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To the restored province of Italy, Justinian extended in 554 his code of laws"—the Corpus Juris, as this monumental sixth century codification of Roman law was later termed. Justinian himself re-established and reformed the law school at Rome" in imitation of those at Constantinople and Beirut. For the next 500 years Roman law in its original form retained its hold in Italy." And there is one part of the Italian peninsula where this length of time should be increased to over 1,300 years: the twentieth century law of the tiny Appenine republic of San Marino" is Roman law purely and simply. Although three years after Justinian's death, the revived Roman imperial authority in Italy received a very serious blow in the coming of the Lombards"—the fiercest and rudest of all the Teutonic invaders — who settled in Northern Italy and gradually acquired the middle and southern portions of the peninsula, yet the dominion in Italy of the Roman Empire of the East did not entirely cease until nearly the twelfth century." When Rome fell back under the sway of the Teutonic invaders, the law school at Rome removed to Ravenna, the capital for nearly two centuries of the Eastern imperial exarchy of Ravenna; and it was thereafter known as the law school of Ravenna.” This law school of the Eastern Roman Empire kept alive in Italy into the eleventh century the knowledge of * See Savigny, Geschichte d. rom. Rechts, etc., vol. 2, $64, note (b) : Ortolan, Hist. de leg. rom. The ante-Justinian Roman law lal survived under the Ostrogothic monarchy in the Edict of Theodoric (511-515),=Sohm, Rom. law, $22; Ortolan. Hist., $$529, 531; Amos, Civil law, p. 416-417. * The ancient imperial university of Rome had survived the Ostrogothic occupation of Italy. . For the teaching of the older ante. Justinian law was substituted instruction in the Justinianean law books.--See Amos, Civil law, p. 102-103; Ortolan, Hist. de la legis. rom.. $574; Savigny, Geschichte d, rom. Rechts, vol. 1, §134. * See Savigny, Geschichte, ch. 12; Ortolan, iiist. $$597.603, 612; Amos, Civil law, p. 419. * Not only does it preserve Roman law, but it also preserves IRoman time: no clock ever strikes more than six—the day is divided into four quarters of six hours each. • In 568 A. D. * Although Rome was lost forever to Byzantine rule in 726, and the ex-archy of Ravenna in 752, the south coast Italian cities remained under the Eastern Roman Empire until the middle of the eleventh century. Certainly Venice nominally belonged to the East. ern Empire as late as 1081. See Foord, Byzantine Empire, pp. 291, 2S9, 332, 333, 309. * The thirteenth century Italian jurist Odofredus speaks of this law-school of Ravenna as identical with that re-established at Rome
by Justinian-Savigny, Geschichte d. rom. Rechts, vol. 1 $1.38; Ortolan. Hist. de l'égis rom., $599.
Justinian's legal system,” so much so that the law books of Justinian survived the power that introduced them and obtained a firm hold on Italian Courts and practitioners." In the very first year of the ninth century occurred an event of greatest importance increasingly fraught with stupendous influence upon later medieval times throughout Europe as well as Italy. On Christmas Day 800, Charlemagne was crowned Roman Emperor at Rome, and the Empire of the West was restored. Western Europe regarded Charlemagne as the lawful successor of Augustus and Constantine. Notwithstanding the adverse conditions of medieval times the restored Western Roman Empire shewed an astonishing vitality; it lasted for over 1,000 years, until 1806, when Napoleon put an end to it. The restoration of the Western Roman Empire had one very marked consequence: it brought Roman law into still further prominence in Italy and elsewhere. The Germanic Roman Emperors adopted for their new empire Roman imperial methods, and called into requisition Justinian's Corpus Juris as the actual law of their dominions. The Florentine manuscript of the Digest—the oldest manuscript of Justinian's Digest, written either in the lifetime of that emperor or certainly in the following century—came from southern Italy,” and is proof positive that the Justinian law books were not unknown in Italy from the sixth to the twelfth century. 1. The first phase in the evolution of an Italian jurisprudence appeared in the latter half of the eleventh century when a revival of interest in Roman law began. A new force arose which freed Roman law from the study of it in the Byzantine manner prevalent at Ravenna. Curiously enough it was supplied by a Germanic people in Italy—the Lombards, in whom the legal instinct was highly developed. At the outset the Lomhards had the best statute law in all Italy: this they began to study at the royal Court at Pavia in the new manner—by means of explanatory notes (glossa). The new method succeeded well. Later it was applied by the Glossators of Bologna to the study of the texts of Roman law, being developed with * St Damian (9SS-1072) reports a discussion as to the degress of relationship which occurred in his time at Ravenna, his native country, which was settled by referring to the Institutes of Justinian. —Ortolan. Hist. de la légis. rom., $612. * It should also not be overlooked that the maritime cities of Italy always maintained commercial relations with Constantinople from the Justinianean reconquest of Italy down to the fall of the
Enstern Empire in 1453.
great skill, and it contributed during the next 200 years most abundantly to a thorough understanding of the Corpus Juris.” Not only did the Glossators elucidate the letter of the law: they also reconciled contradictions and connected mutually related parts; all of which was done by searching for “parallel passages *-passages connected with the text under discussion. The results of this labour were collected and summarized in what was called “ summaries '' (summar), also in imitation of the Lombard jurists. The provisions of pure Roman law of the Justinian period were re-discovered and brought home to the minds of men. The consequence of the labours of the Glossators was a re. vival of Roman law study beginning in the middle of the twelfth century and reaching high tide in the thirteenth cen: tury—sometimes called from the place of its origin, the Bologna revival, the influence of which was not confined to Italy, but ultimately spread over all of Western Europe and moulded the jurisprudence of the rising European nations, The Glossators aimed to re-establish the authority of R. man law as a living law. The first step was taken by insert. ing in the Code of Justinian excerpts from the laws of the medieval or Germanic Roman Emperors of the West. But here was the practical difficulty—the law as applied in Italy was not altogether the pure ancient Roman law; the problem was how to adapt Roman law to the altered conditions of medieval life so as to have it recognized in the law Courts. The solution of this problem was slowly worked out by the successors of the Glossators: the Commentators finally accom. plished a permanent amalgamation of Roman law and the law of the Teutonic invaders into an Italian law. One of the most important results of the Bologna revival of Roman law was the founding of universities throughout Italy.” “The university, as organized by these wise genera: tions of the thirteenth century, has come down unchanged to us in the modern time,”“ The oldest Italian university is Bologna, the mother of all modern universities.” At the start Bologna had but one faculty—that of law.” Considerably * On the work of the Glossators, see Sohm. Roman law, §§24:25: Ortolan. It is t. de la légis, rom. §§613-617, 61S.; Savigny, Geschicht d. rom. Rechts, vol. 3, ch. 22-25, vol. 4, ch. 41. * See Savigny, Geschich te d. rom. Rechts, vol. 3. ch. 21. * Walsh. The Thirteenth—Greatest of centuries, p. 7 and note 1. * It received a charter from the Emperor Frederick Barbarosso in 1158. There is an ancient tradition that it had a fifth char” granted in 433 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius II. "Colquhoun. Roman Law, $136 describes in detail the Bologo later, however, other faculties—medicine, the liberal arts, and theology—were added.” The faculty of law for the training of lawyers never lost its original importance: one of the principal features of every Italian university was a faculty of law. Many of these law schools became known beyond the borders of Italy, and attracted students from all over the medieval world. Furthermore, the development of institutions of learning of which the faculty of law formed a necessary part, was not limited to Italy: this beneficent movement early in its history passed across the Alps and the Mediterranean to bless other countries of Europe. The founder of the Bologna school of the medieval Roman glossators was the twelfth century Irnerius. Other renowned glossators were Vacarius, Placentinus, Azo, and Accursius. |rnerius and his disciples renewed completely the study of Roman law, and by them it reigned a second time over the whole world. Through the labours of the Lombard Vacarius,” began the medieval reception of Roman law in England. Coming to England to act as counsel" for Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, Vacarius brought with him his manuscript of the texts of Justinian, and founded,” about 1149, the first English school of law at Oxford with a system of instruction modeled on that of Bologna.” To the Italian Placentinus” is due the founding of the first French law school at Montpellier, in southern France. Thus was introduced into France the study of law and the system of the Glossators. Perhaps the most distinguished of all the law professors of Bologna was Azo”. The thirteenth century English Chief Justiciar of Henry III., Bracton—the father of the English common law—in his own immortal treatise" used freely, and often copied word for word, Azo's summa.” Once more was English law indebted to Roman jurisprudence. "Savigny records how the schools of medicine and arts were still under the control of the rector of the law school as late as 1295. The theological school was established by Pope Innocent IV. in the second half of the fourteenth century.-Geschichte d, rom. Rechts, "###190. * “Causidius.” * Bryce, Studies, p. 861. * Ortolan, Hist. de la levis. rom. $615. * 1120–1192.
law school's organization.—terms, examinations, methods of inst” tion, etc.
* 1150-1230. -
Güterbock, Braeton, etc. p. 27-2S.
Among Azo's pupils was Accursius,” later his colleague at Bologna. Accursius' gloss—usually called the “Great Gloss” —marks the summit of the labours of the Glossators. The fact that his eldest son” gave lectures on law at Oxford University in 1275-1276, during the reign of Edward I., sheds an inter. esting sidelight on the continuing influence of the medieval reception of Roman law in England.
Roman law was also revived in the medieval commercial compilations of maritime law which originated in Italy. Three celebrated codes of commercial law were formulated in Europe between the latter half of the eleventh and fourteenth cell. turies: the Consolato del Mare, the Laws of Oleron and the Laws of Wisby. The oldest of these three—the Consolato del Mare—is a regulation of the sea confessedly based on Roman civil law. The eleventh century Consolato del Mare was subsequently adopted by many cities on the Mediterranean lit. toral, and from the fourteenth century exercised enormous influence over all southern Europe. It became the law of Venice and Genoa, the rival maritime powers of medieval Italy. The rules of the Consolato del Mare on maritime subjects are very liberal and equitable. These are concerned with the ownership of vessels, the rights and duties of masters and captains, of seamen and freight, salvage, general average and contribution. the rights of neutrals in time of war—in short, with all admir. alty matters. Its principles have been universally adopted by nations. It is one of the earliest sources of modern interna. tional law as to international trade relations.”
The Church also attempted to harmonize Roman law with the requirements of the age through its Canon law. From the twelfth century onward the Roman Church had become almost the supreme mistress of the western world. Originally con: fined to ecclesiastical matters, the Canon law sought to reform the secular law as a whole—private, criminal, adjudicative – on lines approved by the Church. The jurisprudence of this papal law was substantially Roman law, modified, however, in accordance with medieval ideas. But here was the limitā. tion of the Canon law: it was not recognized in secular Courts —its recognition being confined solely to ecclesiastical tribu: * Francisco Accorso, 1182-1260. * Also named Francisco Accorso (1225-1293). See Colquhoun. Roman law, $150; Savigny, Geschichte d, rom. Rechts, vol. 4, ch, 42: 1 Encycl. Brittan, 11th ed., p. 134
*The text of the Consolate dei Mare is given by Pardessus in his Lois Maritimes, vol. 2, p. 1-360.