AD 367-370 )

( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, p. 250, n. 316


      After civil and military power in the province was placed in separate hands by Diocletian, the most important function of the civil governor, often called iudex or praeses in the codes, was the administration of justice. Edicts of provincial governors after Diocletian are extremely rare, and their right of issuing them (ius edicendi) seems to have been restricted. Since Septimius Severus reserved the right of deportation to himself (Dig. 48, 22, 6, 1) and the governor could only recommend such punishment, it is probable that this edict of the Egyptian prefect was first authorized by the emperor.
      The encroachment of the military administration in judicial matters is forbidden by several imperial constitutions. In their commentary on this document Grenfell and Hunt cite CTh. 12, 1, 128 (392 A.D.) ; 1, 21, 1 (393 A.D.) ; 2, 1, 9 (397 A.D.) ; CJ 1, 46, 2 (416 A.D.). The military jurisdiction was limited to criminal cases in which the defendant was a soldier (CTh. 2, 1, 2 [355 A.D.]) and some years later it was extended to civil cases of like character (CJ 3, 13, 6 [413 A.D.]).
      The bishop's court, which began to encroach on the civil courts in the fourth century A.D., is not mentioned in this edict. For an early example of the ecclesiastical courts see P. Lips. 43 (Mitteis, Chrest. 98).
      The edict is on a papyrus published in 1911.


      Copy of an edict.
      Flavius Eutolmius Statianus, most illustrious prefect of Egypt, proclaims :
      I speak not from hearsay alone and on information given by the few who have first appeared before me, but also by getting a sort of schooling in what is transpiring in each city and district. For I have learned from petitions that certain civilians, whether animated by baseness or by evil counsels, wishing to ruin completely their adversaries at law without profit to themselves, have recourse to the local provosts, presenting petitions to them and, as I have said, trying to induce them to make exactions from their civilian adversaries. That this practice has been forbidden by the laws is clear. For the provost has jurisdiction over soldiers, but no longer over civilians. It is the duty of the civil governor of the province to administer justice for the latter and he is bound to give them a hearing when they sue for it.
      Accordingly, this edict will make clear to all persons their procedure hereafter. If any civilian has any suit at law with a soldier and has confidence in the provost's jurisdiction and his help if the suit is lodged with him, he shall apply to him. For he cannot get proper assistance from anyone else on the spot. But if his claim is against a civilian he shall not attempt to act in this fashion. For if anyone is detected leaving his local court and having recourse to unauthorized judges, if he is a private citizen, I command that he shall be deported to an island ; if he is a senator, I subject him to confiscation of property. Therefore, I command the local river patrols, if they find that any civilian has left his local court and has had recourse to the provosts . . .