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J Stinia Ns Legislation

treats, book, code, actions, rights, lastly, justinian, dos and time

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J STINIA N'S LEGISLATION. Justinian, soon after ascending the throne, instructed (Feb. A.D. 528) a commission consisting of Joannes and nine other per among whom were Tribonian or Tribunian, and Theophilus, to make a general compilation of the best and most useful laws, or " constitutions," which had been promulgated by the emperors his predecessors, beginning from Ha drian's Perpetual Edict down to his own time. [CONSTITUTIONS, ROMAN ; EQUITY, i. pp. 844-5.] Partial compilations had been made in the time of Constantine by private individuals, Gregorianus and Hermogenianus, of which only fragments remain, and a more complete compilation was made under Theodosius II. [Taw DustAN CODE.] All these were now merged in the new code of Justinian. A remarkable difference of style and man ner is observable between the older con stitutions issued before Constantine and those promulgated afterwards. The for mer, being issued at Rome and framed upon the decisions, or " response," of learned jurists, are clear, sententious, and elegant: the latter, which were promul gated chiefly at oonstantinople in the decay of the Roman language, are verbose and rhetorical. Joannes and his nine as sociates completed their task in fourteen mouths, and the new code, having re ceived the imperial sanction, was pub lished in April, A.D. 529. A few years after, Justinian, by the advice of Tribo nian, ordered a revision of his code to be made by Tribonian and four others. These commissioners suppressed several laws, as either useless or inconsistent with present usage, and added many constitu tions which the emperor had been pro mulgating in the mean time, as well as fifty decisions on intricate points of law. The code thus revised was published in December of the year 534, under the title of Codex Justinianeus Repetifte Prin lectionis,' and th tnceforth had the force of law.

The Code is divided into twelve books, every book is subdivided into titles, and each title into heads which are numbered 1, 2, 3, and so on. Book i. treats of the Catholic faith, defines its creed agreeably to the first four general councils, and forbids public disputations on dogmas; it then treats of the rights, privileges, and discipline of bishops and other ecclesiasti cal persons ; next of heretics, Samaritans, Jews, apostates, &c., against whom it contains several penal enactments; after which the book proceeds to speak of the laws, and their different kinds, and lastly of the magistrates. Book ii. treats of the lbrms to be observed in commencing a suit ; then of restitution, compromises, sureties, and lastly, of the oath of ca lumny.* Book iii. treats of judicia and judices,and judicial proceedings generally; of holidays, of the various jurisdictions, of inofficious (inofficiosa) testaments and donations, of inheritances, of the Lex Aquilia, of mixed actions, of actions for crimes committed by slaves, of gaming, of burying-places and funeral expenses.

Book iv. begins with the explanation of personal actions which are founded on loan and other causes; of obligationes and actions, with their effect in relation to heirs and other persons bound by them ; of testimony and written evidence; of things borrowed for use; of contract by pledge, and the personal action thereon; of compensation, interest, aeposit, man date, partnership, buying and selling, permutation, hiring, and emphyteutic contracts. Book v. treats of betrothment, gifts in contemplation of marriage, of marriages, women's portions (dos), and the action that lies for the recovery of the dos, of gifts between husband and wife, of estates given in dos, of alimony, of concubines, natural children, and the process of legitimation. It next treats of guardianship (tutela), of the administra tion by tutors, and of the alienation of minors' estates. Book vi. treats of slaves, and freedmen, and the rights of their pa trons; then it explains at large the Pile torian possession called " Bonorum poe sessio:" after which it expounds the whole matter of testaments, as institutions and substitutions of heirs, preteritions and disinheritings, disclaiming of inheritance, the opening of wills, of codicils, legacies, and fiduciary bequests, and lastly of succession to the property of intestates. Book vii. treats of manumissions ; after wards of matters relating to prescrip tion, of judgments (sententiae) and appeals, of the cession of estate or goods, of the seizure of goods, of the privileges of the exchequer (fiscus), and the revocation of alienations made to defraud creditors. Book viii. begins with interdicts : it then treats of pledges and pawns, of stipula tions, novations, delegations. &c. It treats next of the paternal power, of the emancipation of children, and their in gratitude; it then explains what is meant by custom (consuetudo); it next speaks of gifts (douationes mortis causa, &c.) and their various kinds ; and lastly, of taking away the penalties of celibacy. Book ix. treats of crimes, criminal judg ments and punishments. hook x. treats of the rights and prerogative of the fiscus, of vacant goods, of treasure found (treasure trove), de Annonis et tributis ; of the de curiones and their office ; of domicile, of public offices and exemption from them, and of the various kinds of public offices and functions appertaining to them. Book xi. treats of the rights common to the city of Rome and municipal towns, corporate bodies and communities, and a great variety of other matter. Book xii. continues the same subject, ex plaining the right of cities as to having offices civil and military, and also as to having functionaries for the execution of judgments and the orders of magistrates. This enumeration gives a general, though very imperfect view of the contents of the Justinian Code.

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