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FIRST PREFACE ~

ON THE DRAFT NEW CODE

(13 February 528 AD)

( P.-A. Tissot, The twelve books of the Code …, in-8, I, Metz, 1807, pp. 14-21 ).

THE EMPEROR JUSTINIAN, TO THE SENATE OF THE CITY OF CONSTANTINOPLE.

We have resolved to do for the common utility, and with the help of God, a new Code composed of a choice of constitutions contained in the three Codes, Gregorian, Hermogenian and Theodosian; and of those whom Theodosius, of divine memory, and several other princes after him, have made, as well as of those which we have published after the three Codes which we have just quoted. Our plan is to diminish lawsuits by reducing the large number of laws. We want this Code to be called from our name. This enterprise, which had seemed necessary to many of our predecessors, has never succeeded in any of them. 1. That is why, considering the greatness of the work and the need of the State, we elected, to execute it, men capable of finishing such a great enterprise, as well as to give all the care that she demands. They are Jean, a very respectable man, and ex-quaestor of our palace; Léonce, a very learned man, an officer of soldiers, and ex-prefect of the courtroom; Phocas, illustrious person, and officer of soldiers, all consular and patrician men; Basyl, ex-prefect of the Praetorium of the East, and patrician; Thomas, a very illustrious man, quaestor of our palace, and ex-consul; Tribonian, very illustrious person, chief of the magistracy; Constantine, illustrious man, first steward of our largesse, master of petitions and state councilor; Theophilus, a very famous man, and doctor of law of this city; and finally Dioscorus and Presinus, very learned lawyers of the Praetorian court. 2. We have specially enabled them to suppress useless preambles, repetitions, and contradictions, unless the laws which seem opposite relate to different objects; those which have fallen into disuse; to write in a few words those which they will draw from the three Codes of which we have spoken above, or from the constitutions published more recently; to assemble them under suitable titles; to add, to cut down, and even to change their expressions, when it is necessary; to reduce several constitutions into one law, and to clarify them, without, however, reversing the dates of these constitutions, the consulates under which they were rendered, as well as the order of their compositions; so that the oldest are placed before those which are after them; and if it is found in the old Codes and among the more recent ones, which are without date and without appointment of consulates, being placed in the new Code, there can be no doubt as to their vigor; for the constitutions have the force of general law when they have been inserted, because of their utility, into a new Code, although they have been addressed first to individuals, or rendered in the origin by a pragmatic sanction. so that the oldest are placed before those which are after them; and if it is found in the old Codes and among the more recent ones, which are without date and without appointment of consulates, being placed in the new Code, there can be no doubt as to their vigor; for the constitutions have the force of general law when they have been inserted, because of their utility, into a new Code, although they have been addressed first to individuals, or rendered in the origin by a pragmatic sanction. so that the oldest are placed before those which are after them; and if it is found in the old Codes and among the more recent ones, which are without date and without appointment of consulates, being placed in the new Code, there can be no doubt as to their vigor; for the constitutions have the force of general law when they have been inserted, because of their utility, into a new Code, although they have been addressed first to individuals, or rendered in the origin by a pragmatic sanction. found in the old Codes and among the more recent ones, which are without date and without designation of consulates, being placed in the new Code, there can be no doubt about their vigor; for the constitutions have the force of general law when they have been inserted, because of their utility, into a new Code, although they have been addressed first to individuals, or rendered in the origin by a pragmatic sanction. found in the old Codes and among the more recent ones, which are without date and without designation of consulates, being placed in the new Code, there can be no doubt about their vigor; for the constitutions have the force of general law when they have been inserted, because of their utility, into a new Code, although they have been addressed first to individuals, or rendered in the origin by a pragmatic sanction. 3 . We hastened to inform you of our intentions, and how much we are concerned with what is of general utility, by making Constitutions, the utility of which is evident, collected in a single Code; which, called only from our name, must henceforth be used as a rule in all cases.

Done at Constantinople, February 13, under the consulate of the Emperor Justinian, consul for the second time .

Devider

~ SECOND PREFACE ~

OF THE CONFIRMATION OF THE JUSTINIAN CODE

(April 7, 529 AD)

( P.-A. Tissot, The twelve books of the Code …, in-8, I, Metz, 1807, pp. 21-31 ).

TheDefense and prosperity of the state have their source in arms and laws. It is through them that the happy people of the Romans have always been superior to other nations, and have always dominated them, as it is by them that they will always preserve this high rank, if God is propitious to it. Weapons need laws, just as they need weapons; for if the arms need to be regulated by the laws, the observation of them requires the assistance of arms. We first directed our attention, our designs, and our labors to the first needs of the state, correcting, by various means, that which concerns the armies; and, in this respect, we have planned everything. We have put the old corps in a better state in a short time; we have established new ones, either by our solicitude or by new expenses. 1. Considering that it was necessary to reduce the large number of constitutions contained in the three Codes, and those which were published afterwards; to clarify them by right definitions, and to make all that we could find obscure disappear, we have occupied ourselves, with the help of God, and yielding to the inclination of our heart, of this work which is of general utility. We have finished it by the means of the persons whom we have chosen for this purpose, all celebrated by their knowledge of the laws, their experience, and by their indefatigable zeal for the state, which we had charged to collect with the constitutions contained in the old three Codes, Gregorian, Hermogenian and Theodosian, those which were later published by Theodosius, of divine memory, by several other princes our predecessors and by ourselves. We have commanded them to enclose them in one Code which will be called by our name, and of which we must exclude those which are useless, those which contradict each other, or those which have been annulled by others which are posterior. We also allowed them to make many other changes to the good composition of this Code. Almighty God has favored our zeal for the good of the state. by several other princes our predecessors and by ourselves. We have commanded them to enclose them in one Code which will be called by our name, and of which we must exclude those which are useless, those which contradict each other, or those which have been annulled by others which are posterior. We also allowed them to make many other changes to the good composition of this Code. Almighty God has favored our zeal for the good of the state. by several other princes our predecessors and by ourselves. We have commanded them to enclose them in one Code which will be called by our name, and of which we must exclude those which are useless, those which contradict each other, or those which have been annulled by others which are posterior. We also allowed them to make many other changes to the good composition of this Code. Almighty God has favored our zeal for the good of the state. others that are posterior. We also allowed them to make many other changes to the good composition of this Code. Almighty God has favored our zeal for the good of the state. others that are posterior. We also allowed them to make many other changes to the good composition of this Code. Almighty God has favored our zeal for the good of the state. 2. We had elected for this work, and the making of such a great work, the ex-Questeur of our palace, Jean, illustrious man, consular and patrician; Léonce, former prefect of the courtroom; Phocas, officer of soldiers; Basyl, ex-prefect of the East, and now prefect of Illyria; Thomas, quaestor of our palace, and ex-consul; Tribonian, Chief of the Judiciary; Constantine, first steward of our largesse, master of petitions and councilor of state; Theophile, ex-councilor of State, doctor of law of this city; Dioscorus and Presentinus, learned lawyers of the Praetorian court. We made them aware of our intentions; and finally, after much reflection, many watches and cares, 3. We have deemed it expedient to send you this Code, which is to regulate all matters brought to your court, so that litigants and lawyers know that they are not allowed, in any way, to rely on the enclosed constitutions in the three ancient Codes which we have mentioned, or on those which hitherto had been called new constitutions, and which can only be extended to those which are inserted in our Code. We must consider as guilty of the crime of forgery those who will dare to contravene the present defense, because the constitutions contained in our Code, adding to it the comments of former jurisconsults, are enough to decide all the lawsuits. There must be no doubt about their strength, that some of them are without date and without designation of consulates, that others are addressed to individuals, because there is no doubt that they have the force of general constitutions; and although there are constitutions in this Code which have been removed or added, or made changes in the expressions, which we have allowed the drafters, we do not allow anyone to falsely quote them as they are reported in old interpreters’ books, but to quote only the feeling of the ancient jurisconsults; so that4 . The pragmatic sanctions that have been granted to cities, corps, colleges, or individuals, which have not been inserted in our Code, are valid, if they have for object a special privilege; but if they relate to any point of common law, they will be valid only so long as our Code does not contain any constitution which is contrary to it. The same applies to regulations made for your court or other military tribunals, expenses and other objects of public utility. We thought we should confirm these regulations, for the greater good of the state. 5. May your authority and your natural zeal for the State and for us, make known the Code to all peoples, by way of the edict, and send in each province a copy bearing our signature, so that, from this In this way, the constitutions of our Code are observed and come to the attention of all, and that during the holidays, that is to say, since the 16th of May, the seventh current indiction, under the consulate of the very illustrious Decius, he reads the constitutions of our Code.

Made at Constantinople, the sixth of April’s ideas, under the consulate of Decius .

Devider

~ THREE ~ PREFACE

OF CORRECTIONS MADE TO THE CODE OF EMPEROR Justinian,

AND ITS SECOND EDITION

(29 December 534 AD. JC)

( P.-A. Tissot, The twelve books of the Code …, in-8, I, Metz, 1807, pp. 32-41 ).

N ur heart, Senators, leads us to neglect nothing that is useful to the state, and not let imperfect what we started. In the beginning of our reign we have collected constitutions which were scattered in various volumes, most of which were repetitions or opposed; and we ordered them to be cleansed of all kinds of vices. This work has been done by high and learned men; we then confirmed it, as is proved by the two constitutions we have just read. 1. But after we had decided that the old right should be observed, we rendered fifty decisions, and promulgated several constitutions made concerning the proposed work, by which the greater part of the ancient laws was corrected and restricted, and the old law purged of all superfluities, and shut up in our Institutes and Pandects. 2. But as these new decisions and constitutions brought after our Code was completed, could not be part of it, and seemed to require that we insert them into it, and that, subsequently, the experience has made known that some of those which were inserted therein were to be changed or corrected; it seemed to us necessary to retouch our constitutions, to divide them according to the various objects of which they are treated, to arrange them under the proper titles, and to reunite them with the first constitutions. To this end we have appointed Tribonian, ex-Quaestor, ex-consul, chief of the magistracy; Dorothea, quaestor and doctor of law of Berythe; and finally Constantine and John,3. We allowed them to do all these things, as well as all the corrections that the work will require; to suppress useless constitutions, those which have become superfluous, by others which are after them; to eliminate repetitions and contradictions if they are found, and to exclude them from the collection of our Code; and, in this new examination, to perfect those which are imperfect, and to clarify those which are obscure, so that the constitutions contained in our Code, have the whole force of the laws, and be observed everywhere as the Institutes and the Digest, after having rejected all those which were similar, contrary, or useless. Nobody doubts that what the second edition bears, is valid and respectable. We see, from the old books, that not only the first editions were followed by others, but also the seconds that the ancients calledrepetitae praelectiones ; which is easily seen by the writings that Ulpian addressed to Sabinus. 4. All these things having been done according to our intentions, and the Justinian Code having been corrected, purified, according to our order, by the men we had charged with this work, it was presented to us with the additions and changes that it was deemed appropriate to do so. We ordered that it be copied in its entirety, not according to the first edition, but according to the second; and, confirmed by our authority, we order that it be read in the courts, as is customary with regard to the constitutions, as of the fourth of the calends of January, our 4th consulate, and that of Paulinus. We forbid anyone to read other constitutions than those which are inserted in our Code, unless, afterwards, because of the vicissitude of things, we give our sanction to other new laws; for no one doubts that if, in the future, there are some additions or changes to be made to our Code, we must not do them, and then collect the new laws together, under the name of new constitutions. 5 . We reiterate our defenses to cite in the future those of our decisions or constitutions that we brought before this second edition of our Code, as well as those contained in our first code, and that would not be in the second edition. We must mention and observe in all the courts, and on all matters, only those which are part of this Code, revised and corrected, which we have ordered to be written in a clear style, like the example of our Institutes and of our Digest, so that all that we have composed is clear in its style, and in the matters it contains, and that our code is more perfect.. We therefore send you, most illustrious fathers, this law, so that our work may be known to you, and may be respected in all times.

Done at Constantinople, the 16th of the Kalends of September, under the consulate of the Emperor Justinian, for the fourth time consul, and Paul .

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