Ælius Sextus Poetus Catus

, a celebrated Roman lawyer, and author of the oldest work on jurisprudence, flourished in the sixth century after the building of Rome. He was successively aedile, consul, and censor. When Cnaeus Flavius divulged his formula, the patricians, who considered themselves as the depositories of the law, composed novels, and endeavoured to conceal them with the utmost care. But Ælius, when scdile, got access to them, and published them. These last obtained the name of theÆlian law, as what Flavius had published were called the Flavian law. It appears also, that notwithstanding what Grotius and Bertrand have advanced, he was the author of a work entitled the “Tripartite,” by far the oldest work on the subject. It was so called as containing, 1. The text of the Law; 2. Its interpretation; and 3. The forms of procedure. He was appointed consul in A. U. C. 556, at the end of the second Punic war; and was distinguished | for his homely diet, and simple manners, and his rejecting of presents. 1


Biographie Universelle.—Gen. Dict.