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The Rise of the Roman Jurists

The Rise of the Roman Jurists: Studies in Cicero's "Pro Caecina"

Bruce W. Frier
Copyright Date: 1985
Pages: 340
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  • Book Info
    The Rise of the Roman Jurists
    Book Description:

    Combining historical, sociological, and legal expertise, Bruce Frier discloses the reasons for the emergence of law as a professional discipline in the later Roman Republic.

    Originally published in 1985.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5490-5
    Subjects: Political Science, Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Tables and Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xviii)
  5. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-2)
  6. I The Litigants: Aulus Caecina and Sextus Aebutius
    (pp. 3-41)

    The trial began with the death of a wealthy matron named Caesennia, from the city of Tarquinii in Etruria. She died probably in late 70 b.c., or early in 69.¹ Her will divided her estate into three very unequal shares:² 23/24 of the entirety (or about 95.8%) to her second husband, Aulus Caecina; 1/36 (or about 2.8%) to Marcus Fulcinius, a freedman of her first husband; and 1/72 (or about 1.4%) to a friend of hers named Sextus Aebutius.

    Within a few weeks or months of Caesennia’s death, two of her heirs were in court: the principal heir, A. Caecina,...

  7. II The Urban Praetor: P. Cornelius Dolabella
    (pp. 42-94)

    To legal historians, the Edict of the Urban Praetor is the perfectly familiar stuff of scholarship; its numerous rubrics and headings constitute the major procedural framework within which the classical jurists operated, and so historians have had to become intimately acquainted with its convoluted phraseology. Yet probably few scholars have seriously considered what the Edict must have looked like, and perhaps even fewer have seen the attempted recreation of it in the Museo della Civiltà Romana in the Roman suburb of EUR.¹

    The visual display at the Museo brings out one important feature of the Edict: it cannot be read...

  8. III The Advocates: M. Tullius Cicero and C. Calpurnius Piso
    (pp. 95-138)

    Caecina’s appearance before the Praetor Dolabella was undoubtedly a brief one (Caec. 23). In short order Caecina requested the interdictde vi armata; then Dolabella, perhaps after a briefcognitio, followed “custom” by issuing the interdictsine ulla exceptione. Aebutius replied that he was already in compliance; Caecina demanded and received an action on the interdict;¹ Caecina estimated the farm’s value, and the reciprocalsponsioneswere made; a panel ofrecuperatoreswas selected to hear the case; and the threeformulaewere devised for the panel’s simultaneous decision. It appears that these events transpired without a hitch, neither side raising...

  9. IV The Jurists: C. Aquilius Gallus and Ignotus
    (pp. 139-196)

    Aquilius’ name turns up twice in thepro Caecina. The first time is at 77-79, where he is eulogized by Cicero for his juristic qualities and described as the “authority” for Cicero’s argument (79:auctorem nostrae defensionis). The second time is in a troubled passage in the middle of 95, as Cicero concludes his “proof’ of Caecina’s possession (94-95). The text reads:

    Ipse porro Caecina cur se moribus deduci volebat idque tibi de amicorum †de his de Aquilii† sententia responderat.¹

    Caecina proposed adeductioafter consulting with aconsiliumof hisamici(20:de amicorum sententia). In Cicero’s second report...

  10. V The Recuperatores
    (pp. 197-234)

    Throughout his speech for Caecina, Cicero appeals to the panel of judges simply asrecuperatores; the vocative occurs twenty-two times, or slightly more than once every five chapters. But Cicero does not address any of therecuperatoresby name, nor does he attempt to praise them either individually or as a group, beyond calling themprudentissimi homines(40) on whosefidesandreligioCaecina rests his case (103). Cicero’s tone is always restrained and respectful, even a little distant. Cicero remonstrates with therecuperatoresfor having delayed their decision (6), for not having believed the defendant’s own witnesses (31), and...

  11. VI The Corona
    (pp. 235-268)

    Cicero, in cross-examining Fidiculanius Falcula, the witness for the defendant, inquired of him how far his farm was from Rome. The witness replied, “Nearly 50,000,” meaning 50,000 paces or 50 Roman miles. At this point “the crowd gleefully cried out, ‘The very amount!’” (Caec. 28:populus cum risu adclamavit ipsa esse). As Cicero explains, they remembered that Falcula’s farm was allegedly purchased with HS 50,000 of bribe money he had received as a judge in a criminal trial of 74.¹ The spontaneous outburst from the gallery so disconcerted Falcula that he declined to repeat his answer.

    The urban masses of...

  12. VII Conclusion: The Professionalization of Law
    (pp. 269-288)

    Once law had been successfully transformed into an intellectual discipline under the control of professionals, the new form of law became effectively irresistible. The profession of law has survived (and in most circumstances prospered) under the most astonishing array of social and economic conditions, and under almost every imaginable type of monarchy, despotism, aristocracy, and democracy; even the modern socialist states, whose founders often proclaimed their contempt for law, have learned to rely on the flexible repertory of legal thinking. After two millennia, it is hard even to conceive of a political society without law and lawyers. Such a society...

  13. Index of Passages Cited
    (pp. 289-302)
  14. General Index
    (pp. 303-317)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 318-318)