Digestum Vetus seu Pandectarum Juris Civilis…
Tomus Primus. Commentates Accursii..Antonii Persii..
Editio Postroma. Venice 1575.
Large 8vo. Re-Binded in full dark leather; Printed in red and black. 2 folding woodcuts. Very Rare. This edition not found in The British Library Catalogue or COPAC.;- A must for any serious collector. The collections of laws and legal interpretations developed under the sponsorship of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I from ad 529 to 565. Strictly speaking, the works did not constitute a new legal code. Rather, Justinian’s committees of jurists provided basically two reference works containing collections of past laws and extracts of the opinions of the great Roman jurists. Also included were an elementary outline of the law and a collection of Justinian’s own new laws. The Justinian code consists of four books: (1) Codex Constitutionum, (2) Digesta, or Pandectae, (3) Institutiones, and (4) Novellae Constitutiones Post Codicem. Work on the Codex Constitutionum began soon after Justinian’s accession in 527, when he appointed a 10-man commission to go through all the known ordinances, or “constitutions,” issued by the emperors, weed out the contradictory and obsolescent material, and adapt all provisions to the circumstances of that time. The resultant 10-book Codex Constitutionum was promulgated in 529, all imperial ordinances not included in it being repealed. In 534 a new commission issued a revised Codex (Codex Repetitae Praelectionis) containing 12 books; the revisions were based partly on Justinian’s own new legislation. The Digesta was drawn up between 530 and 533 by a commission of 16 lawyers, under the presidency of the jurist Tribonian. They collected and examined all the known writings of all the authorized jurists; extracted from them whatever was deemed valuable, generally selecting only one extract on any given legal point; and rephrased the originals whenever necessary for clarity and conciseness. The results were published in 50 books, each book subdivided into titles. All juridical statements not selected for the Digesta were declared invalid and were thenceforth never to be cited at law. The Institutiones, compiled and published in 533 under Tribonian’s supervision and relying on such earlier texts as those of Gaius, was an elementary textbook, or outline, of legal institutions for the use of first-year law students. The Novellae Constitutiones Post Codicem (or simply, in English, the Novels) comprised several collections of new ordinances issued by Justinian himself between 534 and 565, after publication of the revised Codex. Latin was the language of all the works except the Novels, which were almost all published in Greek, though official Latin translations existed for the western Roman provinces. Justinian achieved lasting fame through his judicial reforms, particularly through the complete revision of all Roman law, something that had not previously been attempted. The total of Justinian's legislature is known today as the Corpus juris civilis. It consists of the Codex Justinianus, the Digesta or Pandectae, the Institutiones, and the Novellae. Early in his reign, Justinian appointed the quaestor Tribonian to oversee this task. The first draft of the Codex Justinianus, a codification of imperial constitutions from the 2nd century onward, was issued on 7 April 529. (The final version appeared in 534.) It was followed by the Digesta (or Pandectae), a compilation of older legal texts, in 533, and by the Institutiones, a textbook explaining the principles of law. The Novellae, a collection of new laws issued during Justinian's reign, supplements the Corpus. As opposed to the rest of the corpus, the Novellae appeared in Greek, the common language of the Eastern Empire. The Corpus forms the basis of Latin jurisprudence (including ecclesiastical Canon Law) and, for historians, provides a valuable insight into the concerns and activities of the later Roman Empire. As a collection it gathers together the many sources in which the leges (laws) and the other rules were expressed or published: proper laws, senatorial consults (senatusconsulta), imperial decrees, case law, and jurists' opinions and interpretations (responsa prudentum). Tribonian's code ensured the survival of Roman law. It formed the basis of later Byzantine law, as expressed in the Basilika of Basil I and Leo VI the Wise. The only western province where the Justinianic code was introduced was Italy (after the conquest, by the so-called Pragmatic Sanction of 554), from where it was to pass to Western Europe in the 12th century and become the basis of much European law code. It eventually passed to Eastern Europe where it appeared in Slavic editions, and it also passed on to Russia. It remains influential to this day.