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Gallus, C.? Ae'lius

a jurist, contemporary with Cicero and Varro, though probably rather older than either, is said by Macrobius (Macr. 6.8) to have been a most learned man.


He was the author of a treatise in at least two books, De Verborum, quæ ad Jus Civile pertinent, Significatione. (Serv. ad Virg. Georg. 1.264.) In Festus (s. v. Rogatio), the citation should probably be of the 2nd, not the 12th book. From a corruption of the name C. Aelius, his work has been attributed, in some passages where it is cited (Gel. 16.5; Macr. Sat. 6.8), to a Caelius, or Caecilius Gallus. (Ant. Augustin, De Nom. Prop. Pandect. p. 16; Ménage, Amoen. Juris. 22.) Athough he is not mentioned by Pomponius, nor named in the Florentine Index, there is one pure extract from him in the Digest (Dig. 50. tit. 16. s. 157), and he is also twice cited in that compilation--by Gaius in Dig. 22. tit. 1. s. 19, and by Paulus, through Julianus, in Dig. 50. tit. 16. s. 77 In the latter extract (if it refers to him, which is doubtful) he is cited by the name Gallus alone, a designation which elsewhere applies to C. Aquillius Gallus. These passages are commented upon by Maiansius, Ad XXX Ictorum Frag. Comment. vol. ii. p. 37-47.

Another fragment of Aelius Gallus is preserved by Gellius (16.5), and several may be found in Festus (s. v. Postliminium, Reus, Saltus, Torrens, Municeps, Nexum, Necessarii, Possessio, Reciperatio, Rogatio Sobrinus, Petrarum, Sacer Mons, Religiosum, Perfagam, Relegati, Remancipationem, Senatus Decretum, Sepulchrum.) These fragments (some of which contain valuable antiquarian information) are collected in Dirksen's Bruchstücke, &c., and are also given, with a commentary, by C. G. E. Heimbach (C. Aelii Galli de Verbor. quae ad jus pertinent Signif., Fragmenta, 8vo. Lips. 1823.)

Two passages in Varro (De L. L. 4.2, 4.10), according to the ordinary reading, make express mention of Aelius Gallus; and in another passage (5.7) it is doubtful whether Aelius Gallus ought not to be read. (Compare Gell. 10.21.) Upon these passages depends the precise determination of the age of Aelius Gallus. The Aelius mentioned in Varro (De L. L. 5.7) is spoken of as an old man.

Confusion with L. Aelius Stilo

In other passages of Varro, where Aelius is mentioned, without the addition Gallus, the person referred to is L. Aelius Stilo, who is not to be confounded with the jurist. Van Heusde (De L. Aelio Stilone, p. 64, 65, Traj. ad Rhen. 1839) thinks that Stilo rather than Gallus is referred to, even in the passages De L. L. 4.2, 4.10. In this opinion he is followed by Lachmann (in Savigny's Zeilsch. vol. xi. p. 116), who asserts that Aelius Gallus is cited by no writer more ancient than Verrius Flaccus. Lachmann attributes to C. Aelius the sentence Impubes libripens esse non potest neque antestari (Priscian, Ars. Gram. p. 792, ed. Putsch), which is assigned by Dirksen to C. Livius Drusus. [DRUSUS, No. 3.]

Identification with Aelius Gallus, prefect of Aegypt

Lachmann seems inclined to identify the jurist with the Aelius Gallus who was prefect of Aegypt under Augustus, and is spoken of in the preceding article. This identity had been previously asserted by Bertrandus and Bach, but must be rejected by those who suppose that Varro cites Aelius Gallus the jurist.

Further Information

Maiansius, l.c. ; Neuber, Die juristische Klassiker, p. 72-75; Zimmern, R. R. G. vol. 1.81.


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