PAPINIAN (Aemilius Papinianus), Roman jurist, was magistcr libellorum and afterwards praetorian prefect under Septimius Severus. He was an intimate friend of the emperor, whom he accompanied to Britain, and before his death Severus specially commended his two sons to his charge. Papinian tried to keep peace between the brothers, but with no better result than to excite the hatred of Caracalla, to which he fell a victim in the general slaughter of Geta's friends which followed the fratricide of a.d. 212. The details are variously related, and have undergone legendary embeUishment, but the murder of Papinian, which took place under Caracalla's own eyes, was one of the most disgraceful crimes of that tyrant. Little more is known about Papinian. He was perhaps a Syrian by birth, for he is said to have been a kinsman of Severus's second wife, JuHa Domna; that he studied law with Severus under Scaevola is asserted in an interpolated passage in Spartian (Caracal, c. 8). Papinian 's place and work as a jurist are discussed under Roman Law.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)