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Roman law: Ancient sources


Leges regiae, The Twelve Tables (Lex duodecim tabularum); other Leges publicae; Praetorian edicts; Senatus consulta; Imperial enactments collected in various codes, including the Theodosian Code which contains imperial enactments from AD 312-438; and literary sources such as the barbarian codes.


Gaius (2nd century AD); Ulpian (AD 170-223/4); Paulus (fl. c. AD 200), are particularly significant because the texts survived independently of the Justinian compilations, and therefore represent earlier ideas:
Gaius’ Institutes; Paulus’ Sententiae; Ulpian’s Regulae.


See entries such as Jurists, Institutes of Gaius, Paul, Ulpian in Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History

Justinian Emperor of the East AD 527-65

Justinian’s works are known collectively as the Corpus Juris Civilis (body of civil law) and consist of: the Digest (or Pandects), Institutes, Code and Novels.

The Digest, Institutes and Code are restatements or revisions of existing law.   The Novels are Justinian’s subsequent enactments.

Post-Justinian/ Byzantine sources

About 892 AD during the reign of Leo VI, Eastern Roman Emperor, a Greek abridgment of Justinian's laws was promulgated: Τà Βασιλικα