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merely a downright act of spoliation. But the forced valuation of the property is less defensible: it is not a crime, but an absurdity. Of course it is true that, if the creditor became the owner of his debtor's lands and houses on the ground of an acknowledged insolvency, he must be content with what they will fetch in the market: but no money-lender could be so silly as to acknowledge that he had received ten thousand pounds worth of land as equivalent to so much money lent merely because the land formerly was worth that sum. And as to its being fair that the money-lender should share in the general loss sustained by depreciation, this is as absurd as it is immoral. He had lent his money on a contract: if he released his debtor from the contract it was but charity : if circumstances made it impossible for the contract to be fulfilled, it was necessity: the interference of a third party could give it no show of equity. Such interference must have been plainly and absolutely unfair. It is conceivable that Cæsar did thus interfere ; but it is not to be endured that he should be praised for it as if he had done a statesmanlike thing. But what is this “ general depreciation"? If money was hoarded from a sense of insecurity, land was depreciated; that is, it would fetch less money. But money was not depreciated. The claims of money-lenders were not depreciated. They had a legal right to enforce these claims. If, in enforcing these claims, they took men's lands, they were not necessarily losers : they suffered perhaps a temporary inconvenience, but if they held on, they must have been in a very short time gainers. For they took land when it was to be had cheap: they had only to wait till Cæsar had finished his wars, and then they could recoup themselves by the enhanced value of land, arising from the restoration of order and security.
But did they take the land at all? I doubt it. The passage which Suetonius must have had before him when he made his statement is this :
His rebus confectis, cum fides tota Italia esset angustior, neque creditæ pecuniæ solverentur, constituit, ut arbitri darentur: per eos fierent æstimationes possessionum et rerum, quanti quæque earum ante bellum fuissent, atque ece creditoribus traderentur. Hoc et ad timorem novarum tabularum tollendum minuendumque qui fere bella et civiles dissensiones sequi consuevit, et ad debitorum tuendam existimationem esse aptissimum existimavit.
De bello civili, Lib. III. cap. 1. ed. Hotoman.
It seems to have been assumed by the historians that ece means possessiones. The property itself was delivered to the creditors, according to Mommsen. If so, what need of valuers (arbitri)? “It was Cæsar” (says Mommsen, Iv. 11, p. 525, Dickson's translation) “who first gave an insolvent the righton which our modern bankruptcy regulations are based—of formally ceding his estate to his creditors, whether it might suffice to satisfy them or not.” Then what need of a comparison of the estate's former value and its actual value ? If the transaction was like our foreclosing on a mortgage, the creditor must have taken the property at its actual market-price, and the appointment of appraisers must have been futile.
But suppose we consider ece to refer not to possessionum but to oestimationes. Suppose the appraisers handed in certificates, based upon their judgment as experts and on the evidence of neighbours, declaring what had been the reputed value of the estates in quiet times. This would in the simplest way calm the uneasiness of the monied men; for it would satisfy them that their debtors were really substantially solvent, requiring only a little time for things to come round.
Cæsar's economical policy on this occasion has been compared by writers generally, and by Mr F. Newman in particular (in his Lectures on political economy), to the policy of Tiberius at the time of the commercial crisis or tightness of the moneymarket described, obscurely but instructively, by Tacitus, Annals, Lib. VI. cap. 17.
This is a case of indebted landholders, and they are saved from a sale of their lands, which at the actual low price, caused by the abundant supply or “glut,” would have been ruinous to them. They are saved, not by a ridiculous edict ordering the creditors to take lands at their former value, but by a government loan on easy terms, which like our relaxation or promised relaxation of restrictions on paper currency (1847), restores monetary confidence, and enables debtors to escape the sale of depreciated property.
Thus to restore confidence is the duty, when it is possible, of a government. And it is this which I conceive Julius Cæsar to have done by appointing valuers of estates. But, if scholars can prove that he did something more than this, I can only say in answer, that I protest against his being praised for doing what Mommsen says he did.
It is very far from incredible that Julius Cæsar was a worse political economist and a worse lawyer than Tiberius. What concerns us is that our young men should not be taught in Roman history doctrines of economy and law which would be condemned in English history,
ROMANS V. 12.
BEFORE making any remark myself on this passage I will briefly cite the explanations given by some of the chief commentators; from which it will appear that, not having a clear apprehension of its meaning themselves, they were unable to represent it in a clear light to their readers : and their disagreement will perhaps justify further investigation. I pass by Origen, partly because his opinions are only expressed in a Latin version, and partly because I am ready to say with Erasmus, Non facile est intelligere quid senserit (Critici sacri in loc.).
Chrysostom writes thus: πώς oύν εισήλθεν ο θάνατος και εκράτησε; δια της αμαρτίας του ενός. τί δέ έστιν εφ' ώ πάντες ήμαρτον; εκείνου πεσόντος, και οι μη φαγόντες από του ξύλου γεγόνασιν εξ εκείνου πάντες θνητοί άχρι γάρ νόμου αμαρτία ήν εν τω κόσμω, αμαρτία δε ουκ έλλογείται, μη όντος νόμου...... δήλον ότι ουκ αυτη η αμαρτία η της του νόμου παραβάσεως, αλλ' εκείνη η της του Αδάμ παρακοής, αυτή ην η πάντα λυμαινομένη. και τίς η τούτου απόδειξις και το και προ του νόμου πάντας αποθνήσκειν.
Theodoret says, λέγει ο απόστολος ότι, του 'Αδάμ ήμαρτηκότος και θνητου διά την αμαρτίαν γεγενημένου, εχώρησεν εις το γένος αμφότερα. εις πάντας γαρ ανθρώπους διήλθεν ο θάνατος, εφ' ώ πάντες ήμαρτον ου γαρ διά την του προπάτορος αμαρτίαν, αλλά διά την οικείαν έκαστος δέχεται του θανάτου τον όρον.
Ecumenius has πάντες ήμάρτομεν κατά την ομοίωσιν αυτού. ...φησί τους δι' ένα άνθρωπον αμαρτωλούς και θνητούς γεγενημένους, επεί έζηλώσαμεν αυτου την παρακοήν.
Theophylact states the argument thus: δι' ένος ανθρώπου του 'Αδάμ εισήλθεν εις τον κόσμον η αμαρτία, δηλαδή και ο θάνατος και αν δι' ενός ανηρέθησαν ανθρώπου του Χριστού.
τί δέ εστι το εφ' ώ πάντες ήμαρτον; τούτ' έστιν επί το 'Αδάμ πάντες ήμαρτον. πεσόντος γαρ εκείνου, και οι μη φαγόντες από του ξύλου γεγόνασιν εξ εκείνου θνητοί, ως αν και αυτοί πταίσαντες, διότι εκείνος έπταισεν....σκόπον έχει δείξαι ότι και οι μη φαγόντες από του ξύλου μηδε αμαρτάνοντες ομοίως το 'Αδάμ όμως διά την εκείνου αμαρτίαν ως και αυτοι αμαρτόντες ελογίζοντο και απέθνησκον...ο παλαιός 'Αδάμ πάντας υποδίκους εποίησε το οικείο πταίσματι καίτοι και μη πταίσαντας.
Augustine seems to have hesitated whether to understand the Latin version in quo to mean in quo peccato (Erasmus in Critici sacri); or in quo homine, according to Origen's notion that, when Adam transgressed, all mankind were in his loins: thus he writes, Restat ut in illo primo homine peccasse omnes intelligantur, quia in illo fuerunt omnes, quando ille peccavit (cited by Tischendorf). In the one case εφ' ώ would have been εν ή, scil. αμαρτία, in the other εν ώ.
Erasmus himself writes (Critici sacri): Constat sermonem non carere tropologia, quam si excludimus, plurima consequuntur absurda. Again, Constat totam hanc Pauli disputationem esse plenam obscuritatibus, quemadmodum vere praefatur Origenes. Constat multa non sine tropo dici.
Grotius (ibid.) says, Frequens est Metwvvula Hebraeis dicere peccatum pro poena et peccare pro poenam subire, unde et procedente longius figura per μετάληψιν peccare dicuntur qui malum aliquod etiam sine culpa ferunt. Gen. xxxi. 36; Job vi. 24 : ¢¢ (in quo) hic est per quem, quomodo &mè cum dativo sumitur Luc. v. 5; Act. iii. 16; 1 Cor. viii. 11. Then he quotes Chrysostom, εκείνου πεσόντος...θνητοί, as above.
Whitby (on vv. 12 and 19) follows Grotius and insists that τη whom must be the correct version of εφ' ώ, because the version for that induces a contradiction.
In confirmation of this he cites 1 Cor. xv. 22; but there it is not επί τω 'Αδάμ but εν τω Αδάμ.
Locke adopts the interpretation by Metonymy and paraphrases εφ' ώ πάντες ήμαρτον “for that all Adam's posterity thereby became mortal.
Not being satisfied with any of these interpretations, yet without the slightest suspicion of any error in the text, I