The Justinian code, which is now referred to as the Corpus Juris, refers to a collection of landmark works in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by Justinian I, a prominent Eastern Roman Emperor.
The Justinian Code has three fundamental parts: the Code or Codex, which is a compilation, through selection and extraction, of imperial enactments; the Digest of Pandects, which is a resource, similar to an encyclopedia, that is composed of extracts from the writings of Roman jurists; and the Institutes, which is a student textbook, and introduces the Code through conceptual elements that are less developed than the Digest.
All three parts of the Justinian code were awarded the force of law in ancient Rome; the parts of the Justinian code were intended to be, when agglomerated, the sole source of law in the region. Justinian, after the creation of the code, stated that any reference to any other legal source, including the original texts which the Digest and Code were based off, was forbidden.
Development of the Justinian Code:
The Justinian Code was directed by Tribonian—a prominent official in Justinian’s court.Tribonian’s team was authorized by Justinian to edit what they included into the Justinian code; however, to what extent they amended the previous code is not recorded because the majority of original texts did not survive. The Justinian Code was composed and subsequtnyl distributed almost entirely in Latin, which was the official language of the Roman government in 529-534. This language contrasted from the prevalent language (Greek) of farmers, merchants and other citizens in the region.
The Four Parts of the Justinian Code:
The Codex of the Justinian Code was the first completed part; the codex of the Justinian code was finished on April 7 of 529 BC. The Codex was compiled in Latin and the majority of the imperial pronouncementswere dated back to the time of Hadrian. This part of the Justinian Code used both the Codex Theodosianus and the fourth-century collections emobied in the Codex Hermogenianus and the Codex Gregorianus—these two codes provided the model for a division of books that were themselves subdivided into separate titles. These codices developed the authoritative standing established in the Justinian Code.
The codex of the Justinian code contained numerous provisions, which served to secure the status of Christianity as the state religion of the empire. These provisions ultimately united the Church and state and labeled anyone not connected to the Christian church as a non-citizen.
The first law in the Codex required all people under the jurisdiction of the Empire to hold the Christian faith. This law was aimed against heresies and later became the springboard for discussions of international law. Other laws instituted in the codex forbid particular pagan practices and sacrifices.
The Digesta, which was completed in 533, is a collection of juristic writings that date back to the second and third centuries. This part of the Justinian code is comprised of fragments of various legal treaties and opinions; the tribune took these fragments and inserted them into the modified Digesta.
The Law of the Twelve Tables was the ancient legislation that acted as the foundation of Roman law. The Law of the Twelve Tables ultimately formed the centerpiece of the Constitution of the Roman Republic and the core of the custom of the ancestors.
Similar to most forms of early code, the Law of the Twelve Tables combines strict penalties with equally stringent procedural forms. Although the original text within the Law of the Twelve Tables has been destroyed, the majority of surviving quotations aim at uniting society through religious beliefs and controlling the masses through the institution of brutal penalties.
The Laws of the Twelve Tables:
Table I: The first table of the Twelve Tables elucidated upon the civil procedure of the region. If an individual is called to attend to court, they must go. If the individual does not attend his or her court hearing, a witness will be called and the individual in question will be captured. If the individual falls ill or is too old to attend, a carriage will be given to him. When parties have made an agreement and subsequently announced the deal, it will stand as a legally binding contract. If the individuals do not agree, they shall state their case in the court before noon. When the case is heard, a judge will deliver a pronouncement at sunset. Table II of the Twelve Tables gave additional details in regards to court dates and civil procedure.
Table III: In case of a debt, 30 days shall be allowed for repayment. After this timetable, the creditor can lay hands on the borrower and haul the individual into court. If the borrower does not adhere to the judgment given, the lender can take the defendant with him in chains with a weight of no more than 15 lbs. The debtor may live where he chooses, but if he does not live on his own, the creditor must give him a pound of wheat a day.
Table IV: This table of the Law of Twelve tables discussed the laws surrounding parents and children; table IV states that if a child is born with a deformity he shall be killed. If a father sells his son into slavery three times, the son shall be freed from his father.
Table V: This portion of the Twelve Tables described inheritance laws. If an individual dies intestate without heirs, the nearest male shall inherit the monies. If there no near male the individual’s clansmen shall inherit the monies.
Table VI: This table of the Twelve Tables Described Property laws—when an individual makes a bond or conveyance and announces it orally, the right shall be given.
Table VIII: Of the Law of Twelve Tables essentially created the framework for modern-day tort law.
Table IX: Of the Law of Twelve Tables laid the framework for constitutional principles.
Table X: Of the Law of Twelve tables established funeral regulations. Table X stated that no dead man shall be cremated nor buried in the City.
Table XI: Of the Law of Twelve tables elucidated upon marriage laws, by specifically stating that marriages between patricians and plebeians are prohibited.
Table XII: Which Is the last table of the Twelve Tables created laws for crimes and attached penalties for various crimes.