the Graeco-Roman JURIST. A Latin Epitome of the Novells of Justinian is extant under this name.
In one MS. the work is attributed to Joannes, a citizen of Constantinople; in some, no author is named; but in several the translation and abridgment are ascribed to Julianus, a professor (antecessor
) at Constantinople.
It is remarkable that no jurist of the name is recorded among the compilers employed by Justinian, and no professor of the name occurs in the inscription of the Const. Omnem
addressed by Justinian in A. D. 533 to the professors of law at Constantinople and Berytus. Among the extracts from contemporaries of Justinian, which were originally appended to the text of the Basilica, there is not one that bears the name of Julianus. In Basil.
16. tit. 1. s. 6.2 (vol. ii. p. 180, ed. Heimbach), a Julianus is named as putting a question to Stephanus, one of the eminent jurists of Justinian's time, and hence it has been supposed that the author of the Epitome of the Novells was a disciple of Stephanus.
That a Julianus, however, attained such legal celebrity in the reign of Justinian as to be complimented with the phrase " The luminary of the law," may be inferred from the epigram 1
“Hunc videntes Julianum, splendidum juris decus,
Roma Berytusque, Nil non, inquiunt, natura quit.
2.46) calls Julianus patricius and exconsul, but without sufficient authority; and Huher Goltzius, in his preface to the edition of the Epitome of the Novells, which was published at Bruges in 1565, thinks it likely that the author of the Epitome was identical with the consul Julianus, to whom Priscian dedicates his grammar.
That the author of the Epitome was a professor is shown by various forms of expression occurring in that work which are known to have been usual among the professors of the Lower Empire; as, for example, the word didicimus,
at the beginning of the 67th constitution of the Epitome.
It is also clear, from internal evidence, that the author was a resident in Constantinople, which in 100.216 and 358 he calls haec civitas,
although in neither case does the Novell of Justinian which he is abstracting contain a parallel expression.
The collection of Novells translated and abridged by Julianus is referred by Fréherus, in his Chronologia prefixed to the Jus Graeco-Romanum,
to the year A. D. 570, and this date has been followed by the majority of legal historians; but there is every reason to believe that the Epitome was completed during the life of Justinian, in A. D. 556.
In it Justinian is uniformly called noster imperator,
while preceding emperors, as Leo and Justinus, are called Divus Leo and Divus Justinus.
In the abstracts of Novells 117 and 134 there is no allusion to the subsequent legislation of Justinian, which again permitted divortium bona gratia.
In the original collection, also, no Novell of later date than the year A. D. 556 is abstracted.
Epitome of the Novells of Justinian
The original collection consists of 124, or at most 125, constitutions.
These again are divided into chapters, which, in the editions subsequent to A. D. 1561, are doubly numbered, one numbering running through the work from the commencement, and another beginning anew with each constitution. The 125 constitutions make 564 chapters.
This will explain the different modes of citation. Thus const. 1 consists of four chapters, and const. 2 of live chapters.
The fourth chapter of const. 2 might be cited as 100.9, or as const. 2, 100.4. Again, the 8th constitution, the whole of which makes one chapter (the 48th), may be cited as const. 8, or as 100.44. All that follows the 125th constitution in the manuscripts and printed editions consists of additions forming an appendix to the original collection.
The order of the Epitome is very different from that of the 168 Novells in the ordinary modern editions of the Corpus Juris. Of those 168 Novells, seven are constitutions of Justin II. and Tiberius, four are edicts of praefecti praetorio, and several are constitutions of Justinian subsequent to A. D. 556. Of the 168 Novells, Novells 114, 121, 138, 143, and 150, are abstracted in the appendix to the Epitome found in some manuscripts, and 19, 21, 33, 36, 37, 50, 116, 122, 132, 133, 135, 137, 139-149, 151-158, are altogether wanting in Julianus.
Tables exhibiting the correspondence of the Novells in the Corpus Juris with the corresponding abstracts in Julianus may be found in Biener, Gesehichte der Novellen,
pp. 538-9; Savigny's Zeitschrift,
vol. iv. p. 187; Böcking, Institutionen,
The first thirty-nine constitutions in the Epitome are arranged very irregularly, but the arrangement from const. 40 to const. 111 is chronological, and agrees pretty closely with that of the Novells in the Corpus Juris from Nov. 44 to Nov. 120.
Julianus translated from the original Greek, and he had before him the Latin text of those Novells which were originally published in Latin.
He leaves out the inscriptions, verbose prooemia, and epilogues, but gives the subscriptiones (containing the date at the end).
The substance of the enacting part is given without much abridgment, and the Latin style of the author is tolerably clear and pure.
It may seem strange that a professor living in a country where Greek was the vernacular language, at a time when others were translating into Greek the monuments of Roman legislation, should employ himself in composing a Latin Epitome of the Greek Novells.
It may be that his work was composed for the benefit of the Italians, who by the conquest of the Ostrogoths in A. D. 554 had been reduced under the dominion of Justinian, or for those western students who frequented the law schools of Constantinople and Berytus.
There are passages in the work (e. g., 100.15. c 29-32) which show that it was intended for those who were not Greeks.
Among the cultivators of Roman law in the school of Bologna, this Epitome was called Novella, Novellae, Liber Novellarum.
It was probably known early in the eleventh century, before the discovery by Irnerius of another ancient translation of the Novells, containing 134 constitutions in an unabridged form.
The glossators were wholly unacquainted with the original Greek Novells. The Epitome was perhaps at first regarded as the authentic work, containing the latest legislation of Justinian. Zachariae, indeed, states (Anecdota,
p. 202, citing Pertz, Monumenta,
vol. iii.), that Julianus is quoted as the author of it in the Capitula Ingelheimensia
as early as A. D. 826, and Julianus, apostate! and monk, is named by Huguccio in the twelfth century (in an unpublished Summa Deeretorunm
) as the author of the Novello;
but the greater number of the glossators, though they diligently studied the Epitome (Ritter, ad Heineccii Hist. Jur. Civ.
vol. 1.403), appear to have known nothing of Julianus.
After the Latin translation of 134 Novells was found, it seems at first to have shared the name of Novolla
with the work of Julianus, and its authenticity was for a time doubted by Irnerius, even after it had received the name of authenticum,
recognising its authenticity, and distinguishing it from the Epitome of Julianus. (Savigny, Geschichte des Röm. Rechts im Mittelalter,
vol. ii. pp. 453-466, iv. p. 484.) The Authenticum, or Versio Vulgata,
was now taught in the schools, while the Epitome or Novella,
though permitted to be read as a subsidiary source of instruction, so rapidly fell into disuse, that neither Fulgosius nor Caccialupi ever saw a copy of it.
It is commonly believed that the Epitome of Julian was re-discovered by the monk Ambrosius Traversarius, in A. D. 1433, in the library of Victorinus at Mantua.
The main authority for this statement is Suarez, in his Notit. Basil.
§ 21; but there is reason to doubt the story, which is not confirmed by an extant letter of Ambrosius (Ambrosii Traversarii Cameldunensis Epistolae,
vol. i. p. 419, Florent. 1759), giving an account of the books that he found in the library at Mantua.
He mentions a work Joannis Consulis de Variis Quaestionibus,
but by this he can scarcely mean the Epitome, for it seems to have been a Greek book.
A very elaborate and valuable literary history of the Epitome was drawn up by Haubold, and inserted in the fourth volume of Savigny's Zeitschrift
As an appendix to this paper, Professor Hänel of Leipzig has given in the eighth volume of the Zeitschrift
an accurate enumeration of the known existing manuscripts. Though the printed editions of the Epitome are numerous, they are scarce, and the new edition which Hänel is understood to be preparing will be an acceptable boon to students of Roman law.
To this same Julianus is attributed the authorship of three epigrams in the same collection (vol. iii. p. 230) headed Ἰουλιανοῦ Ἀντικήνσορος
The following are the principal printed editions, for the full titles of which the reader is referred to the above-mentioned paper of Haubold. Transcripts of preceding editions of the Epitome have from time to time been inserted in editions of the Volumen
-that is to say, the last volume into which the Carpus Juris Civilis
was formerly usually divided, containing the Authenticum
or Versio Vulgata
of the Novells, the last three of the twelve books of the Code, the Libri Feudorum, &c.
1. The first printed edition was published in 8vo., without name or year, at Lyons in 1512, at the end of a collection of the Laws of the Lombards.
The editor was Nic. Boherius.
The work, which is imperfectly given, is divided into nine collationes.
This division, found in several manuscripts, was probably made about the time of Irnerius, to correspond with the first nine books of the Code. The Authenticum
was similarly divided into nine collationes.
2. The Epitome was next printed at the end of the Authenticum, apud Sennetonios fratres, Lugd. 1550.
In this edition the Epitome, as in many manuscripts, is divided into two parts or books, and, through a misunderstanding of a manuscript inscription, the authorship of the work is attributed to an anonymous citizen of Constance.
3. An independent edition of the Epitome is inserted in the very rare edition of the Volumen, apud Ludovicum Pesnot, 8vo. Lugd. 1558.
4. Next comes the edition of Lud. Miracus (Le Mire, whose name appears in the preface), fol. Lugduni 1561.
In this edition Julianus is named as the author, "Imp. Justinitani Constitutiones interprete Juliano." There is a reprint, with a preface by Goltzius, 4to. Brugis, 1565.
5. The edition of Ant. Augustinis, 8vo. Ilerdae, 1567, at the end of Augustini Constitutionum Graecarum Codicis Collectio. This edition is reprinted, with additions, in Augustini Opera, vol. ii. pp. 255-406, fol. Lucae, 1766.
6. Imp. Justiniani Novellae Constitutiones, per Julianum, antecessorem Constutiopolitanum, de Graeco tranlatae. Ex Bibliotheca Petri Pithoei, fol. Basil. 1576.
7. Petri et Francisci Pithoei Ietorum Observtiones ad Codicem et Novellas Justiniani Imperatoris per Julianum translates, cura Francisci Desmzarés, fol. Paris, 1689.
The last-mentioned editions, 6 and 7, are the best known and the most complete. They contain two short works, called the Dictatum pro Consiliariis
and the Collectio de Tutoribus.
These had been previously printed in Pithou's first edition of the Collatio Legum Mosaicarum et Romanarum (entitled Fragmenta quaedam Papiniani, &100.4to. Paris, 1573).
In several manuscripts they are attributed to Julianus; but Biener, in his Historia Authenticarum Codici Inscrtarum,
4to. Lips. 1807, has adduced strong arguments to show that Julianus was not the author of them. Their Latinity is far less pure than that of the Epitome.
It is not unlikely, however, that these works, as well as the ancient scholia upon the Epitome of Julianus, were written in Grecian Italy during the lifetime of Justinian, who in the Dictatum
is twice styled princeps noster,
and in the scholia (ed. Miraei, p. 177) imperator noster.
&c., vol. ii. pp. 195-197; Biener, in Savigny's Zeitschrift,
vol. v. pp. 338-357.)
A German translation of the Epitome, by D. Justin Gobler, was published anonymously, fol. Frank. 1566.
Greek Epitome of the Novells
p. 202, &c.) endeavours to identify Julianus with the author of a much shorter Greek Epitome of the Novells, who is cited in the sources of Graeco-Roman law as Anonymus. Anonymus, like Julianus, seems to have been a professor at Constantinople. Anonymus cites the Novells of Justinian in an order which does not very considerably differ from that of Julianus. Anonymus seems to have been skilled in Latin as well as Greek, and was perhaps the author of an ancient Latin version of the Greek fragments of Modestinus which occur in the Digest. Further, there is strong reason to identify the anonymous with Enantiophanes; and Enantiophanes, like Julianus, was a disciple of Stephanus. [ENANTIOPHANES.] When Italy, after the invasion of the Lombards in A. D. 568, was rent from the Roman empire, Julianus may have turned to writing in Greek. Mortreueil (Histoire de Droit Byzantin,
vol. i. pp. 293-300), who agrees with Zachariae in these conjectures, thinks that Julianus was probably not an authorised expositor of the law, and that none but jurists specially authorised could, without a breach of rule, be cited by name.
The conjecture that Julianus and Anonymus were identical is controverted by G. E. Heimbach, in Richter's Kritische Jahrbücher
for 1839, p. 970.
vol. i. p. 418; Biener, Geschichte der Novellen,