Iulius Paulus

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Iulius Paulus was a late Classical Roman jurist and Praetorian prefect under Emperor Severus Alexander in the early 3rd century.

Like Papinian , Paul was a student of Quintus Cervidius Scaevola . He began his official career as an adsessor des praefectus praetorio (and earlier fellow students) Papinians. Ulpian , with whom he belonged to the consilium of Emperor Septimius Severus , also worked in this capacity . Under Severus Alexander he was finally appointed to the highest imperial office and praefectus praetorio . He also worked under Emperor Caracalla .

Possibly he was the father of Elagabal's first wife Iulia Paula . In any case, after the emperor's divorce, he was expelled from the country. Elagabal's successor Severus Alexander brought Paul back from exile and took him on to his advisory staff ( Consilium ). All that is known about his life data is that he must have outlived his contemporary Ulpian .

Paul published many and extensive works on very different legal subjects. In the Florentine Index, 24 multi-volume and 47 one-volume works are ascribed to Paul (including notae zu Julian , Marcellus , Scaevola and Neraz , 26 books quaestiones and almost as many responsa ). Not all of these have survived, but have been referred to in later publications by other authors and in summary publications. Among the multi-volume works, his Edict Commentary ( Ad Edictum ) is considered his most extensive publication, a monumental work that extends over 80 books. In it he collected classic casuistry, which he systematized in the event of critical appreciation. Due to his concise, very condensed formulations, other publications can be added to the works mentioned in the Florentine Index. In antiquity, the five books of the Sententiae Receptae were ascribed to Paul , which are mainly preserved in the Breviarium Alaricianum . According to more recent findings, however, this writing is unlikely to come from Paul, but from an unknown author who worked in the province of Africa around 295.

Centuries later, Paul's writings had such great authority that the emperors Theodosius II and Valentinian III. appointed him in their citation law from 426, together with Gaius , Papinian , Ulpian and Modestinus , as one of the five lawyers whose opinion was to be followed by the judicial officers in judicial matters pending decision. Under Constantine , Paul and Ulpian were in the meantime even censored and banned (namely 321 AD), since both had written critical notes on responses by Papinian, who was valued by the emperor.

The Paulian lawsuit, named after Paul, has been assessed under continental European law to this day, although no longer under this name.


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  1. a b Herbert Hausmaninger , Walter Selb : Roman private law , Böhlau, Vienna, 1981 (. 9th ed 2001) (Böhlau Study Books) ISBN 3-205-07171-9 , p.46.
  2. Detlev Liebs: Roman Jurisprudence in Africa . In: Journal of the Savigny Foundation for Legal History . Romance Studies Department No. 106, 1989, p. 230ff.
  3. Detlef Liebs : The jurisprudence in late antique Italy (260-640 AD) (= Freiburg legal-historical treatises. New series, volume 8). Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1987, pp. 283-287 (abstract / p. 287).