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clergy were forbidden by ecclesiastical canons to receive any interest at all, and the senators, by the civil laws, were restrained from receiving as much as was permitted to other persons.
The Fathers, who condemned all usury in general, did not consider that their scheme was practicable only in the Republic of Ideas, and that the Roman empire could no more subsist without money lent and borrowed upon intérest, than without air and water. Cod. Th. l. ii. tit. xxxiii.
See Barbeyac, Morale des Peres, p. 144. and an ingenious Treatise de Fænore et Usuris, by G. Noodt.
He ordered that prisoners should be well used, and conveniently lodged, and made laws in favour of slaves and of debtors.
He appointed that poor parents should be relieved out of the treasury, to prevent the exposing and murdering of children.
He made a very severe law against rapes, in which he decreed, that nurses who assisted in seducing or stealing away virgins, should have melted lead poured down their throats ; a barbarous and brutish punishment. He is supposed to have ordered all who were guilty in this affair to be burnt and cast to the beasts.
His son Constans mitigated some of the severity of his father's edict; but appointed that slaves who were found guilty should be burnt. Cod. Th. I. ix. tit. xxiv. p. 189, &c. and Valesius on Sozom. i. 9.
He restrained the frequency of divorces upon slight oCcasions, but admitted them for other causes besides adultery; and yet more liberty was taken by the Romans in the affair of divorce than the laws of Constantine allowed. Cod. Th. 1. üi. tit. xiii. p. 310. et Gothofred.
He exempted the clergy from the burden of civil offices", which was often very heavy. This law, if I were not an
# Julian abolished these exemptions, and obliged the clergy to serve civil offices. His law is, Decuriones, qui ut Christiani declinant mu: nia, revocentur.' See Cod. Theod. 1. xiii. tit. i. p. 7. and 1. xii. tit. i. De Decurionibus, p. 336, &c. and Gothofred. Kampizows péytos tavay ατέλειας και τιμής και τα σιτηρέσια αφείλετο και τους υπέρ αυτών κειμένους νόμους ανεϊλε, και τους βουλευτηρίοις απέδωκε. Εt clericis
I should venture to commend as reasonable. To this he added another, that there should be no more ecclesiastics ordained than were necessary; a proper caution at that time, and in all times; for
many reasons which it is needless to mention.
By a law addressed to the Roman people, he granted his subjects a permission to bequeath as much as they would to the church. Every one knows how these donations were multiplied, and how bestowed in process of time, to the emolument of the church, and, as the Canon Law assures us, of the state likewise : “ Augmentatur namque respublica in sustentando viros ecclesiasticos, quorum precibus regna juvantur.'
However that be, “Hinc deinceps opes ecclesiarum, et inter alias Romanæ,' says Gothofred, Chron. Cod. Th.
They who disinherit their children, grand-children, and near relations, for no fault, and leave their substance to pious uses and public charities, deserve to be treated as idiots and lunatics, and to have their will set aside as a Testamentum inofficiosum.
He is supposed to have given a civil jurisdiction to bishops, and to have made them receivers of appeals, and final judges in causes wherein religion was no ways concerned. See Tillemont, Hist. des Emp. iv. p. 295. and in the Notes, who thinks that this was a grievous burden upon men who were desirous of being better employed, and had things of higher importance to perform. See also Valesius on Euseb. Vit. Const. iv. 27. and Sozom. i. 9.
Synesius, who was a bishop, says, Tinitinn' apetyin ξερωσύνη συνάπτειν, το κλώθειν εστί τα ασύγκλωστα. Εpist. 67. i. é. What hath an ecclesiastic to do with politics?'
A law of Constantine ordains that the single testimony of a bishop shall suffice, without hearing other witnesses. This prince took a short cut: he judged of causes by per
quidem iminunitatem omnem atque honorem, et annonas ademit : legesque in eorum gratiam latas abrogavit : ipsos denique curiis restituit.' Sozom. v. 5. Τους εν κλήρω κατειλεγμένους εις την των Bov eurūv LVÉRTEDE Xeitoupyiay. • Eos qui clero adscripti erant, ad publicas decurionum functiones retraxit. Philostorgius, p. 514. VOL. II.
sons, and of persons by dignities.' L'Esprit des Loix, ïi. xxix. 16.
The old Roman laws showed no favour to natural children. Constantine, to discourage concubinage, and to encourage matrimony in persons who lived together in that way, ordered, that if a man married his concubine, the children which he had by her before marriage should become legitimate ; but for natural children he made no provision, and gave them no relief.
them no relief. Valentinian I. afterwards permitted a father to leave a small part of his fortunes to his natural children, and Theodosius Junior confirmed it. See Gothofred, ad Cod. Th. l. iv. tit. vi. p. 351, &c.
The first council of Toledo, A. D. 400. hath this canon :
He who with a believing wife hath a concubine, is excommunicated : but if his concubine be in the stead of a wife, and he adhere to her alone, whether she be called wife or concubine, he is not to be rejected from communion.' « This canon shows that there were concubines approved by the church. According to the Roman laws, every woman could not be the legitimate wife of every man: both were to be Roman citizens, and of suitable condition. A senator could not marry a freed woman: a free man could not marry a slave: and the cohabitation of slaves was not called by the name of marriage. But a woman who could not be taken for a wife, might be taken as a concubine, and the laws alloved it, provided the man had only one concubine, and was not a married
The children of such parents were neither legitimate, nor bastards, but natural children, acknowledged by the father, and capable of receiving legacies. The church meddled not with these distinctions of the civil laws, but, regarding only the law of nature, approved every conjunction of one man with a woman, if it was with one woman, and perpetual ; and the more so, because the Holy Scrip. tures employ the name of wife or of concubine, indifferently. Fleury, H. E. t. v. 120.
Libanius being distressed by a law made against bastards (for he confesses that he had one) says that Theodosius granted him a dispensation, cr' even repealed the law to favour him. Liban. Vit. p. 61, 62.
Si quis," says Constantine, in orbe Romano eunuchos fecerit, capite puniatur. Cod. 1. iv. tit. xlii. 1. See also Novel. cxlii. and Leonis Constit. lx. Pagan emperors had made laws against this execrable crime. Digest. l. xlviii. tit. vii. 3, 4. 6.
He provided for the children of the poor out of his own revenues ; and afterwards many charitable laws were made by him, and by Christian emperors who succeeded him, for the relief of the sick and helpless, beyond what had been done by Pagans; though something of that kind must have been always performed in civilized countries.
Concerning the places called Valetudinaria, Nocomousia, see Seneca Epist. xxvii. de Ira, i. 16. Nat. Quæst. 1. Præfat. and the Notes of Lipsius, Gruter, and Gronovius. The temples of Æsculapius seem to have been a kind of hospitals; and doubtless the priests, who were commonly physicians, used their best endeavours to cure the patients, and the honour of curing them was ascribed to the God.
Pliny mentions the gall of a white cock, as a cure for disorders in the eyes, and an old inscription in Gruter informs us that one Valerius Aper, a blind soldier, con: $ulted Æsculapius ; that the god ordered him to make a salve of honey and the blood of a white cock, and anoint his eyes for three days; that he applied it, and recovered his sight, and came to the temple and returned public thanks to the god; and that this happened in the time of Antoninus Pius. See Harduin on Pliny, N. H. xxix. 38.
He ordered that no woman of reputation should be arrested and forced out of her house for debt. Cod. Th. 1. i. tit. x. p. 57.
He made a law against delators, after his victory over Maxentius, with a view to settle peace and tranquillity at Rome. He ordered such offenders to have their tongues
· Illud sane et ex hac lege et aliis nonnullis discimus, Constantinum poenas acerbissimas legibus indixisse, si quisquam principum, ut-vitia frangeret. Gothofred, ad Cod. Th. l. x. tit. x. p. 431. He published an edict
by which he declared himself ever ready to receive and hear any complaints against his officers, governors, and counsellors of state, which should be wellgrounded, and promised not only to do justice to the suf
ferers, but to recompense them for their pains. Cod. Th. Chron. p. 25.
He made a law to punish adultery with death, which had not been a capital crime, in that sense, before in the Roman empire. See the First Volume of these Remarks, p. 302. and Gothofred, ad Cod. Th. l. xi. tit. xxxvi.
He repealed the Papian law. One of the corruptions which soon crept into the church, was a fanatical notion concerning celibacy, the recommending it too much, and the requiring it of several : for which the civil magistrate ought to have reprimanded and checked the ecclesiastics. The Fathers began from early times to talk weakly and injudiciously upon this subject, and to cry up a single life beyond measure. Augustus, to people the empire, ex. hausted by civil wars, and to restrain several abuses, made a law, de maritandis ordinibus,' which was called “Lex Julia,' and another called “Lex Papia Poppæa,' in which he encouraged and enforced matrimony by rewards to those who should comply, and by heavy penalties on the disobedient. It may be right, where the exigencies of the state cannot be pleaded to the contrary, to leave persons more liberty in this than was granted to them by the laws of Augustus; but the good of civil society certainly requires that marriage be permitted to all, that it be accounted honourable, that it be attended with some privileges, and that the parents of a numerous family be considered, employed, and recompensed, cæteris paribus, beyond others, and in many cases have the preference. So thought and so acted the wise Romans, when they were in their most flourishing condition : but in the time of Constantine notions were entertained, which afterwards helped to fill the world with drones, mendicants, fanatics, and imaginary dæmoni. acs, not to mention other bad consequences. Ambrose affirms that Alexandria, Afric, and the East, where there was the greatest number of religious yirgins, were there. fore more populous than other countries. De Virg. ii. See Sozom. i. 9.
He restrained and discouraged, but did not absolutely forbid and suppress the Pagan practice of sacrificing, and consulting the entrails of victims by the Haruspices.