one of the most distinguished of the Roman jurists, has been supposed, without any good reason, to be of Greek origin, and from a Phoenician town.
Others conjecture that he was a native of Patavium (Padua), because there is a statue there, with an inscription, Paulus ; but the statue and inscription may refer to another Paulus (Gellius, 5.4
). Paulus was in the auditorium of Papinian (Dig. 29
. tit. 2. s. 97; 49. tit. 14. s. 50), and consequently was acting as a jurist in the joint reigns of Septimius Severus and Antoninus Caracalla, and also during the reign of Caracalla. Paulus was exiled by Elagabalus, but he was recalled by Alexander Severus when he became emperor, and was made a member of his consilium (Aurel. Vict. De Caes.
xxiv.; Lamprid. Alex.
25). Paulus also held the office of praefectus praetorio : he survived his contemporary Ulpian.
In two passages of the Digest which have been already referred to, Paulus (Libro tertio Decretorum) speaks of two cases in which he gave an opinion contrary to Papinian, but the emperor decided according to Papinian's opinion.
Paulus was perhaps the most fertile of all the Roman law writers, and there is more excerpted from him in the Digest than from any other jurist, except Ulpian.
It is said that there are 2462 excerpts from Ulpian, in the Digest, and 2083 from Paulus, or 2080, according to Puchta (Cursus,
&c. vol. i. p. 458), which make about one sixth of the whole Digest.
The excerpts from Paulus and Ulpian together make about one half of the Digest. Cervidius Scaevola, Paulus, and Ulpian, are named by Modestinus (Dig. 27
. tit. 2. s. 13.2), who was the last of the great jurists, τῶν νομικῶν κορυφαίους
: Paulus is honoured by Gordian with the title "prudentissimus" (Cod. 5. tit. 4. s. 6).
It has been objected to him that his style is too condensed, and that he is sometimes obscure; but his style is as good as that of other writers of the period, though not so easy as that of Ulpian. Some writers have discovered something of Grecism in him, which is made an argument in favour of his Greek origin.
The writings, like those of all the Roman jurists who are known to us only by excerpts, require a careful study, as we have the fragments detached from their context.
Paulus commented on Javolenus, Labeo, Salvius Julianus, C. Scaevola, and Papinian.
He is cited by Macer and Modestinus.
Writings mentioned in the Florentine Index
The writings of Paulus mentioned in the Florentine Index are the following; from some of which there is only a single excerpt or a few, and from some not one in the Digest.
1. His great work, Ad Edictum, in 80 books. 2. Quaestiones, in 26 books; both these works are commented on by Cujacius (Op. tom. v.). 3. Responsa, in 23 books. 4. Brevia, in 23 books. 5. Ad Plautium, in 13 books. 6. Libri ad Sabinum, in 16 books. 7. Ad Leges Jul. et Pap., in 10 books. 8. Regularia, in 7 books, and 9. Liber Singularis Regularium, both of which are excerpted in the Digest : the Index also mentions Regularium βιβλίον ἕν. 10. Sententiae sive Facta, in 6 books, but there is no excerpt in the Digest; and this work is conjectured to be the same as the Sex Libri Imperialium Sententiarum, which are mentioned afterwards in this article. 11. Sententiar. Libri quinque, dedicated to his son : this work was used in the Visigoth collection called the Breviarium, where it is divided into titles, and called Sententiae Receptae, a name which may have been given to it on account of its importance, and in consequence of the sanction of Constantine and Valentinian. 12. Ad Vitellium, in 4 books. 13. Ad Neratium, in 4 books. 14. Fideicommissa, in 3 books. 15. Decretorum Libri III., of which it is conjectured that the Decretorum Libri sex, or Imperialium Sententiarum in Cognitionibus prolatarum Libri sex, or Sententiae sive Decreta, may be a second edition. 16. De Adulteriis, in 3 books. 17. Libri tres Manualium. 18. Institutiones, in 2 books, from which there is a fragment in Boethius, Ad Ciceronis Topica, lib. 2 (ad 100.4). 19. De Officio Proconsulis, in 2 books. 20. Ad Legem Aeliam Sentiam, in 3 books. 21. Ad Legem Juliam, in two books.1. 22. De Jure Fisci, in 2 books : there is only one excerpt from this work 2 23. Regularium Liber Singularis, which has been already referred to. 24. De Censibus, in 2 books, written in the time of Elagabalus 3.
Treatises in single books
All the following treatises were in single books :--
1. De Poenis Paganorum. 2. De Poenis Militum. 3. De Poenis omnium Legum. 4. De Usuris. 5. De Gradibus et Affinibus : Cujacius (Op. tom. iii. Observ. 6.100.40) says that "a person worthy of credit, into whose hands this book had come entire, had affirmed that this work was almost entirely given in the 10th fragment De Gradibus" 4; which fact, if true, shows that many of these single treatises were no more than chapters. 6. De Jure Codicillorum. 7. De Excusationibus Tutelarum (Vat. Frag. § 246). 8. Ad Regulam Catonianam. 9. Ad Sct. Orfitianum. 10. Ad Sct. Tertullianum. 11. Ad Sct. Silanianum. 12. Ad Sct. Velleianum. 13. Ad Sct. Libonianum, seu Claudianum ; thus it stands in the Index. 14. De Officio Praefecti Vigilum. 15. De Officio Praefecti Urbi. 16. De Officio Praetoris Tutelaris : there is no excerpt from this work in the Digest, but there are two excerpts in the Fragmenta Vaticana, §§ 244, 245. 17. De extraordinariis Criminibus : there is no excerpt in the Digest. 18. Hypothecuria, which should be Ad Hypothecariam Formulam : there is no excerpt in the Digest.
19. Ad Municipalem5
20. De Publicis Judiciis. 21. De Inofficioso Testamento. 22. De Septemviralibus Judiciis, which, as has been suggested by Gronovius, should doubtless be De Centumviralibus Judiciis. 23. De Jure Singulari. 24. De Secundis Tabulis. 25. Ad Orationem D. Severi. 26. Ad Orationem D. Marci. 27. Ad Legem Velleiam : there is no excerpt in the Digest. 28. Ad Legem Cinciam. 29. Ad Legem Faleidiam. 30. De tacito Fideicommisso. 31. De Portionibus quae Liberis Damnatorum conceduntur. 32. De Juris et Facti Ignorantia. 33. De Adulteriis6 ; yet there are excerpts from the Tres Libri de Adulteriis, which lead to the inference that there may be some error as to the Liber Singularis de Adulteriis. 34. De Instructo et Instrumento. 35. De Appellationibus : there is no excerpt from this work in the Digest. 36. De Jure Libellorum. 37. De Testamentis, by which is intended the Liber de Forma Testamenti 7. 38. De Jure Patronatus. 39. De Jure Patronatus quod ex Lege Julia et Papia venit. 40. De Actionibus. 41. De Concurrentibus Actionibus. 42. De Intercessionibus Feminarum ; which is conjectured by Zimmern to be the same as the Ad Sct. Velleianum. 43. De Donationibus inter Virum et Uxorem. 44. De Legibus. 45. De Legitimis Hereditatibus : there are no excerpts from the three last works in the Digest. 46. De Libertatibus dandis. 47. De Senatus Consultis.
Works not in the Index
The Index does not contain the following works, unless, as Zimmern remarks, they ought to stand in place of some of the works which are named in the Index, and from which there are no excerpts:--
4. And the following Libri Singulares
There are also the notes to Julian, Papinian, and Scaevola, which last, however, are merely cited.
There is also a passage in the Fragmenta Vaticana,
§ 247, from the Lib. I. Editionis secundae de Jurisdictione singulari.
The enumeration of the works of Paulus is not made merely for the sake of completeness. To those who are conversant with the matter of jurisprudence it shows his wonderful fertility and the great variety of subjects on which he was employed. Cujacius has devoted to the Libri ad Edictum
and the Quaestiones
of Paulus the whole of the fifth volume of his works (ed. Neap. 1758), except a few pages, which are upon the Differentiae
The sixth volume of the same edition contains the Recitationes Solemnes
of Cujacius (A. D. 1588) on the Responsa
The first volume of Cujacius contains the Interpretationes in Julii Pauli Receptarum Sententiarum Libros quinque.
The industry of Paulus must have been unremitting, and the extent of his legal learning is proved by the variety of his labours. Perhaps no legal writer, ancient or modern, has handled so many subjects, if we except his great commentator.
Grotius, Vitae Jurisconsultorum
; Cujacius, Op.
ed. Neapol. 1758; Zimmern, Geschichte des Römischen Privatrechts,
367, &c.; Paulus, Receptae Sententiae cum Interpretatione Visigoithorum,
ed. L. Arndts, Bonn, 1833.