Jacques Cujas

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Portrait of Cujas, around 1580

Jacques Cujas or Cujacius or - as he called himself - Jacques de Cujas (* 1522 in Toulouse ; † October 4, 1590 in Bourges ) was a French lawyer specializing in humanistic jurisprudence and at the time the most recognized expert on Roman law .

Live and act

Cujas studied with Arnaud du Ferrièr at the University of Toulouse . From 1547 he taught in Toulouse, from 1554 in Cahors , from 1555 in Bourges , from 1558 in Valence and 1559 again in Bourges. In 1566 he was appointed to Turin with the title of Ducal Savoy Council , after which he returned to Valence in 1567. 1573 he was by Charles IX. Appointed Honorary Councilor of the Grenoble Parliament and, in 1574, Real Councilor of Parliament. In 1575 he went back to Bourges. In 1585 he acquired the Hôtel Cujas , which he lived in until his death.

Cujas' humanistic approaches were based on the works and teaching activities of the Italian lawyer Andrea Alciato , who, turning away from glossators and commentators , began to examine Roman law free of pretenses and prejudices. He held a professorship in Bourges, from which he researched the sources for authenticity and systematics. He was methodically followed by Cujas, who endeavored to reconstruct classical law. To this end, he took the excerpts of classical legal writings that were handed down in the Justinian digests , part of the later so-called Corpus Iuris Civilis , and published critical editions of the works of the late classics Ulpian and Paulus . In contrast to his contemporaries, he was less concerned with the practical application of Roman law than with the precise study of ancient sources in their historical and literary context. He is considered by many to be the founder of the historical school of Roman law.

Around parallel to this, Hugo Donellus , who first worked in France and then in Germany, followed a different path from a similar origin, who was less interested in the investigation of classical law than more in general dogmas.

Continue to work

Among Cujas' students were Johannes Borcholt , Joseph Justus Scaliger and Marquard Freher . Despite the brilliant results that Cujas achieved in dealing with Roman law, his influence in Europe remained small, apart from the Netherlands. From there, however, the mos gallicus , which he helped shape, reached South Africa, where his influence in Roman-Dutch law is still noticeable today.

Works (selection)

Opera omnia , 1722
  • Hannibal Fabrot (Ed.): Works . Paris 1658 (10 vol.)
  • Works . Turin 1874 (9 vol.)

See also


Individual evidence

  1. A third of the material in the digest can be traced back to Ulpian alone.
  2. compare also: pseudo-Pauline sentences as supplementary material
  3. a b Jan Dirk Harke : Roman law. From the classical period to the modern codifications . Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-57405-4 ( floor plans of the law ), § 3 no. 11.
  4. Ulrich Manthe : History of Roman Law (= Beck'sche series. 2132). Beck, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-406-44732-5 , p. 120.

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