The Revival of Roman Law and Canon law
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The Digest (or Pandects), promulgated at Constantinople on December 16, 533, by the Roman emperor Justinian (527–565, born ca. 482), is perhaps the most influential text in the history of Western legal thought. Together with Justinian’s Code (promulgated on April 7, 529, with a second edition in 534), and his Institutes (533), it constituted what in the sixteenth century came to be known in Western Europe as the Corpus of Civil Law (Corpus Iuris Civilis). Justinian’s Novels (or New Constitutions)—imperial pronouncements from 535, supplemented by post-Justinianic directives from as late as 575—together with the Digest and Code are our principal sources for the philosophical underpinnings of Justinian’s conceptualization of his legislative activity; for the philosophy of law that animated Tribonian, architect of the actual codification; and for the philosophy of law implicit in the finished text of the Digest itself.