Cujacius, James

, a celebrated lawyer, was born at Thoulouse about 1520. His parents were mean; but nature compensated for the favours of fortune, by the great talents she bestowed upon him. In his education he was independent of the assistance of teachers. He taught himself Greek and Latin, and every thing else which related to polite literature: and he arrived to so profound a knowledge of law in general, and of civil law in particular, that he is supposed of all the moderns to hare penetrated the farthest into the origin and mysteries of it. The means by which he succeeded in these refcearches, were the same which the ancient lawyers pursued; the etymology of words, and the lights of history. Indeed he was some little time under Arnoldus: but it was so little, that it can be esteemed of no account to him. With such talents and acquirements he had some reason to complain of his country, for refusing him the professor’s chair when it was vacant, and presenting one to it who was not capable of filling it xvith half the honour. Foreigners, however, did justice to his merit, came from all parts, and studied under his direction, and the ablest magistrates, which France then had, were formed by the instructions of this lawyer. From Thoulouse he was invited to the university of Cohors, and thence to Bourges. The king of France shewed him every honour, and permitted him to sit amongst his counsellors of parliament. Emanuel Philibert, duke of Savoy, invited him to Turin; and pope Gregory XIII. endeavoured to draw him to Bologna, his own native country, a very advantageous offer, which his age and infirmities did not permit him to accept. He continued to teach at Bourges, where he took the | greatest pleasure in communicating familiarly to his friends and scholars whatever he had discovered in the law, and shewed them the shortest and easiest way to come to a perfect knowledge of that science. He was remarkable for his friendly manner of treating his scholars. He used to eat and drink with them; and, to encourage them in their studies, lent them money and books, which procured him the name of “Father of his scholars.” He died at Bourges 1590; and his works were first published at Paris, 1584, folio, and afterwards by C. Hannibal Fabrot, at Paris, in 10 vols. 1659, folio, which is reckoned the best edition. With respect to his religious principles, in the critical times in which he lived, we are told that when his opinion was asked about some questions in divinity, then agitated with great warmth, he answered, “Nil hoc ad edictum prsetoris:” which Gallio-like answer subjected him to the suspicion of indifference in religious matters. 1


Moreri. —Dict. Hist. Freheri Theatrum. Blount’s Censura. —Saxii Onomast. Of his tomb, see —Gent. Mag. vol. XXXVIII. from the Huetiana.