease, gave her in that case the right to choose for herself. Such a guardian was called tutor optivus, and would no doubt be chosen as one whom the woman could manage to lead. But the most common way of shaking off a disagreeable tutor was

this: the woman got her tutor's consent to her making a coemptio fiduciae causa; then the coemptionator made her over again to some person of her own choice. This latter emancipated her, and then she was only the ward of the man who had emancipated her, her tutor fiduciacius. Gaius, I. 114, 115, 166, 195.

sacra] sc. privata, often great burdens on property at Rome, in honour of the tutelary god of a family or gens. In order to ensure their maintenance (perpetua), they went with the property. cf. de Legib. II. § 47 foll., Plaut. Capt. 775, sine sacris hereditatem = an unencumbered property. Add Orator § 144.

coemptiones] The coemptio was a symbolic sham-sale, by which a woman passed into the power of some man either matrimonii causa, i.e. in manum mariti sui, or fiduciae causa (transacted either with her husband or some stranger); for instance, if a woman inherited an estate burdened with sacra, she cum sene coemptionem fecit. He then came into her property, sacra included. Then he at once manumitted her, and gave back the property in parcels as dona. The old man being poor (in fact chosen as such), when he died, had no property to leave, and the sacra fell through for want of heirs. See Gaius, I. 113, 114.

aequitatem......tenuerunt] They

XIII. ita- 28

tenuerunt, ut, quia in alicuius libris exempli causa id nomen invenerant, putarent, omnes mulieres, quae coemptionem facerent, Gaias vocari. iam illud mihi quidem mirum videri solet, tot homines tam ingeniosos post tot annos etiam nunc statuere non potuisse, utrum diem tertium an perendinum, iudicem an arbitrum, rem an litem dici oporteret. que, ut dixi, dignitas in ista scientia [consularis] numquam fuit, quae tota ex rebus fictis commenticiisque constaret, gratia vero multo etiam minus. quod enim omnibus patet et aeque promptum est mihi et adversario meo, id esse gratum nullo pacto potest, itaque non modo beneficii collocandi spem, sed etiam illud, quod aliquando fuit, licet consulere?' iam perdidistis. sapiens existimari nemo potest in ea prudentia, quae neque extra Romam usquam neque Romae rebus prolatis quidquam valet; peritus ideo nemo haberi potest, quod in eo, quod sciunt omnes, nullo modo possunt inter se discrepare;

have dropped the spirit and held fast to the mere letter.'

in alicuius libris] In some treatise on the forms of coemptio.

ut putarent] I prefer this with Z. and the MSS. so as actually to fancy that'..... This is of course mere banter on Cicero's part, as Gaius, Gaia, Titius, Titia, Seius, Seia etc. are legal personae ficticiae. Gaia seems to have been generally employed in forms of coemptio. Compare 'John Doe' and 'Richard Roe.' See Quint. I. vii. 28.

iam] now really,' 'upon my word.' cf. Phil. II. § 8, iam invideo magistro tuo, ib. § 19.

non potuisse] Of course these are merely the usual redundancies of legal caution. tertium according to Roman calculation would be=perendinum. arbitrum, either appointed by the parties, without interference of a magistrate, or by the magistrate after the preliminary hearing in iure. cf. on § 26. this latter sense he was properly called iudex. In the XII Tables was 'iudici arbitrove.'


xiii. 28. [consularis]. H. plausibly urges that this is most likely a gloss, as gratia is directly opposed to dignitas, and in § 25 Cicero says primum dignitas in tam tenui scientia non potest esse.

promptum] 'ready to hand.' cf. de Or. 1. § 237, prompta defensio, II in Verr. IV. § 42.

aliquando] 'formerly,' i.e. before the days of Flavius.

licet consulere?] 'is it allowed to take your opinion?' a formal address to a jurist in the good old days of their power. So in jest Hor. Sat. II. 3. 192, ergo consulere et mox respondere licebit? consule.

prudentia] H. cf. Corn. Nep. Címon 2 § 1, magnam prudentiam quum iuris civilis tum rei militaris.

rebus prolatis] In times of vacation, either (a) the regular iustitium edictum, or (b) caused by tumult and insurrection, or (c) generally, on either account. cf. Plaut. Capt. 78, 79, ubi res prolatae sunt, quom rus homines eunt, semul prolatae res sunt nostris dentibus.

CIC. pro L. Mur.



difficilis autem res ideo non putatur, quod et perpaucis et minime obscuris litteris continetur. itaque, si mihi homini vehementer occupato stomachum moveritis, triduo me iure consultum esse profitebor. etenim quae de scripto aguntur, scripta sunt omnia, neque tamen quidquam tam anguste scriptum est, quo ego non possim 'qua de re agitur' addere: quae consuluntur autem, minimo periculo respondentur. si id quod oportet, responderis, idem videare respondisse, quod Servius, sin aliter, etiam controversum ius nosse et tractare videare.

quapropter non solum illa gloria militaris vestris formulis atque actionibus anteponenda est, verum etiam dicendi consuetudo longe et multum isti vestrae exercitationi ad honorem antecellit. itaque mihi videntur plerique initio multo hoc

difficilis.....continetur] M. well compares de Orat. 1. § 192, omnia sunt enim posita ante oculos, collocata in usu cotidiano, in congressione hominum atque in foro; neque ita multis litteris aut voluminibus magnis continentur.

perpaucis litteris] i.e. libris. He is here speaking of the ius privatum, which at this time consisted only of (a) the XII Tables, (b) a few laws, (c) the edicta praetorum, (d) the verbal forms of procedure, such as those noticed above. Z. and H. me] He had studied under the great jurist Q. Mucius Scaevola in his youth, cf. Brutus § 306, and is said to have written a treatise de iure civili in artem redigendo, Gellius I.

[blocks in formation]

to Servius); give a different one, and you have gone so far as to detect a disputed point of law and are for trying an issue on it.'

quod Servius] i.e. recte. A severe compliment.

controversum ius] cf. de Orat. I. $242, ius quod ambigitur inter peritissimos, pro Caec. § 69, ius varium, Quint. XII. iii. 8. Add de Off. III. § 91.

tractare] to handle, examine.

29. formulis] written forms for judicial proceedings, beside which in Cicero's time still existed the old actiones (or legis actiones), verbal processes according to law. The latter had been productive of great hardship and injustice, and were eventually given up, Gaius IV. II,


For the formulae cf. pro Rosc. Com. §§ 24, 25.

ad honorem] 'in relation to office,' 'for attaining.' So § 38, ad famam. plerique] A hit at Sulpicius' early devotion to oratory, and his later abandonment of it. Cic. says of him, Brutus § 151, that after his return from Rhodes videtur mihi in secunda arte (sc. in iure civili) primus esse maluisse quam in prima (sc. in eloquentia) secundus Quint. XII. iii. 9.


« PreviousContinue »