The Theodosian Code – Studies in the imperial law of late antiquity

Codex Theodosianus is a compilation of Roman laws since roughly 310 until 440. The Theodosian Code is a collection of papers or studies relating to the Codex.

The book has 3 parts, each containing an introductory note and 3 articles with common themes. Themes are compilation; Contantine, christiany and the code; and the code in the middle ages. In addition, there’s general introduction in the beginning of the book and epiloque at the end. Extensive bibliography is at the very end of the book.

While I’m just hobbyist when it comes to Romans of antiquity and don’t really know anything about the law, I still found the book pretty fascinating. Actually so much, that I took a note of some of the books in the bibliography with intention to either borrow them from somewhere or purchase (in case they aren’t ridiculously expensive as some of them tend to be). I didn’t know much about the codex either, basically that it existed and had something to do with law.

Each of the articles in the book have a different angle on the Codex. One might be an overview on how the Codex was compiled, while other looks how much of legislations by a certain emperor (Licinius, whose laws were officially abolished) exists within the Codex. All these different approached to the Codex made book much more interesting to read. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the book as much as I did without this.

While I liked the fact that the writers marked their sources and references very well, huge amount of footnotes made book a bit slow to read sometimes. This isn’t helped by the fact that many papers quote primary sources, which means that there’s plenty of latin in the book (which is a language that I can’t understand at all). For someone who can actually understand latin, these quotes are probably much more interesting.


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