Corpus Juris Civilis

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Corpus Juris Civilis

(kôr`pəs jo͝o`rĭs sĭvī`lĭs), most comprehensive code of Roman lawRoman law,
the legal system of Rome from the supposed founding of the city in 753 B.C. to the fall of the Byzantine Empire in A.D. 1453; it was later adopted as the basis of modern civil law.
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 and the basic document of all modern civil lawcivil law,
as used in this article, a modern legal system based upon Roman law, as distinguished from common law. Civil law is based on written legal codes, a hallmark of the Roman legal system, in which disputes were settled by reference to a written legal code arrived at
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. Compiled by order of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, the first three parts appeared between 529 and 535 and were the work of a commission of 17 jurists presided over by the eminent jurist Tribonian. The Corpus Juris was an attempt to systematize Roman law, to reduce it to order after over 1,000 years of development. The resulting work was more comprehensive, systematic, and thorough than any previous work of that nature, including the Theodosian CodeTheodosian Code
, Latin Codex Theodosianus, Roman legal code, issued in 438 by Theodosius II, emperor of the East. It was at once adopted by Valentinian III, emperor of the West.
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. The four parts of the Corpus Juris are the Institutes, a general introduction to the work and a general survey of the whole field of Roman law; the Digest or Pandects, by far the most important part, intended for practitioners and judges and containing the law in concrete form plus selections from 39 noted classical jurists such as Gaius, Paulus, Ulpian, Modestinus, and Papinian; the Codex or Code, a collection of imperial legislation since the time of Hadrian; and the Novels or Novellae, compilations of later imperial legislation issued between 535 and 565 but never officially collected. Because it was published in numerous editions, copies of this written body of Roman law survived the collapse of the Roman empire and avoided the fate of earlier legal texts—notably those of the great Roman jurist Gaius. With the revival of interest in Roman law (especially at Bologna) in the 11th cent., the Corpus Juris was studied and commented on exhaustively by such scholars as IrneriusIrnerius
, c.1055–c.1130, Italian jurist and founder of the law school (c.1088) at Bologna, which became the center of legal scholarship in Europe. Though little is known of his early life, it is generally agreed that he became a professor of rhetoric and dialectic at an
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. Jurists and scholars trained in this Roman law played a leading role in the creation of national legal systems throughout Europe, and the Corpus Juris Civilis thus became the ultimate model and inspiration for the legal system of virtually every continental European nation. The name Corpus Juris Civilis was first applied to the collection by the 16th-century jurist Denys Godefroi.


See H. F. Jolowicz, Historical Introduction to the Study of Roman Law (2d ed. 1952) and Roman Foundations of Modern Law (1957); A. T. Von Mehren, The Civil Law System (1957).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Asimismo, esgrimia el jurista frances que la improcedencia del Corpus Iuris Civilis no se debia unicamente a su falta de correspondencia con la realidad de la Francia moderna, sino que, aseguraba, dicho cuerpo tampoco era un fiel reflejo de la historia del Imperio romano en toda su magnitud.
The reformative package of 1864 also included what was called the "legislative masterpiece of Alexandra Ioan Cuza" or the corpus iuris civilis, i.e.
fur die scholastische Universitat auf das Romische Recht des Corpus Iuris civilis Kaiser Justinians, wie es seit dem 12.
Perhaps it is confusion on Madero's part that accounts for the statement that the Corpus Iuris Civilis came from various sources, including what may be regarded originally as commentary.
After the rediscovery of Justinian's Digest in the eleventh century, civilian scholarship was dominated by the gloss and steadfastly followed the order of the Corpus iuris civilis. Thereafter works became more diverse: a preference for commentary over gloss freed the writer to some degree from the traditional order.
It was he who commissioned a series of works which would eventually come to be known as the Corpus Iuris Civilis. and if it was not for this monumental work, Roman law would probably not have survived and exerted the vital influence which it eventually did have on our modern civilisation.
The Corpus Iuris Civilis in the Middle Ages; manuscripts and transmission from the sixth century to the juristic revival.