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see Corpus Juris CivilisCorpus Juris Civilis
, most comprehensive code of Roman law and the basic document of all modern civil law. 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
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Digesta or Pandekta), the main part of the Byzantine codification of law, known by its final name as the Compendium of Civil Law (Corpus juris civilis). The Digest was compiled by a commission of jurists directed by Tribonian and was published in 533 during the reign of Emperor Justinian. The Digest has a total volume of about 120 printed sheets. It is a systematic collection of fragments from the works of the classical Roman jurists. It is divided into 50 books, each of which is divided into titles that consist of fragments (or leges). The best-known jurists cited in the Digest are Quintus Mucius Scaevola, Labeo, Proculus, Priscus, Celsus, Julianus, Pomponius, Gaius, Papinian, Paulus, Ulpian, and Modestinus. About 70 percent of the Digest consists of excerpts from the works of the five most important jurists (Papinian, Paulus, Ulpian, Gaius, and Modestinus), whose works were made obligatory by Roman law 426.

The basic content of the Digest is private law, regulating property, family, inheritance, and obligatory legal relationships. Criminal and procedural law is contained in the so-called terrible books (47th, 48th, and part of the 49th). The Digest also presents some general problems of the history and the theory of law and of certain institutions of public law.

The Digest is the most important, and sometimes the only, source of information about ancient and late Roman law. In the 18th and 19th centuries it served as the primary source for the reintroduction of Roman law and played an important part in the development of the bourgeois theory of law and civil law.


Pereterskii, I. S. Digesty lustiniana. Moscow, 1956.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a compilation of rules of law based on decided cases
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A periodical collection of messages which have been posted to a newsgroup or mailing list. A digest is prepared by a moderator who selects articles from the group or list, formats them and adds a contents list. The digest is then either mailed to an alternative mailing list or posted to an alternative newsgroup.

Some news readers and electronic mail programs provide commands to "undigestify" a digest, i.e. to split it up into individual articles which may then be read and saved or discarded separately.
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(1) A compilation of all the traffic on a news group or mailing list. Digests can be daily or weekly.

(2) Any compilation or summary. See cryptographic hash function.
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