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of Athens-we lose sight of that essential spirit which gives to each of these nations its highest claim to the attention of modern minds. Although Greece and Rome had a common ethnic origin, and possessed a common basis of language and thought, the Hellenic and the Italic peninsulas were yet the fields of diverse forms of culture, and each has its own lessons of instruction for the scholar of the present. Greece is synonymous with what is æsthetic and ideal; Rome, with what is practical and utilitarian. The Greek mind is revealed in pure literature, philosophy and art; the Roman, in political organization and civil law. Greek thought reached in culmination in Sophocles, Plato and Phidias; Roman thought, in Ulpian, Paulus and Gains. The genius of each people can best be exhibited in those works which are most thoroughly stamped with the impress of its own peculiar culture. We would not depreciate the literary value of the Roman classic poets. But we would claim that these writers do not manifest, in the highest degree, that cast of mind which has given to Rome its place in the world's civilization. Virgil has written an admirable epic; Horace has given to us the most polished of lyric poems; Lucretius has embodied philosophy in its highest rhythmic form. We would be very far from decrying the study of these authors. But we would still assert that any study of Roman thought is partial and inadequate which is not pursued in the works of the great jurists, whose writings alone exhibit the essential spirit of the Roman mind.
The distinctive character, the very genius of the Roman people, is thus lost sight of, unless sought in the remain sof her public and private law. Legaré, one of the ablest and most cultivated of American scholars, has very forcibly said: "He who wishes to know what the Roman genius was, must study the Corpus Juris Civilis, and the remains of the great jurisconsults with Cicero (our best guide here) and the historians; he who would know what it was not, may take the whole body of literature besides, beginning with Plautus, and ending with Pliny the younger." We are so inclined to study and teach language and literature in a traditional mode, and so in a perfunctory manner, that their true significance as the exponents of thought and life is often forgotten. As we prefer that speech which is most indicative of character, so should we prefer that form of literature which most fully sets forth the spirit of a nation's culture.
"The truly distinctive character of the Latin tongue," says Freeman, the historian, "was not stamped upon it by the poets, not even by the historians and orators. The special calling of Rome, as one of those poets told her, was to rule the nations; not merely to conquer, but to govern by her abiding authority. Her truest and longest life is to be looked for, not in the triumphs of her dictators, but in the edicts of her prætors. The most truly original branch of Latin literature is to be found, in what some might, perhaps, deny to be literature at all, in the immediate records of her rule, in the text-books of her great lawyers, in the itineraries of her provinces, in the notitia of her governments and offices. The true glory of the Latin tongue is to have become the eternal speech of law and dominion."
It is unnecessary to enlarge upon the prominence which legal conceptions acquired in Roman thought, and the distinctive judicial character and capacity of the Latin language. These ideas form the burden of every philosophical estimate of ancient civilization. No thorough student of history and literature is ignorant of the important light which
legislation and jurisprudence derive from the legal adjustment of the relations between the patrician and the plebeian, the Roman and the Latin, the citizen and the foreigner; from the successive phases of the Agrarian laws; from the Licinian and Julian legislation; from the writings of the classical jurists-Gaius, Ulpian, Papinian, Modestinus, and their less famous compeers; from the compilations of Theodosius and Justinian.
But the bearing of these facts upon modern education is not so often recognized. If the ideas of the ancient world are to form a part of the educational system of to-day, we may well ask in what consists that superiority of attainment, that power of intellect, that mark of authority-which entitle an ancient people to assume the functions of a teacher in our modern institutions of learning. The claims of Greece to be the rightful teacher of the world in art, philosophy, and literature, would be worthless, if her peculiar genius and actual attainments had not given her an unquestioned supremacy, and qualified her to speak with authoity, in these branches of human culture. But that department of thought which Rome has cultivated and enlarged through her own original genius, and in which she is, therefore, entitled to direct the education of the world, is entirely of a different character. She, herself, in whatever related to poetry, oratory, rhetoric, and all the forms of ideal culture, was the pupil of Greece; but in the military art, in political organization, and in civil law, her success was not dependent upon Greek imitation, but was the result and outgrowth of her own national spirit. Rome has influenced and benefited the world through her jurisprudence. And, if the Latin element is worthy of a place in modern education, it should certainly comprehend those distinctive forms of thought which Rome developed in their completeness, and by which she still retains a grasp upon modern life and institutions.
The study of the Roman law is, moreover, indispensable to the educated man, from the important light which it throws upon universal history. It is not simply as a system of ancient jurisprudence that it demands our attention, but as an essential and permanent factor in European civilization.
With the application of a more scientific method to the study of history, a growing importance is attached to the knowledge of political and legal institutions. History is now no longer a genealogy of princes, or a picturesque narrative of marches and battles, but an exposition of those principles upon which societies are organized, and the welfare of man is insured. "The laws of a nation," says Gibbon, "are the most instructive portion of its history." As the historical student directs his attention to the organization of European society, he becomes more and more convinced of the all-pervading influence of the Roman law.
It was not destroyed by the barbarian assaults which shattered the empire; but it continued as an organic and civilizing agent in the new Germanic kingdoms. It existed, side by side, with the rude customs of the invaders, and continued to be administered in the disintegrated provinces. Savigny, in his exhaustive work on the Roman Law in the Middle Ages, has shown in a conclusive manner its continued existence and influence after the breaking up of the Western Empire. Its compilations among the Visigoths, the Ostrogoths and the Burgundians tended to introduce higher principles of justice and more advanced methods of procedure among all the German conquerors.
It contributed, moreover, towards the reorganization of society in the [CONVOCATION, SIG. 3.]
development of the feudal system. The "double ownership" of land, which formed such an important principle of the feudal relation, had been fully developed in the Roman law of Emphyteusis and beneficiary estates. The restoration of the Western Empire and the administration of Charlemagne were substantially the revival of the old imperial system. The German emperors also found in the Roman policy a powerful support in their consolidation of central Europe, and in the establishment of the Holy Roman Empire. The Civil law also entered as a constituent element into the ecclesiastical law of Europe; it assisted the Church in reducing to a sort of religious unity the discordant elements of Christendom, so that Hobbes aptly characterizes the Papacy as "the ghost of the old empire, sitting on its tomb and ruling in its name." Professor Bryce, the author of the unsurpassed work on the Holy Roman Empire, in speaking of the influence of the Civil law, 66 says: Being studied by all the educated men, the poets, the philosophers, the administrators of the Middle Ages, it worked itself into the thought of Christendom, losing the traces of its origin as it became the common property of the world."
The increased interest in its study, during the twelfth and succeeding centuries, was a marked feature in the revival of letters, and with, perhaps, the single exception of the revival of medicine at the school of Salerno, was really the first indication of the general movement of the Renaissance. By its subsequent cultivation, it became the basis of legal study in nearly the whole of Continental Europe, gradually displacing the older systems of law in the administration of justice. Blackstone says that this revival of the Civil law "established in the twelfth century a new Roman Empire over most of the states of the continent." The more recent codifications of France, Austria and Prussia, are practically a republication of the Corpus Juris of Justinian. This extensive influence of the civil law of Rome upon the modern nations of Continental Europe, has often been noticed by historical jurists.
Güterbock, in his work entitled "Bracton and his relation to the Roman Law," has also shown that the common law of England drew largely from the civil code. Its extensive influence, too, upon the court of chancery is well known. Says Goldsmith, an English writer on equity: "The court of chancery, about the reign of Richard II, became established as a distinct tribunal, governed by its own rules and maxims, partaking largely of those principles of equity and conscience which the system of the Rome law afforded, and to whose fountains they had a constant access in any case of doubt and uncertainty." There were various other modes, which might be mentioned, in which the Roman principles became indirectly introduced into Great Britain. Suffice it to say that, in addition to the indirect influences already referred to, the Civil law is at present directly practiced in four distinct courts, viz: the ecclesiastical courts, the admiralty courts, the military courts and the courts of the two universities. So palpable is the relation of the English to the Roman law, that Sir Henry S. Maine says: "The historical connection between the Roman jurisprudence and our own, appears now to be looked upon as furnishing one very strong reason for increased attention to the civil law of Rome. The fact, of course, is not to be questioned." And, a more venerable authority, Lord Holt, in speaking of the same subject, uses these words: Inasmuch as the laws of all nations are, doubtless, raised out of the ruins of the civil law, as all governments are sprung out of the ruins of Roman Empire, it must be owned that the principles of our law are borrowed from the
civil law, therefore grounded upon the same reason in many things." Thus the principles of reason, developed in the positive law of ancient Rome, have become incorporated, with few modifications, into the legal structure of the principal nations of the civilized world. If we simply consider the relation of the Roman law to the civil organization of modern states, its importance as an historical study is sufficiently evident to justify its cultivation by every educated man.
But not only in the municipal laws of various countries may we observe the extensive influence of the Roman civil code, it also furnishes the basis of those international principles which bind together the states of Europe in one moral commonwealth. Grotius may be regarded as the father of modern International law. His work has been the foundation of all subsequent treatises; and its authority has been recognized from the Treaty of Westphalia until the present time. But this work of Grotius was based essentially upon the Roman Jus Gentium—the equitable principles of which, though not originally applicable to international relations, were yet employed by him to determine the moral rights of individual and sovereign states. Time will not permit us to enlarge upon this point. We will simply enforce the preceding statement by a citation from an author already quoted (Sir Henry S. Maine), who says: "We cannot possibly overestimate the value of Roman jurisprudence as a key to International law, and, particularly, to its most important department. *** If International law be not studied historically-if we fail to comprehend, first, the influence of certain theories of the Roman jurisconsults upon the mind of Hugo Grotius, and, next, the influence of the great book of Grotius upon International Jurisprudence-we lose at once all chance of comprehending that body of rules which alone protects the European commonwealth from perpetual anarchy."
Another remarkable instance might be presented to illustrate our proposition, drawn from the influence of the Roman Jus Naturale upon the modern theory of the Law of Nature, and the relation of this theory to the doctrine of the "social compact," which has played such an important part in the development of modern constitutional liberty. Indeed, it may be said that the most important political and legal reforms of modern history are but the carrying out and realization of that theory of the natural Law of Reason, which had already begun to work beneficent results in the jurisprudence of Rome. The boasted clause of the Declaration of American Independence, which has been cherished as the creed of political and civil liberty, was substantially expressed thirteen hundred years ago in the Institutes of Justinian: "Jure naturali omnes liberi nascerentur."
These illustrations are, perhaps, sufficient to indicate the permanent existence of Roman jurisprudence as an element of European history, and to justify the panegyric words of D'Aguesseau, "The mighty destinies of Rome are not yet accomplished; she reigns throughout the world by her reason after having ceased to reign by her authority." It may be stated as a fact that, on account of its perpetuity and diffusion throughout the civilized world, the importance of the Roman law, as a constituent element of civil society, is even greater in modern, than it was in ancient times. Christianity, the Greek Philosophy and the Roman Jurisprudence may be said to be the great bequests of antiquity to the modern world. Wherever civilization has extended, they have together been borne as necessary auxiliaries to the religious, intellectual and social
improvement of mankind. Whatever has contributed so largely to the organization of society and the welfare of man, must be regarded as an essential factor of history, and hence an indispensable part of a truly liberal education.
The final consideration, which we would present for the study of the Roman law is that it furnishes the best illustration of the principles involved in general jurisprudence.
Too much importance cannot be attached to the general science of law as an element of higher education-and by the science of law, we do not mean the technical knowledge of the professional lawyer. We mean a knowledge of those broad and fundamental principles which form the basis of all jurisprudence-those principles which rest in the moral being of man, which lie at the foundations of political justice, which enter into the essential structure of civil society, which preside over the equitable adjustment of human interests. Law has its foundation in Ethics. It springs from the moral necessities of our nature. By its gradual development, it brings into clearer view the radical distinction between right and wrong. No other science can create such a firm conviction of the ultimate triumph of right over might-of equity over brute force. Its study reveals the supremacy of justice as a divinely instituted law, and shows the increasing tendency to recognize the inalienable rights and fundamental equality of all men. In the oft-quoted, but sublime language of Edmund Burke, "the science of jurisprudence is the pride of the human intellect, which, with all its defects, redundancies and errors, is the collected reason of the ages, combining the principles of original justice with the infinite variety of human concerns. One of the first and noblest of sciences-a science which does more to quicken and invigorate the human intellect than all other sciences put together."
No people were ever more successful in discovering these " principles of original justice," and in applying them to all the various relations of of human society, than the Romans. Their jurisprudence is the only one which the world presents of an uninterrupted and complete development of legal principles. It, therefore, illustrates better than any other, the successive stages of legal growth. It shows the origin of law in the symbolic, technical and stereotyped customs of early society. It exhibits the mode in which the imperfections and inadequacies of the law are supplemented by the growth of a distinct system of equity. It, furthermore, presents the highest stage of legal development, which has hardly yet been fully reached, in the English law, viz., the amalgamation of law and equity in an undivided and organic system of legal administration. In its complete and scientific stage, it presented such a perfect embodiment of right, that Ozanam says: "It was an early Christian belief that God had let a reflex of his justice shine into the Roman law; which was also believed to possess a marvelous agreement with Mosaic institutions." More than any other system, it also exhibits a complete arrangement, and scientific classification of rights and duties. Its maxims, too, are models of terseness and common sense, to which every jurist appeals as to dictates of reason. With such perfection does it present the rational principles which are involved in the fundamental questions of law, and to such an extent is it the actual ground of existing systems, that no scientific and comparative study of jurisprudence is adequate, or even possible, without some acquaintance with its spirit and form. Savigny says: "It has been shown that, in our science, all results depend on the possession of leading principles; and it is exactly this