Positive law, at least in progressive societies, is constantly tending to fall behind public opinion, and the expedients adopted for bringing it into harmony therewith are three, viz, legal fictions, equity and statutory legislation.
The Orphic poems also played an important part in the controversies between Christian and pagan writers in the 3rd and 4th centuries after Christ; pagan writers quoted them to show the real meaning of the multitude of gods, while Christians retorted by reference to the obscene and disgraceful fictions by which the former degraded their gods.
The first three are almost entirely fabulous, and form the groundwork on which Boece and Buchanan afterwards based their historical fictions, which were exposed by Thomas Innes in his Critical Essay (i.
In the second half of the 13th century, partly (so far as relates to the Cid) from the above, partly from contemporary Arabic histories, and partly from tradition; the Cronica del Cid, first published in 1512, by Juan de Velorado, abbot of the monastery of San Pedro at Cardena, which is a compilation from the last, interlarded with new fictions due to the piety of the compiler; lastly, various Arabic manuscripts, some of contemporary date, which are examined and their claims weighed in the second volume of Professor Dozy's Recherches sur l'histoire politique et litteraire de l'Espagne pendant le moyen dge (Leiden, 1849).
The theory was purely democratic, but was all ready to be transformed, by means of a series of fictions and implications, into an imperialist doctrine; and in like manner it contained a visionary plan of reformation which ended, not in the separation of the church from the state, but in the subjection of the church to the state.