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THE INSTITUTES Ó Flawuii,
TRANSLATED WITH NOTES BY
J. T. ABDY, LL.D.
JUDGE OF COUNTY COURTS,
AND FORMERLY FELLOW OF TRINITY HALL;
BRYAN WALKER, M.A., LL.D.
LAW LECTURER OF ST JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE ;
AND FORMERLY LAW STUDENT OF TRINITY HALL.
Dixi saepius post scripta geometrarum nihil exstare quod vi ac
EDITED FOR THE SYNDICS OF THE UNIVERSITY PRESS.
London : CAMBRIDGE WAREHOUSE, 17, PATERNOSTER Row.
[All Rights reserved.]
No book on law is better known than the Institutes of Justinian. No other legal work has obtained a reputation so high, or an influence so enduring. Designed simply as an elementary treatise, wherein the rudiments of law were to be found, and intended solely for the use of youthful students, it has lasted for 1300 years a standard authority on the leading doctrines of the Roman Law and an object worthy of the attention of advanced jurists. The text has been carefully revised and reprinted, its subject-matter has been exhaustively criticised and commented on, its scientific or systematic arrangement has been approved as the model of innumerable treatises on Law and Jurisprudence, and the very name of him under whose auspices it appeared has been inseparably linked with it.
In the prefaces to our edition of the Commentaries of Gaius and the Rules of Ulpian, we drew attention not only to the special nature and characteristics of those works, but to the peculiar influence of the lawyers of Rome during the period of 250 years, which intervened between the reign of Augustus and that of Alexander Severus. To this golden age of Jurisprudence, as we then showed, the world has been indebted for rich stores of wealth in the province of Jurisprudence and Law. With the close of that golden age, the learning, the skill and the fame of the Jurists of Rome ceased, and for nearly 300 years Roman Law shared the fate of Roman art and literature, and of Roman political and social life.
It would be out of place here, even if our space permitted it, to dwell on the devastation, the misery and the profligacy of the years that intervened between Diocletian and Justinian.