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JU´RGIUM

JU´RGIUM has been thought to be a contracted form of juridicium; it is doubtless derived from jus, but the verb jurgare suggests jure agere as a more probable etymology. In its legal sense, however, the word is pointedly distinguished from litigare, and denotes wrangling or complaint without legal proceedings. Nonius, s.v. Jurgium (5.34 = p. 430), quotes a passage from Cicero (de Rep. iv. fr. 24) commenting on the words SI JURGANT in the Twelve Tables: “Si jurgant, inquit. Benevolorum concertatio, non lis, ut inimicorum, sed jurgium dicitur.” Et in sequenti: “Jurgare igitur lex putat inter se vicinos, non litigare.” Rudorff states that the term jurgium was applied to the small disputes between owners of contiguous lands. Hence he explains the words of Cicero (de Legg. 1.21.55), “Usucapionem XII. Tabulae intra quinque pedes esse noluerunt:” the balks or strips of five feet in width which divided the praedia were not to be encroached upon and then claimed through lapse of time. He refers for a like use of the word to Horace (Hor. Ep. 2.1, 38, “Excludat jurgia finis,” and 2.2, 170): “Sed vocat usque suum, qua populus adsita certis
Limitibus vicina refugit jurgia.”

(Rudorff, Zeitschrift für die Rechtsw. 10.346, Ueber die Gränzscheidungsklage.

Compare also Cicero (de Legg. 2.8.19). “Feriis jurgia amovento.” It is needless to tell people not to go to law on holidays, when the courts are shut; the meaning is, that private wranglings are to cease in honour of the day. Rixa differs from jurgium as implying a quarrel that comes to blows (Tac. Hist. 1.64; Juv. 15.52). (Cf. Donaldson, Varronianus,2 p. 213; Forcellini, Lexicon, s.v. Jurgium.

[G.L] [W.W]

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