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T. Aristo

a distinguished Roman jurist, who lived under the emperor Trajan, and was a friend of the Younger Pliny.

He is spoken of by Pliny (Plin. Ep. 22) in terms of the highest praise, as not only an excellent man and profound scholar, but a lawyer thoroughly acquainted with private and public law, and perfectly skilled in the practice of his profession--in short, a living Thesaurus Juris.


Of his merits as an author, Pliny does not speak ; and though his works are occasionally mentioned in the Digest, there is no direct extract from any of them in that compilation.

In philosophy, this model of a virtuous lawyer is described by Pliny as a genuine disciple of the Porch. He has been usually supposed to belong to the legal sect of Proculeians [CAPITO], though, upon one point at least (Dig. 28. tit. 5. s. 19), his opinion differed from the Proculeian Pegasus, and accorded with the Sabinian Javolenus.

Notes on Labeo, Cassius, and Sabinus

He wrote notes on the Libri Posteriorum of Labeo, on Cassius, whose pupil he had been, and on Sabinus. "Aristo in decretis Frontianis," or Frontinianis, is once cited in the Digest (29. tit. 2. s. ult.); but what those decreta were has never been satisfactorily explained. He corresponded with his contemporary jurists, Celsus and Neratius (Dig. 19. tit. 2. s. 19.2, 20. tit. 3. s. 3, 40. tit. 7. s. 29.1); and it appears to us to be probable that many of the responsa and epistolae of the Roman jurisconsults were not opinions upon cases occurring in actual practice, but answers to the hypothetical questions of pupils and legal friends.

Other Possible Works

Other works, besides those which we have mentioned, have been attributed to him without sufficient cause. Some, for example, have inferred from a passage in Gellius (11.18), that he wrote de furtis ; and, from passages in the Digest (24. tit. 3. s. 44. pr.; 8. tit. 5. s. 8.5 ; 23. tit. 2. s. 40), that he published books under the name Digesta and Responsa.

Further Information

Strauch, Vitae JCtorum, No. 12; Grotius, 2, 3, in Franck's Vitae Tripertitae JCtorum Veterumt, Hal. 1718; Heinec. Hist. Jur. Rom. § 260, 1; Zimmern, Röm. Rechts-Geschichte, vol. 1.89.


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