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a judge and proconsul under Michael Ducas, emperor of the East.


ποίημα νομικὸν ἤτοι πραγματική

At the command of Michael Ducas Michael Attaliata published, A. D. 1073, a work containing a system of law in 95 titles, under the name ποίημα νομικὸν ἤτοι πραγματική. If it is a poem, as might be inferred from the title, no one has yet observed the fact or discovered the metre in which it is written. Ποίημα νομικόν is usually translated opus de jure. The historians of Roman law before Ritter (Ritter, ad Heinec. Hist. J. R. § 406) wrote πόνημα for ποίημα.


There are many manuscripts of the work in existence, which differ considerably from the printed edition of Leunclavius (Bach, Hist. J. R. p. 682.) It may be mentioned that extracts from a similar contemporary work, σύνοψις τῶν νόμων by Michael Psellus, are given by Leunclavius as scholia to the work of Attaliata, and printed as if they were prose, whereas they are really specimens of the πολιτικοὶ στίχοι, or popular verses, in which accent or emphasis is supposed to supply the place of quantity. [PSELLUS.]


This work was translated into Latin by Leunclavius, and edited by him in the beginning of the second volume of his collection, Jus Graeco-Romanum.2

Further Information

Heimbach, Anecdota, 1.125-6; C. E. Zachariae, Historiac Juris Graeco-Romani delineatio,p. 71, Heidelberg,1839.


1 * The quantity of the name appears from the last lines of an epigram prefixed to the edition of Leunclavius: “ὑπηρετεῖ δὲ τῇ γραφῇ φιλοφρόνως
Μιχαὴλ ἀνθύπατος Ἀτταλειάτης

In some MSS. the name in the title of the work is spelled Ἀτταλειώτης. It is derived from the place Attala.

2 GRC: 6/11/2008: Moved this paragraph to the end to conform to the normal format of Smith's articles

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