a Roman jurist, who flourished, as Majansius and Heineccius have clearly shewn, in the second half of the first century of the Christian aera.
He succeeded Pegasus, the follower of Proculus, and was himself succeeded by Celsus, the son, and Neratius Priscus. (Dig. 1
. tit. 2. s. 2.47.)
He belonged (at least on one occasion) to the consilium of the consul Ducenus Verus, who was probably a consul suffectus, and is nowhere named except in Dig. 31
. s. 29.
The numerous attempts of learned men to identify Ducenus with recorded consuls are without ground, and most of their conjectures refer to too late a period, unless Celsus the father attained to an unusual age. Thus Wieling (Jurisprudentia Restituta,
p. 351) and Guil. Grotius (De Vitis Jurisp.
2.2.2) make Ducenus the same as L. Cejonius Commodus Verus, who was consul A. D. 106. Others are for L. Annius Verus, consul A. D. 121. Ant. Augustinus (De Nominibus Propriis Pandectarum,
100.3, p. 259, n. [g.]) seems to think he might have been the Juventius Verus, who was consul for the third time A. D. 134. Heineccins (Hist. Jur
104.241, n.) is for Decennius Geminus who was consul suffectus A. D. 57, and whose cognomen might have been Verus.
It was in the council of Ducenus Verus that the opinion of Celsus the father was given upon an important point, and was adopted as law.
He held (to use the nomenclature of English jurisprudence), that the beneficial interest in a legacy did not lapse by the death of the trustee before the testator. (As to the consilium of the consul and other magistrates, see Dist. of Ant. s. v. Conventus ;
also Cic. Brut. 22
; Plin. Ep. 1.20
; Amm. Mar. xxxiii. c. ull. ; Suet. Tib. 33
; Tituli ex Corpore Ulpiawni,
1. s. 13; Cod. 1. tit. 51; Dig. 1
. tit. 21. s. 2, pr.; tit. 22.) In Dig. 17
. tit. 1. s. 39, his opinion is cited along with that of Aristo, who was rather younger than Celsus the father. The Celsus to whom Aristo gives answers in Dig. 2
. tit. 14. s. 7.2, and Dig. 40
. tit. 7. s. 29.1, was Celsus the son, who, having gained greater celebrity as a jurist than his father, is understood to be meant in the Digest whenever Celsus is named without the addition pater
Bach, who thinks the contrary more likely (Hist. Jurisp. Rom.
3.1.22 . n. [h.]), is certainly mistaken. Compare Dig. 12
. tit. 4. s. 3. §§ 6, 7; Dig. 31
. s. 20.
It can scarcely be doubted that the name of the father was the same as that of the son, viz. P. Juventius Celsus, for otherwise he would probably have been distinguished by the difference of name, whereas he is never mentioned by any other appellation than Celsus pater.
There is no direct citation from him in the Digest. Stockmann (ad
Bachii Hist. Jurisp. Rom.
loc. cit.) mentions a conjecture of Ev. Otto (Praef. ad Thes.
i. p. 28), that there were three jurists named Celsus, viz. father, son, and grandson ; but the reference to Otto seems to be incorrect.
It is, indeed, highly probable that the P. Juventius, who appears from an inscription in Gruter (p. 607) to have been promagister scrinii under Antoninus Pius, A. D. 155, was a grandson of the elder Celsus, but there is no proof that he was a jurist.
Those who, like Ménage (Amoen. Jur.
c. xx.), identify the promagister with the son, must suppose that the son discharged an exceedingly laborious office in a very advanced age. Very little is known of Celsus the father, though much has been written upon him. Among the legal biographers who have attributed to his life one or more of the events that belong to the life of his son, are Guil. Grotius, Gravina, and Strauchius. (Vitae vet. JCtorum,
No. 2, p. 14.) The Gens Juventia was an ancient race, and could boast of several jurists, as T. Juventius, C. Juventius, and M. Juventius Lateranensis.
In manuscripts and monuments, from the ordinary interchange of V and B, the name is often spelt Jubentius. (Majansius, ad XXX JCtos,
ii. pp. 236-255.)