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The Corpus Juris Civilis (Body of Civil Law) is a fundamental work in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I, Byzantine Emperor. Justinian gave orders to collect legal materials of various kinds into several new codes which became the basis of the revival of Roman law in the Middle Ages. This revived Roman law, in turn, became the foundation of law in all civil law jurisdictions. The provisions of the Corpus Juris Civilis also influenced the canon law of the church since it was said that ecclesia vivit lege romana - the church lives under Roman law.


Codex Justinianus (a.k.a. Justinian Code) was the first part to be completed on April 7, 529. It collects the constitutiones (statutes) of the Roman Emperors. The earliest constitution preserved in the code was made from Emperor Hadrian, the latest constitutiones come from Justinianus himself. The compilers of the code could draw on earlier works like the official Codex Theodosianus and private collections like the Codex Gregorianus and the Codex Hermogenianus. Due to the legal reforms by the same Justinian, this work needed to be updated, so a second edition of the Codex (the so-called 'Codex repetitae praelectionis') ...

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