Codex Theodosianus

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The Codex Theodosianus is a collection of laws from late antiquity that the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II (408–450) together with his cousin, the young Western Roman Emperor Valentinian III. (425–455), commissioned to compile the Roman laws and the imperial constitutiones since 312 (and following the Codices Gregorianus and Hermogenianus ).

After eight years of work, the 16 parts of the Codex were completed and published in 438 - in Latin , which was the language of law in Eastern Europe until the 6th century . It was important that the compilation should be valid for the entire realm; This is a sign that even after the so-called division of the empire of 395 , the Roman Empire did not break up into two independent states, but rather, in the understanding of contemporaries, ruled by two emperors for reasons of the division of labor (as in the decades before 395) has been. The collection is an extremely important historical source. Therefore, even after 438, the east and west emperors passed common laws, the last one from the year 472.

The Codex Theodosianus continued to be used in Western Europe even after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476; Especially under the Visigoths , but also in other Germanic successor regions of Rome, the collection formed a basis for their own codes of law. In addition, the Codex was the most important forerunner of the Codex Iustinianus , which the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian commissioned in 528 and which comprised all of the then still valid laws since Hadrian .


  • Iacobus Gothofredus : Codex Theodosianus cum perpetuis commentariis Jacobi Gothofredi . Leipzig 1736–1743 (reprint 1975) online .
  • Theodor Mommsen , Paulus Meyer: Theodosiani libri XVI cum constitutionibus Sirmondianis et leges novellae ad Theodosianum pertinentes . Berlin 1905 (reprint 1954, 1970) online .
  • Iacobus Gothofredus: Codex Theodosianus 16.8.1-29 . Translated and edited by Renate Frohne, Bern - Frankfurt / Main - New York - Paris 1991 (European University Theses, Series III, Volume 453). ISBN 3-261-04287-7
  • Clyde Pharr: The Theodosian Code. And novels. And the Sirmondian Constitutions . A Translation with Commentary, Glossary, and Bibliography, Princeton 1952.


Web links

Wikisource: RE: Codex Theodosianus  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Christoph F. Wetzler: Rule of Law and Absolutism. Considerations for the constitution of the late antique empire based on CJ 1.14.8. ; in: Freiburg legal-historical treatises. New series, volume 27 , Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1997, introduction.