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ENGLISH INTRODUCTION, TRANSLATION, AND NOTES,
THOMAS COLLETT SANDARS, M.A.,
LATE FELLOW OF ORIEL COLLEGE, OXFORD.
Nearly a century has elapsed since the publication of the last English edition of the Institutes of Justinian, and as, owing to the discovery of the manuscript of Gaius and the labours of foreign jurists, the knowledge of Roman law has advanced in recent years much beyond its extent at the period when that edition appeared, there seems reason to Lope that a new edition may prove useful to those who wish tj pursue the study of Roman law. The Institutes must always continue to be the best introduction to that study, and will naturally serve as the readiest channel of exhibiting the general features of Roman law to those who are unacquainted with the subject. I have not attempted to write for any but this class of readers, and am well aware that those, to whom the subject is familiar, will find many points treated in a way that must appear to them meagre and unsatisfactory. But minute criticism and lengthened dissertations would make the work perplexing and useless to beginners, and, therefore, unfit to fulfil the purpose for which the Institutes were originally intended.
In preparing the notes to this edition of the Institutes, 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 Romain' of Lagrange, as well ns from the 'Commentaries' of Warukoenig, 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 Pucbta. In the translation I 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.
Object of the 1. The legislation of Justinian belongs to the Introduaion. ]fttest perio(i 0f t]ie 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 lawwhich had been the slow growth of ages, and which, dating their first origin back to the first beginning of the Eoman 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.