« PreviousContinue »
/ THE INSTITUTES^.'/
ENGLISH INTRODUCTION, TRANSLATION, AND NOTES,
THOMAS COLLETT SANDARS, M.A.,
KARRISTER-AT-LAW, AND LATE FELLOW OP ORIEL COLLEGE, OXFORD.
M.IX'CC.LIX. - j
PRE F A C E
THE SECOND EDITION.
Ix preparing the second edition of this volume for the press, I have made some slight changes both in the Introduction and in the Notes. These changes consist almost entirely in the removal of passages embodying theories on the history or interpretation of Soman law whioh are not sufficiently supported by evidence to require notioe in a commentary on on elementary treatise. I have endeavoured, in a work which is only intended for those who are unacquainted with Roman law, to state nothing but what a beginner can understand, and to avoid as much as possible all difficult and controverted points.
I must repeat what I stated in the Preface to the first edition, that, in preparing this volume I have been under obligations to the French edition by Ortolan so great as to call for the amplest acknowledgment. I have also derived great assistance from the edition by Ducaurroy, and from the 'Manuel du Droit Bomain' of Lagrange, as well as from the 'Commentaries' of Warnkoenig, and the 'Institutes' of Puchta. In the Introduction I have embodied much that was suggested by the 'Histoire de la Legislation Romaine,' and the ' Generalisation du Droit Romain' of Ortolan, and by the first volume of the 'Institutes' of Puchta. In the translation 1 have been greatly assisted by the French translations of Ortolan and Ducaurroy, as well as by the translations in English of Harris and Cooper.
Under each paragraph of the text I have placed references to the parallel passages of the 'Institutes' of Gaius, of the 'Digest' and the 'Code.' These references are nearly the same as those given in the 'Juris Civilis Enchiridium.' The text is almost the same throughout as that given in the 'Corpus Juris,' edited by the Kriegels, Leipsic, 1848.
Ohjtet of the i. The legislation of Justinian belongs to thc At u ion. lajest peri0d 0f the history of Roman law. During the long space of preceding centuries the law had undergone as many changes as the State itself. The Institutes of Justinian embody principles and ideas of law which had been 'the slow growth of ages, and which, dating their first origin back to the first beginning of the Roman people, had been only gradually unfolded, modified, and matured. It is as impossible to understand the Institutes without having a slight knowledge of the position the work occupies in the history of Roman law as it is to understand the history of the Eastern Empire without having studied that of the Western Empire and of the Republic. Many, also, of the leading principles of Roman law contained in the Institutes are unfamiliar to the English reader, and though they may be learnt by a perusal of the work itself, the reader, to whom the subject is new, may be glad to anticipate the study of details by having placed before him a general sketch of the part of law on which he is about to enter. It is proposed, therefore, in this Introduction, to give first an outline of the history of Roman law, and then an outline of Roman private law. Each, however, will only be given with the very moderate degree of fulness proper to a sketch intended to be merely a preliminary to the study of the Institutes.