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Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 453 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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QUINTUS Funvrus FLACCUS, son of the first of the family, Marcus, who was consul with Appius Claudius Caudex in 264. He especially distinguished himself during the second Punic War. He was consul four times (237, 224, 212, 209), censor (231) pontifex maximus (216), praetor urbanus (215). During his first consulships he did good service against the Ligurians, Gauls and Insubrians. In 212 he defeated Hanno near Beneventum, and with his colleague Appius Claudius Pulcher .began the siege of Capua. The capture of this place was considered so important that their imperium was prolonged, but on condition that they should not leave Capua until it had been taken. Hannibal's unexpected diversion against Rome interfered with the operations for the moment, but his equally unexpected retirement enabled Flaccus, who had been summoned to Rome to protect the city, to return, and bring the siege to a successful conclusion. He punished the inhabitants with great severity, alleging in excuse that they had shown themselves bitterly hostile to Rome. He was nominated dictator to hold the consular elections at which he was himself elected (209). He was appointed to the command of the army in Lucania and Bruttium, where he crushed all further attempts at rebellion. Nothing further is known of him. The chief authority for his life is the part of Livy dealing with the period (see PUNIC WARS). His brother GNAEUS was convicted of gross cowardice against Hannibal near Herdoniae in 210, and went into voluntary exile at Tarquinii. His son, QUINTUS, waged war with signal success against the Celtiberians in 182-181, and the Ligurians in 179. Having vowed to build a temple to Fortuna Equestris, he dismantled the temple of Juno Lacinia in Bruttium of its marble slabs. This theft became known and he was compelled to restore them, though they were never put back in their places. means of history, an idea which was new to France at that time. The Franco-German War engaged Flach's activities in other directions, and he spent two years (described in his Strasbourg aprbs le bombardement, 1873) at work on the rebuilding of the library and the museum, which had been destroyed by Prussian shells. When the time came for him to choose between Germany and France, he settled definitely in Paris, where he completed his scientific training at the Ecole des Chartes and the .cole des Hautes Etudes. Having acted for some time as secretary to Jules Senard, ex-president of the Constituent Assembly, he published an original paper on artistic copyright, but as soon as possible resumed the history of law. In 1879 he became assistant to the jurist Edouard Laboulaye at the College de France, and succeeded him in 1884 in the chair of comparative legislation. Since 1877 he had been professor of comparative law at the free school of the political sciences. To qualify himself for these two positions he had to study the most diverse civilizations, including those of the East and Far East (e.g. Hungary, Russia and Japan) and even the antiquities of Babylonia and other Asiatic countries. Some of his lectures have been published, particularly those concerning Ireland: Histoire du regime agraire de l'Irlande (1883); Considerations sur l'histoire politique de l'Irlande (1885); and Jonathan Swift, son action politique en Irlande (1886). His chief efforts, however, were concentrated on the history of ancient French law. A celebrated lawsuit in Alsace, pleaded by his friend and compatriot Ignace Chauffour, aroused his interest by reviving the question of the origin of the feudal laws, and gradually led him to study the formation of those laws and the early growth of the feudal system. His great work, Les Origines de l'ancienne France, was produced slowly. In the first volume, Le Regime seigneurial (1886), he depicts the triumph of individualism and anarchy, showing how, after Charlemagne's great but sterile efforts to restore the Roman principle of sovereignty, the great landowners gradually monopolized the various functions in the state; how society modelled on antiquity disappeared; and how the only living organisms were vassalage and clientship. The second volume, Les Origines communales, la feodalite et la clzevalerie (1893), deals with the reconstruction of society on new bases which took place in the loth and 11th centuries. It explains how the Gallo-Roman villa gave place to the village, with its fortified castle, the residence of the lord; how new towns were formed by the side of old, some of which disappeared; how the townspeople united in corporations; and how the communal bond proved to be a powerful instrument of cohesion. At the same time it traces the birth of feudalism from the germs of the Gallo-Roman personal comitatus; and shows how the bond that united the different parties was the contract of the fief; and how, after a slow growth of three centuries, feudalism was definitely organized in the 12th century. In 1904 appeared the third volume, La Renaissance de Fetal, in which the author describes the efforts of the Capetian kings to reconstruct the power of the Frankish kings over the whole of Gaul; and goes on to show how the clergy, the heirs of the imperial tradition, encouraged this ambition; how the great lords of the kingdom (the " princes," as Flach calls them), whether as allies or foes, pursued the same end; and how, before the close of the 12th century, the Capetian kings were in possession of the organs and the means of action which were to render them so powerful and bring about the early downfall of feudalism. In these three volumes, which appeared at long intervals, the author's theories are not always in complete harmony, nor are they always presented in a very luminous or coherent manner, but they are marked by originality and vigour. Flach gave them a solid basis by the wide range of his researches, utilizing charters and cartularies (published and unpublished), chronicles, lives of saints, and even those dangerous guides, the chansons de geste. He owed little to the historians of feudalism who knew what feudalism was, but not how it came about. He pursued the same method in his L'Origine de l'habitation et des lieux habites en France (1899), in which he discusses some of the theories circulated by A. Meitzen in Germany and by Arbois de Jubain-ville in France. Following in the footsteps of the jurist F. C. von Savigny, Flach studied the teaching of law in the middle ages and the Renaissance, and produced Cujas, les glossateurs et les Bartolistes (1883), and Etudes critiques sur l'histoire du droit remain au moyen age, avec textes inedits (189o).
End of Article: QUINTUS

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