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EDICTUM THEODORI´CI This is the first collection of law that was made after the downfall of the Roman power in Italy. It was [p. 1.707]promulgated by Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, probably on his visit to Rome in A.D. 500, though some authorities fix the date after 506. (Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders, iii. pp. 306, 342.) It consists of 154 chapters (besides a prologue and epilogue), parts of which may be traced to the Code and Novellae of Theodosius IL., to the Codices Gregorianus and Hermogenianus, and to the Sententiae of Paulus; and though it was doubtless drawn up by Roman writers, the original sources are more disfigured and altered than in any other compilation. Though the Ostrogothic kingdom was in point of fact quite independent of the Eastern Roman Empire, in constitutional theory it was considered part of it, the king representing the Caesar, and his army being reckoned a portion of the emperor's forces; consequently the Roman law was still held binding in Italy, for the barbarian invaders no less than for the old inhabitants. Hence the Edict of Theodoric, so far as it went, was intended as law for both nationalities: but where it had made no change in the Gothic rules, the latter were still applied to the barbarians, while the Roman law was to prevail for the Romans in those cases to which the Edictum was not applicable. Athalaric, Theodoric's grandson, who was a minor, completed his grandfather's edict by a new one: but after Narses had again united Italy to the empire of Justinian, the latter's legislation was established in Italy (A.D. 554), and the Edict of Theodoric had no longer any authority.

(This edict was first printed in the edition of Cassiodorus by Nivellius, Paris, 1579, and there is an edition by G. F. Rhon, Halle, 1816. Cf. also Von Glöden, Das römische Recht im ostgothischen Reich, 1843; Hänel, Lex Rom. Visig. 1847; Savigny, Gesch. des röm. Rechts im Mittelalter, ii., chap. 11 ; Böcking, Institutionen, p. 89; Puchta, Institutionen, 8th ed., i. pp. 386, 387. Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders, iii. p. 342, gives the prologue and epilogue and an analysis of the contents of the Edict.)


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