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*Qeo/filos), was one of the lawyers of Constantinople who were employed by Justinian on his first Code, on the Digest and on the composition of the Institutes (De Novo Codice faciendo, § 1. De. Justinianco Codice conformando, § 2. De Confirmatione Digestorum, Tanta, &c, § 9, Instit. D. Justiniani Prooemium, § 3). In A. D. 5218 Theophilus was comes sacri consistorii and juris doctor at Constantinople. In A. D. 529 he was ex magistro and juris doctor at Constantinople ; and in A. D. 532 he had the titles of Illustris, Magister and Juris peritus at Constantinople.


This Theophilus is the author of the Greek translation or paraphrase of the Institutes of Justinian, a fact which is now universally admitted, though some of the older critics supposed that there were two Theophili, one the compiler of the Institutes, and the other the author of the Greek version.

The Greek paraphrase was made perhaps shortly after the promulgation of the Institutes A. D. 533; and it was probably in A. D. 534 that, as professor of law at Constantinople, Theophilus read upon the Latin text of the Institutes, the commentary in Greek entitled "a Greek Paraphrase of the Institutes," and which was intended for the first year's course of legal studies.

It may have been about the same time that Theophilus explained to his class the first part, or first four books (πρῶτα), of the Digest, some fragments of which are preserved in the scholia on the Basilica : this explanation completed the first year's course of study. We also infer from the same scholia that, in A. D. 535, Theophilus explained to his class the second part, or the seven books (De Judiciis), for the same scholia have preserved passages from his commentary on this part of the Digest.

There are also fragments of his commentary on the third division (De Rebus). His labours, apparently, did not extend beyond A. D. 535, and he may have died in A. D. 536, as it is conjectured. Thalelaeus, one of his colleagues, in the school of Constantinople, speaks of him as dead; and probably Thalelaeus wrote about A. D. 537.

Ἰνστιτοῦτα Θεοφίλου Ἀντικένσωρος (

The title of the paraphrase of Theophilus is Ἰνστιτοῦτα Θεοφίλου Ἀντικένσωρος, Instituta Theophili Antecensoris. It became the text for the Institutes in the East, where the Latin language was little known, and entirely displaced the Latin text. It maintained itself as a manual of law until the eighth and tenth centuries, though others were subsequently published by the Greek emperors. This text was employed, as we see, on all occasions where the Institutes were used, even to the time of the Hexabiblos of Harmenopulus, the last Greek jurisconsult. It is conjectured, however, that there was a literal Greek version of the Institutes, for in some of the scholia (Basil. ed. Heimbach, i. p. 611, schol. 2) the text of the Institutes, which is cited several times, is not that of Theophilus. It is also conjectured that Theophilus was not the editor of his own paraphrase, but that it was drawn up by some of his pupils, after the explanation of the professor; and the ground for this opinion is that certain barbarous expressions are found in it, that the variations of the manuscripts are very numerous, and that several passages are repeated. The paraphrase is, however, of great use for the study of the text of the Institutes, many passages in which would be unintelligible without it.


The first edition of the paraphrase was by Viglius Zuichemus, Basle, 1531, fol.; and it was followed by several others, among which that of Fabrot was the best. But the most complete edition is that by G. O. Reitz, Haag, 1751, 2 vols. 4to.


There is a German translation by Wüstemann, 1823, 2 vols. 8vo.

Further Information

Mortreuil, Histoire du Droit Byzantin, &c., Paris, 1843.


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