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SAVI—SAVIGNY

SAVI, PAOLO (1798–1871), Italian geologist, was born at Pisa. Assistant-lecturer on zoology at the university of his native city when twenty-two years of age, he was appointed professor in 1823, and lectured also on geology. He devoted great attention to the museum of the university, and formed one of the finest natural history collections in Europe. He was regarded as the father of Italian geology. His first paper related to the Bonecaves of Cassano (1825). He studied the geology of Monte Pisano and the Apuan Alps, explaining the metamorphic origin of the Carrara marble; he also contributed essays on the Miocene strata and fossils of Monte Bambolo, the iron-ores of Elba and other subjects. With Giuseppe Meneghini (1811–1889) he published memoirs on the stratigraphy and geology of Tuscany (1850–1851). He became eminent also as an ornithologist, and was author of a great work on the birds of Italy. He died in May 1871.


SAVIGLIANO, a town of Piedmont, Italy, in the province of Cuneo, 32 m. S. of Turin by rail, 1053 ft. above sea-level. Pop. (1901) 9895 (town), 17,340 (commune). It has important ironworks, foundries, locomotive works and silk manufactures, as well as sugar factories, printing works and cocoon-raising establishments. It retains some traces of its ancient walls, demolished in 1707, and has a fine collegiate church (S. Andrea, in its present form comparatively modern), and a triumphal arch erected in honour of the marriage of Charles Emmanuel I. with Catherine of Austria.


SAVIGNY, FRIEDRICH KARL VON (1779-1861), German jurist, was born at Frankfort-on-Main on the 21st of February 1 779. He was descended from an ancient family, which figures in the history of Lorraine, and which derived its name from the castle of Savigny near Charmes in the valley of the Moselle. Left an orphan at the age of 13, he was brought up by his guardian until, in 1795, he entered the university of Marburg, where, though suffering at times severely from ill-health, he studied under Professors Anton Bauer (1 772-1843) and Philipp Friedrich Weiss (1766-1808), the former one of the most conspicuous pioneers in the reform of the German criminal law, the latter distinguished for his knowledge of medieval jurisprudence. After the fashion of German-students, Savigny visited several universities, notably ]ena, Leipzig and Halle; and returning to Marburg, took his doctor's degree in 1800. At Marburg he lectured as Privatdozent on criminal law and the Pandects. In 1803 he published his famous treatise, Das Recht des Besitzes (the rights of possession). It was at once hailed by the great jurist Thibaut as a masterpiece; and the old uncritical study of Roman law was at an end. It quickly obtained a European reputation, and still remains a prominent landmark in the history of jurisprudence. In 1804 Savigny married Kunigunde Brentano, the sister of Bettina von Arnim and Clemens Brentano the poet, and the same year started on an extensive tour through France and south Germany in search of fresh sources of Roman law. In this quest, particularly in Paris, he was successful. In 1808 he was appointed by the Bavarian government ordinary professor of Roman law at Landshut, where he remained a year and a half. In 1810 he was called, chiefly at the instance of Wilhelm von Humboldt, to fill the chair of Roman law at the new university of Berlin. Here one of his services was to create, in Connexion with the faculty of law, a “Spruch-Collegium, ” an extraordinary tribunal competent to deliver opinions on cases remitted to it by the ordinary courts; and he took an active part in its labours. This was the busiest time of his life. He was engaged in lecturing, in the government of the university (of which he was the third rector), and as tutor to the crown prince in Roman, criminal and Prussian law. Not the least important consequence of his residence in Berlin was his friendship with Niebuhr and Eichhorn. In 1814 appeared his pamphlet Vom Beruf unserer Zeil fur Geselzgebung und Rechtswissenschafl (new edition, 1892). It was a protest against the demand for codification, and was intended as a reply to Thibaut's pamphlet urging the necessity of forming a code for Germany which should be independent of the influence of foreign legal systems. In this famous pamphlet Savigny did not oppose the introduction of new laws, or even a. new system of laws, but only objected to the proposed codification on two grounds: (1) that the damage which had been caused by the neglect of former generations of jurists could not be quickly repaired, and that time was required to set the house in order; and (2) that there was great risk of the so-called natural law, with its “infinite arrogance ” and its “ shallow philosophy ” ruining such a scheme. Indeed, the enduring value of this pamphlet is that it saved jurisprudence for all time from the hollow abstractions of such a work as the I nstituliones jur-is naturae et genlium of Christian Wolff (1679-1754), and conclusively proved that a historical study of the positive law was a condition precedent to the right understanding of the science of all law.

In 1815 he founded, with Karl Friedrich Eichhorn, and lohann Friedrich Ludwig Goschen (1778-1837), the Zeitschrpft fiir geschichtliche Rechtswissenschaft, the organ of the new historical school, of which he was the representative. In this periodical (vol. iii. p. 129 seq.) Savigny made known to the world the discovery at Verona, by Niebuhr, of the lost text of Gaius, pronouncing it, on the evidence of that portion of the MS. submitted to him, to be the work of Gaius himself and not, as Niebuhr suggested, of Ulpian. The record of the remainder of Savigny's life consists of little else than a list of the merited honours which he received at the hands of his sovereign, and of the works which he published with indefatigable activity. In 1815 appeared the first volume of his Geschichte des rzimischen Rechls im M it tel alter, the last of which was not published until 1831. This work, to which his early instructor Weiss had first prompted him, was originally intended to be a literary history of Roman law from Irnerius to the present time. His design was in some respect narrowed; in others it was widened. He saw fit not to continue the narrative beyond the 16th century, when the separation of nationalities disturbed the foundations of the science of law. His treatment of the subject was not merely that of a bibliographer; it " was philosophical. It raised the veil which had hung over the history of Roman law, from the breaking up of the empire until the beginning of the 12th century, and showed how, though considered dead, the Romanlaw yet lived on through these dark centuries, in local customs, in towns, in ecclesiastical doctrines and school teachings, until it blossomed out once more in full splendour in Bologna and other Italian cities. This history was the parent of many valuable works in which Savigny published the result of his investigations* In 1817 he was appointed a member of the commission for organizing the Prussian provincial estates, and also a member of the department of justice in the Staatsrath, and in 1819 he became a member of the supreme court of appeal for the Rhine Provinces. In 1820 he was made a member of the commission for revising the Prussian code. In 1822 a- serious nervous illness attacked him, and compelled him to seek relief in travel. In 183 5 he began his elaborate work on contemporary Roman law, System des heutigen rrimischen Rechts (8 vols., 1840-1849). His activity as professor ceased in March 1842, when he was appointed “ Grosskanzler ” (High Chancellor), the title given by Frederick II. in 1746 to the official at the head of the j uridical system in Prussia, as in this position he carried out several important law reforms in regard to bills of exchange and divorce. He held the office until 1848, when he resigned, not altogether to the regret of his friends, who had seen his energies withdrawn from jurisprudence without being able to flatter themselves that he was a great statesman. In 18 50, on the occasion of the jubilee of his obtaining his doctor's degree, appeared in five volumes his Vermischte SchrMen, consisting of a collection of his minor works published between 1800 and 1844. This event gave rise to much enthusiasm throughout Germany in honour of “ the great master ” and founder of modern jurisprudence. In 18 53 he published. his treatise on Contracts (Das Obligalionenrecht), a supplement to his work on modern Roman law, in which he clearly demonstrates the necessity for the historical treatment of law. Savigny died at Berlin on the 25th of October 1861. His son, Karl Friedrich

1 See von Mohl's Staatswissenschaft, vol. iii. p. 55. For a somewhat less favourable view, see Gans's Vermischte Schnftcn.,