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a Graeco-Roman jurist, usually named COSMAS MAGISTER, probably because he filled the office of magister officiorum under Romanus Senior; although Reiz, in the index of proper names subjoined to his edition of Harmenopulus in the supplementary volume of Meermann's Thesaurus, is inclined to think that Magister was a family surname.

In Leunclavius (J. G. R. ii. pp. 166, 167) are two sententiae (Ψῆφοι) of Cosmas in the style of imperial constitutions, as if he had been authorized by Romanus to frame legal regulations. It further appears from a Novell of Romanus, published in the collection of Leunclavius (ii. p. 158), that Cosmas was employed by the emperor in the composition of his laws.


Compendium of Law (ἐκλογὴ νόμων τῶν ἐν ἐπιτόμῳ ἐκτιθεμένων

Hence Assemani (Bibl. Jur. Orient. lib. 2. c.29, pp. 582-584) is disposed to ascribe to Cosmas a legal work which is preserved in manuscript in the Royal Library at Vienna. It is a system or compendium of law, divided into 50 titles, and compiled in the first year of Romanus Senior (A. D. 919 or 920) under the name ἐκλογὴ νόμων τῶν ἐν ἐπιτόμῳ ἐκτιθεμένων. (Lambecius, Comment. in Bibl. Vindob. vi. p. 38; Zachariae, Hist. J. G. R. § 37.)


The preface and title of this work were first published by Zachariae in his edition of the Procheiron of Basileius ( πρόχειρος νόμος, Heidelb. 1837).

Identity of Cosmas

Cedrenus (in Constantino et Romano) mentions Cosmas as a patricius and logotheta dromi, the hippodromus being the name of the highest court of justice in Constantinople. Harmenopulus, in the preface to his Hexabiblus, acknowledges his obligations to the Romaica of Magister (τὰ Ῥωμαἲκὰ τοῦ Μαγίστρου λεγομένα), and Jac. Godefroi supposes that Cosmas is meant. In this, as in most other questions in the history of Graeco-Roman law, there is great difficulty in arriving at the truth; but we believe the Magister referred to by Harmenopulus to be Eustathius Patricius Romanus.

Further Information

Reiz, ad Harmenop. in Meerm. Thes. viii. p. 6, n. 8, ib. pp. 399, 400; Pohl, ad Snares. Notit. Basil. p. 15, n. (θ), ib. p. 52, n. (χ); Zachariae, Hist. Jur. G. R. § 41.


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919 AD (1)
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