~  CII  ~

S. P. Scott, The Civil Law, XVII, Cincinnati, 1932 ).

  The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, twice Consul and Patrician.
  As We have already given a better form to the greater portion of the magistracies of the provinces which were previously in an inferior and abject condition, and not adapted to the proper transaction of any public business, and as We have afterwards appointed to them officials who were more qualified in every respect, and the latter have begun to conduct the administration of affairs in such a way that everything shows great improvement; and as We have revived a large number of ancient titles, such as those of Proconsul, Praetor, and Governor, and have increased the emoluments of these magistrates, as well as added to their authority; and as We have, above all, forbidden them to wrong Our subjects, or to employ a multitude of hands to plunder them; and, with a view to prevent this, We have required them to take the most terrible of oaths, and it is not until they have done so that We have placed them in office, considering that they are only then worthy of receiving their commissions; for all these reasons We now turn Our attention to the country of the Arabs, where similar changes are necessary because the people are in great want, and in direct correspondence with the unhappy state of this nation, large numbers of its inhabitants apply to Us for relief, all of them giving utterance to lamentations, some, on account of thefts and robbery committed; others, because of injuries sustained, and others again, on account of losses which have been inflicted upon them; and We have ascertained that the cause of all this evil can be traced to the incapacity and impotence of the magistrates entrusted with the government. For those who are invested with civil magistracy have so little power that they are, by a custom in some respects of a servile character, subjected to the authority of a military commander, and rendered dependent upon him, while he himself is not, properly speaking, a magistrate. Hence it necessarily follows that during the long period when there was no civil magistrate in Arabia, the military commander discharged his duties, while he was not competent to perform the functions of either this office or his own; and instead of trying to benefit Our subjects in any way, he confined himself to the collection of the salaries of both employments.
  These things have induced Us to promulgate the present law, and, availing Ourselves of it, We impart to the magistracy of Arabia a better form, and kindly grant to him who is invested with its administration the name of Governor (which We have also done in Pontus), and We also confer upon him the title of spectabile magistrate, in order that he may not be, in any respect, inferior to the military commander. He must supervise with great diligence the collection of taxes, as well as pay particular attention to the welfare of private persons; he must not allow Our subjects to suffer loss at the hands of the military commander, the tribune, the retainers of any powerful person, the officials of Our own Imperial domain, or those having charge of Our private property, or even the members of Our Imperial household. He must not too readily consent to anything, or be influenced by fear; he must govern Our subjects with firmness, and, above all, keep his hands clean towards God, Ourselves, and the law; as We desire him to take the same oaths required by Us or other magistrates. He will receive, along with his commission, the Imperial instructions employed by Our predecessors, and adopted by the ancient Republic, and which We have renewed after they had fallen into desuetude. He will always regulate his official conduct by them, and will obey Our orders. If he observes these regulations in every respect, there will be no reason for his not discharging his duties with propriety and sagacity; and, with the aid of God, to acquire great skill and readiness in the administration of justice.
  Therefore (as We have already stated), the Governor of Arabia will principally devote himself to the collection of taxes, and manifest a kind and paternal regard for those who are required to pay them; but he must display great energy and severity towards such as are shown lax in discharging their pecuniary obligations. He shall also administer the affairs of the government in such a way that everything will be conducted in an orderly manner; he shall see that the Bostreni and other peoples do not take part in any tumults or seditions, and that the festivals whose celebration has been sanctioned from ancient times are not turned into scenes of rage and slaughter. He will also, in conformity to Our mandates, have soldiers under his command (whom he shall be at liberty to select here), and he will not fail to do whatever is conducive to the public welfare. We desire him to be installed with the same honors which We have bestowed upon the Governor of Pontus. He shall be of spectabile rank, and be invested with various titles and many other distinctions. We grant him emoluments similar in character to those of the Governor of Pontus above mentioned, as We wish him to receive fourteen pounds of gold by way of salary, besides other emoluments, and his assessor to receive five, and the members of his court nine. He will govern in accordance with the Imperial Mandates (as We have just stated) and make use of his soldiers for that purpose. Your Highness will see that a large number of soldiers stationed in this part of the Empire are subjected to the orders of the Governor of Arabia, and the latter must obey him, and execute his orders. Hence the distinguished General of the Army will have absolutely no control over the soldiers whom We place under the command of the Governor, nor over any civilian; he must not interfere with any lawsuit which persons may have with one another, or where anyone is brought into court, nor shall he interest himself in cases, as a great distinction exists between civil and military jurisdiction. The Governor, as well as the general, shall then confine themselves respectively within the limits of their authority, as Our predecessors have prescribed and directed in the organization of the government. The general is hereby notified that if he meddles in civil affairs he will not retain his command, but will be deprived of it, reduced to the condition of an ordinary citizen, and subjected to the authority of the civil magistrate.
  This is what has been laid down by Us with reference to the magistracy of Arabia. We are satisfied that the government will, with the assistance of God, be better administered hereafter. We do not spare money to accomplish this purpose; the salary of the office has increased, and We have no doubt that, for this reason, the Governor will exert every effort to see that the public taxes, instead of being a source of loss to the Treasury, will, on the other hand, be extremely profitable to it. We especially desire that the distinguished General of the Army shall receive his emoluments from the official appointed by the Governor of the province for that purpose, and that he shall not be permitted to collect them himself, in order that a base inclination may not induce him to take more than he is entitled to; and if he should disobey these rules, he is hereby notified that he will be fined fifteen pounds of gold.