The Ancient Library

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discovered the treachery to Attila, who, more gene­rous than the Christian emperor, disdained to punish Vigilius, though he confessed his guilt ; and looking at the affair as a matter of business, the barbarian took two hundred pounds of gold, instead of the life of Vigilius. But he sent two ambassadors to Constantinople, who boldly rebuked the emperor for his guilt, and demanded the head of Chrysaphius. Instead of directly refusing the demand, Theodosius sent a fresh embassy, loaded with presents, to deprecate the wrath of Attila, who preferring gold to vengeance, pardoned the emperor and his guilty associates: he even abandoned all claim to the country south of the Danube ; but here his libe­rality was not great, for he had made it a desert.

In June A. d. 450, Theodosius was thrown from his horse as he was hunting near Constantinople, and received an injury from which he died, in the fiftieth year of his age and the forty-second of his long and inglorious reign. His sister Pulcheria succeeded him, but prudently took for her colleague in the empire the senator Marcian, and made him her husband.

In the reign of Theodosius, and that of Valen-tinian III., who was emperor of the West from A. d. 425 to 455, was made the compilation called the Codex Theodosianus. In A. d. 429 the admi­nistration of the Eastern Empire declared that there should be formed a collection of the Consti­tutions of the Roman emperors from the time of Constantine to that date, after the model of the two collections of Gregorianus and Hermogenianus. The arrangement of the constitutions was to be determined by the matter to which they referred, and those which treated of several matters were to be divided, and each part placed under its appro­priate title. Those constitutions which had been altered by subsequent constitutions were not always to be rejected, but the date of each constitution was to be given, and they were to be arranged in the order of time. Eight functionaries (illustres et spectabiles) and an advocate were appointed to compile this code. Nothing was done till a. d. 435, when a new commission was appointed with the same power as the former commission, and the additional power of making changes in the consti­tutions. The new commissioners were sixteen, part of whom were of the rank of Illustres, and part of the rank of Spectabiles. On the fifteenth of February, a. d. 438, the Code was published, and it was declared to be from the first of January, A. D. 439, the only authority for the " Jus Princi-pale," or that law which was formed by imperial constitutions, from the time of Constantine. In the same year the Code was published at Rome, as law for the Western Empire also, by Valentinian. The Code consists of sixteen books, which are divided into titles, with appropriate rubricae or headings ; and the constitutions belonging to each title are arranged under it in chronological order. The first five books comprise the greater part of the constitution which relates to Jus Privatum; the sixth, seventh, and eighth books contain the law that relates to the constitution and administration; the ninth book treats of criminal law ; the tenth and eleventh treat of the public revenue and some matters relating to procedure ; the twelfth, thir­teenth, fourteenth and fifteenth books treat of the constitution and the administration of towns and other corporations ; and the sixteenth contains the law relating to ecclesiastical matters.


The Theodosian Code has been preserved in an epitome contained in the Breviarium which was made by order of Alaric II., king of the Visigoths, in a. r>. 506, but several constitutions and some entire titles are omitted in this epitome. It has also been preserved in the MSS. of the original Code, yet only in an incomplete form, and we have consequently to refer to the Breviarium for a consi­derable part of the Theodosian Code. The consti­tutions in the Code of Justinian, which belong to the period comprised in the Theodosian Code, are taken from the Code of Theodosius, but have under­gone considerable alterations. After the edition of Cujacius, Paris, 1686, fol., the foundation for the text of the last eleven books of the Code was the MSS. of the original Code ; but for the first five books and the beginning of the sixth book (tit. ], and the beginning of title 2) the text of the epitome in the Breviarium was the foundation. The best of these editions, after the time of Cuja­cius, and that which is invaluable for the commen­tary, is that of J. Gothofredus, which was edited after his death by A. Marville, Lyon, 1665, 6 vols. folio ; and afterwards by Ritter, Leipzig, 1736— 1745, fol.

Recent discoveries have added to the last eleven books, and furnished considerable and most impor­tant additions to the first five books. The first discoveries which furnished materials for the text of the Code, were made by A. Peyron, at Turin, in a palimpsest: these discoveries have enabled us to make considerable additions to the first five books. These additions were published by Peyron in 1823. In 1820 Clossius discovered, in the Ambrosian Library at Milan, a MS. of the Bre-viarium, into which the copyist has transferred various pieces from a MS. of the original Code : they were published by Clossius in 1824. Wenck published in 1825, Leipzig, 8vo., the first five books of the Code, as we now possess them, with critical and explanatory notes.

The last and most complete edition of the text of the Theodosian Code is that by Hiinel in the Corpus Jiiris Ante-justiniancum, published at Bonn, 1837.


The Theodobian Code, by its adoption in the Western Empire, established a uniformity of law in the East and the "W est. But as new laws would occasionally be necessary, and it was desirable to maintain this uniformity, it was agreed between the Eastern and the Western emperors, that future constitutions, which might be published in one part of the empire, should be forwarded to the other, and promulgated there also. The new constitutions were called Novellae Leges, or simply Novellae. In a. d. 447 Theodosius sent a number of such No­vellae to Valentinian, who in the following year confirmed and promulgated them in the Western Empire. These Novellae form the first collection of Novellae which followed the compilation of the

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