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MAXIMINUS—MAXIMS, LEGAL

for the throne of Mexico. He did not at first accept, but sought to satisfy his restless desire for adventure by a botanical expedition to the tropical forests of Brazil. In 1863, however, under pressure from Napoleon III., and after General Forey's capture of the city of Mexico and the plebiscite which confirmed his proclamation of the empire, he consented to accept the crown. This decision was contrary to the advice of his brother, the emperor Francis Joseph, and involved the loss of all his rights in Austria. Maximilian landed at Vera Cruz on the 28th of May 1864; but from the very outset he found himself involved in difficulties of the most serious kind, which in 1866 made apparent to almost every one outside of Mexico the necessity for his abdicating. Though urged to this course by Napoleon himself, whose withdrawal from Mexico was the final blow to his cause, Maximilian refused to desert his followers. Withdrawing, in February 1867, to Querétaro, he there sustained a siege for several weeks, but on the 15th of Maytresolved to attempt an escape through the enemy's lines. He was, however, arrested before he could carry out this resolution, and after trial by court-martial was condemned to death. The sentence was carried out on the 19th of June 1867. His remains were conveyed to Vienna, where they were buried in the imperial vault early in the following year. (See Mexico.)

Maximilian's papers were published at Leipzig in 1867, in seven volumes, under the title Aus meinem Leben, Reiseskizzen, Aphorismen, Gedichte. See Pierre de la Goree, Hist. du Second Empire, IV., liv. xxv. ii. (Paris, 1904); article by von Hoffinger in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, xxi. 70, where authorities are cited.


MAXIMINUS, GAIUS JULIUS VERUS, Roman emperor from A.D. 235 to 238, was born in a village on the confines of Thrace. He was of barbarian parentage and was brought up as a shepherd. His immense stature and enormous feats of strength attracted the attention of the emperor Septimius Severus. He entered the army, and under Caracalla rose to the rank of centurion. He carefully absented himself from court during the reign of Heliogabalus, but under his successor Alexander Severus, was appointed supreme commander of the Roman armies. After the murder of Alexander in Gaul, hastened, it is said, by his instigation, Maximinus was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers on the 10th of March 235. The three years of his reign, which were spent wholly in the camp, were marked by great cruelty and oppression; the widespread discontent thus produced culminated in a revolt in Africa and the assumption of the purple by Gordian (q.v.). Maximinus, who was in Pannonia at the time, marched against Rome, and passing over the Julian Alps descended on Aquileia; while detained before that city he and his son were murdered in their tent by a body of praetorian. Their heads were cut off and dispatched to Rome, where they were burnt on the Campus Martius by the exultant crowd.

Capitolinus, Moximini duo; Herodian vi. 8, vii., viii. 1-5; Zosimus i. 13-15).


MAXIMINUS [Maximin], GALERIUS VALERIUS, Roman emperor from A.D. 308 to 314, was originally an Illyrian shepherd named Daia. He rose to high distinction after he had joined the army, and in 305 he was raised by his uncle, Galerius, to the rank of Caesar, with the government of Syria and Egypt. In 308, after the elevation of Licinius, he insisted on receiving the title of Augustus; on the death of Galerius, in 311, he succeeded to the supreme command of the provinces of Asia, and when Licinius and Constantine began to make common cause with one another Maximinus entered into a secret alliance with Maxentius. He came to an .open rupture with Licinius in 313, sustained a crushing defeat in the neighbourhood of Heraclea Pontica on the 50th of April, and lied, first to Nicomedia and afterwards to Tarsus, where he died in August following. His death was variously ascribed “ to despair, to poison, and to the divine justice.” Maximinus has a bad name in Christian annals, as of the toleration edict of Galerius, but it is probable that he has been judged too harshly.

See Maxentius; Zosimus ii. 8; Aurelius Victor, Epit. 40.


MAXIMS, LEGAL. A maxim is an established principle or proposition. The Latin term maxima is not to be found in Roman law with any meaning exactly analogous to that of a legal maxim in the modern sense of the word, but the treatises of many of the Roman jurists on Regulae dejinitiones, and Sententiae juris are, in some measure, collections of maxims (see an article on “ Latin Maxims in English Law ” in Law Mag. and Rev. xx. 285); Fortescue (De laudibus, c. 8) and Du Cange treat maxima and regula as identical. The attitude of early English commentators towards the maxims of the law was one of unmingled adulation. In Doctor and Student (p. 26) they are described as “ of the same strength and effect in the law as statutes be.” Coke (Co. Litt. II A) says that a maxim is so called “ Quia maxima est ejus dignitas et certissima auctoritas, atque quod maxime omnibus probetur.” “ Not only, ” observes Bacon in the Preface to his Collection of Maxims, “ will the use of maxims be in deciding doubt and helping soundness of judgment, but, further, in gracing argument, in correcting unprofitable subtlety, and reducing the same to a more sound and substantial sense of law, in reclaiming vulgar errors, and, generally, in the amendment in some measure of the very nature and complexion of the whole law.” A similar note Was sounded in Scotland; and it has been well observed that “ a glance at the pages of Morrison's Dictionary or at other early reports will show how frequently in the older Scots law questions respecting the rights, remedies and liabilities of individuals were determined by an immediate reference to legal maxims ” (J. M. Irving, Encyclo. Scots Law, s.o. “Maxims”). In later times less value has been attached to the maxims of the law, as the development of civilization and the increasing complexity of business relations have shown the necessity of qualifying the propositions which they enunciate (see Stephen, Hist. Crim. Law, ii. Q4 rt: Yarmouth V. France, 1887, IQ Q.B.D., per Lord Esher, at p. 653, and American authorities collected in Bouvier's Law Diet. s.v. “ Maxim ”). But both historically and practically they must always possess interest and value.

A brief reference need only be made here, with examples by way of illustration, to the field which the maxims of the law cover.

Commencing with rules founded on public policy, we may note the famous principle-Salus poputi suprema lex (xii. Tables; Bacon, Maxims, reg. I2)-“ the public welfare is the highest law." It is on this maxim that the coercive action of the State towards individual liberty in a hundred matters is based. To the same category belong the maxims-Summa ratio est guae pro religion facit (Co. Litt. 341 a)-“ the best rule is that which advances religion "~a maxim which finds its application when the enforcement of foreign laws or judgments supposed to violate our own laws or the principles of natural justice is in question; and Dies dominicus non est juridic us, which exempts Sunday from the lawful days for juridical acts. Among the maxims relating to the crown, the most important are Rex non potest peccare (2 Rolle R. 304)—“ The King can do no wrong ”-which enshrines the principle of ministerial responsibility, and Nullum ternpus occurrit regi (2 Co. Inst. 273)-“ lapse of time does not bar the crown, ” a maxim qualified by various enactments in modern times. Passing to the judicial office and the administration of justice, we may refer to the rules-Audi alteram partem-a proposition too familiar to need either translation or comment; Nemo debet essejudex in proprid sud causd (12 Co. Rep. 1 I4)~“ no man ought to be judge in his own cause "-a maxim which French law, and the legal systems based upon or allied to it, have embodied in an elaborate network of rules for judicial challenge; and the maxim which defines the relative functions of judge and 'ury, Ad quaestionern facti non respondent judices, ad quaestionem llegis non respondent juratores (8 Co. Rep. 155). The maxim Boni judicis est ampliare iurisdictionem (Ch. Prec. 329) is certainly erroneous as it stands, as a judge has no right to “ extend his 'jurisdiction.” If justitiam is substituted for jurisdiction em, as Lord Mansfield said it should be (1 Burr. 304), the maxim is near the truth. A group of maxims supposed to embody certain fundamental principles of legal right and obligations may next be referred to: (a) Ubi:jus ibi remedium (see Co. Litt. 197 b)-a maxim to which the evolution of the flexible “ action on the case, " by which wrongs unknown to the “ original writs ” were dealt with, was historically due, but which must be taken with the gloss Damnum absque injuria-“ there are forms of actual damage which do not constitute legal injury " for which 'the law supplies no remedy; (b) Actus Dei nemini facit injuriam (2 Blackstone, 122)-and its allied maxim, Lex non cogit ad impossibilia (Co. Litt. 231 b)-on which the whole doctrine of vis major (éorce majeure) and impossible conditions in the law of contract has been