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Cosmic Mission of an Empire..

The Law

Justinian's Code of Laws - the code of Laws edited by Justinian and the associates

The Law system of Byzantium was basically the extended Roman Law, edited form the yeat of 528. in several phases.

In the year of 528., HRM Emperor Justinian gathered ten distinguished lawyers, most notably Tribonyan and Theopfyl. They were revisioning the ancient Roman Law, and partitioning them into Imperial Laws (leges, constitutiones) from the time of Roman emperors Hadrian, as well as those laws of Gregory, Hermogenyan, and Theodosius.

In the April of 529., the commision has gathered and published the Codex of 12 books (Codex Iustiniani). The Codex was re-edited and published again in 534. and had more than 4,600 decissions and notes. This codex is being used even today.

Another even more important document of Law were the Pandektes - Digesta, (published in 533.) a work of more than 17 members of the special commission under the supervision of Tribonyan. The goal was to gather all the notes, explainations and interpretations of the Codex and other justice novels, from every Roman lawyer till then. The body concluded 3,000 codex documents. The final material was separated into seven parts and arranged into 50 books. We must say that this effort was finaly done after more than 1400 years in want of such a document.

After the Digesta, the task was to provide books for education of lawyers. Those were the Institutions, arranged into four books, edited by Theofyl and Dorothey.

Pandektes (Digesta), Codex Iustiniani, and the Institutions are known as Corpus iuris civilis.

After the Corpus, newly added notes were simply called the Novels. These were the new laws and orders of an Emperor.

The economy

Byzantine power stood not in the army but in the richness of the State and diplomacy of its emperors. Roman legacy left taxation system and system of laws, which did survive some extensions and revisions. Major revision of the Roman Law happened under Justinian's reign. An ancient Rome was pagan country in its core, so did Byzantium had to change and modernize the Law in order to present its Pan-Christian Mission.

Byzantine World

Economical and Law system of the Byzantine Empire

The Economy and the Law Neobyzantine Movement -Νεορωμαϊκό Κίνημα ©, email:, updated: 31 March, 2004
NBWS stands for the Neobyzantine Web Site - an official web site of the Neobyzantine Movement © since 1997