Paraphrasis graeca Institutionum Caesarearum : de jure naturae, gentium, civili.

Theophilus, active 6th century [Browse]
Uniform title
Manuscript, Book
Modern Greek (1453-)
circa 1550-1600.
6 leaves : paper ; 215 x 145 mm


Summary note
The present fragment contains an excerpt from the Greek paraphrases of Justinian's Institutions written in the 6th century by the Byzantine lawyer Theophilus, who together with Tribonianus, Dorotheus and others contributed to the compilation of the "Corpus iuris civilis." The first Greek edition of Theophilus' compendium was printed at Basel by Froben in 1534. The edition we have used to confront the text that issued at The Hague in 1751 ("Ta heuriskomena ... Paraphrasis graeca Institutionum Caesarearum," I, p. 17 and fl.). The text is taken from book 1: "De jure naturae, gentium, civili (tit. II-V, par. 19-97) with, however, omissions deliberately made by the scribe. It is a very interesting part of the Corpus, dealing with the fundamentals of the Roman law and with the rules concerning free men, slaves, and liberti.
  • Physical description: 23-24 lines per page; 4to. Fragment made of 6 unnumbered leaves, of which the first two are blank. The text begins at l. 3r with the words "ē engraphoi ē agraphoi" ("written or unwritten laws") and an abbreviated marginal note in Latin: "de iure naturali, gentium et civili." At least a bifolium is missing between ll. 3 and 4, while on all the other leaves the text is consecutive, even though the scribe has omitted on purpose some paragraphs. At the end there is a catchword to further missing text. The watermark shows five crescents in a Greek cross within a circle and is identical to Briquet 5377 (Naples, 1568-1570; Salerno, 1567-1573).
  • Theophilus, who taught law in Constantinople, wrote this sort of manual for the study of Roman law presumably for his Greek-speaking students. The text was mainly known in Western Europe in a Latin version probably translated by the author himself. Apparently the original Greek version of the work was found by Politian at the end of the 15th century. Theophilus' works had a wide circulation in print.
Source acquisition
Princeton copy Acquired with matching funds provided by the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund.
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