DIGEST. A compilation arranged in an orderly manner.
The name is given to a great variety of topical compilations, abridgments, and analytical indices of reports, statutes, etc. When reference is made to the Digest, the Pandects of Justinian are intended, they being the authoritative compilation of the civil law. As to this Digest, and the mode of citing it, see PANDECTS. Other digests are referred to by their distinctive names. For some account of di gests of the civil and canon law, and those of In dian law, see CIVIL LAWS, CODE, and CANON LAW. The digests of English and American law are for the most part deemed not authorities, but simply manuals of reference, by which the reader may find his way to the original cases which are authorities. 1 Burr. 364; 2 Wile. 1, 2. Some of them, however, which have been the careful work of scholarly lawyers, possess an independent value as original repositories of the law. Bacon's Abridgment, which has long been deservedly popular in this country, and Comyns' Digest, also often cited, are examples of these. The earlier English digests are
those of Statham (Hen. VI.), Fitzherbert, 1516, Brooke, 1573, Rolle, Danvers, Nelson, Viner, and Petersdorf. Of these Rolle and Viner are still not uafrequently cited, and some others rarely. The several by Coventry & Hughes, by Har rison, and by Chitty, together afford a convenient bides for the American reader to the English re ports. In most of the United States one or more digests of the state reports have been published, and in some of them digests or topical arrange meets of the statutes. There are also digests of the federal reports, the federal statutes, and one knewn as the United States Digest, which represent:: th' reports of the federal and the state courts together. Dane's Abridgment of American Law has been commended by high authority (Story's article in N. Am. Rev. July, 1826), hut it has not main tained a position as a work of general use. There are also numerous digests of oases on particular titles of the law.