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LAW LECTURER OF ST JOHN'S COLLEGE, AND LATE FELLOW OF
CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE,
EDITED FOR THE SYNDICS OF THE UNIVERSITY PRESS.
London: CAMBRIDGE WAREHOUSE, 17, PATERNOSTER Row.
BEFORE entering upon a discussion of the plan on which Salvius Julianus drew up his famous Edict in the reign of Hadrian, it is absolutely necessary to say a few words on the nature of Edicts in general.
An edict, then, is an order emanating from some officer of state in relation to the matters over which he has jurisdiction'; and such edicts in early times were issued not only by civil magistrates, but by military commanders, priests, pontiffs and augurs. The phrase "edicere” is seldom, if ever, used in reference to the directions given by private persons, except in the bombastic phrases of the comedians and satirists; for even the written notices of ordinary citizens not holding office are designated libelli, and not edicta, almost invariably by prose writers, and very frequently by the comedians and satirists also, when the mention of such documents is merely collateral to the topic of their ridicule.
Sigonius asserts that the right of issuing edicts appertained only to those magistrates who were invested with imperium ; and he further holds that imperium was a name applicable to an aggregate of three functions, inseparable according to the theory of Roman jurisprudence, viz. jus edicendi, vocatio and
1 και γαρ διαγράμματα των αρχόντων “Έλληνες μεν διατάγματα, Ρωμαίοι δε έδικτα προσαγορεύoυσι. Ρlutarch, Marcell.