I am trying to find passages in the various legal works referencing Julian the Apostate. I have been advised that there might be some references in the Theodosian code, and know for certain that there are references to Julian’s laws in the Digest as well. However, finding these are very hard. I am expecting that the numerous passages mentioning a Iūliānus/Jūliānus are not references to Emperor Julian, but to a Salvius Jūliānus.

Sample passages include:

Passage Reference
Dig. 7.1.34pr. Iulianus 35 Dig.
Dig. Iulianus 35 Dig.
Dig. Iulianus 35 Dig.
Dig. 7.1.35pr. Iulianus 1 ad urs. ferocem.
Dig. Iulianus 1 ad urs. ferocem.
Dig. 7.1.67 Iulianus 1 ex minic.
Dig. 7.2.4 Iulianus 35 Dig.
Dig. 7.4.7 Iulianus 35 Dig.
Dig. 7.4.17 Iulianus 35 Dig.
Dig. 7.5.6pr. Iulianus 35 Dig.
Dig. Iulianus 35 Dig.
Dig. 7.6.3 Iulianus 7 Dig.
Dig. 7.6.4 Iulianus 35 Dig.

In other passages, they refer to this Jūliānus.

Dig. 9.4.24

Paulus 18 ad ed.

Dē illō videndum, utrum adversus eum tantum, quī dolō fēcit, quō minus in potestāte habēret, āctiō locum habeat noxālis, sī ex dolō ejus acciderit, ut cesset noxālis āctiō (forte sī servō suō fugam mandāvit) an et sī possit nihilō minus cum aliō agī (quod accidit, cum aliēnātus manūmissusve est). Quod est vērius: In quō cāsū ēlēctiō est āctōris, cum quō velit agere. Jūliānus autem ait dē eō quī manūmīsit, sī parātus sit dēfendere sē manūmissus, exceptiōnem dandam eī quī manūmīsit. Hoc et Labeō.


Ulpianus 20 ad ed.

Jūliānus scrībit, sī alter possessor prōvocet, alter dīcat eum vī possidēre, nōn dēbēre hoc jūdicium darī nec post annum quidem, quia placuit etiam post annum in eum quī vī dējēcit interdictum reddī. Et sī precāriō, inquit, dīcat eum possidēre, adhūc cessābit hoc jūdicium, quia et dē precāriō interdictum datur. Sed et sī clam dicātur possidēre quī prōvocat, dīcendum esse ait cessāre hoc jūdicium: nam dē clandestīnā possessiōne competere jūdicium inquit.

(From The Latin Library, macronised (and edited), consontal i→j.)

I believe all of these, and any other in the Digest referencing this Jūliānus, is not a reference to emperor Julian the Apostate, but to the above-mentioned Salvius Jūliānus. Examples demonstrating explicit reference to the Apostate, I believe include CJ.10.32.22, CJ.10.32.23 and CJ.10.32.24, which all specify ‘Imperātor Jūliānus’. Is this – that the Digest references to Jūliānus are to Salvius Jūliānus – a correct interpretation?

1 Answer 1


The Julianus of the Digest is indeed in reference to Salvius Julianus, not the emperor Julian, who wrote his own Digesta. From Wiki:

[quoting Berger] Of his own writings, his principal work was the Digesta, a systematic treatise on civil and praetorian law which was often cited by Roman legal writers. "It is a comprehensive collection of responsa on real and hypothetical cases; in general, it followed the edictal system." The works of Iulianus, in particular his Digesta, "are among the most highly appreciated products of Roman juristic literature."

There is a mention of the emperor Julian in the Codex Theodosianus, though, at 1.16.8:

Imp. Iulianus a. Secundo praefecto praetorio.

Quaedam sunt negotia, in quibus superfluum est moderatorem exspectari provinciae: ideoque pedaneos iudices, hoc est qui negotia humiliora disceptent, constituendi damus praesidibus potestatem.

Fragments of the fuller letter are preserved on two inscriptions, which you can read here.

Notice, by the way, the Imp. before Julian's name. Usually there is some marker when talking about the emperors, especially in a legal text.

  • 1
    ‘which was often cited by Roman legal writers’: How can we identify where he is being referenced?
    – Canned Man
    Jan 16, 2022 at 11:47
  • Further, does this text exist reconstructed anywhere? I notice that there is no link to Julian on thelatinlibrary.com/indices.html.
    – Canned Man
    Jan 16, 2022 at 11:55
  • 1
    @CannedMan Mommsen published an edition of Iulianus. I don't know if that ever was supplanted by later efforts. I'm not sure what you mean by the first question.
    – cmw
    Jan 16, 2022 at 20:08
  • First question: When a jurist’s opinion is listed, that jurist’s name is what usually is listed; however, they will often reference someone else’s opinion, e.g. Dig. 2.1.15, where Ulpiānus is the reference, but he again references Salvius Jūliānus: ‘cum, ut iulianus scribit’. How can we identify when a jurist is referencing Emperor Julian? If he was ‘among the most highly appreciated’ jurists, one would assume numerous references to him, yet apart from your CT ref and some very few I have found, he seems to be almost non-existing as a legal source for ancient jurists.
    – Canned Man
    Jan 16, 2022 at 20:50
  • 1
    @CannedMan No, Salvius Iulianus is the "highly appreciated jurist" mentioned above, not the emperor Julian. And emperors usually have some clue, like in the other passage I cited, where the emperor Julian is called Imp. Iulianus.
    – cmw
    Jan 16, 2022 at 21:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.