Montesquieu

When Paulinus had sent word to empe­ror Alexander that he was pre­pa­ring to pur­sue, as guilty of lese-majesty, a judge who had deci­ded against his edicts, the empe­ror replied that in such an era as his, there was no such thing as indi­rect cri­mes against majesty.1

When Faustinianus had writ­ten to the same empe­ror that, having sworn on the prince’s life that he would never for­give his slave, he found him­self obli­ged to conti­nue his anger to avoid com­mit­ting the crime of lese-majesty : “You have been unne­ces­sa­rily fear­ful,” replied the empe­ror, “and you do not know my maxims.”2

A sena­tus consul­tum decla­red that a man who had mel­ted down sta­tues of the empe­ror which would have been rejec­ted would not be guilty of lese-majesty.3 Emperors Severus and Antoninus wrote to Pontius that a man who sold unconse­cra­ted sta­tues of the empe­ror would not incur the crime of lese-majesty.4 The same empe­rors wrote to Julius Cassianus that a man who acci­den­tally threw a stone at a sta­tue of the empe­ror should not be pur­sued for the crime of lese-majesty.5 The Julian law calls for these types of modi­fi­ca­tions, for it had made not only those who mel­ted down sta­tues of empe­rors, but also those who com­mit­ted some simi­lar act,6 guilty of lese-majesty, which made this crime arbi­trary. When nume­rous cri­mes of lese-majesty had been esta­bli­shed, these cri­mes had neces­sa­rily to be dis­tin­gui­shed from each other. Thus the juris­consult Ulpian, after sta­ting that the charge of lese-majesty was not voi­ded by the death of the guilty party, adds that his ruling did not apply to all cri­mes of lese-majesty esta­bli­shed by the Julian Law, but only to the one that inclu­des an attempt on the empire or the life of the empe­ror.7

Etiam ex aliis causis majestatis crimina cessant meo sæculo, Law 1, Cod. Ad legem Juliam majestatis.

Alienam sectæ meæ sollicitudinem concepisti, law 2, Cod. Ad legem Juliam majestatis.

See Law 4 following Ad legem Juliam majestatis.

See Law 5 following Ad legem Juliam majestatis.

Ibid.

Aliudve quid simile admiserint|, law 6 following Ad legem Juliam majestatis.

In the last law following Ad legem Juliam de adulteriis.