Codex Theodosianus

437. John F. Matthews illustrates the importance of
Theodosius’ Code when he said, “the Theodosian Code
was the first occasion since the Twelve Tables on which a
Roman government had attempted by public authority to
collect and publish its leges.”[5] The code covers political,
socioeconomic, cultural and religious subjects of the 4th
and 5th century in the Roman Empire.[6]
A collection of imperial enactments called the Codex Gregorianus had been written in c. 291-4[1] and the Codex
Hermogenianus, a limited collection of rescripts from c.
295,[1] was published. Theodosius desired to create a
code that would provide much greater insight into law
during the later Empire (321-429). According to Peter
Stein, “Theodosius was perturbed at the low state of legal skill in his empire of the East.” He apparently started
a school of law at Constantinople. In 429 he assigned a
commission to collect all imperial constitutions since the
time of Constantine.[7] The laws in the code span from
312-438, so by 438 the “volume of imperial law had become unmanageable”.[8]
During the process of gathering the vast amount of material, often editors would have multiple copies of the same
law. In addition to this, the source material the editors
were drawing upon changed over time. Clifford Ando
A bust of Theodosius II in the Louvre.
notes that according to Matthews, the editors “displayed
a reliance on western provincial sources through the late
The Codex Theodosianus (Eng. Theodosian Code) was a 4th century and on central, eastern archives thereafter.”[9]
compilation of the laws of the Roman Empire under the
Christian emperors since 312. A commission was estab- After six years an initial version was finished in 435, but
lished by Theodosius II and his co-emperor Valentinian it was not published, instead it was improved upon and
III on 26 March 429[1][2] and the compilation was pub- expanded and finally finished in 438 and taken to the Senlished by a constitution of 15 February 438. It went into ate in Rome and Constantinople. Matthews believes that
force in the eastern and western parts of the empire on 1 the two attempts are not a result of a failed first attempt,
but instead the second attempt shows “reiteration and reJanuary 439.[1]
finement of the original goals at a new stage in the editorial process.”[10] Others have put forth alternate theories
to explain the lengthy editorial process and two different
1 Development
commissions. Boudewijn Sirks believes that “the code
was compiled from imperial copy books found at ConOn March 26, 429, Emperor Theodosius II announced to stantinople, Rome, or Ravenna, supplemented by matethe senate of Constantinople his intentions to form a com- rial at a few private collections, and that the delays were
mittee to codify all of the laws (leges, singular lex) from caused by such problems as verifying the accuracy of the
the reign of Constantine up to Theodosius II and Valen- text and improving the legal coherence of the work.”[11]
tinian III. Twenty-two scholars, working in two teams,
The tone of the work reflected the rhetorical training that
worked for nine years starting in 429 to assemble what
the
drafters had received and Averil Cameron has dewas to become the Theodosian Code.[3] The chief overscribed it as “verbose, moralizing and pretentious”.[12]
seer of the work was Antiochus Chuzon, a lawyer and a
Prefect and Consul from Antioch.[4]
Their product was a collection of 16 books containing
more than 2,500 constitutions issued between 313 and
1

Online edition. 510 Galerius’ rule and promoted under Constantine’s. as “a Christian ruler whose [11] Michael Alexander.preserved in the text of a document known as Parsinus ence between the Theodosian Code and Justinian’s later 9643. While the Theodosian Code may seem to lack a personal facet due to the absence of judicial reviews.” consists of 43. the second and third parts.largely discontinuous folios. drew largely to concentrate solely on the laws from Constantine to the from two texts as well. the task proved to be too great. with tation was based. He intended to supplement the legal codes the Breviary of Alaric. also known as “V”. Oxford University Press. . p. XIII The late empire. 37-38 attempting to solidify Christianity as the official religion of the Empire. But text of the respective part of the original codex. The second manuscript is mogenianus. Books 6-8 of the Codex were time of writing. is. “law as an interpretive discipline”. (1998) “Education and literary culture” in the Catholic Church. com.”[17] 3 Christianity [1] “Codex Theodosianus” in The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. 191-193 piety was expressed by the laws he had issued in favor of [12] Cameron. 683. [6] Matthews. “The Theodosian Code does.the Arian controversy was ongoing . upon further review the legal code can give us insight into Theodosius’ motives behind the codification. 200 City of God.[20] Novellae).4 Sources position of orthodoxy . the Digest and the Institutiones. leges generales beginning with Constantine to be used as a The Turin manuscript. published about 100 years later. The first five books of the surOriginally. of annotations.”[15] Justinian’s Code. that is included in book 1 actually contains the original [19] much like the Digest found later in Justinian’s Code. but on primary sources that had never before been brought together.[20] The document circulated early medieval French Corpus Juris Civilis. or imperial laws.[13] It was also concerned with the im. Theodosius II’s grandfather. [19] supplement for the Codex Gregorianus and the Codex Her. pg. A. p. or Codex.). differ from the work of Justinian (except the (Vat.within the Christian religion and contains 65 decrees Books 1-5 lack the level of manuscript support availdirected at heretics. Matthews observes. and the doors of all courts of law be closed during those 15 days (1. contained the ius of Classical 6 Notes Roman jurists and the Institutes of Gaius. Lenski quotes Matthews as noting that the “imperial constitutions represented not only prescriptive legal formulas but also descriptive pronouncements of an emperor’s moral and ideological principles. a document held in the Vatican [20] however. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This decision defined the greatest differ. in that it was largely based not on existing juristic writings and collections of texts. “the primary legislation upon which the interpre. 1991. explicit in ordering that all actions at law should cease during Holy Cameron. 475. 1875) [3] Lenski.The Theodosian Code was translated into English. Theodosius had attempted to commission viving Codex draw largely from two other manuscripts. 337-425. as well as the other formative document for the John F. 191 votion to its establishment. pg. St. Theodosius II was also [7] Peter Stein. libraries. p. A. and leges. P. p. In his [9] Clifford Ando. 337-340 [4] “Antiochus Chuzon” in The Oxford Classical Dictionary. and a good part of the Breviarium with the opinions and writings of ancient Roman Jurists.D. viii. Oxford University Press. who shared his faith and de. p. Reg. 2012.[14] able for books 6-16.5 English translation prised both ius. and Garnsey. 17 Apart from clearing up confusion and creating a single. Scholars consider this section to have been transmitted completely. New York & Oxford. Retrieved 15 November 2013. tit. in 1952 by Clyde Pharr and others. 10-18 simplified and supercedent code. latter part of the code.”[16] While the first part. The Code was written in Latin and referred explicitly to the two capitals of Constantinople (Constantinopolitana) and Rome (Roma).[10] Michael Alexander.) The Cambridge ancient history: Vol. A. p. also known as “T.”[18] The Codex Theodosianus.[21] Justinian’s Corpus Civilis Juris contained 12 books of constitutions. [5] Matthews. Augustine praised Theodosius the Great. ISBN 0195046528 [2] LacusCurtius • Roman Law — Theodosian Code (Smith’s Dictionary. books 6-16. (eds. ii. 886). p. pp. for example. and in 435 it was decided The latter part of the Codex.2 2 6 NOTES Context Week. after it had been decriminalised under [8] Susan Martin.

ISBN 978-887916-403-0 • Alexander. −5-1. and the Wyoming Judge: the Story behind the Translation of the Theodosian Code in Mid-Century America. Ed. −10-4 (on Religion). doi:10. Texte latin d'après l'édition de Th.. 1875. A Short History of Roman Law. 8 Roman Legal Tradition 1. (Spring 1995). Meyer. A Study of the Theodosian Code by John Matthews”. 8 [19] Matthews. 331 [18] Matthew. See also Timothy Kearley. Pharr). Cyril.ru. Law and History Review (University of Illinois Press) 13 (1): 190–192. • Matthews.a. 138– 141. A database on Carolingian secular law texts (Karl Ubl. 8 External links Primary sources: • Codex Theodosianus (Latin). the Women of Vanderbilt. English translation Oliver J. “Review: Laying Down the Law. Milano 2009.Le Code Théodosien (CTH).) 98 (3): 337–340. Noel (February–March 2003). 1907. (2000). Traduction française. . Auxilium in Codices Theodosianum Iustinianumque investigandos. • (English) Codex Theodosianus XI-7-13. pp. Brepols. W.3 [13] Tituli Ex Corpore Codici Theodosiani [14] Mango. a Translation with a Commentary. NY: Yale University Press. 7 References • ACTI. John F. introduction et notes. • (English) A list of imperial laws of 311 until 431 contains summaries of many laws involving religion from the Theodosian code and other sources. • Tellegen-Couperus. Thatcher e. “Review: The Theodosian Code by Jill Harries. ancientrome. & Krueger (Latin). (2002) Oxford History of Byzantium. London. Website fordham. Mommsen. John Murray. Inc. • Lenski. p.fr. Olga (1993). W. pp. [17] Lenski. 2009 (Codex Theodosianus . XV-5-1. Pierre Jaillette. 10-12 • Codex Theodosianus. Éd. Ian Wood”.” 99 Law Library Journal 525. Website upmf-grenoble. NY: Routledge. Cologne University. p. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (October 1995). available at . vol. 536-545 (2007). A Textbook of Roman Law from Augustus to Justinian. pp.). Davidson and Mary B. For a description of how this project was carried out. pg. 105 [15] Matthews. pp. 86 [21] Clyde Pharr (in collaboration with Theresa S. 5). pp. see Linda Jones Hall. • Codex Theodosianus (Latin) (only books 1-9). Ian Wood”. • Buckland. 87 [20] Matthews. Glossary and Bibliography (1952). Secondary sources: • Codex Theodosianus by George Long in A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. Michael C. available at .edu. Oxford: Oxford University Press. “Justice Fred Blume and the Translation of Justinian’s Code. (1993). XVI-1-2. Livre V. Germany). Laying Down the Law: A Study of the Theodosian Code. • Martin. LED Edizioni Universitarie. p. 3 (2012). • Codex Theodosianus Information on the code and its manuscript tradition on the Bibliotheca legum regni Francorum manuscripta website. Mommsen. New York. The Theodosian Code and Novels and the Sirmondian Constitutions. Turnout. in chronological order. Jean-Michel Poinsotte. −7-1. New York. −5-3. “Clyde Pharr. “Review: The Theodosian Code by Jill Harries. Iole Fargnoli (cur. The Classical Journal (The Classical Association of the Middle West and South. −12-1. par Sylvie Crogiez. Liber V . The American Journal of Legal History (Temple University) 39 (4): 510–511. 12 [16] Matthews.2307/743979. Susan D.Le Code Théodosien. 37–38.

YFdyh-bot. Philafrenzy. Margacst. DumZiBoT. Flamarande. and licenses 9. Dppowell. ZéroBot.wikipedia.wikimedia. GoldenMeadows.org/wikipedia/commons/2/26/Theodosius_II_Louvre_ Ma1036. BerndGehrmann~enwiki. TCode. CommonsDelinker. BattyBot. Renato de carvalho ferreira. Hmainsbot1.jpg License: CC BY 2. KasparBot and Anonymous: 22 9. Erud.1 Text • Codex Theodosianus Source: https://en. MakeRocketGoNow. Giraffedata. Cynwolfe. Davidiad. An Siarach.W. CONTRIBUTORS. SpBot.jpg Source: https://upload. Xqbot.5 Contributors: Marie-Lan Nguyen (User:Jastrow). Postdlf. G. Ghirlandajo. Ash. Dpwkbw. FlaBot.2 Images • File:Theodosius_II_Louvre_Ma1036.3 Content license • Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.org/wiki/Codex_Theodosianus?oldid=671283535 Contributors: Llywrch. AND LICENSES 9 Text and image sources. Beaglepack. Markunit23. CJLL Wright. Corriebertus. Grutness. Cplakidas. Rei-bot. Idioma-bot. SporkBot.. Adam Bishop. Brando130. Neddyseagoon.0 . Broadbot. contributors. YurikBot. Fæ. Pegship. Raven in Orbit. Hemlock Martinis. SDC. Rjwilmsi. Valentinian. Richard Keatinge. Anclation~enwiki. Mairi. Cydebot. Xn4. Hmains.4 9 TEXT AND IMAGE SOURCES. Theodosian Code. Noailles. Addbot. GrahamHardy. RjwilmsiBot. Pvasiliadis. WikitanvirBot. Robbot. Kuralyov. 2009 Original artist: ? 9. Ajwest1983. Amcde. Atethnekos. Luckas-bot.