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a Graeco-Roman jurist, who wrote shortly after the compilations of Justinian were formed.


Translation of the Digest into Greek

From the scholiast on the Basilica (vii. p. 89) it may be inferred, that he translated into Greek the Digest at length (τὸ πλάτος, Reiz, ad Theoph. p. 1246.17).

Commentary on the Digest

He also composed a commentary on the Digest, which is cited by the name ἴνδιξ--a word which does not mean an alphabetical register, or index in the modern sense. (Bas. ii. pp. 190, 192.) Some have thought that, as ἴνδιξ means a summary abridgment of the contents of the titles, so πλάτος means an extended commentary or paraphrase; while Hugo (R. R. G. p. 1077) mentions a suggestion made to him, that πλάτος and ἴνδιξ are used synonomously, the latter word being interpreted in the Glossae Nomicae by ἑρμηνεία. Cyrillus is designated, along with Stephanus (who also wrote an Index), by the name Ἰνδικεύτης. (Bas. iii. p. 415.) On the authority of Ant. Augustinus, Suarez (Notit. Basil. § 19) cites Matt. Blastares (in Praef. Syntag.) to shew that Cyrillus interpreted the Digest κατ̓ ἐπιτομήν; but, in the edition of Blastares published by Bp. Beveridge (Synodicon, ii.), the name of Cyrillus does not occur in the context referred to.

Comments upon the Code and the Basilica

Cyrillus also commented upon the Code. (Bus. iii. pp. 60, 61.) Sometimes he is quoted by the scholiasts on the Basilica, and sometimes his opinions are embodied in the text. (Bas. v. pp. 44, 82, 431, Bas. iv. p. 410.)

No comments upon the Novells

He does not appear to have commented upon the Novells; and Reiz (ad Theoph. pp. 1235, 1245) has observed, that both Cyrillus and Stephanus must have written before A. D. 535, when the 115th Novell was promulgated. In Bas. 5.225 is a quotation from Cyrillus stating the law de Inofficioso Testamento as it existed before it was altered by the 115th Novell, which an eminent jurist could scarcely have overlooked or been ignorant of.

Two jurists named Cyrillus?

C. E. Zachariae seems to think that there were two jurists named Cyrillus: one, who was among the preceptors of the jurists that flourished in the time of Justinian; another, who was among the jurists that flourished in the period immediately after the compilation of the Corpus Juris. (Hist. J. G. R. § 14, 1, a., ib. § 14, 5, c.) Zachariae indeed does not expressly say that there were two, but, unless he thinks so, his mode of statement is calculated to mislead. The early Cyrillus is referred to (if Zachariae properly expresses his meaning) in Bas. i. pp. 583, 646 (ed. Heimbach), in both of which passages he is designated by the honourable title Heros. In the passage, p. 646, Heros Patricius, who was a contemporary of Justinian, seems (as quoted by the Scholiast) to call Cyrillus " the general schoolmaster of the world;" but the meaning is ambiguous, and the high-flown compliments to Cyrillus may be the Scholiast's own. It is the later Cyrillus (if Zachariae expresses what he intends) who, in Bas. i. p. 789 (ed. Heimbach), cites Stephanus, his contemporary and brother-commentator. We do not agree with Zachariae in this hypothesis of two Cyrilli; and it is to be observed, that in Bas. i. p. 646 (ed. Heimbach) the supposed earlier Cyrillus of Zachariae is treated as the author of a commentary on the title de Pactis.

In Bas. iii. pp. 50, 51 (ed. Fabrot.), Cyrillus is represented as quoting a constitution of Alexius Comnenus (A. D. 1081-1118), and, in Bas. v. p. 431 and vii. p. 89, mention is made of the edition of Cyrillus, which is supposed by Assemani and Pohl to mean his edition of the Basilica. Hence Assemani (Bibl. Jur. Orient. 2.20, p. 404) comes to the conclusion, that Cyrillus was posterior to Alexius; and Pohl (ad Suares. Notit. Basil. p. 69, n. ς) thinks, that there were two jurists of the name, one of whom was posterior to Alexius. In the passages of early jurists which are appended as notes to the text of the Basilica, interpolations and alterations were often made, in order to accommodate them to a later state of the law; and the apparent anachronisms thus produced occasion considerable difficulty in the legal biography of the lower empire. (Heimbach, de Basil. Orig. p. 31.)


The fragments of Graeco-Roman jurists appended by way of commentary to the 8th book of the Basilica were first published by Ruhnken from a manuscript at Leyden in the 3rd and 5th volumes of Meermann's Thesaurus. Among them are frequent extracts from Cyrillus.

In the Glossae Nomicae, of which Labbé made a collection that was published after his death (Paris, 1679, London, 1817), are Glossaries which have been commonly attributed to Philoxenus and Cyrillus. Reiz (ad Theoph. p. 1246) thinks it not improbable that these Glossaries were either edited by Philoxenus and Cyrillus, or extracted by others from their interpretations, but that they certainly have been interpolated and altered by later hands. Haubold (Inst. Jur. Rom. priv. p. 159, n. k.) sees no sufficient reason for attributing to Cyrillus the Glossary that passes under his name.


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