the latest Roman jurist from whom there is an extract in the Digest. and the last mentioned in the Florentine Index.
He lived in the time of Constantine the Great, when the family of the Hermogeniani was in high credit, from its connection with the powerful race of the Anicii (Reines, Inscr.
p. 70). In Dig. 48
. tit. 15. s. ult.,
he says that the pecuniary punishment of the Lex Fabia de Plagiariis had fallen into disuse. Now that penalty was still in existence in the reign of Diocletian and Maximilian (Cod. 9. tit. 20. s. 6), who first made kidnapping a capital offence (Cod. 9. tit. 20. s. 7).
He was acquainted (Dig. 4
. tit. 4. s. 7) with the constitution of Constantine, bearing date A. D. 331, by which the right of appeal from the sentences of the praefecti praetorio was abolished (Cod. Theod. 11. tit. 30. s. 16; Cod. Just. 7
. tit. 62. s. 19). Jacques Godefroi, in the commencement of his Prolegomena to the Theodosian Code (vol. i. p. 193), cites several passages which make it likely that Hermogenianus survived Constantine, and wrote under the reign of his sons. Thus, in Dig. 28
. tit. 1. s. 41, Dig. 39
. tit. 4. s. 10, Dig. 49
. tit. 14. s. 46.7, he speaks of principes
in the plural number.
The fact of his being contemporary with Constantine may have led to the notion that he was a Christian. Bertrandus (de Jurisp.
1.38) endeavours to prove that he was so, from the mention which he makes in Dig. 24
. tit. 1. s. 60, of divorce, "Propter sacerdotium, vel etiam sterilitatem;" but, on the one hand, a divorce for barrenness was not in conformity with the then prevalent doctrine of the Christian church, and, on the other hand, it was not unusual for Gentiles, on entering the priesthood, to dismiss their wives. (Tertullian, ad Uxorem,
Before his time, the living spirit of jurisprudence had departed.
He is a mere compiler, and his language, like that of Charisius, is infected with barbarisms.
He wrote Juris Epitomae
in six books, following the arrangement of the edict (Dig. 1
. tit. 5. s. 2).
He appears in particular to have copied from Paulus, by whose side he is repeatedly quoted in the Digest. From his Epitomae
there are 106 extracts in the Digest, occupying about ten pages in the Palingenesia
of Hommel. From the inscription of Dig. 36
. tit. 1. s. 14, it has been supposed that he wrote Libri Fideicommissorum,
but there is no mention of such a work in the Florentine Index; and, as the preceding and following extracts are taken from Ulpian's Libri IV. Fideicommissorum,
it is not unlikely that his name has been inserted by mistake, instead of Ulpian's.
It is probable that he was the compiler of the Codex Hermogenianus (Dict. of Ant. s. v. Codex Gregorianus
) but so many persons of the same name lived nearly at the same time, that this cannot be affirmed with certainty. (Ritter, ad Heinec. Hist. Jur. Rom.
(Strauchius, Vitae Vet. JCt.
p. 22; Jos. Finestres, Comment. in Hermogeniani ICti Juris Epit. Libros VI.
4to. Cervariae Lacetanorum, 1757; Ménage, Amoen. Jur.
100.11: Guil. Grotius. de Vit. ICtorum,
2.12.8; Bynkers, Obs.
6.21; Zimmern, R. R. G.