a Roman jurist, and a pupil of Ulpian, whom Modestinus cites in terms of high commendation. (Dig. 26
. tit. 6. s. 2.) His name, Herenniius, is mentioned in a passage of Ulpian (Dig. 47
. tit. 2. s. 53.20), if the Herennius Modestinus there mentioned is the jurist, which we assume to be the fact.
The words of Ulpian, "Herennio Modestino studioso meo de Dalmatia consulenti rescripsi." are ambiguous: some take them to mean that Modestinus was a native of Dalmatia, which cannot be the meaning of the words; others more probably take the words to mean that Modestinus was then in Dalmatia.
But the assumption that he was proconsul of Dalmatia is not proved by the words of Ulpian, who would hardly have omitted his title if Modestilms held that rank. All that we can conclude from the words of Ulpian is that Modestinus asked his advice about Dalmatia. Zimmern says that " he nimv have been the person who in the year 979 (A. . 22(i), as proconsul of Dalmatia, decided an eighteen years' suit;" and this decision, he says, is mentioned in an inscription in Fabretti (p. 278). This is one of the strangest blunders ever made.
The matter is stated correctly by Puchta. (Cursus,
vol. i. p. 489.)
The name of Ierennius Modestinus occurs in an inscription, which inscription also states that the first decision in the matter referred to by the inscription was made by Aelius Florianus; it was confirmed by Herennius Modestinus, and again confirmed by Faltonius Restitutianus, praefectus vigilum.
This inscription was found at Rome, and it contains nothing about Dalmatia; and yet the conclusion of Zimmern is that the passage in Ulpian, which was probably written in the time of Caracalla, and this inscription, which records a judgment in the time of Alexander Severus, establish the fact of Modestinus being governor of Dalmatia.
Modestinus was writing under Alexander Severus, as appears from the terms in which he mentions the emperor (Dig. 48
. tit. 10. s. 29); and he was one of his consiliarii.
He also taught law to the younger Maximinus. (Capitol. Maximin. Jun.
In a rescript of Gordian (A. D. 239) mention is made of a Responsum which Mcdestinus had given to the person to whom the rescript is directed. (Cod. 3. tit. 42. s. 5.) Modestinus often cites Ulpian, and he is cited by Aurelius Arcadius Charisius.
Though Modestinus is the latest of the great Roman jurists, he ranks among the most distinguished.
There are 345 excerpts in the Digest from his writings, the titles of which show the extent and variety of his labours.
Modestinus wrote both in Greek and Latin. From the six books of Excusationes,
which were written in Greek, an extract, which contains the beginning of the work, is preserved in the Digest (27
. tit. 1).
There are also excerpts from the nine books of Differentiae,
ten books of Regulae,
nineteen books of Responsa,
twelve books of Pandectae,
from which there are many extracts, four books on Poenae,
and the single treatises De Enucleatis Casibus, De Eurematicis
or Heurematicis, De Inofficioso Testamesto, De llfanumissionibus,
and De Praescriptionibus.
This last work must be distinguished from another of the same name, which is not mentioned in the Florentine Index, and which consisted of four books at least. (Dig. 45
. tit. 1. s. 101.) Other works were, De Ritu Nuptiarunm, De Differentia Dotis,
and the single treatises De Legatis et Fideicommissis,
and De Testamentis,
which are mentioned in the Florentine Index.
The Florentine Index does not mention the Libi tad Quintlum MIcium,
though there are two excerpts from this work in the Digest, from the fourteenth and thirty-first books respectively. (Dig. 41
. tit. 1. s. 53, 54.)
A rescript of the emperors Septimius Severus and Antoninus Caracalla, A. D. 204 (Cod. 4. tit. 2. s. 1), can hardly have been directed to this Modestinus, who lived to the time of Gordian; for it is dated thirty-five years before the time of Gordian, and, besides this, the demand of Modestinus is characterised as neither equitable nor usual. (G. Grotius, Vitae Jurisconsultorum,
&c.; Puchta, Cursus der Institutionen,
vol. i. p. 459; Zimmern, Geschichte des Rom. Privatrechts,
p. 383; Fabretti, Inscript. Antiq.,
Romae. 1699, p. 278.)