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date: 25 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The concept of a code, heavy laden with modern meaning, is not well suited as a historiographical category for interpreting the reality of Roman law. The risk of anachronism is increased by the fact that the modern ideology of codification has not only drawn on ancient catchwords (in particular from the constitutions to Justinian’s enactments), but has also altered their meaning. The Romans were no less aware of the need to organise and render accessible the law and responded to this need in different ways depending upon the particular epoch (from the XII Tables to Justinian). An overview of these types of responses point to a complex system of communication, giving rise to a “written space” within which the work of jurists operated alongside norms (appearing in various forms and with varying degrees of efficacy) promulgated positively and rendered public.

Keywords: code, codification, Justinian, Corpus Iuris Civilis, Roman jurists, Savigny

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