Bologna, Collegio di Spagna 285, Justinian's Authenticae

Marriage Novels

Novel 22

Novel 117

Novel 134




The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, twice Consul and Patrician.


While We were formerly occupied with the cares of the entire government and could think of nothing of inferior importance, now that the Persians are quiet, the Vandals and Moors obedient, the Carthaginians have recovered their former freedom, and the Tzani have, for the first time, been subjected to Roman domination (which is something that God has not permitted to take place up to this time and until Our reign), numerous demands have been presented to Us by Our subjects, to each of which We shall pay attention in the most suitable manner. Many of these questions, it is true, must be determined in accordance with existing enactments, and in order that they inure to the common welfare of all (whenever this is necessary), We have deemed it proper to establish these matters by law, and to communicate them to Our subjects, in order that they may take effect of themselves, and not always require the sanction of Imperial authority.

(1) For people are constantly importuning Us, some having recourse to Us on account of legacies which have been bequeathed and not been paid; others because of grants of freedom; and still others on account of different matters; and, where estates have been left, certain persons who have been charged either to give or to do som'e-thing have impiously entered upon the property, and taken it, but have not complied with what was ordered, although it was laid down by the ancient legislators that the testamentary dispositions of deceased persons, when they are not contrary to law, shall, by all means, be carried out. But as We have found that the greater part of the ancient laws have been neglected, We have considered it necessary that they should be revived, and that, by means of them, protection should

be afforded to the living, as well as respect shown to the dead in this manner.

(2) Therefore, in the first place, it must be remembered that the law requires testators to distribute a specified share of their estates among certain relatives as being due to them in accordance with natural justice, for instance, sons, grandsons, fathers and mothers, and sometimes even brothers, as well as any other persons of this kind whom the laws have enumerated as being in the same class with those from whom We are descended. No necessity, however, is imposed upon other testators to give any portion of their own property, but authority is granted them to leave it to anyone whom they may select.


These matters having been already decided by Us, We order that those who have been appointed heirs by testators, or who have been charged with the execution of trusts or the payment of legacies, whether in general terms, or specifically, shall be obliged absolutely to carry out whatever dispositions the testator may have made, provided these are in accordance with law, or when no law prohibits them; and if he who was charged in this manner does not do as he was directed, he must show clearly that he had a right to act as he did.

(1) If the appointed heir should not execute the dispositions of the testator, and the legatee is entitled to receive the bequest, and, after he has been notified by a decree of court, the heir fails to make payment for an entire year, or does not do what he was ordered, and he is one of those who can legally claim a certain share of the estate, but has been left more than he is entitled to by law, he can only receive as much as the law grants him, that is, one-fourth of the estate in case of intestacy; otherwise he will be deprived of all of it. And if any other persons should be appointed heirs, they will each be entitled to his or her proportionate share. But when there is no other heir, or where some have been appointed but do not accept the estate, then what has been refused by those above mentioned shall be added to the remainder of the estate, and the legatees, the beneficiaries of trusts, and the slaves upon whom liberty has been bestowed shall be permitted to enter upon and acquire the property; so that whatever has been ordered by the testator shall in every respect be carried out, and security shall previously be furnished in proportion to their condition and the value of the property, in order that having received the estate they comply with the lawful intentions of the testator.

If, however, none of those mentioned in the will (that is to say the co-heirs, legatees, beneficiaries of trusts, or slaves to whom liberty has been granted), should desire to enter upon the estate, then it shall pass to the others whom the law calls in case of intestacy, after the appointed heir has been excluded from his legitimate share by this law, and they, in like manner, shall give security to carry

out what is contained in the will. We do not, however, wish that there should be any confusion with regard to this matter, but he who was called first in order after the one who has been excluded by Our law shall be preferred, and then the one who comes next after him, and the others in succession, until the last one who has relinquished the estate shall be succeeded by any stranger who may be willing to enter upon the estate and carry out the wishes of the testator, and after these We place the Treasury, if it should be willing to accept it. For We establish the following rule with reference to legatees and beneficiaries of trusts, namely: that permission to accept an estate should first be granted to the beneficiary entitled to all of it, or where there are several of these to the one entitled to thex-large st share, since he resembles the heir, this being especially the case with Us, Who, whenever such beneficiaries of trusts are concerned, have solely adopted the Trebellian rule, and, holding in contempt the Pegasian circumlocutions, reject them. If, however, no one should be entitled to the entire estate, or, being entitled to it, should be unwilling to do what the testator directed, then the trust shall pass to those to whom has been left the greater portion of the legacies or trusts; and time shall be granted to slaves to whom freedom has been bequeathed to enter upon the estate, and, with their children, give security, receive the property, and do what has been ordered, the above-mentioned security, of course, having already been furnished.

But when there is no legatee or beneficiary entitled to the whole or a greater part of the estate, by virtue of either a legacy or a trust, but all of them are to share equally, then all the beneficiaries entitled to the whole of it, according to the rule just laid down, shall be preferred, or any one of them who is willing to carry out what was ordered by the testator; and the remaining legatees or beneficiaries who have no advantage over the others, so far as the remainder of the estate is concerned, shall be called to the succession, if they are willing, or those who consent shall be called. If, however, no legatee or beneficiary should be willing to do this, We grant permission to the slaves upon whom freedom has been conferred, according to the order in which they have been mentioned by their master, to take precedence over one another.

(2) We also adopt the rule where a necessary bequest is made to anyone to whom an inheritance is due from the deceased testator according to the Law of Nature. Where, however, no person of this kind appears among the appointed heirs, but a spontaneous disposition of his estate has been made by the testator, and the appointed heir does not comply with what has been directed within the time hereinbefore established by Us, he shall be deprived of all that was left to him, so that he cannot receive anything by virtue of the Falcidian Law, or on any other ground; and if there should be any co-heirs, We desire that they shall be called in his stead, and, in default of them, the estate shall pass to the beneficiaries, legatees, slaves, and all those entitled to it ab intestato, in the order which We have already prescribed, and wherever a charge has been created, it must (as We

have stated above) be executed in compliance with what the testator legally ordered.

(3) Where, however, the appointment of the heir includes a substitution, it is certain that the entire estate must first pass to the substitute, provided he consents to accept it and carry out the provisions of the will in accordance with law; and if he should not be willing, all he is deprived of shall pass to the co-heirs, the legatees, the the slaves, those who are entitled to it ab intestato, to strangers, and to the Treasury, in conformity to the rule which We have established, on condition that all lawful dispositions shall be executed; for We have taken into consideration all these different successions in order that the estates of deceased persons may not remain without acceptance.

(4) We do not call to the succession, nor do We consider any children who may have been disinherited (if they have been justly excluded by their father), and who have received nothing under his will, no matter how many of them there may be. For the object of the law is, "that the intentions of deceased persons shall be carried into effect;" and, indeed, how would it be just for anyone who has been excluded by the testator himself from sharing in his own property to be called to succeed to what he himself expressly refused by means of disinheritance? As We have, in the first place, granted to the substitutes the share of which the heir was deprived because he did not comply with the wishes of the deceased, and then granted it to the co-heirs, and after these to the legatees and beneficiaries of trusts, and slaves, and next to those who are called by the succession in case of intestacy, and afterwards to strangers, and to the Treasury, this has not been done absurdly or without reason, or to deprive anyone of his rights, but with foresight and in accordance with law; so that all persons entitled under the will having renounced their claims, We may have recourse to the heirs at law and the others in their designated order.

In every case, however, in which the appointed heirs do not comply with the wishes of the testator, We call to the succession either persons mentioned in the will, the heirs at law, strangers, and the Treasury, and We grant to all such persons the right to act as heirs, become such and enter upon the estate (for such are the words of the law), as well as to transact all business which they may agree upon, just as regular heirs can do. Laws of great antiquity have by their own authority established these rules, and have made persons heirs who have not been appointed, or called to the succession ab intestato.

All these things having been observed, even though the testator may not have wished anything to be given or done by the heir, the legatee, the beneficiary of the trust, or the recipient of the estate mortis causa, if they should be deprived of the property, the same order should be maintained, beginning with the substituted legatees and ending with the Treasury. In order that no one may consider this law to be harsh in case he should be deprived of what has been left him, he should remember that for all men death is the end of life, and

should not selfishly think of only what he receives from others, but he should reflect upon what he himself when dying may command others to do, and bear in mind that if he does not deserve the aid of the present law, none of the dispositions which he himself may carefully plan are liable to be carried into effect. For it is not for those alone who are subject to Our authority, but for all future time that We have established this law.


Hence We have taken care to consider the Falcidian Law which, even when testators are unwilling (where their estates are exhausted by legacies), authorizes heirs to retain a fourth part of the property; for certain persons sometimes are found to violate the wishes of the deceased, and rely upon the law which permits this to be done. Therefore, as the wills of deceased persons must everywhere be protected by Us, We decree that if the heirs desire to enjoy this advantage, they must strictly observe the law, and not attempt to introduce the Falcidian Rule with reference to property which they, perhaps, may have appropriated through fraud or ill will, and to which, under other circumstances, it would not be applicable.

(1) Therefore an inventory shall be made by the heir who is apprehensive that he will not receive the Facidian portion after the debts and legacies have been paid, and this shall be done according to the manner which We have already prescribed when We prevented the heir from sustaining a loss of his own property, and decreed that any burdens imposed upon him shall be in proportion to the value of the estate which has been left. It has been added that an heir of this kind, who fears not only the creditors but also the legatees and beneficiaries of trusts, and is apprehensive that he will be the loser, and will also obtain no advantage, can call together all the beneficiaries and legatees who are residents of the same town, or any persons acting in their behalf, if their personal condition, rank, quality, age, or any other circumstance does not entitle them to be present when the inventory is drawn up.

If, however, any of them should be absent, not less than three credible witnesses who are owners of property in the same town, and bear an excellent reputation, must be present; for We do not rely upon notaries alone who are charged with drawing up the inventory, but it should be made in the presence of the legatees, so that in case any property forming part of the estate may have been removed or is not forthcoming, they can make inquiry with reference to it. They shall be permitted not only to question the slaves (for We permit this to be done in accordance with what We have previously decreed concerning the examination of slaves), but also to take the oath of the heir, as well as that of the witnesses to the effect that "they were present when the inventory was made and saw everything which took place at the time, and know that no fraudulent act was committed by

the heir;" and whatever was left by the testator shall not be considered to have been established, unless all the legatees are present, or refuse to come and be present when the inventory is drawn up, as authorized by the aforesaid Constitution. In case the legatees should not be present, then the heir shall be permitted to be satisfied with the presence of the witnesses alone, and he can proceed with the inventory, and the legatees shall be deprived of the right of having the heir sworn, and of examining the slaves, and all heirs who observe these provisions shall be entitled to the benefit of the Falcidian Law. Thus We shall not appear to diminish the force of the law as observed up to this time, or to do injustice to the deceased; for if anyone should wish absolutely to appoint heirs to his estate, and to derive some consolation from his succession, and think that he had a sufficient amount of property, when in fact this is not the case, it is certain that as the deceased was not aware of the mistake, his sincerity will show the honesty of his motives.

(2) If, however, an inventory should not be made by the heir in the manner which We have prescribed, he will not be entitled to retain the Falcidian portion, but he must pay the legatees and beneficiaries of trusts, even though the amount of the bequests prove to be greater than the value of the estate of the deceased. We establish this rule without intending to diminish the effect of the law which We have promulgated, in order that heirs may not cause creditors any loss, but if guilty of fraud, that they may be punished; for why should he violate the laws under which, if he acts properly, he can lose nothing, but, on the other hand, will be benefited by the provisions of the Lex Falcidia? We accord this privilege where a testator acts in this manner, through being mistaken as to the value of his estate, or perhaps, where he should have left ax-large r share to the heir, he leaves him less; for this is the result of an erroneous opinion, and not of a deliberate and intentional design. Where, however, he expressly states that, "he does not desire his heir to retain the Falcidian portion," the wish of the deceased must be complied with, and the heir who is willing to obey the testator who has perhaps done nothing but what is just and proper will be benefited not by receiving any property, but merely through having acted in a dutiful manner; or if he is unwilling to obey, he can refuse to accept the appointment, and give place (as We have already provided) to the substitutes, co-heirs, beneficiaries of trusts, legatees, slaves, heirs at law, and the other successors, in the order which We have previously established.


We do not grant permission to an heir who is perfectly acquainted with the value of the estate to pay certain legatees in full in the beginning, carry out the entire wishes of the testator (which also has been stated in certain constitutions of Our predecessors), and afterwards reserve the Falcidian fourth out of the shares of others; nor indeed to partially comply with the wishes of the testator and only diminish the legacies to a certain extent; but the value of the estate must be ascertained, and the will of the testator afterwards be carried out, so that there may be no cause for dissatisfaction; otherwise the heir will not discharge his duty. Nor do We permit those who, in the beginning, have knowingly and carelessly paid legacies, afterwards to bring suit against the persons who received them in order to recover from them what they have been paid. For it is necessary to deliberate before acting, and not bring suit without proper reflection, after having wrongfully transferred the property, unless there should be some good cause, for instance, the discovery of an unexpected debt which may diminish the assets of the estate, and afford a good reason for taking this course.


We have also provided that a long time shall not elapse in disposing of such matters. For We direct that no more than a year shall be allowed for the decision of questions or litigation of this kind, rendering it necessary, within twelve months after the acceptance of the estate, for the legacies to be paid and the wishes of the testator complied with, in accordance with their character, and for everything which We have previously ordered to be done. We direct that the year shall begin, as We have already stated, from the date of the notice of the judicial decree. If, through the negligence of the heir, the period of a year has elapsed, he shall then lose his right to whatever has been bequeathed, and the others whom We have previously called to the succession will be entitled to it.

(1) This law of Ours does not, in any respect, prejudice the rights of wards and minors, for in case they should be injured in any of the ways which are mentioned by Us, they will be entitled to relief from two sources; that is to say, by means of restitution, and by the recourse of which they can avail themselves against negligent guardians or curators. We do not, however, by" the provisions of this law except the successions of patrons, for the lawful share which We have established shall be preserved for them; and where anything beyond this has been bequeathed, and some charge has been imposed upon them by their freedmen and they refuse to execute it, We direct that the order which We stated in this Our Imperial Constitution in the beginning shall be preserved, so that the simple legal share may be acquired by them, and the remainder be divided among the other coheirs, as We have already directed; for in the constitution promulgated by Us with reference to the right of patronage We have conceded to freedmen almost the same privileges as freeborn persons are entitled to.

(2) But for the reason that there are two kinds of wills, one written and the other nuncupative, We desire that all these things shall be observed in the same manner in every instance, and We order that this shall be done in the case of nuncupative wills as in all others, no matter who the person may be, whether he is a private individual, a soldier, a priest, an officer of the Empire, or anyone else whosoever, for We make this law applicable to all men.


We have mentioned these things in order that they may be to the advantage of all persons alike, that the living may obtain what has been left to them, and the dying may pass from life in security, knowing that the law will administer their affairs even after they are buried; and that whatever testamentary dispositions they have made will be carried into effect.

(1) For the reason that this law is generally useful, Your Excellency will cause all persons to become acquainted with it; and it shall be proclaimed through the provinces to all the nations which are already subject to Roman domination, as well as to those which have, with the aid of God, recently been added by Us to the Empire. As soon as the judges of the principal cities receive this law they shall (as has already been decreed by Us) publish it in every town in their jurisdiction, and no one shall remain in ignorance of the law, "which does not permit a man to live in poverty, or to die in anxiety."

Given at Constantinople, on the Kalends of January, during the Consulate of Flavius Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to the Glorious Hermogenes, Master of the Imperial Offices, Ex-Consul and Patrician.


Before Our reign, the great variety of lawsuits gave to the Roman legislators constant occasion for new enactments, but We have regulated every part of the legislation of the Empire, and have almost entirely amended it, in some instances by refusing the demands of applicants, and in others by judicial decisions; and We have drawn up many laws for Our subjects. An emergency has induced us to publish this one.

(1) Gregoria presented a petition to Us setting forth that she had formerly had a husband who died and left her two children, a boy and

a girl; and as the boy was particularly attached to her, she thought that it was proper not to leave him without some recompense, but in doing so she did not wish to exceed the bounds of moderation. Therefore as she had not yet been married a second time, she gave him her ante-nuptial donation, but he did not survive her, and died before his mother married again; so that the ancient law, as well as Ours, called both the daughter and the mother to the succession of the deceased minor. No question would have arisen had the mother remained a widow, but she married a second husband who was entitled to the entire usufruct of the ante-nuptial donation, while she had given it in such a way that she could enjoy the use of the same, and that the ownership would vest in her son. The daughter, however, demanded the entire ownership of the donation, not merely as the heir of her brother, but by virtue of what her father had given her mother, alleging that, as the latter had contracted a second marriage, she was not worthy of any confidence, and that on no ground whatever was she entitled to the ownership of the donation. Her mother, on the other hand, declared that the ante-nuptial donation was not at all in dispute, for the property of which it was composed had already been united with that of her son, and, as it were, formed a part of his estate, and not of the donation which no longer existed, and that she was entitled to six-twelfths of the ownership and the usufruct. Nor was this the only question involved in this matter, for the daughter claimed the estate of her brother as against her mother, although the latter demanded half of it, a share to which, where there is only one surviving sister, We have called the daughter along with her mother. The daughter, however, in order to obtain the entire estate of her brother, and strongly relying upon former constitutions asserted: "That if my mother had not married a second time, she could justly claim the estate of her son, but as she had married another husband, she was entirely deprived of the property which her son had obtained from his father's estate, for the reason that if her son had died after the second marriage his estate, no matter from what source it was obtained, would have passed to me, and I would have become the owner of the same by virtue of the two constitutions which have laid down a rule of this kind."

The mother, however, replied: "That these constitutions were cruel, and unworthy of the clemency of Our age." However, availing herself of the Constitution promulgated by Us, she alleged that: "This Constitution could not be subordinated to the former ones, and that mothers who have not yet contracted a second marriage are called to the succession along with their surviving children, and are by no means excluded where they have married again," and also, "that this case was an unusual one, in that she had bestowed a gift upon her son by means of exercising her choice, and should be considered rather to have acquired the donation a second time than by this means merely to have made an unreasonable profit." We, after having examined the matter thoroughly, and having taken into consideration the question of selections and inheritances of this kind, have considered it

necessary to enact a special law with reference to these matters, by means of which this controversy may be terminated.


Therefore, in order not to leave the question of choice confused and undetermined, We have seen fit to establish the following order, namely: "Whenever a mother is married a second time, the ownership of the ante-nuptial donation shall be vested in all the children, and the mother shall not be permitted to select any of them, and exclude the others, as she injures all of them at once by her second marriage. Wherefore, in the present case, the entire ownership of the antenuptial donation shall pass to the daughter, and the mother shall retain the use of the same for her lifetime; and, in accordance with Our Constitution (if the mother should die first), the entire ante-nuptial donation shall belong to the daughter; but if the daughter should die first, the mother shall be entitled to the benefit of it by virtue of the agreement relating to children who are not living; the remainder of the estate shall pass to the daughter; and when she dies, it will be transmitted to her heirs who are called to the succession by law.




There is a question which often arises, and has not yet legally been decided, and we dispose of it by the present law, in order that the greatest advantage may be obtained. Where a mother who has not yet contracted a second marriage gives, or alienates in any other way, a portion of an ante-nuptial donation, or any article included in it, or all of it, not to her son, but to some stranger, and then marries a second husband, it is clear that the alienation remains in abeyance on account of the second marriage; for if there are any surviving children, what has been done will be absolutely void, as the law bestows the ownership of the ante-nuptial donation upon the children, without taking into account anything which their mother may have done to their injury. If, however, all the children of the mother should die, the transaction will stand, not in its entirety, but so far as the share of the ante-nuptial donation is concerned, according to the agreement entered into, where the children did not survive; and this We have been the first to introduce, and have recently inserted it into the laws.

Hence the contract will be valid in some respects and void in others; that is to say, it will be valid so far as the share which belongs to the mother by virtue of the agreement made with reference to the death of the children is concerned, but it will be void with reference to what is transmitted to the heirs of the son, so that if the mother alone should succeed her son, then the entire contract will stand.

(1) For the reason that the disabilities of second marriage are common to both the man and the woman, the man who marries a second time will run the risk of losing the dowry, just as the woman will forfeit the ante-nuptial donation in case she marries a second time. This law which treats of choice, alienation, and pecuniary profit shall be applicable to persons of both sexes.



Therefore, as the subject of the estates of children, concerning which doubts have been raised, remains to be discussed, We have thought it necessary to dispose of and decide the present question by means of a general law, and for the future, to put an end to all disputes which may arise. And We order that, where any male or female child has made a will, his or her property, exclusive of that composing the ante-nuptial donation, shall go to the appointed heirs in accordance with law, and that in this instance the mother shall not be disqualified from being appointed an heir by her son; but, on the other hand, she is conceded the right to contest the will, if her son should have passed her over or disinherited her without a cause.

If, however, he should die intestate, and should have children of his own, his estate shall go to them with the exception of the share to which his mother is entitled; but if he should have no children, his mother shall be called to the succession along with his brothers (in accordance with what has already been decreed by Us), and she shall obtain her share of the estate, whether she intends to marry a second time or not.

We do not prescribe severe penalties against women who marry a second time, nor do We reduce them to bitter necessitywhich is Unworthy of Our reignthrough the fear of lawful nuptials (even though they may be contracted a second time) of abstaining from such a marriage, and descending to forbidden unions, and perhaps even to the corruption of slaves, and, as they are not permitted to live chastely, to illegally indulge in debauchery. Hence We hereby declare invalid the Constitution that We inserted in the Fifth Book of the Code, which treats of the estates of children whom mothers, before contracting second marriages, have seen die; nor the one in the Sixth Book of the same work which appears under the title "Tertullian," and treats of women who have lost their children before contracting a second marriage; but the mother, along with the brothers of the deceased child, shall, by all means, be called to the succession, and shall unquestionably be entitled to her share; nor shall her claims be affected in the slightest degree by reason of her second marriage, and she shall obtain whatever, through consideration of the present case, has caused the enactment of this law, and shall succeed

to the estate along with her daughter, and, thus succeeding, shall incontrovertibly be entitled to her share, without any prejudice to her rights due to the expectation of a second marriage, but she shall, with her daughter, be the absolute owner of the estate. Hence the opinion which is best, as well as most praiseworthy and deserving of citation, is that wives should conduct themselves in such an honorable manner that, having once been married, they will preserve inviolate the pledge made to their dying husbands, so that We may consider a woman of this kind worthy of Our respect and not differing greatly from a virgin. But where a woman does not consent to this (when perhaps she is young and cannot restrain herself), or resist the passions of nature, she should not be molested on this account, nor should she be forbidden the benefits of the common laws; but she can honorably contract a second marriage, and abstain from every kind of licentiousness, and she shall enjoy the succession of her children. For just as We do not deprive fathers who marry a second time of the estates of their childrennor is there any law whatever which makes such a provisionso We do not deprive mothers of the estates of their children when they marry a second time, even though their children may die either before or after the second marriage. Otherwise, by the absurdity of the law, even though all the children should die first, without leaving either children or grandchildren of their own, the restriction will continue to exist, and their mother will not succeed them, even if they die without issue; but she will be inhumanly excluded from the succession, and she will have suffered in vain in having brought them forth and reared them, as well as be subjected to punishment because of the contraction of a lawful marriage; and heirs in a distant degree of cognation may succeed to their estates while their mother will be unreasonably excluded. Thus she herself will be entitled to inherit from her children, and so this indulgent and merciful law joins the mothers with their offspring.

Therefore, combining the different sections of this law We order that it shall be obeyed, as We class the mother (according to what We have previously stated) with the father, so far as the ante-nuptial donation is concerned; and We hereby order that she shall be subjected to the same penalties in this respect as the father is with reference to the dowry, and that both the father and mother shall, without any hesitation, be entitled to the estates of their children in accordance with their respective claims. Hence mothers shall be entitled to whatever the fathers have, whether they contract a second marriage or not; and a mother shall be called to the succession of her son whether she has already contracted a second marriage, or does so afterwards.

(1) A woman who marries a second time shall enjoy an antenuptial donation, not as the heir of her son, but on the ground that the donation is only a profit bestowed by the law, and not a part of the estate of her child; but it shall still retain the nature of an ante-nuptial donation.

This rule shall also apply to women who now, being widows, have succeeded to the estates of their own children, and have not yet con-

tracted a second marriage, although they may afterwards do so. What has been decreed in this instance shall prevail for all time.





We think that it is proper to make an addition to the former provisions relating to ante-nuptial donations, where the woman marries a second time. For these laws give a woman who contracts a second marriage the choice of accepting the ante-nuptial donation in accordance with the marriage contract, provided she gives security to her children; or if she is unwilling, or refuses to give such security, the property composing the ante-nuptial donation shall remain in the hands of her children, who shall pay interest on the same to their mother at the rate of four per cent.

We, being induced by the number of questions which have arisen on this point, and having found minors subject to risk when the antenuptial donation consists of money, some of them, having no resources, being compelled to sell the entire estates of their fathers in order to discharge the debt of the ante-nuptial donation; and, as this donation should certainly go to them in conformity with law, We have deemed it necessary to provide that, when anyone bestows movable property as an ante-nuptial donation, the mother shall have the use of the same, and shall accept and not reject it; but she cannot collect interest from her children at the above-mentioned rate, and she must take good care of the property, as the law directs, just as the owners themselves would do, and she can retain it in accordance with the ancient laws, during the lifetime of her children, or, if all of them should die, she must observe this present law, and the remainder of the donation shall be preserved for the benefit of her children's heirs.

If, however, the entire ante-nuptial donation should consist of money or other personal property, the mother will be entitled to interest at the rate of four per cent, if she furnishes the security already provided for; but she cannot collect the money itself from her children unless the estate of her husband is ample and includes gold, silver, clothing, or anything else which has been allotted to the mother. For, in this instance, We give the mother the choice of either taking the property and furnishing security, or of receiving what We have declared to be a reasonable rate of interest in accordance with former laws as well as the present one.

Where the estate consists of both real and personal property, and the ante-nuptial donation is composed partly of money and partly of land, the land shall, by all means, remain under the control of the mother, in order that she may obtain support therefrom; but the personal property shall be disposed of, as We have previously prescribed where the entire ante-nuptial donation consists of chattels.



We think that it is necessary to plainly establish by law a point which has perhaps already been too harshly decided, and which rarely comes into court for determination; so that the rule may commonly be observed in practice and judgments, in accordance with the public welfare. Where persons are married, and written provision is made for dowries and ante-nuptial donations, and the husband bestows the ante-nuptial donation, and the wife agrees in writing to give a dowry, either to be furnished by herself, by her father, or by some stranger, and it afterwards appears that the dowry was not given to the husband at the time of the marriage, but that he paid all the expenses of the same, and that the marriage was dissolved by his death, it is absolutely unjustwhere the dowry was not given to the husband for the wifethat she should receive the ante-nuptial donation. If, however, she did not give the entire dowry, she can take a proportionate share of the donation, after having furnished a corresponding amount of the dowry. As We love equity and justice, and desire them to be observed in all things, and especially in those relating to marriage, for which reason, where a woman has given nothing at all as dowry, she shall receive nothing; and she who has given less than she promised, shall only receive a share proportionate to what she gave.

The advantage of the present law is that it decides many cases which are frequently in doubt, and which are now determined in a way appropriate to legislation. We desire it to be observed in the case to which it has given rise, as well as in all pending litigation and any which may hereafter take place.


Hence Your Highness must hasten to carry into effect what We have decreed, and publish everywhere by proclamation, in every city, the contents of this Our ordinance, so that all persons may be informed of what We have prescribed.






The Emperor Justinian to Epiphanius, Most Reverend and Blessed Archbishop of this Imperial City, and Universal Patriarch.


Some time ago We addressed to Your Reverence and the other Most Holy Patriarchs a general law with reference to the ordination of the venerable bishops and most reverend clergy, as well as deaconesses, by means of which We reduced the number of those formerly ordained, a step which seems to Us to be just and proper, and worthy of ecclesiastical discipline. We address the present law, which establishes the number of ecclesiastics in this city, to Your Holiness. For the reason that what is very x-large is rarely very good, it is proper that the ordinations of the reverend clergy and deaconesses should not be so numerous that the Church will be subjected to too much expense, and by degrees be reduced to poverty. We have ascertained that on this account the principal church of this Imperial City, the Mother of Our Empire, is oppressed with indebtedness, and cannot pay the clergy without borrowing x-large sums of money, to obtain which the best of its real property both in the country and in the suburbs must be hypothecated and pledged. We have taken measures to ascertain the cause of this condition of affairs, as well as the unfortunate results which its long duration have brought about.

Therefore, having thoroughly investigated the matter, We have learned that persons who have founded churches in this Most Fortunate City have not only made provision for the construction of the buildings, but have also set apart sufficient sums to pay the expenses of a certain number of priests, deacons, deaconesses, sub-deacons, choristers, readers and porters to be attached to each church, and, in addition to this, have made arrangements for the expenses of the service; and finally, that they have provided sufficient income to meet the expenses of their foundation, and have directed that any subsequent increase in the number of ecclesiastics should by no means be considered valid.

These regulations remained in force for a long time, and, while this was the case, sufficient provision remained for the support of the churches. But when the bishops, beloved of God, and always attentive to the requests of certain persons, increased the number of ordinations, the expenses likewise increased immensely, as well as the creditors and the interest; and recently no creditors are to be found on account of their lack of confidence, but alienations of property caused by necessity, contrary to law and for improper causes, as well as inconsistent with the dignity of the Church, have taken place; and the real property either in the country or the city, not being sufficient for hypothecation and pledge, for this reason creditors could not be found, and the said property became worthless and insufficient even to pay the salaries of the ministers, which was productive of such great misfortune that all the property had to be transferred to the creditors, which is a matter which We dislike to mention, and must provide means to correct; for where anyone cannot easily support a person who lives beyond his means, how can We fail to deliberate concerning this matter? It is not necessary to attempt to make further acquisi-

tions with a view to defraying the expenses (as this would lead at once to both avarice and impiety), but the expenditures must be regulated in proportion to the revenues of the remaining property. Wherefore We must take measures to reduce the number of ecclesiastics, and thereby provide a remedy for the evil.



Therefore We order that the most reverend ecclesiastics who are now attached to the principal church, and all other religious houses, as well as the deaconesses and porters shall remain as they are at present (for We do not diminish the existing number, but order this by way of providing for the future), and We direct that hereafter no ordination shall be made until the number of reverend ecclesiastics shall be reduced to that established by those who founded the holy churches. And as the number of the most reverend clergy of the Principal Church of Our Imperial City was fixed, and at first was very small because there was only one holy church at the time, but afterwards that of the Holy and Glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God, was founded, and erected adjacent to the Most Holy Principal Church by Verina of pious memory, and the Church of the Holy Martyr Theodore was dedicated to him by Speratus of glorious memory, and the Church of St: Helen was also joined to the Principal Church of the City, it would be for this reason impossible to limit the number of ecclesiastics to that originally established. For if there was not a sufficient number of them to conduct the service of so many houses of worshipfor each of these three churches does not possess its own priest, but they are common to allthat is, not only to the Principal Church but to the others, and all of them going from one to another conduct the services of each in turn, and as a great number of persons, through the favor of God and Our Saviour Jesus Christ, have, by Our labors and exertions, been induced to abandon their ancient heresies, and been brought into the Most Holy Principal Church, it is necessary to set apart for the present service a greater number of ecclesiastics than was provided for in the first place.

(1) Wherefore We order that not more than sixty priests, a hundred deacons, forty deaconesses, ninety sub-deacons, a hundred and ten readers, or twenty-five choristers, shall be attached to the Most Holy Principal Church, so that the entire number of most reverend ecclesiastics belonging thereto shall not exceed four hundred and twenty in all, without including the hundred other members of the clergy who are called porters. Although there is such a x-large number of ecclesiastics attached to the Most Holy Principal Church of this Most Fortunate City, and the three other churches united with the

same, none of those who are now there shall be excluded, although their number is much greater than that which has been established by Us, but no others shall be added to any order of the priesthood whatsoever until the number has been reduced, in compliance with the present law.






It should also be added that whatever has, up to this time, been improperly done, shall not in the future be repeated, that is to say, as many of the most reverend ecclesiastics, both here and in the provinces, have disdained to serve zealously the churches in which they were ordained, but have resorted to the Most Holy Principal Church, and have become attached thereto by means of patronage, We by all means forbid this to take place hereafter. For if, so far as monasteries are concerned, We forbid their inmates to go from one to another, We should be still more unwilling to permit the reverend ecclesiastics to do this, for We are of the opinion that this is attributable to the desire for gain, and that such persons are actuated by pecuniary and commercial motives. If, however, Your Holiness should hereafter think that such a transfer would be advantageous, it can take place; but not until the number of ecclesiastics has been reduced to that established by Us, so that the change may be made to fill a vacant position without exceeding the prescribed number. We permit this to be done without any intrigue, and for no other motive than that above mentioned. At present We are only concerned with the Most Holy Principal Church.

(1) With reference to all the other churches whose expenses are paid by the Most Holy Principal Church, We order that the ecclesiastics shall remain as they are at present, and likewise that others shall not be ordained until their number corresponds with the one originally established' by the founders of said churches. This applies to priests, deacons, deaconesses, sub-deacons, readers, choristers, and porters, nor shall the number of these in the meantime be increased. We shall take measures to see that this rule is enforced, and shall send priests for ordination, and none of Our judges who fear Our law shall do anything to violate it. The Most Blessed Archbishop and Patriarch of this Imperial City is hereby authorized to refuse ordination under such circumstances, even though the order may proceed from Our palace; for he who issues it and he who receives it shall both be liable to a fine under ecclesiastical law if it is executed.

So far as other churches whose expenses are not borne by the principal church are concerned, care must be taken that the number of ordained ecclesiastics does not hereafter exceed that established in the first place; lest, where an immense number are created and

divided, and the revenues provided by pious donors, these may not be sufficient for their support, and they may be reduced to the greatest penury.

If, however, ordinations in excess of the prescribed number should be "made, either in the Most Holy Principal Church or in the other churches, the bishop in charge of the Most Holy Church and the venerable stewards of the same, who have paid out sums from the revenues, shall themselves, along with the Most Blessed Patriarch who allowed these expenditures to be made, be compelled to make them good out of their own property. For they are hereby notified that, when anyone acts in this manner, We give permission to the Most Holy Patriarch who may subsequently be in authority, as well as the stewards and other reverend ecclesiastics who may succeed, to make a thorough investigation of these matters, to prohibit them, and give information thereof to the government, so that the latter, being informed of the facts, may order the Holy Church to be reimbursed the sums permitted to be expended by the archbishop, out of the property of the latter and that of the stewards.

In order that no confusion may afterwards result on account of the reduction of the number of ecclesiastics to the figure originally established, as soon as this reduction has taken place, it shall not be lawful to exceed that number, or for any deception to be practiced with reference to this matter. For We by no means permit anything to take place by means of which someone may have the right to confer ordinations without providing funds for the support of the incumbents. For this will again be productive of confusion, as a great increase of ecclesiastics and the foundation of new associations will result, and numerous fraudulent schemes will open other ways for the indulgence of avarice, in order to provide for the expenses of maintenance. We also, under ecclesiastical penalties, forbid ordinations to be made beyond the prescribed number, being of the opinion that it is highly desirable that the Most Holy Principal Church should neither be involved in debt, reduced to poverty, nor remain constantly without resources, but should always enjoy abundance.

who are suffering for the necessaries of life. Stewards, beloved by God, are notified, both now and for the future, that if they do not comply with what We have ordered, they will be subjected to Divine punishment, as well as be compelled to indemnify the Holy Church out of their own property.


We direct Your Holiness who, in the beginning and at a very early age, has been admitted to all the clerical orders, who is in charge of the Most Holy Church, and who is descended from a pious race, to continue to observe this law, as you are aware that Our solicitude is not less concerned with those things which are profitable to the most holy churches than for the welfare of Our own soul.

Given on the seventeenth of the Kalends of April, during the Consulate of Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Prefect of the Imperial Praetors.


We deem it advisable to revive an ancient law long since established, and, for some reason with which We are not acquainted, fallen into disuse; which has reference to matters that are always delicate and necessary, and render it applicable to the present age. We do not, however, restore it as it was originally (for a portion of this law was not sufficiently clear), but We, with the assistance of God, have added to it what is suitable under the circumstances.





Having in this manner provided for the expenses of churches, it is now proper to direct that the Most Holy Patriarch and reverend stewards shall see that other expenses for pious uses, agreeable to God, are paid out of the ecclesiastical revenues, and bestowed upon persons who are really in need, and have no other means of subsistence. For it is pleasing to Our Lord God that the expenditures of the Church should not be made for the protection of, and in accordance with the desires of men, and lavished upon the rich to the exclusion of the poor



When anyone loans money and accepts a surety, a mandator, or a bondsman, he should not first proceed against the said mandator, surety, or bondsman, nor should he negligently annoy those who are responsible for the debtor, but he should in the first place have recourse to him who received the money and contracted the debt; and if he collects what is due to him, he must refrain from suing the others, for what can he obtain from them after the indebtedness has been discharged by the debtor? If, however, he should not succeed in collecting part or the whole of the claim from the debtor, he can then have

recourse to the surety, the bondsman, or the mandator, for the amount that he has not been able to collect, and can obtain from him the balance due; and this rule will apply when both the principal and surety, mandator, or bondsman are present. But where the surety, the mandator, or the person who rendered himself liable by a promise is present, but the principal debtor is absent, in this instance, it would be hard to send the creditor to collect his money elsewhere when he can at once recover it from the surety, mandator, or bondsman. It is necessary for Us to provide for this matter, as no remedy was afforded by the ancient law, although the eminent Papinianus was the first to suggest one. Therefore, the creditor can have recourse to either the surety, the bondsman, or the mandator, but the judge having jurisdiction of the case shall grant time to the surety, the bondsman, or the mandator if he wishes to make the principal debtor a party to the suit so as to force him to comply with his agreement and recourse be had to himself in the end, and the judge must assist the surety, the bondsman, or the mandator under these circumstances; for it has been decided that other persons of this kind can be released from liability in the meantime, and the principal debtor can be produced in court, when they have been subjected to annoyance on his account. If, however, the time granted the surety (the duration of which should be fixed by the judge) should have elapsed, then the surety, mandator, or bondsman shall be discharged; and the debt shall be collected from him in whose behalf he became responsible either as surety, mandator, or bondsman, and he will be subrogated to the creditors whose claims have been settled.



A creditor cannot bring suit to recover the property of debtors which is in the hands of other persons, before bringing a personal action against the mandators, sureties, or bondsmen, having first brought suit against the principal debtor, or those in possession of the property; and if his claim should not be satisfied by this means, then he can have recourse to the property of the sureties, mandators, or bondsmen, or, where they themselves have anyone indebted to them, or who are liable to hypothecary actions, these may be held liable.

We grant the creditor permission to proceed against the principals and their property (whether he prefers to make use of personal or hypothecary actions or both), which permission has already been given by Us, and We direct that he can avail himself of this right against the other persons who are liable under all circumstances. And We not only establish this rule with reference to creditors, but also if anyone should purchase property from another and take a surety (who is called a confirmator), and suit is afterwards brought against

the vendor for the purpose of contesting the sale, the purchaser cannot proceed at once against the confirmator, nor, on the other hand, against whoever holds any property of the vendor; but he must first sue the vendor, and then have recourse to the bondsmen, and, in the third place, proceed against the party in possession. We order that, under the same circumstances, the rule which We have previously established in the case of sureties, mandators, and bondsmen shall, in case of either the presence or absence of debtors, also be observed by creditors in the collection of their claims. In like manner, this same rule shall apply to other contracts in which sureties, mandators, or bondsmen have been accepted, as well as to the principals on both sides and their heirs and successors, and shall benefit Our subjects because of the justice and order for which it provides.



Even though what follows may, perhaps, not be agreeable to some creditors, still, for the sake of clemency, We decree that relief shall be granted to persons in financial distress. If anyone should lend money, believing that the borrower is solvent, and the latter has not the means to pay the debt in money, but has real estate, and his creditor insists upon payment in cash, it will not be easy for the debtor to discharge the obligation where he has no personal property, for We grant the creditor permission to accept land instead of money if he is willing to do so; but if no purchaser of the land can be found and the creditor prevents the purchase of the property and keeps buyers from being present by spreading it abroad that the property of the debtor is encumbered to him, then the judges in this Most Fortunate City of Our Glorious Empire, according to the extent of the jurisdiction which has been granted to them by the law and by Us, and in the provinces, the Governors, shall see that a correct appraisement of the property of the debtor is made, and afterwards possession of the land shall be given to the creditors in accordance with the amount of their claims, with such security as the debtor can furnish. When a transfer of the property is made in this way, the best part of it, whatever that may be, shall be given to the creditor, and what is of inferior value shall remain in the hands of the debtor, after the indebtedness has been discharged; for it would not be just for anyone to lend money and afterwards receive property that is not worth the amount of the loan; and where a creditor who is compelled to take possession of real property does not obtain the best of what belongs to the debtor, he is still indemnified, because, while he does not receive money or other personal property, he acquires possession of something which is not useless to him, for this is an example of the indulgence of the law.

Creditors will recognize the fact that if We did not promulgate this law, necessity would compel the same thing to be done, for if the debtor does not have the money with which to pay the debt, and no purchaser of his real estate can be found, he can do nothing else than surrender it, and it will be transferred to the creditor, who would not otherwise receive what he was entitled to. Thus, having settled a question which might be productive of recrimination and bitter feeling to both creditor and debtor, and having decided at the same time mercifully and legally, thereby affording relief to unfortunate debtors, We shall not appear harsh to exacting creditors by permitting them to have recourse to a measure which, even if they did not consent, they would, nevertheless, finally be compelled to adopt. Hence, if a creditor is ready to provide a purchaser, the debtor will be obliged to sell the property, after furnishing such security as the judge may determine, and which it is possible for him to give; as provision must by all means be made for the indemnification of the creditors in such a way that debtors may not be oppressed.

(1) In compliance with the ancient laws, We consider as a creditor everyone who has a right of action against another, even though their right may not be founded on a loan, but on some other contract, thus in the usual course of business sustaining the obligations of bankers for the benefit of contractors.


Your Highness having been informed of what has been decreed by Us, with reference to the protection of Our subjects, will cause this law to be published by formal proclamation here as well as in all places subject to Our authority, so that Our subjects everywhere may ascertain how great has been Our solicitude for their welfare.

Given on the seventeenth of the Kalends of April, during the Consulate of Flavius Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to Epiphanius, Most Holy and Blessed Archbishop of this Royal City, and Universal Patriarch.


Monastic life is so honorable and can render the man who embraces it so acceptable to God that it can remove from him all human blemishes, declare him to be pure and submissive to natural reason, enriched in knowledge, and superior to others by reason of his thoughts. Hence, where anyone who intends to become a monk is lacking in theological erudition and soundness of discourse, he becomes worthy of obtaining both by his change of condition. Therefore, We think

that We should explain what should be done by such persons, and lay down rules which they must follow in order to pursue a holy life; and it is Our intention after having treated of the most holy bishops and reverend ecclesiastics in this law to omit nothing which concerns monks.



It must be stated before anything else that, where someone wishes to build a sacred monastery at any time or anywhere, he shall not have permission to do so before having applied to the bishop of the diocese, who shall extend his hands to Heaven and consecrate the place to God by prayer, placing upon it the sign of Our salvation (We mean the adorable and venerated sign of the cross), and then the building shall be erected, for this constitutes, as it were, a good and suitable foundation for the same. The construction of venerable monasteries should begin in this way.


The condition of individual monks must now be considered by Us, and what must be done to enable slaves as well as freemen to be admitted to the order. Divine grace considers all men equal, declaring openly that, so far as the worship of God is concerned, no difference exists between male and female, freeman or slave, for all of them receive the same reward in Christ. Hence We decree that those who, following the sacred rules, desire to embrace a religious life, shall not immediately receive the monastic habit at the hands of the most reverend superior of the monastery; but, whether freemen or slaves, they must wait for the term of three years before assuming the monastic habit, but they shall, while studying theology, wear the tonsure and dress of those who are called the laity, and the most reverend abbots shall require them to state whether they are freemen or slaves, and for what reason they desire to embrace the monastic life, and, after having learned from them that no unworthy motive has induced them to take this step, they shall be received among those who are still taught and admonished of their duties; and their patience and sincerity shall be ascertained by experiment, for such a change of life is not easy, but is undergone at the expense of great mental exertion. (1) After the novices have been subjected to probation for the term of three years, and have convinced the superiors and other monks of their excellent dispositions and patience, they can assume the monastic habit and tonsure; and if they are free, can remain without molestation, and if they are slaves, they can by no means be subjected to annoyance, as they are consecrated to the common Master of all men (that is to say the One in Heaven), and become free. For, as in many instances, this takes place by operation of law and liberty is granted them, why should not Divine grace also avail to release them from their bonds ?

If, however, within the aforesaid term of three years, anyone should appear and attempt to remove any one of the said novices, on the ground that he is a slave, the same decision should be rendered as in a case which Zosimus of Lyciaa man most renowned in his order and who had almost reached his one hundred and twentieth year, but still enjoyed the use of all his mental and physical faculties (to such an extent was he honored by the favor of God) referred to Us. If then, as We have stated, anyone should, during the said term of three years, attempt to reduce a novice to servitude, who still desires to become a monk, and should declare that the latter took refuge in a monastery because he had stolen certain property, We order that he shall not be immediately surrendered, but let it first be established that he is a slave, and afterwards that he has committed theft, or has led a wicked life, or is given to the practice of the worst vices, and that, on this account, he has been induced to conceal himself in a monastery. If it should be established that the accuser told the truth, and it appears that the novice has embraced the monastic life for any reason of this kind, or that he has done so because of the baseness of his former life, and that he intended to assume the monastic habit without sincerity, he shall be restored to his master along with anything which he may have stolen, provided the property is in the monastery, and he who has been proved to be his master swears that he will receive him and take him home, and do him no harm.

(2) Where, however, he who alleges that he is his master does not prove this, and he who is accused under such circumstances shows by his conduct that he is honest and kind, and can establish by the testimony of others that while he was with his master he was obedient and a lover of virtue, even if the term of three years has not elapsed, he shall, nevertheless, remain in the monastery and be released from the control of those who wish to remove him. But when the term of three years has once expired, as he is then judged to be worthy of monastic life, he shall remain in the monastery. Nor do We, under any circumstances, permit his former life to be investigated, but whether he is a freeman or a slave We desire that he shall continue to be a member of the order; for even though formerly his life may have been stained with vices (for human nature is, to a certain extent, inclined to the practice of evil), still three years probation is sufficient for the increase of his virtues and the expiation of his sins. Any property which he may have stolen, no matter in whose hands it may be found, shall, by all means, be returned to its former owner.

(3) Where, however, having escaped the danger of servitude, the novice attempts to leave the monastery in order to adopt another mode of life, We permit his master to remove him and include him among his slaves, if he can prove that this was his original condition; for, having again been reduced to slavery, he will not suffer as great an injury as he would have inflicted by abandoning the worship of God.

These are the rules which We establish with reference to those who wish to embrace a monastic life.


We must now consider and show in what way these exponents of monastic philosophy should live and employ their time. In no monastery established under Our rule, whether it be composed of many or few members, do We wish the monks who reside therein to be separated from one another and have their own private rooms; but We direct that they shall all eat together, and that they shall all sleep together in the same place, each one, however, occupying his own pallet, in the same house; or if a single building should not be sufficient to accommodate the number of monks, they shall be apportioned among two or more, not separately and by themselves, but in common, in order that they may be witnesses of one another's honor and chastity, and that they may not sleep too long, and may only reflect upon what is good; for fear of incurring the blame of those who see them, unless indeed some individuals desiring to live in contemplation and perfection may lead solitary lives apart (these are called anchorites, that is to say, persons who seclude themselves, and Hesychastes, or those who live in peace, holding themselves aloof from society in order to improve their morals) ; otherwise, We wish all other monks who are assembled together to reside in convents, that is to say, places devoted to life in common; for in this way their zeal will increase their virtue, and especially will this be the case with those who are young when they are associated with their elders; for intercourse with the latter will materially contribute to the perfection of the education of youth. Monks living together in this way shall be obedient to their own abbot, and must strictly observe the rules of their order.


Where anyone has once professed himself a monk and has assumed the monastic habit, and afterwards wishes to leave the monastery and lead a private life, he is-notified that he must satisfy God for so doing, and that any property which he may have had when he entered the monastery will belong to the latter, and that he can claim none of the same.



We also decree that any person who desires to enter a monastery shall, before he does so, have permission to dispose of his property in any way that he may desire; but the property of one who enters the Monastery shall by all means accompany him, even though he who brought it there may not expressly state that this was his intention; and he shall not afterwards be considered the owner of said property.

When, however, he has any children, and he has already given them anything either as an ante-nuptial donation, or by way of dowry, and what was given would amount to the fourth of his estate if he had died without making a will, his children shall have no right to the remainder; but where he has either given them nothing or less than a fourth, and, after having renounced the world, he should be admitted among the monks, the fourth of his property shall be due to his children, or enough to make up that amount if they should already have received something from him. When he has a wife and leaves her to enter the monastery, she shall be entitled to the dowry and whatever has been agreed upon in case of her husband's death (which We have prescribed in another of Our constitutions).

All these rules which We have laid down regarding monks shall be applicable to women who enter monasteries.


If a monk should leave a monastery for the purpose of entering the army, or to adopt some other mode of life, his property shall remain in the monastery (in accordance with what We have previously stated), and he himself shall be attached to the service of the illustrious Governor of the province; and the result of the change will be that he shall serve an earthly tribunal, as being one who has evinced contempt for the sacred ministry of the Church.



When a monk, having left the monastery where he lived in common with his companions, betakes himself to another, his property shall remain in the hands of and be claimed by the first monastery to which he took it after having renounced the world. Anyone who commits an act of this kind should not be received by the most reverend abbot, for a monastic life of this kind is improper, and should not be tolerated, as it does not indicate a constant and determined state of mind, but shows an irresolute disposition, which constantly seeks change. Bishops, and those ecclesiastics called archimandrites, shall prevent this, in order to preserve monastic honor in accordance with the sacred canons.


Where anyone leading a monastic life proves worthy of being ordained a priest, he shall continue to observe the rule of his order

absolutely. If, however, having become a priest, he should abuse the confidence reposed in him, and presume to marry, although there are certain ranks of the clergy who are allowed to do this and to enter the matrimonial state (We refer to the orders of choristers and readers, but have forbidden the marriage of all others in accordance with the rules of the Church, as well as the entertainment of concubines, or the passage of their lives in debauchery), he shall, by all means, be dismissed from the priesthood by reason of his having mingled his former solitary life with that of the world, and shall hereafter become a private person; nor shall he be eligible to service in the army, or to any other employment, unless he wishes to render himself liable to the penalties already prescribed by Us. He himself, then being abandoned to his own resources, will become aware of the satisfaction that he owes to God for what he has done.




We do not wish the ordination of abbots (where at any time a monastery happens to be without an abbot) to be made in accordance with the seniority of the most reverend monks, and that the one who comes directly after the abbot in rank should be selected; or that the second or the third should be chosen (which is also provided by another of Our laws), but the bishop of the diocese shall go over the names of all of them in succession; and he must not limit himself to their priority of ordination by which their rank is determined, but must choose the one among all the monks who appears to be the best fitted for the place, and worthy of becoming the head of the monastery. The reason for this is that human nature is such that abbots cannot all be taken from among the oldest or most recent monks, but the examination must be conducted by the bishop according to rank, and he who appears to be best qualified of those successively examined shall be created abbot, as possessing the dignity and virtues requisite for the position. For it is necessary to choose those who can distinguish what is best from what is worst, since it is one thing to be unfitted for administration, and another to have the inclination to become competent, and, through proper instruction, to acquire, little by little, the faculty of presiding over a monastery.

(1) The rules formulated by Us in the preceding laws, as well as in the present one, with reference to priests, monks, and monasteries, We hereby declare to be applicable to both males and females, as well as to convents and hermitages; for We do not distinguish between men and women for the reason that, as We have already stated, they compose but one in Christ.

The Most Holy Patriarchs will communicate these matters to the metropolitans under their jurisdiction, and the latter will bring them to the attention of the bishops, and the bishops will communicate them to the different monasteries under their control, to the end that the worship of God may everywhere remain pure. The most severe punishment shall be inflicted upon those who disobey the present law (We refer to celestial penalties which it is necessary to impose upon those who show contempt for the rules of their spiritual guides). When the judges of Our Empire are informed of any breach of this law, they should use every effort enjoined by the rules of the Church to cause it to be observed and carried into effect; for if they should be guilty of negligence, they shall not escape punishment. Wherefore it is proper for Your Holiness to conform to the preceding regulations, and communicate them to the Holy Metropolitans under your jurisdiction.

Given at Constantinople, on the fourteenth of the Kalends of April, during the Consulate of the Illustrious Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to Epiphanius, Archbishop and Patriarch of Constantinople.


The priesthood and the Empire are the two greatest gifts which God, in His infinite clemency, has bestowed upon mortals; the former has reference to Divine matters, the latter presides over and directs human affairs, and both, proceeding from the same principle, adorn the life of mankind; hence nothing should be such a source of care to the emperors as the honor of the priests who constantly pray to God for their salvation. For if the priesthood is, everywhere free from blame, and the Empire full of confidence in God is administered equitably and judiciously, general good will result, and whatever is beneficial will be bestowed upon the human race. Therefore We have the greatest solicitude for the observance of the divine rules and the preservation of the honor of the priesthood, which, if they are maintained, will result in the greatest advantages that can be conferred upon us by God, as well as in the confirmation of those which We already enjoy, and whatever We have not yet obtained We shall hereafter acquire. For all things terminate happily where the beginning is proper and agreeable to God. We think that this will take place if the sacred rules of the Church which the just, praiseworthy, and adorable Apostles, the inspectors and ministers of the Word of God, and the Holy Fathers have explained and preserved for Us, are obeyed.




Therefore, We order that the sacred canons shall be observed hereafter when anyone is presented to be consecrated a bishop, and that his life shall first be investigated as prescribed by the Holy Apostle, to ascertain if it is honorable, without blame, and irreproachable in every respect, and what his standing is among good citizens, and whether he performs his sacerdotal functions with propriety.

(1) No one shall (in accordance with the rule already established) be ordained who has left an office or other civil employment, unless he is still young; or, where he has changed his condition by withdrawing from the monastery, he shall first be required to give the fourth of his property to his curia.

(2) An uneducated person belonging to the laity cannot immediately be promoted to a bishopric, nor can he receive a fictitious ordination, where, for example, being illiterate, he is at first created a priest, and then, after a short time has elapsed, becomes a bishop.

(3) Nor can. one who has married a wife, who in the beginning was not a virgin, be a candidate for a bishopric; but he should have as his consort a woman who was a virgin when he married her, and not a widow, or separated from her husband, or who had been the concubine of someone else.

(4) Nor should he have either children or grandchildren, whether they were legitimate or odious in the sight of the law; for if anyone should act otherwise, he shall be expelled from the priesthood, and he who ordained him and violated this law shall lose his episcopate.

(5) We do not permit the purchase of an office in the priesthood to be made with money, for We wish the right to conduct divine service to be obtained from the Lord, and not to be acquired by human agency.

(6) He shall not attain to a bishopric who is unfamiliar with the dogmas of the Church.

(7) He who aspires to be a bishop, and has previously embraced a monastic life, or has been a member of the priesthood for not less than six months, shall have neither wife, children, nor grandchildren. We absolutely require this of bishops, as We have already prescribed in the two preceding constitutions, without investigating whether they still have wives or have renounced them; but We, for the future, do not permit anyone who has a legal wife to be ordained; and this law We now renew, and if it should be violated, the person guilty of doing so shall be expelled from the priesthood, and at the same time the bishop who ordained him shall be dismissed.

Therefore he who is to be consecrated a bishop, whether he belongs to the order of monks or is a member of the other clergy, must be able to produce proof of a good and honorable life, and enjoy an unblemished reputation; for this is the very foundation of the pontificate.

(8) When the candidate has been selected and prepared for the episcopate, he must, before his consecration, be familiar with the ancient and accepted canons which Our faith acknowledges as just and inviolate, and the Catholic and Apostolic Church has established and transmitted to Us. When, after having frequently read them previous to his ordination, the official in charge of the same must interrogate him, and ascertain if he is capable of complying with the said rules and of doing what they prescribe. If he' should state that he cannot observe these sacred precepts he shall, by no means, be consecrated, but if he promises that he will obey them as thoroughly as a man can do, then he shall be admonished and told that, if he does not do so he will be alienated from God, and will lose the honor conferred upon him, and that the civil laws do not leave any offence unpunished, for the reason that Our predecessors and Ourselves have, very properly, rendered the sacred canons valid as laws; and if he still adheres to his declaration, he shall then, in compliance with his professions, be consecrated a bishop.

(9) We decree that a candidate shall not purchase his consecration with money, or by the donation of any other property, but shall obtain it gratuitously and without remuneration, and, as it were, bestowed by God. For if he should employ the means previously mentioned by Us, he shall be considered to have purchased the episcopate either with money or with other property; and he is hereby notified that he will not be permitted to receive it, and he who consecrated him shall be deprived of his office, forfeit his episcopate, and be expelled from the priesthood, and thus both parties will be punished, for one will not obtain what he expected, and the other will lose what he already has. The money or other property which has been paid in for the consecration shall be given to the church, whether the bishop received it, and for this reason was removed from office, or whether someone else belonging to the clergy did so; for We impose the same penalty upon each, namely, We dismiss him from the priesthood, and transfer the money or other property given to obtain the consecration to the church which sustained the injury.

Where anyone who is a stranger, and not an ecclesiastic, receives money or any other property, to procure consecration, and especially if he holds any civil employment, he shall be punished by God Himself, for divine penalties will be imposed upon him; and he shall also be compelled to give to the church double the amount of all that he received, and, in addition, he shall lose his office, and be condemned to perpetual exile. He, also, who purchased the bishopric with money or other property, is hereby notified that if having previously been a deacon or a priest, he has been elevated to the priesthood by favor, he shall not only forfeit the episcopate, but shall be deprived of the office of priest or deacon. He shall also be excluded from every other ecclesiastical order for the re*ason that his desires exceeded the bounds of decency. He who officiates at the consecration must, at the time of the ceremony, and in the presence of the faithful people, acquaint the candidate with what has already been stated, and, after

having done so, shall consecrate him, so that he, having heard these things in public, may not only experience the fear of God, but also anticipate a criminal accusation if he should prove unworthy.

(10) Where anyone who is considered eligible to the episcopate is about to be consecrated, and it is alleged that he knows that he has committed some unlawful act, he shall not receive consecration before the charge is investigated and it is apparent that it is entirely unfounded. If, after an accusation of this kind, he who is to perform the ceremony does not institute a judicial inquiry but proceeds without it, he is hereby notified that whatever he does will be void, and that he who thus acts unlawfully will forfeit his priestly office; and anyone who confers consecration without proof shall be deposed from the office of bishop, for he is an offender against God, who seeks by all means to preserve the purity of his ministering priests. If, however, he who opposes the consecration is ascertained to be a slanderer, either before or after the examination, or if he does not proceed with it, he shall be forever excluded from holy communion by the bishop, in order that his deceit may not go unpunished. For as We require him who is to be consecrated to have a good reputation, so We punish a false accusation when someone brings it without reason. Where, however, no one makes an accusation, or having done so, does not produce satisfactory evidence, and after the examination has taken place the accusation is shown not to be true (as We have previously stated), then he who appears to be in every respect irreproachable shall be admitted to consecration.

He who is consecrated in this manner and is familiar with all the principal sacred precepts, as well as exemplary in thought, in speech, in bodily conduct, and in wisdom, cannot fail to lead a proper life.



We also decree that no bishop shall presume to be absent from his church for a longer time than a year, unless by order of the Emperor, for in this case he would be blameless. We direct the Most Holy Patriarch to compel the bishops in their jurisdiction to remain attached to their churches and not separate themselves from them by making long journeys, nor dwell in foreign countries, nor neglect their congregation by being away for a longer term than a year, which We grant them by way of favor.

When any of them remains absent from his own bishopric for more than a year, without the authority of an Imperial order (as We have previously stated), then if he who has left his church is a metropolitan, the patriarch shall notify him to return by means of a proper summons, always observing the rules of the Canon Law.

If, however, he should continue to be disobedient, he shall be expelled from the holy order of bishops, and another shall be intro-

duced in his place who is worthy of the reverence, veneration, and honor of the office. Where the offender is not a metropolitan, but some other bishop who has violated the law, this duty shall be performed by the metropolitan; and none of such persons shall advance the pretext that he has been absent on account of some litigation or any other private matter; or that he has wandered about here and there on business connected with the church, or has remained in one place, or has visited several on this account.

In the eyes of the multitude, to whom the presence of a bishop is necessary, no valid reason exists to authorize ministers to travel; nor does any benefit result to their churches; nor is any assistance afforded to them; nor, under the circumstances, do they reflect any credit upon their sacred calling by being absent. For when it becomes necessary, and any litigation gives causes for any step of this kind to be taken, this can be done by the ecclesiastics of inferior rank or the stewards, and petitions can be presented to the government for the purpose of obtaining what is desired.

Hence We order that if any necessity should arise in a matter in which the interests of the Church are involved, those persons charged with the conduct of ecclesiastical affairs (who are called apocrisiarii) or others of the clergy appointed for that purpose, or the stewards themselves, can notify Us or Our ministers, and receive proper attention ; and hence there will be no occasion for bishops to absent themselves, for they will injure their churches by their absence, and through the great expense incurred by them as well as by their sojourn in foreign countries, thus not only good will not result, but the holy churches will sustain great loss.



A bishop cannot visit this Most Fortunate City without first receiving letters addressed by the archbishop to the government, and which, according to the canons of the Church, disclose a good reason for his presence. If an archbishop wishes to travel, he must obtain letters from the patriarch, stating that his absence is necessary, and the Emperor should order him to be presented, for an ecclesiastic must not rashly, and without the knowledge of the archbishops or patriarchs go upon journeys, as this is prohibited by the divine rule; and having arrived, he shall not, at his own instance, presume to present himself to the government, but must first apply to the patriarch, or to those charged with the administration of the diocese, and explain to them the reasons which have induced him to come, and, after having done this, he can enjoy the sight of the Emperor.

After he has been presented, the said bishop can either by means of those who were styled referendarii of the Most Holy Principal Church, or by the agency of the apocrisiarii in charge of the holy pa-

triarchate, make application to the government and be insured a speedy reply; so that if his demands are just, they will be complied with, or if they are not, he may return quickly to the place from whence he came.



After having, in conformity with the sacred canons, disposed of the preceding matters relating to bishops, We now decree, in compliance with the same canons, that no one can be ordained an ecclesiastic until after a careful examination, and that the candidate must be of good character, and by all means conversant with letters, and proficient in the doctrines of the Church. For We are unwilling for persons who are ignorant of letters to be ordained under any circumstances, that is to say, as clerks, priests, deacons, readers of the service, or of ecclesiastical or canonical books. Anyone, however, who is meritorious and blameless, and against whom no complaint or opposition has arisen, and who has given neither money nor other property, shall be eligible.

We are unwilling that any officials charged with the administration of the affairs of a curia should be ordained, unless in accordance with the laws which We have already promulgated with reference to this matter, and which We now confirm. Persons who are ordained shall be instructed in the sacred precepts in the presence of the entire people, for the same reasons for which We have directed this to be done in the case of bishops.


We do not permit anyone to be ordained who is either a deacon or a priest who has either had a second wife or has one now, or is married to a woman who has left her husband, or is living with a concubine, but only where he married a wife who was chaste and a virgin. For, when ordinations take place, We delight in nothing so much as to know that the candidates are living a chaste life; and that they are not living with their wives, and have not been married : more than once to a woman who is chaste, which, according to the sacred canons, is considered as the principal and true foundation of durable virtue. But if any priest, deacon, or sub-deacon should afterwards marry, or keep a concubine either openly or secretly, he shall immediately be expelled from his order and become a layman. If a reader should, for any reason, marry a second time, and this was caused by inexorable necessity, he can never attain to a higher rank in the clergy, nor enjoy a position of greater dignity, but he shall always remain in the same rank, and shall not contract a third marriage, for two are sufficient. If, however, anyone should do this, and after having

contracted a second marriage, be promoted, he shall thereafter become a private person and a layman, and be absolutely deprived of his sacred office. For it is proper, above all things, for Us to live chastely, and if those who become members of the priesthood are such when they are ordained, it will be easy for them to attain to the episcopate, and many of their number will be found eligible to the highest rank of the priesthood.



We desire that everything which We have decreed concerning ecclesiastics shall be observed with reference to deaconesses, and they shall not violate these provisions. In order for them to be ordained, they must be neither too old nor too young, and not liable to temptation, but they should be of middle age, and, in accordance with the sacred canons, about fifty years old, and, having arrived at that age, they shall be eligible to ordination, whether they are virgins, or have previously been married to one man; for We do not permit women who have contracted a second marriage, or who (as We have already stated), have led a vicious life, to be ordained, but they must be free from all suspicion in order to be admitted into the holy service of the Church, to be present in baptism, and assist in the celebration of the mysterious and sacred rites which form part of their duties.

When, however, it is necessary for a woman under the age of fifty to be ordained a deaconess, ordination can be conferred upon her in some convent where she must reside; for she can by no means be permitted to mingle with men, or to live where she chooses, but by her withdrawal from society she must give evidence of her retirement and the simplicity of her life. Moreover, We are not willing that deaconesses who have once been ordainedwhether they be either widows or virginsto live with any of their relatives, or with such persons as they may select, for, under such circumstances, they will be liable to criticism, but they can either reside alone or with their fathers and mothers, children, or brothers, who are persons that if anyone should suspect them of criminality, he will be regarded as either foolish or impious.

If any disparaging statement should be made with reference to any woman who desires to be admitted to the order of deaconesses, to the effect that she has lived with someone under an assumed name, and this should give rise to evil suspicions, the woman shall, by no means, be ordained a deaconess. And if she should be ordained, and then commit an act of this kind and cohabit with anyone under another name, she shall be expelled from the diaconate, and both the parties shall suffer the penalties prescribed by this law and others for persons of corrupt morals.

All women who are ordained deaconesses must, at the time of their ordination, be instructed in the duties of their office, and have the

precepts of the sacred canons communicated to them in the presence of the other deaconesses, in order that they may fear God and have confidence in their holy order; and they are hereby notified that if they should regret having received ordination, or, having abandoned their sacred office, they should marry, or choose any other kind of life, they will render themselves liable to capital punishment and the confiscation of their property by the holy churches or monastaries to which they are attached. Any persons who may be so bold as to marry or corrupt them shall, themselves, be liable to the penalty of death, and their property shall be confiscated by the Treasury. For if, by the ancient laws, capital punishment was inflicted upon virgins who permitted themselves to be corrupted, how much more reason is there for Us to impose the same penalty upon those who are dedicated to God; and why should We not wish that modesty, which is the greatest ornament of the sex, should be preserved, and be diligently practiced by deaconesses, in accordance with what is becoming to Nature and due to the priesthood?




Those who have once become deacons or priests can, under no circumstances, relinquish their sacred duties. We decree that this rule shall not only be applicable to priests and deacons, but also, where any sub-deacon or reader renounces his former condition and embraces another life, he is notified that if he does anything of this kind (as has already been stated by Us), he shall either be assigned to his curia along with his property, or, if he is without resources, shall be devoted to this service.





It is proper that the ordinations of ecclesiastics should not be multiplied, and what has been done up to this time must be corrected. We, however, permit it to exist temporarily, but for the future it must not be repeated in such a way as to cause injury to the holy churches. Therefore, as it is necessary to establish certain regulations with regard to the Principal Church of this Our Royal City, and others subject to it, We have included these provisions in this special law. With reference to all churches situated outside the city We decree that, if anyone should found or build a church, and specify the number of ecclesiastics to be attached thereto, as well as the sum to be expended

for its maintenance, no one can be ordained in that church in excess of the number originally established. When, however, this has not been done, the Principal Church shall provide for it, as well as for other churches under its control; and, in this instance, the number of the clergy shall not be increased, nor shall the Principal Church be burdened with the expense of bestowing any privileges or benefits upon it (for this is neither pious nor becoming to priests), but those charged with the financial situation shall give what it is possible out of what God has bestowed, or observe the ancient custom without making any innovations whatever.

The patriarchs and archbishops should see that the ecclesiastics estimate the resources of each church, and only confer ordinations in proportion to the revenues of the same; and the archbishops, warned by the Holy Patriarchs, shall pursue the same course, and compel the bishops of their dioceses to preserve the fixed number of clergy, and to avoid not granting ordinations beyond what the revenues will justify, for We know how many holy churches have become impoverished by reason of ordinations of this kind, and the payment of other expenses.

And as We have with difficulty relieved some of these churches of their burdens, and others are still oppressed by theirs without being able to discharge their obligations, the Holy Patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops must in the future take measures against the recurrence of such an evil; so that We, having learned of what they have done, may approve of those who have used every effort to cause this Our law to be obeyed.


The holy patriarchs of every diocese, the metropolitans and the remaining reverend bishops and clergy, shall observe inviolate and in conformity with the sacred canons the rules which We have above established, and shall, for the future, observe the worship of God and the discipline of the church unimpaired, under the penalty of being rejected by God, and excluded from the sacred order of the priesthood as being unworthy of it. We, however, grant permission to everyone, no matter what may be his office or to what order he may belong, when he becomes aware of any of these breaches of discipline, to notify Us, or the government; so that We, who have established the said rules, in accordance with the sacred apostolic canons of the Church, may inflict the proper penalty upon those who are guilty.

Whatever has heretofore been decreed by Us with reference to the property of bishops shall be observed.

(1) The patriarch of each diocese shall publish this law to all the churches under his control, and communicate it to the archbishops. The latter, in their turn, shall publish it throughout their jurisdiction, and communicate it to the bishops, each one of whom shall publish it in his own church; so that no person in Our Empire may be ignorant of what has been done by Us for the honor and glory of God and Our Savior Jesus Christ. In addition to this, Your Holiness will see that

this law shall be always known to, and obeyed by the holy archbishops subject to your jurisdiction.

(2) Written copies of this law have been despatched to Ephrenius, Archbishop of Alexandria; to the Archbishop of Theopolis; to Peter, Bishop of Jerusalem; to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect, twice Consul and Patrician; to Dominick, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of Illyria, to whom what follows is addressed. "Your Highness being notified of this law will hasten to observe it, along with your successors, and if any accusation should be filed for a breach of the same, and especially for a violation of what has been forbidden with reference to the ordination of decurions^ or other officials, you must prevent its continuance, and notify Us, in order that a proper penalty may be imposed upon the guilty parties. Your Highness will communicate this, Our Constitution, to the illustrious Governors of provinces, in order that they may be on their guard, and not permit any violation of the same to be committed; for if they, being aware of the offence, do not at once inform your government, or that of the Empire of the fact, they will be liable to a penalty of five pounds of gold, in order that ordinations may everywhere be observed with propriety.

"A copy of this law, with the addition, has also been sent to Dominick, Praetorian Prefect of Myricia."






The Emperor Justinian to Epiphanius, Most Holy and Blessed Archbishop of this Fortunate City, Ecumenical Patriarch, or Patriarch of Constantinople.


As We are always intent upon correcting anything which We find to be confused or imperfect, or removing it, and making clear what is obscure in Our legislation, We think that it is necessary for everything relating to the alienation of the property of the Church to be included

in a single law, which shall replace and amend all others, supply what is lacking, and rescind what is superfluous. Leo, of pious memory, who, with the exception of Constantine, of all the Emperors, added more than anyone else to the Christian religion, and thoroughly established the honor and discipline of the holy churches, enacted a law concerning ecclesiastical alienations, which he, however, limited to the Principal Church of this Most Fortunate City. We applaud the greater portion of this law, because the worship of God is its principal object, but for the reason that it does not generally apply to all churches, We think that it requires amendment. An enactment on the same subject was also published by Anastasius, of pious memory, which, although it did not resemble the former one, is still restricted in its effect, for although it applies to places outside of Constantinople, it is still imperfect for the reason that it has reference only to the clergy and the diocese subject to the authority of the patriarch of this Royal and Most Fortunate City, but is not applicable to sees. The author of the law understood that it should be corrected, as he amended several portions of it, although he left others untouched, for which reason We decree that it shall hereafter be void as being imperfect and limited in scope, and not be included among laws generally as introducing anything that is of value to jurisprudence. Hence, We have corrected all these matters, and think that it is necessary for uniform legislation to be imposed upon all churches, hospitals, monasteries, asylums, infirmaries for the poor, and all other religious foundations; and We desire that the present law shall be an addition to that of Leo, of pious memory, of which We are going to enumerate in a few words such provisions as remain in force. It forbids the archbishop and patriarch of this Fortunate City or of the principal church of the same, as well as the steward, to sell, give, or alienate in any other way any of the immovable property belonging to the holy Principal Church of Constantinople, whether said property consists of buildings, land, serfs, rustic slaves, or grain furnished by the State (for these last items are regarded as immovable), and the law does not permit any transfer to be made by way of compensation, or under any other pretext; and it renders the purchaser liable to restore to the steward having charge of the property of the church whatever he has purchased, together with the profits of the same which he may have obtained since the alienation, and anything else which he may have acquired thereby, as well as to forfeit the purchase money, and it regards the transaction just as if it had never taken place. It also compels the steward who has failed in the discharge of his duty to pay over any profits which he has received from what belonged to the holy church, or to indemnify the latter for the losses which it may have sustained. And, in addition to this, he shall be deprived of his office of steward, and the law grants a right of action to the holy church not only against the stewards themselves, but also against their successors, whether the latter have made the alienation without the opposition of the bishop in office at the time, or of that of any of the other clergy, whether they were aware of it and con-

: jJlS? '

sented, or remained silent and suffered it to take place, for they are much more reprehensible if they gave their consent, and knowingly permitted such a thing to be done without preventing it.

It also punishes with perpetual exile the notary who drew up the documents, and refuses him clemency or permission to return; and any judges who consent to the alienation, and preside in cases of this kind, or who permit such donations or alienations to be made, it directs shall be deprived of their insignia, their offices, and their


Although this law strictly forbids the alienation of church property, it, nevertheless, allows the use of the same, which is called usufruct, for a certain time, or even during the life of the person who obtains it, when this is granted by the Most Holy Principal Church, under the restriction that the recipient of this favor shall give to the Most Holy Principal Church a certain portion of the property by way of compensation, from which the Most Holy Church can have the same income as he obtains from the use of said property; and, after the death of the usufructuary, or the expiration of the time prescribed for its enjoyment, the use and usufruct of the ecclesiastical property which has been granted shall revert to the Most Holy Principal Church, as well as the use and ownership of what was given by way of compensation. The law prescribes that a contract of this kind can be made without any risk.

If, however, what has been given by way of compensation should happen to be less than what was transferred by the holy church, the law declares that the contract shall be void, just as if it had never been entered into, and it grants the right of recovery just as if the holy church had been defrauded.

(1) These are, briefly stated, the provisions of the law, and where it imposes a fine, it only has reference to property belonging to the Most Holy Church of Constantinople; and while it disposes of all the fraudulent acts which We have mentioned, it still is not sufficient to restrain the efforts of persons intending to deceive. For, indeed, certain individuals have invented what is called leasehold titles, that is, where anyone received from the church a building whose value was, for instance, one hundred solidi, and which yielded an annual income of ten solidi, and he paid a hundred solidi more or less for the same, and agreed to pay every year out of his own property three solidi by way of rent, he was called parcecus; and, in consideration of this small payment, he became the possessor of the property, along with his heirs, in perpetuity.

This right was not known to any of Our laws, or recognized by any emperor; and, by means of it, those who invented it could commit great frauds against the law, and make almost constant alienations, which We forbid to be done hereafter, and have promulgated the present law for this very purpose. Those having charge of the administration of the property of said church formerly had recourse to emphyteusis, and by this means, obtained the greater part of the revenues of the same. For this reason We, by means of one of Our

preceding constitutions, have limited the duration of emphyteusis to the lives of three persons, that is to say, to that of the one who makes the contract, and his two immediate successors; and We permitted this to be done with reference to the property of the Most Holy Principal Church, but did not allow more than a sixth part of the income obtained under emphyteusis to be collected where unforeseen events occur. We have, however, learned that documents often have been impiously executed by certain persons under which a sixth part was left to the holy church, and all the rest of the property was given in emphyteusis. When Anastasius, of pious memory, decreed that rules should be drawn up with reference to emphyteutical alienations, in order that the time of possession might be determined, and decided that an irregular emphyteusis should last until the death of the emphyteuta, and that where it was regular, it should be perpetual, he enacted a law which was useless and imperfect in every respect, and which, as We have already stated, was only effective within the Patriarchal See of Constantinople.



Hence We decree (for it is now time to come to the provisions of the law) that the Holy Principal Church of Our Most Fortunate City, or any of those which are subject to its jurisdiction, and are maintained by it (as provided by Anastasius, of pious memory), and any other churches in this Most Fortunate City, or within its confines, which are subject to the Patriarchal See, the archbishops of which obey its patriarch or any other patriarch or bishop (We refer to those who reside in the East, in Illyria, in Egypt, in Lycaonia, and in Lycia, together with those who are in the province of Africa, and all who are distributed throughout Our entire dominions, including the bishops of the West, from Rome even to the ocean, who have charge of the holy orthodox churches), as well as superintendents of hospitals, orphan asylums, infirmaries for the poor, abbots and abbesses of monasteries, and presidents of sacred colleges, shall not be permitted to alienate any immovable property, whether it consists of buildings, fields, gardens or anything of this kind, rustic slaves, and grain provided by the State, or deliver it under a special contract to creditors by way of pledge.

We accept the term alienation in its general sense, and hence forbid the sale, donation, and exchange of property, as well as perpetual emphyteusis, which does not differ greatly from alienation. We forbid all ecclesiastics, everywhere, from making transfers of this kind under the penalties prescribed by the Constitution of Leo, of pious memory. We decree that this law shall be valid, and hereby ratify it, and, for this reason, We have proposed and proclaimed it, and have caused it to be written, not in Latin but in Greek, in order that it may become familiar to all, and its interpretation be facilitated.

We leave any alienations which have already taken place in their present condition, for where so many documents have been executed for a long time, interference with them at present must result in much confusion. Hence, those which have existed up to this time shall remain in full force, but, for the future, We prohibit all alienations under the penalties previously imposed.



In order that the laws based upon the instability of human nature and events which frequently occur may always remain unaltered (for how can anything be so permanent and immovable among men that it cannot suffer any change, when our entire life is in constant movement?), We have deemed'it necessary to formulate some exceptions to the laws, which, being applied with reflection and care, may prove beneficial by preventing their operation.

(1) Therefore We authorize the government, when it is for the common welfare and the general advantage of the State, to obtain possession of any immovable property belonging to churches, religious houses, or associations, where others of equal or even of greater value than what was received is transferred by way of compensation. What excuse can the Emperor have to avoid furnishing greater indemnity? For God has given him possession of enormous wealth, and has made him the ruler of many subjects, and has rendered it easy for him, above all, to give to the holy churches, towards which one cannot be too liberal. Wherefore, if such a thing should take place, the transfer shall be valid, provided it is preceded by a pragmatic sanction authorizing the government to transfer property in compensation, where compensation is provided by reason of the gift of better and more productive immovable property; and those who have charge of the religious establishments whose property is alienated, and the notaries who drew up the contracts, shall everywhere be exempt from blame, and shall not be apprehensive of the penalties prescribed by Leo, of pious memory, and which have been confirmed by Us, since the priesthood and the Empire differ greatly from one another, as sacred things do from those which are common and public, and the abundance enjoyed by the churches is continually derived from the munificence of the Emperors.

Hence, where compensation is given by either party, neither can legally be blamed by anyone; but, on the other hand, We expressly prohibit every other sale, donation, exchange, or emphyteusis, whether made by the government or any other person whomsoever. Nor do We permit the donation of any real property by way of pledge for the purpose of securing a loan.

We desire this law to be observed by every church, monastery, hospital, house of refuge, hermitage, convent, infirmary for the poor, and all other establishments founded under religious auspices, for no

one can legally acquire any property from them. Therefore the constitution of Anastasius of divine memory shall hereafter be of no force or effect, and no law shall be enacted for the purpose of renewing it, nor shall its provisions be cited, as they are all hereby annulled.



We authorize the Most Holy Principal Church, and all other religious foundations, to lease their property by emphyteusis, provided that the duration of the lease is limited to the life of the emphyteuta, and two of his heirs, that is to say, his children and grandchildren, both male and female; and the said property will revert either to the husband or the wife, if this has been expressly stated in the contract; otherwise, it will not pass to any other heirs, but will be confined solely to the lives of those who received it, when they have neither children nor grandchildren. We, by no means, allow real property belonging to churches or hospitals, or even rustic slaves or supplies of grain to be leased, and We do not permit an alienation made contrary to these provisions to have any force.

(1) The Constitution of Leo, of pious memory, permitted ecclesiastical property to be leased by emphyteusis, where this was done without any loss, but We have decreed in another constitution promulgated by Us that a sixth part of the income should be given to him who took the emphyteusis; and thus We establish a certain rule of diminution, so that the rent of the property leased may be ascertained with truth and accuracy from the beginning, when it was acquired by the holy church and the emphyteusis was granted to the persons whom We have mentioned; for then We concede it to them, scrupulously reserving the sixth part of what they paid. Where, however, the amount is diminished through some accident, or the whole of it is lost, a new rate should be established for the person desiring to lease the property; or, indeed, none at all shall be made where it is decided to be more advantageous to lease it in some other way than to subject it to an excessive diminution of the rent under emphyteusis.

When suburban ecclesiastical property is leased under emphyteusis which We have ascertained is, in many instances, done in this Most Fortunate City at a high priceand it yields but very little rent, or even none at all, We do not wish the rental to be regulated by the income, but that a just appraisement shall be made of the land, adopting as a standard the income collected for twenty years, and that the rate under emphyteusis shall be based on this appraisement; but We repeat that this must not be done in perpetuity, but only during the lifetime of the person who receives the property, and that of two of his successors; but it will also be revertible to either the husband or the wife, as We have already stated.

(2) It is proper that emphyteutas should be notified that if they do not pay the rent for two consecutive years (for the term of three years is established in the case of other emphyteutas, but We have decided two will be sufficient where ecclesiastical lands are leased), they shall be deprived of the emphyteusis, and the officials in charge of the religious houses shall be permitted to resume possession of them without being liable on account of any improvements which may have been made. But if the emphyteuta has caused any deterioration of the land or suburban property, he can be compelled to thoroughly restore it to its former condition, at his own expense; and he, together with his heirs, will be obliged to return the said property, with all the income from it which may be due, without delay. It has already been stated by Us that no alienation of real property belonging either to a church or a hospital can take place, and this prohibition has reference to every person in the Empire, and applies not only to houses, suburban lands, gardens, fields, and buildings ruined by fire, earthquakes, or any other calamity, as well as to such as are entirely destroyed and levelled with the ground, whether enough materials remain for their reconstruction or not, for We only permit them to be alienated by means of temporary emphyteusis, in accordance with what has already been stated, and to the three persons whom We have previously mentioned.

In order that no fraud may be committed with reference to ecclesiastical property under such circumstances, an examination shall take place, when said property is in this city, in the presence of two master mechanics or architects, together with ecclesiastical stewards, five reverend priests, two deacons, and the bishop of the diocese; but where the property is situated in a province, this shall be done in the presence of two master mechanics or architects, or of one (if there are no more in the town), who shall assemble on the ground, and decide under oath on the Holy Gospels how much should be paid to the church under emphyteusis, and an emphyteutical contract may be drawn up in accordance with what has previously been prescribed.

The emphyteuta can then erect buildings with the materials, if there are any, and transmit the emphyteusis to two of his successors (as has already been stated), and, after the death of the three persons aforesaid, the property shall revert to the holy church or the venerable religious house by whom the emphyteusis was executed ; and a contract of this kind shall be valid, provided it is not in contravention of the terms of the present law.

(3) The various pretexts which have, up to the present time, been employed to prevent the termination of contracts of this description, shall no longer be permitted; and where the term of the two heirs has expired, permission is hereby given to those who succeed them to lease the property by emphyteusis; and they, in their turn, shall be allowed to transfer it to others. By resorting to such fraudulent methods, the consequence is that the emphyteusis always remains under the control of the same persons, and the church is deprived of its right to the property. Where anything of this kind takes place,

the reverend stewards are not obliged to transfer the property to others after the death of the two heirs of the emphyteuta.



If anyone should desire to enjoy the use or usufruct of property belonging to the Holy Principal Church, or to any other church whatsoever situated in Our dominions, or which belongs to a hospital, he can obtain it by observing the rules which have been already laid down, and by complying with the provisions of the Constitution of Leo, of pious memory, which requires that the usufructuary shall be a man of means, and the owner of land, and shall give to the holy church or the religious house, by way of compensation, some other property yielding at the same times a revenue of equal amount and of the same character. This should be done in order that, after the death of the usufructuary, the property belonging to the church or hospital may revert to it, together with the use which was bestowed, and may not be extended beyond the lifetime of the person who acquired it. On the other hand, the usufructuary shall, until his death or for the time agreed upon, enjoy the usufruct of the property which he is given by way of compensation, and after the termination of the usufruct, the ownership and the use of the two pieces of property aforesaid will absolutely belong to the holy church.



While the Constitution of Leo, of pious memory, only prescribed a penalty for the sale of ecclesiastical property, We, on the other hand, forbid not only the sale but also the donation, exchange, perpetual lease under emphyteusis, and pledge of real estate; for We are aware that there are certain persons who love to take risks, and make a practice of defrauding the laws, and of doing things which are absolutely prohibited and render those guilty of such conduct liable to capital punishment, hence We have considered it necessary to affix a certain penalty to every contract, and those penalties which were provided for unfaithful stewards by the aforesaid Constitution of Leo, of pious memory, We decree shall also be applicable to all in charge of houses for the accommodation of travellers, hospitals, and orphan asylums, as well as to abbots and abbesses of monasteries and convents, in accordance with what has been previously established. Therefore, if anyone should presume to buy property belonging to either a church or a hospital, he shall lose the purchase-money, and be deprived of whatever he acquired, together with all its income in the meantime; and he shall be entitled to no right of action against the said church or religious house, but he can sue the stewards or

other officials who sold him the property, and recover damages out of what personally belongs to them, so that if they are not deterred by the fear of God from engaging in transactions of this kind, the apprehension of losing their own property may prevent them from

doing so.

(1) If anyone should presume to accept as a donation anything belonging to a church or a hospital, he shall, by all means, lose what was given, and shall surrender to the said holy church or venerable religious house a portion of his own property equal to that which he received, so that he may realize the wickedness of his conduct in violating this law by suffering the loss of his private fortune.

(2) If any exchange should be made by persons except where the transfer of public lands is involved, as We have previously stated, he who assented to the exchange shall be liable to the penalty, shall lose what he received, which shall revert to the venerable religious house from which it was taken, and whatever was given by way of compensation shall also be acquired by it. He who is guilty of thus violating the law shall thus be deprived of both, and be punished by the loss of his own property as well as of that which he expected to gain; but, in this instance, a right of action will lie against those who made the contract with him.



Where a creditor chooses to take security for money loaned on immovables belonging to a church or hospital, which consist of buildings, suburban lands, fields, gardens, supplies of grain, or rustic slaves, he shall be deprived of such property, and the holy church which received the money shall keep it. In this case, however, the creditor will be entitled to bring suit against the steward, the official in charge of the hospital or the orphan asylum, the superior of the convent or monastery, or the superintendent of any other religious house responsible for the transaction, and he can also proceed against the abbesses of convents.

(1) Where, however, holy churches or other religious houses, are compelled to borrow moneyand this is so necessary that if it is not borrowed they cannot comply with their contractsor there is any other good cause to induce them to do this, it will be lawful to have recourse to a general hypothecation, but no special pledge of property can be given to creditors.



If, however, anyone should, in violation of the provisions of this Our law, presume to take either a perpetual or a temporary lease

under an emphyteutical contract, he will lose the land in question, as well as what he paid for it, which shall be forfeited to the religious house. He will also be required to pay the rent for which he bound himself, just as if he had made a legal contract, and he will obtain no benefit from the property of the poor which was uselessly transferred to him under the emphyteusis.

(1) All these provisions shall be observed, subject to the abovementioned penalties, and notaries, even though relying upon Imperial authority, must be careful not to draw up any instruments with reference to such contracts, but shall have the fear of exile before their eyes, with the understanding that they never will return; nor shall judges venture to authorize the execution of any false documents, or perform any act for the purpose of confirming those which already have been executed, under the penalty of being deprived of their insignia of office, their rank, and their property, in accordance with the Constitution of Leo.




The same punishment shall be inflicted upon those who, in violation of Our law, either pledge, sell, or melt for the purpose of alienation, any sacred vessels, for We think that they who presume to commit an impious act with reference to sacred utensils consecrated to God should be punished with the same, or even with a greater penalty. Still, an exception may be made in the case which We have mentioned regarding the redemption of captives, where the souls of men are released from death and chains by the sale of inanimate vessels.

The same rule applies (as We have frequently stated) to the alienation of public supplies of grain, as We have ascertained that such supplies exist not only in this Most Fortunate City, but also at Alexandria as well as at Theopolis, and also, perhaps, in other provinces. Whenever this is the case elsewhere, the present law is applicable and shall be observed.



For the reason that it is probable that someone, for the purpose of evading this law, may attempt to obtain from Us a pragmatic sanction authorizing the purchase of ecclesiastical property, We hereby prohibit everyone, of whatever rank or political station, or those immediately attached to Our service, or anyone residing among the people, from doing anything of this kind; and We decree that it shall, under no circumstances, be lawful to produce a pragmatic sanction for the purpose of acquiring immovable property belonging to churches, monasteries, convents, or any other religious establishments. The

quaestor who authorizes such a transaction will be liable to a fine of a hundred pounds of gold. Judges or other magistrates who sanction it will be liable to the same penalty; notaries who have drawn up the agreements shall be punished in accordance with the Constitution of Leo, of pious memory; and bishops and stewards who can refuse to obey any pragmatic sanction of this description shall forfeit the priesthood, if they accept it and allow it to be executed, and ignoring these laws, they comply with the terms of the pragmatic sanction.

(1) It is necessary for laws which are promulgated for the common and general welfare of all to be of more force than those enacted for the benefit of individuals to the prejudice of such as are of general application. It is for this reason that a special enactment for the purpose of leasing or transferring ecclesiastical property by emphyteusis has been deemed necessary.



Stewards, or other ecclesiastical officials who are entrusted with the management of church property, cannot be compelled under a pragmatic sanction, by persons who are in authority, to lease or transfer by emphyteusis the said property to anyone who has obtained the pragmatic sanction; and anyone who does so will not only render himself liable to the penalty for sacrilege, but will also be subjected to all the fines and other punishments enumerated in this Our law.



We have ascertained that unusually flagrant violations of the law have been committed by the people of Alexandria and other Egyptians, as well as in other places in the Empire, and that persons do not hesitate to sell the monasteries themselves, or exchange them for other property, or give them away (a place is monastic in which an altar has been erected and religious service is performed, as is customary in churches, -or where the Scriptures are read, or the holy and ineffable communion is administered), so that these buildings consecrated to God are transferred to private ownership and uses; hence We absolutely prohibit this to take place in the future, permitting no one to violate this law, and We declare that everything done in contravention of the same shall be invalid. We impose the forfeiture of the purchase-money upon those who receive the property, the vendor shall lose what he sold, and both the property and the purchase-money shall belong to the church of the diocese and the monastery. By this means it is provided that whatever has been alienated fraudulently shall be returned to the monastery, and that no hypothecation

of the property shall be of any force or effect, but shall be void, and the property itself be restored to the monastery to which it belongs.



As We forbid injurious alienations to be made, so also We prohibit the acquisition of property which is unprofitable. For many questions have been submitted to Us in cases where persons have bestowed worthless lands upon a church or other religious house, or have sold such lands as being valuable, when this was not the case, as they were barren in the beginning, and, on this account, the religious house suffered a loss. Hence We forbid officials in charge of religious establishments to do anything of this kind, and We require them to inform themselves absolutely concerning the property in question; for if they do not use every effort to this end, when a contract is made and property which is either sterile or injurious is transferred to a church, a monastery, a hospital, or any other religious foundation, the contract shall be void, and he who fraudulently alienated the property shall take it back, and the steward, abbot, or official in charge of the said religious house or orphan asylum shall be personally liable for the loss resulting from the transaction. If, however, the agreement was of such a nature that money was given along with the property, it shall belong to the religious house, and he who paid it will be entitled to an action against the official who made the contract, as We have previously stated.


This law shall, by all means, be observed with reference to the alienation of property belonging to churches or other religious foundations, in accordance with the terms of the Constitution of Leo of pious memory, and if it provides for nothing else, it still neglects nothing on this subject, and shall apply to all the provinces governed by Roman law and subject to the authority of the Catholic Church, and must be perpetually observed and executed by the patriarchs of every diocese as well as by the metropolitans, bishops, priests, stewards, abbots, and superintendents of hospitals, orphan asylums and all other similar religious institutions, and be maintained by them in all its force; and everyone is authorized to denounce those who violate it, or fail to observe its provisions. For anyone who does this is worthy of praise, as he does not merit the name of a false accuser who exposes any violation of the laws, for he performs a pious action and one which is beneficial to all religious houses.

All judges throughout Our Empire, no matter what their rank, or whether they are in the civil or military service, shall see that this law is enforced; this especially applies to the most glorious praetorian prefects throughout all the dioceses, as well as to those invested with less important jurisdiction, who are designated spectabiles, for We

include the Augustal proconsular and spectabile Counts and other officials of the East, and the magistrates who are inferior to them that is, those of consular rank or the Governors of provincesas well as the defenders of cities. All persons in civil, military and public employments are required to observe this Our law, for the promotion of the public welfare and the increase of the piety of the entire country; and those who violate it shall be liable to the penalties which We have previously enumerated.

We hereby confirm whatever has been enacted in former chapters, or by Our predecessors, with reference to the leasing of ecclesiastical property, and it shall remain inviolate; nor shall any innovation take place with reference to this Our present Constitution, for We authorize the preservation of the provisions in other laws when they conform to this one which We have promulgated, as it has greater scope than that enacted by Leo of pious memory, and is sufficient to remove every pretext for the alienation of property belonging to the Church.

Your Holiness, as well as those who may succeed you in the Pontifical See, will take measures to carry into effect the provisions which have been enacted by Us. May the Lord preserve you for many years, most Holy and Religious Father.

Given at Constantinople, on the seventeenth of the Kalends of May, during the Consulate of Belisarius.



The Emperor Justinian to John, Praetorian Prefect, twice Consul and Patrician.


We pass entire days and nights in reflecting upon what may be agreeable to God and beneficial to Our subjects, and it is not in vain that We maintain these vigils, but We employ them in attempting to deliver those who are subject to Our government from care and anxiety; and, undertaking this Ourselves, We attempt, in every way, to do what may render Our people happy and relieve them of all onerous charges and impositions, with the exception of duties and taxes. We have found that great injustice has been committed in many instances, and, if this is not the case at present, it has been so at other times; and this oppression has impoverished Our subjects to such an extent that they have been reduced to indigence, taxes cannot be collected, and the lawful and customary tribute be obtained, without the greatest difficulty; for, when the Emperors try to obtain money from magistrates by selling them their offices, and the latter, in their turn, indemnify themselves by extortion, how can those subject to taxation endure these unjust impositions as well as the lawful contributions for which they are liable?

(1) Hence We have thought that any changes which We make in Our provinces should be liberal, and for the general welfare. We believe that this can be accomplished if the Governors invested with the civil administration of the provinces keep their hands clean, and abstain from accepting anything, remaining content with the remuneration given them by the Treasury. This, however, cannot take place unless they obtain their offices without purchasing them, and give nothing either to officials or to other persons in order to obtain their influence. Although the suppression of unlawful gains of this kind may cause the Empire some financial loss, We, nevertheless, think that Our subjects will ultimately be benefited by it, if they are not imposed upon by magistrates, and that the government and the Treasury will obtain a great advantage in having wealthy subjects, and that, under such circumstances, there will be a great increase of riches and extraordinary prosperity. For is it not clear to all that anyone who gives money to obtain an office does not merely disburse it for that purpose, but pays out still more to the persons who procure it for him, or promises to do so ?

Where money is thus corruptly used in the first place, many hands are required to aid him who made the donation, and if he does not make the payment out of his own property, he must borrow, and in order to do so will appropriate that of the public, as he must obtain enough from his province to pay his debts, both principal and interest, and indemnify himself for what he has borrowed; and he will also, in the meantime, incur greater expense, and the judges and subordinates attached to his office will do the same thing; and he will make secret acquisitions with a view to providing for the future when he will no longer be in authority. For which reason he collects three times the amount of what he has paid out, and sometimes more, or even ten times as much if the truth be told, and the revenues of the Treasury are diminished to this extent, for what should have been paid into it if they had been entrusted to honest hands is collected for the private use of the official, which renders Our taxpayers poor, and their indigence which is caused by his conduct becomes a source of reproach to Us. How impious is such conduct, and of how many thefts is it the immediate cause ?

Those who administer the affairs of the provinces, thinking incessantly of what their offices will cost them, discharge many criminals by selling them freedom from prosecution, and convict many who .are innocent, in order that they may profit thereby; and this not only occurs in pecuniary cases, but also in prosecutions for crime in which the death penalty is inflicted; and many persons in the provinces, including priests, decurions, various officials, owners of property, citizens, and farmers, flock to this city with good cause, complaining of injustice, and accusing the magistrates of theft.

Not only do these things occur, but also the seditions in cities, and public disturbances which take place everywhere, go unpunished, in consideration of money paid. Corruption is undoubtedly the cause of these evils, it being the beginning and the end of all wickedness,

confirming the truth of the sacred precept that avarice is the mother of all crime; especially when it is not confined to private persons, but even takes possession of the minds of magistrates. For who cannot steal without danger? Cannot anyone commit robbery with the certainty of appearing innocent in the eyes of the magistrate when he knows that he has purchased everything with gold, and that no matter what illegal act he may commit, he can escape by the payment of

The result of this condition of affairs is homicide, adultery, violence, wounds, the rape of virgins, commercial difficulties, contempt of the laws and judges, all of which are attributable to venality, and the immunity sold to criminals in the same manner as a vile slave. We are unable to consider or enumerate the evils resulting from thefts committed by the Governors of provinces, and still no one is courageous enough to accuse them of having corruptly purchased their offices.



Having reflected upon all these matters, and discussed them with Our Most August Consort whom God has given Us, as well as conferred with Your Highness, and been advised by you, We enact the present law, by which We direct that no one of proconsular rank, nor any Imperial Deputy who, up to this time, has been appointed; nor any Count of the East, nor the incumbents of any other offices, whether they are proconsular or governmental (which derive their names from Consuls and Governors), who have been especially mentioned in the notice following the present law, shall give anything for his appointment; and that no donation whatsoever shall be made to any judge, magistrate, or any of those charged with the administration of the government, in order to obtain an office, or shall be bestowed upon anyone for the sake of his influence, but all offices shall be obtained gratuitously, and very little be expended for the procuring of commissions; for We have placed at the end of this Our law a statement setting forth what ought to be paid for this purpose to the Imperial Laterculus, and what to the court of Your Highness; which We have done in order that the proceedings may be simplified, and no loss be sustained by the magistrates.



We decree that it is necessary for the Vicegerent of Asia, who is also the Governor of Pacatian Phrygia, to be no longer designated in this manner, but for the future to be called the Count of Pacatian

Phrygia, and to receive from the Treasury under that title what he formerly received by way of subsistence and emoluments, without any diminution thereof; nor shall he hold the two offices, but those of Governor and vicegerent shall be combined, and he shall be styled Count, and, along with his subordinates, shall be responsible for the discharge of public duties and other requirements without the division of his office in any way, all official services being performed by the exercise of a single authority. He shall be liable for the collection of both subsistence and taxes. He will be entitled, as We have previously stated, to the salaries of both offices with which he was formerly invested, and as he is now Count of Pacatian Phrygia, he shall no longer be Vicegerent, and his jurisdiction will not hereafter extend to the other dioceses of Asia, but he shall bear the title of Count of Pacatian Phrygia, and must remain content with the same.




We decree that the same thing shall take place in the government of Pontus, for We order that hereafter two administrations shall not exist there, but only one magistrate, who shall be styled the Count of Galatia, shall have jurisdiction. He shall command the military forces, just as he does at present, and shall be entitled to the emoluments of both offices, but his jurisdiction shall not extend beyond the limits of Galatia, for We do not give him authority over any of Pontus, but over Galatia alone; nor will he be responsible to other magistrates, but shall have but one court in which he will preside over a single province, and, together with his judge, shall be liable for the collection of taxes.



We do not grant any magistrate, either civil or military, the right to appoint deputies in any city of the province of which he is Governor; and if any of those appointed to this office should knowingly commit an act of this kind, they shall be deprived of their places, and others shall be appointed in their stead.



We hereby decree that the offices of Count of the East and Governor of Antioch shall be consolidated, and constitute a single administration, under the name of Count of the East, who shall administer the

affairs of Syria and Syristensis, and be entitled to the emoluments of both offices. We confer upon the incumbent the rank of vicegerent, and he, with his subordinates, shall be liable for the collection of taxes and the maintenance of civil and public order.



We desire all persons to be subject to the authority of the Governors of Our provinces; and this applies to all cases, whether pecuniary or criminal matters are involved. Those who are appointed for the discharge of civil functions by special judges shall also be responsible in fiscal and criminal cases. Governors of provinces must not permit officers despatched from Our court, or from any other, to carry sentences into execution, or to receive fees beyond those prescribed by Our law; and if they should knowingly permit this to be done, they themselves will be liable for any damages sustained by Our subjects.

We grant the latter authority to have recourse not only to the magistrates by whom the said officers were sent, but also to Ourselves, so that We, being informed, may take such measures as may be proper. Where the Governors ascertain that any of these officials have employed their authority to commit acts of violence against Our subjects, We grant them authority to make investigations, and deprive those who are guilty of their employment, and to execute Our commands in the provinces in the manner stated in former laws. For We forbid them to use any unlawful means for the acquisition of gain, and where they discharge their duties properly, We direct that they shall be honored and respected in every way, and enjoy the fruits of their fidelity.





Therefore, where anyone has been appointed to office by Us, he must call God to witness in Our presenceand if We should be absent, in the presence of Your Highness and the Officials who administer your See, the Count of Our Sacredx-large sses, the Quaestor of the Imperial Palace, and the Count of Private Affairs, and also in the presence of the Chartulary 1 of Our Bedchamber, who is charged with

1 The term chartularius was generally used in the Greek and Latin Churches to denote the custodian of charters and other public documents establishing the title to ecclesiastical property. In this instance it seems to designate an official, one of whose duties it was to determine the qualifications, and keep a record of the admission of candidates for government service.ED.

appointmentsand swear that he has never offered to give anything to obtain either office or influence; that he did not promise anything, or agree to send anything into a province, or offer anything to the prefects or other officials, or their attendants, nor has bestowed anything upon anyone for the purpose of obtaining his support, but has obtained his position absolutely without expense to himself; and that he will not take anything from the public except his regular emoluments, which are all that We allow him to accept;. that he will administer his office with clean hands, and be accountable to God and to Us.

Your Highness, as well as those who will succeed you, are hereby notified that if you, or the officials attached to your office, should accept anything from candidates beyond what has been established by Us as customary, and which We have decreed should be considered sufficient, you will be subjected to severe punishment; and where any superior magistrates have presumed to receive anything from persons who are seeking office, or permit any of their subordinates to do so, and, having been informed of it, do not take measures to correct this abuse, they shall not only pay quadruple the amount which they have received, but shall also undergo Our just indignation, and be deprived of their offices; and if their attendants and subordinates should attempt to collect more than what has been prescribed by Us, they also shall be subjected to the penalty of quadruple restitution, and shall forfeit their offices and their property, and, in addition, be liable to the penalties which their offences deserve.



Those who in this manner assume the duties of government, without having incurred any expense, must by all means give special attention to the collection of taxes, and, by the exercise of severity, compel those who are negligent to make payment, and be absolutely in-flexible in this respect, without considering the gain which they might acquire by being lax in the discharge of their duty, and treat those who are prompt with paternal kindness. They should also not display any violence towards Our subjects, nor exact anything unjustly from them, but be equitable in their decisions, as well as in the maintenance of public order, prosecuting crimes, but everywhere guarding the rights of those who are innocent, inflicting punishment according to law upon such as are guilty, and treating Our subjects generally as fathers do their children, discriminating between the innocent and the guilty and punishing the latter, dispensing justice in all public and private matters, not acting alone and independently, but always consulting with their attendants and subordinates, so as to avoid punishing the innocent, which is more dishonorable than if they themselves had participated in the illegal acts.

Hence Your Highness must be careful to select for the service of the government honest men who are experienced in financial matters, and have already held office in the curia,, or discharged some other magisterial employment. For who does not respect and honor a man for his integrity when he has been appointed to office by Us, or by Your Highness, and has a good reputation because he is of the highest character, above all when he has obtained the office gratuitously, and does not attempt to enrich himself by acting dishonestly in the province, or plan to acquire wealth with the connivance of some one who pays out money, but is solely influenced by the desire to commend himself to God and to Us, and enjoy the greatest distinction with the expectation also of receiving a great reward?

(1) If anyone should violate this law and be proved guilty of theft during his administration, and it should be established that he had either paid money to obtain his place, or had received it for any cause while he was in office (as both of these acts are equally reprehensible), he is hereby notified that he will be liable to the confiscation of his property and to exile, as well as to the penalty of being scourged. A person who accepts anything from him (as We have previously stated) shall be subjected to severe punishment, for We require the hands of provincial magistrates to be clean, in order that We may protect Our subjects.

We also desire that the laws which impose penalties upon persons occupying the offices aforesaid shall be enforced against all who are guilty, without distinction. And if an official charged with the administration should be guilty of an illegal act, or if he should inflict any injury upon, or permit any false charge to be brought against, any of Our subjects, We hereby authorize the inhabitants of the province to apply to the bishops and primates of the diocese, that they may address petitions to Us setting forth the offences of the said official. For as soon as We are informed of this, We shall send someone into the province to make an examination of the case in which injustice was said to have been committed, and inflict the penalty for the same, in order to serve as an example, and deter anyone else from acting in this manner hereafter.



In accordance with former constitutions, every Governor, after he has relinquished his office, must remain for the term of fifty days in the province which he formerly ruled, showing himself publicly and ready to answer any demands which may be made upon him. If, however, he should take to flight before the said term of fifty days has expired, he shall be arrested in the same manner as a dishonest slave; and We give Our subjects permission to detain him in the province, and to exact from him everything which they may illegally

have given him in the presence of the bishop (the examination not being committed to writing), until he returns everything he is proved to have stolen; and if the inhabitants of the province should find that any theft has been committed by the Governor, they shall have the right, or rather be required to communicate the matter to Us; so that, being informed that he has sold justice for money, We may subject him to the penalties aforesaid, in addition to which he will be liable to punishment by Heaven for having violated the oath which he took at the time of his inauguration.

But if the Governor should, for some reason or other, make up his mind to flee from the province before the said fifty days have elapsed, then he shall be arrested wherever he may be found, and be returned to the province in which he administered his office, and he shall return fourfold the amount which he is proved to have received.




It should, under all circumstances, be observed that Our subjects are not authorized to proceed against their magistrates except in case of extortion, and not even then unless the Governor has been extremely active in the illegal exaction of sums of money, or corrupt in the execution of persons guilty of crime, for only in such cases do We authorize them to take measures against him.

On the other hand, where Governors have clean hands, and have collected taxes with honesty, We prescribe the severest penalties against those who presume to bring charges against them after they have relinquished their office; and when, having left the province after the time prescribed by law, they are not treated with honor oti their return. For those who, subsequent to the enactment of this law, may be appointed Illustrious Provincial Judges, must consider what distinction they will attain if they observe it, as well as what difficulties they will encounter if they disobey it. For it would be absurd for magistrates, who torture vile thieves and do not relax their efforts until the stolen property is returned, to themselves remain unpunished after having committed the most flagrant thefts, and who do not blush at the evil example they afford to persons who are honorable, free, and everywhere respected, and being worthy of Our esteem are justified in cherishing the hope of promotion.^

(1) Nor do We permit the distinguished judges or other magistrates to inflict oppression or injustice upon anyone, or to countenance the institution of any civil proceedings against them, in order that We may preserve Our dignity, and that they may manifest the purity of their intentions and their devotion to Our service. For all Our subjects are informed that, in order to promote their welfare, guard them everywhere against loss, and contribute to their repose, so

that they may not be compelled to leave their respective provinces and travel into foreign countries, We have enacted the present law, which We dedicate to God to be published on festival days by the reverend ecclesiastical authorities, and especially by those of the same communion, in order that all persons may regard their magistrates rather as fathers than as thieves and persons plotting to deprive them of their property.

(2) It is also necessary for you, who are Our subjects, being conscious of Our anxiety for your welfare, to pay your taxes without diminution, and with all punctuality, and not compel the officials to adopt extreme measures, but to act in such a way as to show Us by your conduct that you are deserving of Our indulgence, and that you are not insensible to the favor and solicitude which We are inclined to manifest for you. Being aware of this, and knowing that the magistrates are responsible for the payment of taxes, and that it is clear that their administration is at their own risk, you must avoid all improper delay, and not willingly violate the laws to the extent of provoking harsh acts of the Governors, which may be necessary to secure the inevitable fiscal exactions; and you also know that diligence is required to meet military expenses, including those contracted through the invasion of the enemy, and that these things cannot be accomplished without money, and admit of no delay, We, not consenting to the diminution of the territory of the Roman Empire, have recovered all Lydia, reduced the Vandals to servitude, and, with the assistance of God, hope to achieve still greater results, for whose accomplishment, however, taxes must be promptly paid without diminution at the times prescribed. Wherefore, if you notify the magistrates and they assist you in the payment of what is due, We shall praise their zeal, and approve your good intentions, and the concord existing between you and them will be for the advantage and welfare of all.



All Our subjects should sing hymns of praise to God and to Our Saviour Jesus Christ for this law, which gives them the free exercise of their faculties, permits them to live in their country with safety, and to obtain justice from magistrates. When We promulgated it, We intended to dedicate to God the justice which it contains, and also to commend Ourselves and Our Empire to Him in order that We may not seem to depise oppressed persons whom He has entrusted to Our care, but, imitating His kindness, exercise benevolence towards them in every respect. Therefore, as far as We are concerned, this law shall be consecrated to God, since in framing it We have omitted nothing which We could think of that would be available for the protection of Our subjects. For, desiring to repress all dishonesty and base thefts, and retain Our subjects in peace through the agency

of provisional magistrates, We have gratuitously bestowed government upon them, in order that there might be no inducement to oppress those for whose benefit We have exerted Ourselves; disdaining to imitate such of Our predecessors as made appointments in consideration of the payment of money, and, concealing the gifts bestowed upon them, granted permission to Governors to abuse their authority; and while they were considered just, still could not protect their own subjects from corrupting magistrates, nor consistently proceed against the latter for the reason above stated. We believe that the government will receive sufficient revenue from the taxes imposed upon the people, and that no necessity will arise to annoy Our subjects by the imposition of other burdens.



We think that what has already been decreed by Us should be included in legislation of greater scope, and set forth in more explicit terms, in order that Our meaning may be clear to all; for We decree that the illustrious Governors of the provinces of Our Empire who, mindful of their official oath, have been appointed without expense, shall be so favored by Us that no one in their jurisdiction can institute legal proceedings against them, whether for violence, for criminal offences, or for such as arise from injuries, public sedition, or the collection of taxes; but all persons shall be subject to their authority, and they shall not expect the ordinary judges to proceed against guilty persons, nor shall they file any accusations before them, but shall remain content with this Our law, by which We have conferred full power upon them; and no one shall, in the cases aforesaid, be permitted to avail himself of any special privilege for the purpose of committing crime with impunity. For if one has reason to fear magistrates who, because they have received money from Our subjects, prefer everything else to God and Our law, he, on the other hand, need not apprehend anything from those who act honorably, dispense justice to Our subjects, and observe the law under all circumstances.

(1) For this reason We place the soldiers stationed in the provinces under the control of the Governors, so that the latter may not require any order from Us or from Our magistrates in order to avail themselves of their services, but they shall make use of the present law, and show it to them, and call upon them for aid in enforcing their commands. If, however, the latter, being aware of these facts, should fail to obey, they shall lose their military emoluments, as well as run the risk of corporeal punishment, and We have made this provision in order that there might be no need for other magistrates to send officers to pursue thieves, or prevent violence, who, summoned for this purpose, themselves are frequently guilty of greater offences, and, availing themselves of plausible pretexts, are instrumental in

causing the commission of the most atrocious deeds. For where the Governors of provinces, discharging the duties of the highest magistracy, perform the functions prescribed for them by Our law, who would be so bold as to file an exception against them in court, or adopt any other measures of this kind?




We forbid the glorious Commander in Chief and all Our magistrates to send into the provinces officers in the pursuit of thieves, or for the purpose of suppressing violence, or dispersing persons who are armed. Those who have been appointed for this purpose and, after the promulgation of this law, presume to do anything of this kind, are hereby notified that, if arrested by Our provincial magistrates, they shall be placed in chains, and that We, after the matter has been brought to Our attention, will subject them to severe penalties. Those who have despatched them on such an errand shall be liable to a penalty of thirty pounds of gold and shall, in addition to this, suffer the consequences of Our righteous indignation.

Hence the Governors of provinces must, to the extent of their authority, act in such a way as to render themselves justly and lawfully feared by all, constantly bearing in mind that if they should unworthily abuse the administration and authority conferred upon them by Us, they will be liable to the punishment which We have previously prescribed, and that not only while they remain in office, but even after they have relinquished it, they will be liable to prosecution. For We do not give them permission to depart from the provinces over which they had jurisdiction until the fifty days prescribed by law have expired, whether this is done on account of their being recalled, because they have taken to flight, or for any other reason whatsoever; they being well aware (as We have previously stated) that they shall be returned to the province which they governed, and undergo all the penalties which We have previously enumerated, whether they come to this Most Fortunate City or betake themselves elsewhere.





Magistrates shall take the oath which We have mentioned above. Where commissions are sent to any provinces, magistrates must be sworn in the presence of the archbishop and other principal ecclesiastics, and in this way they will be invested with official authority. Any magistrate appointed either in this city or in a province shall, as soon as he has received his commission from Your Highness,

execute a bond to the Treasury to insure his proper levy of taxes, in such terms as you may approve.

This law shall be applicable to all magistrates subsequently created who, from the present time, shall be appointed without any expense, and will only be subject to the laws already enacted. No penalty established by this Our law shall hereafter apply to those already in office, unless they are detected in dishonest practices after its publication.


Therefore, Your Highness, being informed of the present law, will proceed to have it published everywhere throughout the provinces in your jurisdiction, and see that it is formally executed by the Governors; so that they, being aware of Our solicitude for Our subjects, and the care which We have exercised in the selection of honest magistrates, and considering how much has been undertaken for the public welfare, may not fail to assist the government in this good cause.

Given on the sixteenth of the Kalends of May, during the Prefecture of Belisarius.

Edict Addressed to all Pious Archbishops and Holy Patriarchs Throughout the Earth.

We, "having in view the interests of the government entrusted to Us by God, and desirous of living in the practice of justice toward all Our subjects, have enacted the present law, which We think proper to address to Your Holiness, and by your agency have published to all the inhabitants of your province. We therefore commit it to the care of Your Reverence and the other ecclesiastics, and if any of its provisions are disregarded by magistrates the matter should be referred to Us, in order that none of those regulations which have been piously and justly approved by Us may be violated with impunity. For as Our unhappy subjects have been subjected to illegal fiscal exactions, and have suffered violence through the dishonesty of magistrates, due to the sale of the administration of provinces, We have attempted to remove these evils by the enactment of the present law.

You must not fail to report to Us any violation of this constitution, otherwise you will be responsible to God (to whom We have consecrated it) for all the injustice committed in Your diocese; and when you are present in any of the provinces, you will communicate to Us the names of such magistrates as are just, as well as those of such as disobey Our law; in order to enable Us to punish or reward them, as the case may be. When this law has been published and becomes known to all persons, you will deposit it in the holy church along with the sacred utensils, as being itself dedicated to God, and written for the security of the men created by Him.

Your Highness will act even more advantageously for all persons in your jurisdiction if you should cause this law to be engraved upon tables or stone, and placed at the portals of the holy church, as this measure will be beneficial by affording all persons the opportunity of reading it, and making themselves familiar with its contents.


If, indeed, We require purity in the life of judges, it is clear that there is much more reason that We should not permit defenders of cities to either give or receive anything whatsoever. For as soon as they have obtained their commissions, they will be required to pay into the court of the Most Glorious Prefect (where they are appointed in x-large cities) the sum of four solidi, and if the cities are small, three solidi, and nothing more than this. They shall receive nothing from anyone where their salaries are paid by the Treasury. Where they receive nothing from the Treasury, they can accept only what is provided by Our Constitution; otherwise, if they themselves, or those who are called chartularii, or anyone attached to their service, should take anything, they must refund fourfold the amount and be deprived of their offices; and, in addition to this, they shall be punished by perpetual exile, be subjected to corporeal punishment, and be compelled to surrender the defence of the province to men who are better than they are.

In the observance of the present law, it will be your duty to ascertain every act done in contravention thereof, in order that no violation of the same may remain undiscovered, and that the culprits, by concealing their offences, may not go unpunished, but Our subjects be treated at all times with equity and justice. If, however, after the promulgation of this law, any judges should not abstain from illegal acquisitions, they are hereby notified that they will, in accordance with its provisions, render themselves liable to punishment.

The Edict Addressed to the Inhabitants of Constantinople is as follows:

The law which We have just enacted and communicated to Our Most Glorious Prefects shows you how much interest We take in your welfare. We have published it in the form of an Edict, in order that all persons may become aware of Our solicitude; and you should render thanks to God, and sing hymns of joy to Our Saviour Jesus Christ, because of the exertions which We have made for your benefit.


Done at Constantinople, on the seventeenth of the Kalends of May, during the Consulate of Belisarius.

This Copy of the Law is Addressed to Dominick, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of Illyria.

Magistrates shall be sworn in accordance with the form of oath communicated to Your Highness. Those whom you appoint to office

1 The list of salaries which follows has been omitted, as containing nothing of interest or value at the present time.ED.

shall be installed by virtue of commissions issued by Us, which commissions you will give them; and they shall take the above-mentioned oath before the Bishop of the city in which they are, and the inhabitants assembled in your palace, as well as in the presence of members of your court, and those who exercise curial or other public employments, to whom We desire that Your Highness shall show all proper consideration.

You must be careful not to obtain any profit by the appointment of magistrates, and not permit them to be injured by anyone, and see that those who are serving in Our army, or who are invested with curial offices are promptly paid their salaries; for We expressly charge Your Highness and your successors to provide for their necessities. Hence, when you send their commissions to the Governors whom you appoint, you, as well as Your successors, must direct them to protect in every way magistrates who are exercising curial employments, and to exact absolutely nothing from them, and not cause them any loss; and you must notify the said magistrates that if they do not comply with what We have decreed they will incur the severest penalties.

We also wish you to restrain and punish the avarice of the defenders of cities, who have no right to take anything from Our subjects, and who must be content with what is allotted to them by the government. If, however, any of them should not, in accordance with ancient custom, be entitled to any salary under these circumstances, they may receive some small compensation from Our subjects, which should be given to them voluntarily rather than exacted by compulsion; and they must accept nothing more than what is necessary to maintain them in a moderate condition of life. If they should accept anything more than this, they shall be condemned not only to make quadruple restitution, but also to undergo perpetual exile as well as corporeal punishment.



"I swear by omnipotent God, by his only Son Our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Holy Spirit, by the glorious, perpetually Virgin Mary, by the four Gospels which I hold in my hand, by the holy archangels Michael and Gabriel, to be faithful to Our Imperial Masters Justinian and Theodora his wife; to discharge with the greatest fidelity the duties of the administration of that part of their Empire and government that their kindness has entrusted to me; and that I will devote all my efforts to that end, without any fraud or deceit whatsoever. I also swear that I am a communicant of the Most Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and that no time I will oppose it, or permit anyone else to do so, as far as lies in my power. I also swear that I have neither given nor will give anything to anyone for the sake of obtaining my office, or in consideration of his influence, and that I have

promised to send nothing out of the province, and shall, by way of contribution, send nothing either to the Emperor, to the Illustrious Prefect, or their subordinates, or to anyone else whomsoever. As I have received my appointment without having paid anything for it, I swear to act honorably with the subjects of Our Imperial Majesties, and to be content with the allotment of subsistence made to me by the Treasury. I also swear to devote especial attention to the levying of taxes; to collect them inexorably from persons who are not prompt in payment; to show no leniency to them; and not to have in mind any profit which I might be able to obtain in case I were more indulgent. I promise not to extort anything from anyone whomsoever; or grant anything to anyone either through favor or dislike, beyond what he legally may be entitled to; to treat with paternal kindness taxpayers who are prompt in discharging their duties, and to protect as much as I can the rights of all the subjects of Our Most Pious Imperial Magistrates. I also swear to be impartial in deciding the cases of private individuals, as well as those which concern the maintenance of public order, and only to compel my subordinates to do what is equitable; to prosecute crimes; and in all my actions to practice the justice which may seem to me proper; and to preserve the innocence of virtuous men, as well as inflict punishment upon the guilty, in conformity to the provisions of the laws. I also swear (as I have already done) to observe the rules of equity in all public and private transactions; and if I should ascertain that depredations have been committed against the Treasury, that I will not only see that they are punished, but will also supervise the officials under my control, and induce them to exert the same honest efforts in the performance of their duties that I do; and if any of them should be found to be dishonest, I promise that his delinquency shall be made good, and that he shall be immediately dismissed.

"If I should not observe all these things which I have sworn to, may I, in the future as well as at present, undergo the terrible punishment of Our God arid Saviour Jesus Christ, share the fate of Judas, the leper Gehazi, and the anxiety of Cain, as well as undergo the penalties imposed by Our pious magistrates."

A copy of this oath has been sent to Dominick, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of Illyria.




The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Blessed and Holy Archbishop and Patriarch of Ancient Rome.

No one is ignorant of the fact that, in ancient Rome, legislation originally emanated from the head of the Pontificate. Hence We now deem it necessary to impose upon Ourselves the duty of showing that

We are the source of both secular and ecclesiastical jurisprudence by promulgating a law consecrated to the honor of God, which shall be applicable not only to this city but to all Catholic Churches everywhere, and exert its salutary vigor over them as far as the Ocean, so that the entire West as well as the East, where possessions belonging to Our churches are to be found, or may hereafter be acquired by them, shall enjoy its advantages.

The ancient law permitted temporary exceptions to be filed within thirty years, and, where an hypothecation existed, it granted a slightly longer time; but We do not consent for the rights of the holy churches to be affected by such a restrictionespecially in matters through which they may sustain injury, or where something is due to them but We decree that an exception can be pleaded against them only after the lapse of a hundred years; that all ecclesiastical privileges shall remain intact during the aforesaid term; and that, as aforesaid, no exception will be available in opposition to them until after the expiration of a century, as this is considered to be the utmost term of human life.

Therefore Your Holiness will extend the benefit of this law to the Catholic Churches of the entire East; and to those parts of the West in which they have any possessions, so that the protection of Divine property may be an act worthy of Omnipotent God, and wicked men will no longer be secure in the perpetration of wrong, and the means of committing sin will be taken from them; but anyone who is innocent shall not be molested where his rights are not based upon some false allegation dependent upon lapse of time. This Our law, enacted in honor of Omnipotent God and the venerable See of the Apostle Peter, shall be observed in all lands of the entire West, and be applicable to the most distant islands of the Ocean; and Our solicitude for the subjects of Our Empire induces Us to declare it to be perpetual. Returning to the privileges granted by this law (as has been stated above) We desire that it shall be observed not only in the Western provinces subject to the Roman Church, but also in the East where are situated any possessions of the said Church, or which the latter may hereafter acquire; that is to say, that it must be observed by all superior and inferior magistrates who are Christians and profess the orthodox faith, or may hereafter do so, under the penalty of being subjected to celestial punishment, and of being liable to a fine of fifty pounds of gold.

This law shall not only be applicable to cases which may hereafter arise, but also to such as are at present pending in court.


As soon as Your Holiness has received the present law, which We have dedicated to God, you will place it among the sacred utensils; and We shall see that it is executed, and that all ecclesiastical possessions remain inviolate.

Given at Constantinople, on the sixth of the Kalends of May, during the Consulate of Belisarius.



The Emperor Justinian to Hermogenes, Master of the Imperial Offices, Ex-Consul and Patrician.


As We have made suitable provision with reference to other matters, We have thought it advisable to pay attention to Our referendaries, and especially because they are extremely useful to Us. These officials were not numerous in the first place, but We have appointed more than formerly existed, in order that We might be of assistance to many of Our subjects, who, through them, address petitions to Us.1

(1) But on account of the multitude of petitions presented to Us, certain persons have requested an increase of the number of referendarii, and have not desisted until We have raised it to fourteen. Having, from time to time, been influenced by these applications, a great number of referendarii have been appointed, and now, being apprehensive that the honor of the position may be diminished, We think that the number should be reduced; but it is not Our intention to deprive those at present in office of their employment (which would be an act unworthy of Imperial Majesty), but We shall make no further appointments, not even of persons who are agreeable to Us, and faithfully discharge the duties required of them; and We shall retain the present referendarii in office, until their number is reduced to eight, which number shall always remain the same hereafter, and shall not be increased for any reason at any time; these officials being exhorted to make up for the deficiency by the exercise of their diligence and zeal in the service of Us and Our Empire. Nor shall anyone hereafter demand that this number be increased, for an application of this kind will not only not be entertained, but he who presents it shall be subjected to a fine of ten pounds of gold, and also be deprived of his office.

We desire that the referendarii restricted to the number aforesaid shall be endowed with justice and all other virtues, and be prepared for any emergency. We are satisfied that nothing honorable can be accomplished by a great multitude, because among so many few will be found who live in consonance with the rules of justice. Hence the

1 The office of referendary, whose name indicates his functions, and who was, as stated in the text, an official charged with the reception and delivery of petitions addressed to the Emperor, as well as with the communication of the decisions of the latter, dated from the sixth century. The incumbent also established the order in which cases were to be heard on appeal, and frequently acted as intermediary between the great ecclesiastical dignitaries of the Church of Constantinople, and the secular authorities of the Empire. He was the prototype of the English chancellor, for the referendarius, whose employment is suggestive of the services performed by his immediate successor, was an important member of the government during a great part of the Anglo-Saxon domination.ED.

number of referendarii shall, in accordance with what We have previously stated, be limited to the number aforesaid.


Your Eminence, having been informed of these matters, must see that what has been decreed by Us is at no time disobeyed, and that those who violate this law shall pay the penalty prescribed by it, without being allowed to ask that it be remitted, nor shall this be done. This law of Ours, while reducing the number of referendarii, affords an opportunity for the practice of virtue, which never occurs in a numerous body of officials, and especially among those whose duty it is to report to Us the requests contained in the petitions of Our subjects, whose morals, indeed, may be good, but who, like their fathers, have passed their lives in petitioning Us for relief. Your Eminence will exert yourself to carry into effect the measures which We have decreed and promulgated in this Imperial law.

Given at Constantinople, on the Ides of May, during the Consulate of Belisarius.

All churches in the neighborhood of Viminacium, which are under the jurisdiction of a special archbishop, shall no longer be subject to the authority of the Archbishop of Thessalonica.







The Emperor Justinian to Catollianus, Most Blessed Archbishop of the First Justinianian.


We, being desirous of conferring many and various benefits upon the province in which God first permitted Us to see the light, do hereby establish there the center of sacerdotal authority; intending that the temporal head of the first Justinianian shall be not only a metropolitan, but also an archbishop; and that his jurisdiction shall include other provinces, that is to say Dacia upon the Mediterranean, as well as Dacia Ripense, Second Mysia, Gardania, the province of Prasvali-tana, Second Macedonia, and that part of Second Pannonia in which is the City of Bacense. After the establishment of the Prefecture of Firmia, all the authorities of Illyria, civil as well as ecclesiastical, resided in that city; but after the time of Attila, when this country was laid waste, the Praetorian Prefect Appennius fled from Firmia, and took refuge in Thessalonica, where the bishop followed him; from which date the said city became the seat of the prefecture as well as

of the episcopal authority. The bishop of Thessalonica, however, did not thereby obtain any prerogatives over the other bishops merely through the exercise of his own authority, but acquired supremacy by being in the shadow of the Prefecture.

Now, as by the aid of God, the public territory is increased, and both banks of the Danube are occupied by towns subject to Our Empire, and Viminacia, Recidua, and Litterata, situated on the other side of the Danube, are subjected to Our dominion, We have deemed it necessary to establish in the province of Our birth the glorious prefecture formerly situated in Pannonia, for the reason that it is not far distant from Mediterranean Dacia, and Second Pannonia; and, moreover, while Our subjects were occupied with the hardships of war, the public welfare suffered because of the great distance which separated Macedonia from the seat of the Prefecture, it appeared to Us necessary to bring this seat nearer to the upper provinces, in order that they might obtain the advantages incident to its proximity.

Hence Your Holiness, and all the prelates of the first Justinianian diocese, shall have the rank of archbishop and enjoy the superior privileges, power, and authority that this title confers over other ecclesiastics, and it will be your duty to ordain them; and you will enjoy the first sacerdotal dignity in all the aforesaid provinces, and the highest honors of the priesthood will attach to your See; the provinces will have no other archbishop; and you will, in no way, be subject to the Bishopric of Thessalonica.

When any dispute arises between the judges and other magistrates, you and your successors must decide and finally dispose of it, without recourse being had to anyone else; and all the provinces above mentioned, while recognizing you as the head of the Church, shall obey your orders, whether they are issued by you personally and of your own authority, or whether this is done by members of the clergy whom you may designate for that purpose; for you are invested with supreme power, unlimited sacerdotal supervision and the right of appointment.

We desire Your Highness to select a bishop for the City of Aquis, situated in the province of Dacia Ripense, so that the said city may no longer be subject to the spiritual jurisdiction of the Bishop of Southern Thrace, as We "desire that his authority shall only be exerted in the South, and, under no circumstances, at Aquis. The Bishop of Aquis shall have that city with all its castles, territory, and churches under his jurisdiction, so that he can banish the heresy of the Bono-sians from that city and country, and bring them into the orthodox faith.

We communicate this law to your venerated See, in order that Your Holiness may become acquainted with these provisions, and that the church of Our country may forever preserve the remembrance of a benefit which We have bestowed upon it for the glory of Omnipotent God. When anyone who happens to occupy your See shall have departed from life, We order that his successor shall be ordained by the Venerated Council of Metropolitans; and, as it is proper for

the archbishop to be honored by all the churches of his jurisdiction, the archbishop of Thessalonica shall not be allowed to participate in the proceedings of the said Council.


Your Holiness will not delay to see that this law is carried into execution.

Given on the twentieth, during the Consulate of Belisarius.



The Emperor Justinian to Florus, Most Glorious Count of Private Affairs.


We consider the laws heretofore promulgated with reference to incestuous marriages to be imperfect, as they permit persons who contract such marriages to go unpunished, and deprive any offspring resulting from them of the property of their father; so that those who have committed the sin do not suffer any penalty, and those who are innocent are punished as if they were guilty.


Hence, for the future, We decree that if anyone should contract an unlawful marriage, and one contrary to nature (which the law characterizes as incestuous, abominable, and prohibited), and has no children by a former legal marriage, he shall at once forfeit all his property, and shall have no control over anything given to him by way of dowry; but his entire possessions shall be confiscated to the Treasury, on the ground that when he could have contracted a legal marriage he preferred to violate the law, confuse his descendants, and wrong his family; and yielding to such passions as for the most part influence animals who are deprived of reason, committed an impious and wicked act.

He shall not only be liable to the confiscation of his property, but shall also be deprived of his office, and sent into exile; and if he is of inferior rank, he shall be scourged, in order that he may learn to live chastely, restrain himself within natural bounds, and not delight in transgressing the laws of nature which have been prescribed for Our conduct.

If any woman, who is aware of this law, should disobey it, and contract an incestuous marriage, she shall be liable to the penalty established by the same.




Where any man who contracts an incestuous marriage has any children or grandchildren who are the issue of a former matrimonial union, or any more remote descendants, they will be entitled to the estate of their father as soon as he has been punished, and will be released from his control; but they shall be required to furnish him with food and with the other necessaries of life, for even if he has violated the laws and acted in an impious manner, he is still their father.






This Constitution shall take effect from this very day, and no one living in chastity shall be affected by it, and where persons are innocent they shall not incur its penalties. Those who have already contracted incestuous marriages shall, by no means, go unpunished, although We do not subject them to the full measure of Our indignation. Hence where incestuous marriages have taken place, but have subsequently been dissolved, no matter in what way, the parties concerned shall not be liable to prosecution; but if, on the contrary, this Our law should find anyone who has already contracted such a marriage, he shall be permitted to leave his wife within the term of two years, and when the separation is not feigned but genuine, she shall not be permitted to return to him.

If, however, he should resume his relations with her, a fourth part of his property shall be confiscated to the Treasury, and the remainder shall go to his children, whom We consider as innocent of the offence of their father; for if they are alone, and there are no other legitimate children the issue of a former legal marriage, they shall not be deprived of the estate of their father; unless the latter, justly prejudiced against them for a good reason, on account of some offence which they have committed, excludes them from the succession to his estate.

(1) But where there are any children, the issue of a former lawful marriage, three-fourths of the estate shall go to those who are legitimate and innocent, unless they have been guilty of some injury which, according to the law, renders them unworthy of succeeding to their father; and the latter shall be permitted to leave the remaining fourth of his property to the children born of the in-

cestuous marriage, who, sustaining an injury, shall be considered as free from blame; and We, under these circumstances, order that they, rather than the Treasury, shall be entitled to the said fourth. We grant these different shares to the respective children not only where they are bequeathed by will, but also in case of intestacy, in accordance with the rule of inheritance which We have established. These provisions shall not only be observed where the father abandons the woman he illegally married, but also where he afterwards contracts a legal marriage with another, having issue by both. We grant this delay in the exercise of Our clemency, allowing the woman who contracted the former marriage to retain her dowry. But if he who is living in a criminal union does not dissolve it within the two years hereinbefore prescribed, he shall lose his property, his wife shall be deprived of her dowry, and the penalty aforesaid shall be imposed; nor shall the children born of the marriage be entitled to any share of their father's estate or of their mother's dowry. If, in this instance, any children should have been born of a preceding lawful marriage, they will be entitled to the entire estate (after the fourth due to the Treasury has been deducted), and they will be released from his control without, however, being freed from the obligation of supporting him, and providing him with the necessaries of life, as We have previously stated; and the dowry of the incestuous wife shall be confiscated to the Treasury. Where, however, there is no issue by a former legitimate marriage, then the Treasury will be entitled to the entire estate; for We order that, where anyone who has married illegally in this way, he shall be placed on the same footing as one who did not leave his wife in the time prescribed by Us, Who, in Our law, have declared marriages of this kind to be both incestuous and abominable.



As doubt has arisen in certain localities with reference to the legitimation of children as set forth in one of Our laws, We, as the author of the same, have thought it proper to make some additions to it, and thereby remove the doubt referred to. We promulgated the law for the following reason, namely: where a father has any legitimate children by a first wife, who died, or from whom he was separated, and then forms a connection with another woman, with whom he could contract a legal marriage, and, in consequence, children are born to him, either before or after any dotal agreement has be^en drawn up; or where children are born before the dowry has been provided for, but none are born afterwards; or if, after having been born, they should die; certain authorities have held that such children are not legitimate, as other legitimate children, the issue of the first marriage, are living, which opinion is consonant with neither justice nor reason. For if We have shown that children of this kind are rendered legitimate by the execution of a dotal contract, there is no doubt that those

born before the safd contract was drawn up are also legitimate in every instance.

It is still more reasonable to hold that, if the father should predecease his legitimate children, and his natural children born before the dotal contract was made, although none may have been born afterwards, or, if this is the case, they should be dead, Our law will permit him to follow his own inclinations when making his will in favor of his descendants; provided he does not, in any respect, violate the rules which reserve for all children a certain part of his estate. The result of this is that both these classes of children succeed to their father equally, whether ab intestato, or under the terms of his will (that is to say, by testamentary disposition or by operation of law). Why should We decree anything additional, when what is allowed by the laws, even against the provisions of the will, is sufficient to confer upon them the lawful name and rights of proper heirs, and render them competent to take all to which they are entitled under this appellation?


Your Eminence, to whom this law has been communicated, will hasten to put it into execution and bring it to the attention of the Governors of provinces, in order that all persons may learn of the care which We take to protect pure and innocent children, and how odious to Our laws illicit unions are.

Given at Constantinople, on the sixth of the Ides of October, under the Consulate of Belisarius.


THIRTEENTH NEW CONSTITUTION. The Same Emperor to the Inhabitants of Constantinople.


We do not know the reason why the title bestowed by the ancient Romans upon magistrates charged with the preservation of order has been exchanged for another. For in the part of the country in which We were born, such officials were styled Prefects of the Watch; and in the Greek language they are called, We do not know why, Prefects of the Night, just as if it were necessary to call them to the discharge of their duties at sunset. The name of night seems to be added to that of Prefect, for the purpose of designating the officer whose duty it was to patrol the streets, and preserve order during the hours of darkness, but We think it is advisable to change this name; because, if 'the offices could be divided, and the Prefect of this Most Fortunate City only took cognizance of acts committed during the day, and another should be appointed having jurisdiction over offences com-

mitted during the night, a conflict of authority would inevitably result. Hence all. magistrates dislike this obscure and unintelligible title of Nocturnal Prefect, and regard the discharge of its functions as resembling a penalty, thinking that such an office is unworthy of appointment by the Emperor.


Therefore We, having carefully considered this matter, have come to the conclusion that this public employment should be entirely recreated, and committed to persons who may administer it without any reference to their nocturnal duties; for they shall hereafter have jurisdiction by day as well as by night.

(1) Hence, as the name of Praetor was very acceptable to the ancient Romans, We have thought that that of Praetors of the People should be conferred upon officials whose duty it is to maintain public order, as well as to suppress popular seditions. And just as the other Praetors preside in the Senatorial Court, where questions having reference to guardianships, freedom, and other matters of this kind arise, in like manner, the Praetors whom We create shall have jurisdiction in cases in which the rights of citizens are involved, and they shall hereafter be called in Latin, as well as in Greek, Praetors of the People.

The designation of Praetor is as honorable as that of Consul, and, indeed, does not differ greatly from the latter; it is connected with the law, for the Praetors are obliged to publish edicts, they decide the law in unison with it, and they are attached to the Consulate. Thus, as formerly the Consuls presided over the principal curia, and were at the same time the princes of the people who governed them, so, likewise, there are at present Praetors who discharge in the Senate the official functions which We have just referred to, and at the same time the Praetors of the People will be charged with the preservation of peace and will provide for the public welfare.

(2) This office, indeed, was one of great dignity and honor in ancient Rome, and was exercised with distinction not only under the Emperors, but for a long time afterwards; and the Great City in receiving it was far from considering it as unimportant. We have not been able to ascertain the time when any of these offices at the disposal of the government we're not thought to be entitled to the same respect; they were, by degrees, divested of the eminence once attaching to them, and being no longer bestowed by the Emperor, they passed under the control of the Prefects of this Most Fortunate City, from whom their incumbents received orders; the consequence of which was that the duties of this branch of the magistracy were very badly performed. If, however, anyone should compare the conduct of public affairs in ancient times with that of the present day, in this respect, he will learn that a private tribunal of cohorts existed which possessed almost all the attributes which now attach to the municipal magistracies.


Therefore, We, having given the subject due consideration, hasten to restore everything to its former honorable condition, and promulgate the present law, in order that thefts and associations of thieves may be less frequent, and that the decisions of magistrates, being no longer based upon unworthy motives, may cease to be regarded with contempt. For as pecuniary cases, in the determination of which litigants do not run any other risk than that of losing their money, are heard by magistrates of superior rank, and We take particular pains to see that cases of this kind are disposed of, there is still more reason for Us to exercise every precaution in the appointment of officials, whose duty it is to decide concerning the lives of Our subjects, because when they condemn any of them to death, they can no longer restore to him that of which he has been deprived.


Hence We decree that We Ourself shall appoint the Praetors of the People, and that no one can exercise the functions of this office unless by virtue of Our Imperial Letters. We shall only select for this place the illustrious or respectable Consistorial Counts or the distinguished Praetorian Tribunes and Notaries, or such other persons as have already been in office, and whom We regard as qualified, and worthy of Our confidence; which rule We establish in order that the Praetors of the People may practice what is honorable in all things, and especially in the administration of justice; since, when hearing cases of homicide, adultery, felonious assault, robbery with violence, and other crimes of this kind, they have the right to inflict the penalty of death.

(1) Hence it is necessary for magistrates having jurisdiction of offences of this kind to be honest, irreproachable in character, and worthy of public confidence; and they must abstain from extortion, or the acceptance of bribes, and keep their hands clean. They shall have a Council which has been approved by Us, and will receive an annual salary of a certain sum of solidi sufficient to prevent them from having recourse to theft or venality, beyond which they shall be entitled to no compensation whatever.

(2) No money or presents of any kind shall be bestowed upon anyone for the purpose of influencing his decisions, as was customary in former times. For he who gives anything to a magistrate because of his office is guilty of a crime equal in its enormity to that of which the magistrate himself is guilty who, in consideration of the money given him to render judgment in a criminal case, decides in accordance with the oath of the defendant.


We have learned that the Prefects of the Night Watch have been in the habit of employing persons of bad character, such as informers, poisoners, pickpockets, and a number of other criminals whom it is

much more preferable to punish than to afford a living in this way. Such informers do not accomplish anything beneficial, as the thieves know who they are, and this enables them to steal with more safety, and corrupt their judges. Hence those whom We now appoint to the Prefecture of the People shall hate and avoid persons of this kind, and make use of agents who are of good reputation in the prosecution of thefts and other crimes, clear the city of robbers, and only employ men who are skillfulwhom, however, they should treat with severity to arouse their fears, and compel them to perform their duties with diligence and good will. If the Praetors properly discharge their duties, there will be no thieves; stolen property will be easily recovered; those who are guilty apprehended; their number will be diminished; and they will have cause to fear a body of magistrates whom no one can purchase with money.

The Praetors of the People shall take cognizance of all crimes, no matter how serious they may be; they shall repress popular seditions; and being obedient to Our orders should render themselves worthy of honor; the inferior judges shall, in their turn, exert themselves to assist their superiors in rank, and do everything with a view to meriting the esteem of the Imperial Government, and the respect of all good citizens.

(1) If a fire should happen to break out in this city, at any time (which, however, is something We do not wish to occur), the Praetors are required to be present and take measures to prevent thieves from stealing the property of the unfortunates whose houses are burned, and to save as much as they can from the violence of the flames. If they are diligent in performing their duty under such circumstances, the increased distinction of their office will be reflected upon them, and they will see how much better it is to act honestly than to incur contempt by employing numerous persons in the commission of injustice; and they will also learn that gain acquired in an unlawful manner is of no permanent advantage, and that what has been improperly obtained is soon lost.

Thus, by appointing Praetors of the People for Our subjects, We have intended to provide for their welfare, so that they may receive the benefit of an honest administration. The said eminent Praetors of the People shall have the advice of a Counsel worthy of their office, as We have previously stated.


We decree by the present law that twenty soldiers and thirty firemen shall assist the Praetors of the People, shall obey their commands, and be authorized to arrest any persons behaving improperly, as well as to maintain public order. They are hereby notified that, if they discharge their duties as they ought to do, they will have the aid of God and enjoy Our approbation, as well as deserve a longer term of office; for who indeed would wish to remove anyone who acts with propriety and justice?


Whenever the Illustrious Prefect of this Most Fortunate City sends anyone to be punished by the Praetors of the People, the latter shall ascertain with certainty the rank and position of the culprit; the reasons which have induced him to kill a man, to deprive him of some member, or to perpetrate any similar offence; they can obtain their information from the Prefect himself, if the latter is aware of the circumstances; and, after their investigation, they must condemn the accused person by a just sentence either to the loss of life, or of one of his members.

(1) As We concede to the respectable Praetors of the People such dignity as may render them worthy of holding their office from Us, and as We grant them subsistence, a title suitable to their rank, and the other advantages already mentioned, We, on the other hand, require them to serve Us with honesty and vigilance, and perform their acts with pure and disinterested motives; because if they should be guilty of malfeasance, of theft; or of giving thieves immunity and not using every effort to detect them; or if they should subject honorable men to the penalty of death; and if, in conclusion, they should not expel persons guilty of minor offences from this city, the Capital of Our Empire, they are notified that they must render an account of their behavior, not only to God, but also to Ourself; that they will be responsible for all the evils which Our subjects may suffer; that they will incur Our indignation, and be rendered infamous, as well as be dismissed from the office which We have bestowed upon them. For We perform great labors and incur great expense, in order to preserve Our subjects from false accusations, and to prevent them from losing their lives or their fortunes, without knowing why this has taken place.


Therefore, this law having been brought to Your attention, and being convinced that We have omitted nothing therein which may be advantageous to you, you must pray for the prosperity of Our Empire which protects you, and provides for the welfare of everyone, thus extending its paternal care over all of you. This law shall be communicated to all the citizens within the jurisdiction of Constantinople.

Given at Constantinople, during the tenth of the Kalends of October, during the Consulate of Belisarius.




FOURTEENTH NEW CONSTITUTION. The Emperor Justinian to the People of Constantinople.


The name and calling of procurer was so odious both to the ancient laws and to those of the Empire that many legal enactments have been published against persons committing offences of this description. We, Ourselves, have already promulgated a constitution increasing the penalties against those who are guilty of such wicked deeds, and We have, in addition, supplied by other laws what Our predecessors omitted, and have by no means lost sight of this matter, for We have very recently been informed of the evil consequences which such traffic has caused in this great city.

We are also aware that certain persons are accustomed to employ cruel and odious means for the purpose of obtaining wealth; making a practice of travelling through the provinces and other places, in order to deceive young girls by promising them clothes, and, after having obtained possession of them, they bring them to this Most Fortunate City, place them in their houses, provide them with wretched food and clothing, and deliver them up to others for the purpose of debauchery, they themselves' taking the entire profit of this wretched trade obtained from the bodies of their victims; and that they also draw up contracts by means of which the girls aforesaid are compelled to continue their wicked criminal life as long as those.who have possession of them may desire.

Some of them, indeed, require sureties to be furnished, and to such an extent are their illegal acts carried, that they are perpetrated in almost all this Imperial City, as well as in the countries beyond seas; and (what is worse) houses of this kind exist in close proximity to holy places and religious establishments; and at the present time this wickedness is so prevalent that any persons who wish to withdraw these unhappy girls from the life that they are leading, and legally marry them, are not permitted to do so.

Some of these wretches are so unprincipled as to deliver over to corruption girls who have not yet reached their tenth year, and in order to ransom these unhappy beings for the purpose of contracting lawful marriage, great sums of money are exacted. Ten thousand means of effecting their ruin exist which are not susceptible of being

described in words; and the resulting evil is so great, and the cruelty so widespread that, while it was first confined to the most remote parts of the Capital, it now not only extends over the city itself but also over all its suburbs.

Persons informed Us of this condition of affairs some time ago, and recently the Praetors have been directed by Us to make inquiry concerning it, which they have done, and made their reports to Us, and We immediately afterwards deemed it necessary to implore the assistance of God, and purge the city quickly of this iniquity.

(1) Therefore We direct all persons to live as chastely as possible, which, with confidence in God, can alone profit the souls of men. As there are many weak women, We absolutely forbid that any attempt should be made by fraud, artifice or compulsion to lead them astray, keep them in a house to be prostituted, or buy them for any other purpose. We also forbid all persons from drawing up contracts with these objects in view, of requiring sureties to be given, or of adopting any means by which they may force these wretched beings to lose their chastity against their will.

Nor shall it hereafter be lawful to deceive young girls, and induce them to prostitute themselves by promising them clothing, food, and ornaments.

We strictly prohibit all these things; and, after having considered the subject carefully, We direct that any bonds which may have been executed to secure the performance of such contracts shall be of no effect; and that those who are guilty cannot recover any gifts which they may have made to the girls with whom the said contracts were made; and that they themselves shall be expelled from this Most Fortunate City as pestiferous persons, and destroyers of public morals, because of having reduced free women to slavery by requiring them to lead a licentious life, deceiving them, and bringing them up for promiscuous debauchery.

Hence We decree that if anyone should hereafter remove a girl against her will, and compel her to remain with him, and, without providing her with sufficient food, appropriate for himself the wages of her prostitution; he shall be arrested by the respectable Prsetors of the People of this Most Fortunate City, and condemned to death. We have already entrusted the Praators of the People with the prosecution of persons guilty of pecuniary theft and robbery; and is there not much more reason for Us to do so where crimes against chastity are concerned? If any owner of a house should rent it to a procurer for this purpose, and, knowing who he is, should not eject him; he shall be sentenced to pay a fine of a hundred pounds of gold, and his house shall be confiscated. If anyone hereafter should draw up an agreement in writing as evidence of a contract of this kind, and receive a surety with reference to the same, he is hereby notified that he will not be benefited in any way either by the obligation of the girl, or by that of her surety; for as her agreement is void in every respect, her surety will, under no circumstances, incur any liability. The guilty person shall, as We have already stated, undergo corporeal punish-

ment, and shall be expelled far from this great city. We exort the women of Our Empire to remain chaste, and not allow themselves to be persuaded or compelled to embrace a life of debauchery; We absolutely prohibit panderism, and when it is committed, We shall punish it.

These provisions apply to this Most Fortunate City and its environs, as well as to the adjoining provinces, which, from the beginning, have been subject to Our government, and especially those which have been donated to Us by God, for the reason that We desire to retain pure and without blemish the gift which He has seen fit to confer upon Our Empire, for We believe that the present law, enacted in the interest of chastity, will be acceptable to God, and be of great benefit to Our government, and that as a reward for it God will bestow all manner of blessings upon Us.


We communicate this law to You, Our citizens, who will be the first to experience its beneficial effects, in order that you may be aware of Our zeal for your welfare, Our desire for the preservation of good morals, and the extent of the labors by means of which We hope that Our Empire will be preserved in the enjoyment of every advantage.

A copy of this law, with a, slight change of phraseology, is also addressed to the Most Glorious Master.

As soon as Your Highness has received a copy of this law, you will publish it by a special proclamation, and communicate it to all the subjects of Our Empire, including not only the citizens of Constantinople, but also those of the provinces, who shall implicitly obey it; and all to whom it is directed shall receive it as being authorized by God, to whom it is dedicated.

Given at Constantinople, on the Kalends of December, during the Consulate of Belisarius, 535.



The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Pratorian Prefect, twice Consul and Patrician.


Unless We make haste to recall the defenders of cities to the performance of their duties, their ancient titles will no longer be applicable; for, as formerly, names indicative of their functions were given to magistrates, and that of defender certainly indicates that such officials were charged with seeing that no injustice was committed; so in like manner, in paternal language We style them defenders, because they were appointed to defend persons suffering from

the acts of wicked men. When, however, the name of defender is treated with contempt in many parts of Our Empire, and is so despised that its use is rather considered an insult than a distinction; the reason for which is that it is not so much a judicious choice as pity which is responsible for such appointments, they being conferred upon obscure men who have nothing to live upon, and who obtain these employments by solicitation. Then, defenders are entirely dependent upon the Governors, by whom they are removed at will, without any reasons, or on insufficient grounds, and are then replaced by others, who are treated merely as holders of the position; and as many removals take place during the same year, the result is that the officials, the municipal magistrates, and the citizens themselves have not the slightest respect for the defenders, nor is any confidence reposed in the documents which they execute, and which the defenders themselves refuse to draw up if the Governor forbids them to do so; for, being absolutely subjected to his authority, they comply with his slightest inclinations. When documents are drawn up by them in the first place, they only do this for money; and then, as there are no archives in which these documents can be deposited, they are lost; and no monuments of former times are ever found in the possession of those who receive them, but when a demand is made upon their heirs or other successors, they either do not have them, or where any are found they are not worthy of consideration, or have been defaced to such an extent that they can no longer be deciphered.

Therefore, as We have already decreed with reference to Governors, to whom We have granted great authority in the provinces, and who should exercise supervision over cities at a distance, We think that it is necessary to also regulate the conduct of defenders, and We believe that the relations existing between these officials will be advantageous to both, if We confer judicial authority upon the defenders of cities, for then the Governor of a province will be regarded as a judge of judges, and his office will appear more honorable than formerly, in accordance with the rule that the distinction of a superior magistrate is always increased in proportion to that of an inferior one.



Notice is hereby given, in the first place, that no man shall be allowed to reject the appointment of defender, and that all the nobles of cities shall be required to exercise its functions regularly in their turn, for We have learned that in the early ages of the Republic this course was productive of great benefit, hence no person can decline this office, even when he belongs to the rank of those who are styled illustrious, or is invested with a military employment, or can plead some privilege bestowed by the Imperial enactments, or produces a pragmatic sanction authorizing such an exemption. A list of the

principal inhabitants alternately eligible for the office of defender shall be drawn up, and when this list has been exhausted, each one of those included therein shall again begin to discharge the same public functions in his order; and this is provided in order that he who occupies this position in any city shall rather be considered as a judge than a defender. When the list is to be drawn up, all owners of property resident in the city, with the exception of those who do not have their domicile therein, shall be sworn.

(1) The defender who is about to assume office shall swear to perform his duties in accordance with law, and without distinction of persons, and shall (as is at present the case) be confirmed by Our Glorious Prefect. He shall remain in office two years, after the expiration of which time he shall be replaced by someone else; the Governor of the province shall not be authorized to remove him, but if he should not discharge his duty properly, the prefects must be notified, so that he may be dismissed by the same officials who appointed him.


We absolutely forbid Governors as well as defenders to cause substitutes for themselves to be appointed. For We do not wish magistrates in cities to be succeeded by any other persons than defenders, who alone shall represent them, and should exert all their efforts for the welfare of the cities in which they reside.


All wills, donations, and other documents of this kind shall be registered by defenders; and no Governor of a province shall prohibit any instrument from being drawn up or published, for We do not grant permission for anything of this kind to be done. We think it would be most absurd for men to be compelled to refrain from necessary transactions, in accordance with the unreasonable wishes of the authorities; and We desire full liberty to be granted everyone to make any contract he wishes, and publish the same; and even if what is done has reference to the Governor of the province, or to any other official, it still shall not be forbidden. For those who are in charge of the government, or hold'some position of responsibility, should conduct themselves so as not to prevent any charge from being brought against themselves, but, on the other hand, they should render their conduct so irreproachable that no occasion may exist for such- complaints to be made; and whether the Governor is in the city or not, no one shall be prohibited from filing documents with the defenders in any matter whatsoever, with the exception of such as are not in his jurisdiction, but belong to that of the Governor.

(1) Again, the defenders of cities shall, along with the other officials charged with this duty, collect taxes, and if anyone should prove refractory, and refuse to pay what is due, they must draw up

the papers necessary under the circumstances; and We order that this shall be done without delay; and also that they exercise strict supervision over persons of bad behavior, and obtain evidence against them.

They must also repress all public sedition, and, in every respect, exercise the functions of judges, especially when the latter are absent; and all the officials of the province who are in the city where the defender exercises his authority are required to obey and assist him, so that where the Governor is away, his presence will not seem to be necessary. Defenders shall have a clerk subject to their orders, as well as two officers to carry their decrees into execution.

(2) Defenders shall have jurisdiction in all pecuniary cases where the sum involved is not more than three hundred aurei; and Our subjects shall not be permitted to appeal to the illustrious Governors of provinces, where the amount in controversy is less than the aforesaid sum.


A plaintiff shall not estimate the property in dispute in excess of its real value, for the purpose of avoiding the jurisdiction of the defender, and bringing his action before the Governor of the province. If anyone should commit an act of this kind, and the judgment shows that the property in litigation was worth less than three hundred aurei, and that its value had been designedly increased in order to bring the case before the Governor of the province, and prevent the defender of the city from deciding it, the plaintiff shall be liable to all the costs of litigation.


Appeals from the decisions of defenders of cities shall be brought before Governors. When officials are guilty of any abuse of defenders the Governors of provinces can punish them. If the Governors should fail to do this, We grant the defenders permission to have recourse to Your Highness, who will afford them any relief which may be proper. Defenders are authorized to prosecute persons guilty of crime, ^ust as Governors can do.

(1) When the office of defender of a city becomes vacant, it shall immediately be bestowed upon the person next on the list, who shall be sworn, and shall be confirmed by letters from Your Highness. We (as has previously been stated) by no means desire that defenders shall be permitted to substitute anyone in their places, lest, if this should be done, matters will again be involved in confusion.

(2) Your Highness will issue orders in every province for a building to be furnished in which the defenders can keep their documents, and someone must be selected to have charge of the same, in order to prevent their destruction, and enable them quickly to be found by persons desiring to inspect them; and thus archives will be provided for the defenders, and what hitherto has been lacking in cities will be supplied.


As the defenders of cities discharge the duties of their office without any compensation, when they are residents of a x-large city, they shall not pay more than four aurei to the court of Your Highness for their letters, and where they hold office in smaller towns, they will only be required to pay three aurei, as has already been prescribed by Our laws; but where they are paid by the public, they shall continue to receive their salaries, as has been customary.

(1) Defenders shall take cognizance of minor offences, and inflict proper punishment for their commission. Where persons are arrested for serious crimes, they shall place them in prison, and then send them to the Governor of the province, so that in this way every town will enjoy the benefit of a judicial examination. The entire province, being under the jurisdiction of a superior magistrate of high rank, will experience the beneficial effect of his wise administration, and the great care that Governors take for the benefit of those subject to them will be diminished, for the reason that defenders, in devoting all their attention to their own cities, will prevent oppression; remove the doubts which arise in the transaction of business; and (as has been often stated) will communicate to the government the names of persons who discharge their duties with fidelity.

When anyone opposes the levy of taxes, the Governors shall order the defenders to proceed against him, and they shall take measures to do so. Where, however, the appointment of a defender is made in any other way than the one prescribed, or someone appointed to this position in the order in which his name appears on the list refuses to assume its duties, whether this be on account of his dignity, his military rank, some special privilege, or for any other reason whatsoever, he shall be liable to a penalty of five pounds of gold, and after the defender then in office retires, he shall be compelled to take his place. For it is proper that this employment should always be exercised by the most distinguished inhabitants of the city in return for the residence which it affords them.


Your Highness will, by means of special proclamations publish throughout the provinces in your jurisdiction the provisions which We have determined to enact and promulgate by means of this Imperial law, in order that everyone, no matter what his rank or fortune, may become aware that Our solicitude extends to all persons, and that there is nothing to which We do not direct Our attention. Your Highness will issue orders to the Governors of provinces, and they, as soon as they have received them, will see that in every city a list of the most distinguished citizens who are eligible to perform the duties of defender is drawn up (as has already been stated), and that general appointments are made followed by the prescribed oath; to the end that the names in the list may be determined, and that, for the future, defenders may continue to exercise their functions for the term of

two years; and that, finally, when each one of those included in the said list for any reason fails to act, another may immediately be introduced in his stead (always after having taken the oath), whose selection shall be made by the bishop, the venerable members of the clergy, and other persons of good reputation in the city.

These provisions, embodied in a general law, shall (as already has been stated) hereafter be complied with in every respect. Defenders who are at present in office shall, if considered worthy, be included in the list, and shall serve the remaining portion of the two years, and in case their term of office has expired, they shall be replaced by others, provided that they themselves are not reappointed for another term of two years. If, then, such defenders as are considered eligible have not served the entire two years of their term, they shall do so, and, after the said term has elapsed, none of them shall remain in office; and when (as has just been stated) a defender is reappointed with the consent of the entire city, and without any opposition, he shall serve another term of two years, at the expiration of which time he shall retire without being eligible to reappointment, until his term again arrives, which rule We establish in order not to confer too much authority upon anyone by the frequency and duration of his terms of office.

This law shall be valid for all time, as We have drawn it up with the greatest zeal and care, and after having implored Divine assistance, We have communicated it to Our subjects.

Given at Constantinople, on the sixteenth of the Kalends of August, during the Consulate of Belisarius.





The Emperor Justinian to Anthemius, Most Holy and Sacred Archbishop of Constantinople, and Universal Patriarch.


We have recently published a law having reference to ordinations, prescribing that their number shall not be excessive, either in the Most Holy Principal Church of this Most Fortunate City, or elsewhere, and We now desire to confirm this law, and decree that it shall remain in full force. For as Our intention is to diminish the number of ordinations and reduce the expenses of the principal church of this city within reasonable bounds, We do not neglect anything to accomplish this, and therefore We promulgate the present law, which in no respect changes the former one, but is rather a continuation of the same, by means of which the Most Holy Principal Church shall enjoy still greater advantages.


We decree that if a priest, deacon, reader, or chorister should happen to die in any one of the holy churches dependent upon the principal church, and whose expenses are paid by the latter, a stranger shall not be ordained in his stead, before having previously inquired into the number of the clergy attached to the said church, for the reason that if it should exceed the established number, no ordination shall take place until the number has been reduced to the prescribed limit.

Where, however, the number of the clergy, being so small as to cause apprehension that the ranks will not be full, and it becomes necessary to appoint an ecclesiastic to take the place of the one who is dead, Your Holiness will inquire whether in any other churches than the principal one there is an ecclesiastic of the same order, who is in excess of the established number, and if any should be found, he shall be transferred to the church which has need of him, and there will be no necessity to make a new ordination. For in this way any ecclesiastics who are lacking in a church will be replaced by those who are in excess in another, their number will be reduced to the prescribed limit, and, by degrees, the Holy Mother Church will be released from its indebtedness.

Otherwise, if We did not adopt this plan, and ecclesiastics should be ordained the moment that anyone died in the church, the consequence would be that the same number would always exist, and that an indefinite time would elapse before the surplus could be disposed of.


Your Holiness will hasten to carry into effect these regulations which We have prescribed for the welfare of the churches. If this law should not be obeyed, and anyone should violate its provisions, he who has presumed to dispute Our authority is hereby notified that the ordination will be void, and the reverend stewards cannot claim any expenses from the principal church; so that in this way they may become aware of the penalty for their negligence.

Given at Constantinople, on the Ides of August, after the Consulate of Belisarius.



The Emperor Justinian to Tribonian, Quaestor of the Imperial Palace and Ex-Consul.


Your Highness is aware how many legislators have, each one in a single volume, written on the mandates of the Emperors in the ancient

books which enclose the laws of the Roman name. Therefore We, who have re-established the already perishing and diminished respect accorded to legislation, have determined not only to commission magistrates appointed to inferior and intermediate administrations of no matter what description, whether of judicial, consular, or higher rank, but, in addition to this, to lay down certain rules in conformity with which they can exercise their official functions in a praiseworthy manner. Hence We have composed a book of instructions, which, written in both languages, is appended to the present law. It is issued in both Greek and Latin, and addressed to Our officials in the language spoken in the countries where they perform their duties, in order that they may become familiar with their obligations; and they must not neglect to comply with the salutary rules which We have promulgated, but must employ them to govern Our provinces and the subjects of Our


Your Illustrious Authority, being charged with the quaestorial censorship, will order these instructions to be recorded in the book of laws, and deposited in the Imperial archives, so that when officials receive them with their commissions, they may not be ignorant of how they can render themselves useful to the government.

Given on the sixteenth of the Kalends of May, after the Consulship of Belisarius.

In the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ Our God, the Emperor Ciesar, Flavins, Justinian, Alananicus, Gothicus, Francicus, Germanicus, An-ticus, Alanicus, Vandalicus, Africanus, Pious, Fortunate, Glorious, Victor, Triumpher, Always Adorable and Augustus.

Although We have already stated in a law the manner in which those who are appointed to office should conduct themselves in the discharge of their duties, and have prescribed the oath to be taken by them, still, We deem it necessary to act with reference to you in the same manner as Our predecessors were accustomed to do, under the same circumstances, who issued certain rules called Imperial Mandates, directed to magistrates when assuming their offices, and which the latter were obliged to comply with.





As you have received your office without any expense to yourself, your administration should, above all, be pure in the eyes of God, of Ourself, and of the law; you must not attempt to profit by it to any extent, either great or small; you will not engage in any transaction injurious to Our subjects; you will remain content with the compensation given you by the Treasury; and, together with Your subordinates, You will observe the rules of law in every respect. In the first place,

You must vigilantly require the payment of the fiscal tributes; you must use every effort to insure the payment of all demands due to the Treasury; and You shall preserve at all times everything belonging to it; for as We come to the relief of private individuals who are suffering injustice, We also desire that the interests of the public may remain uninjured. Hence citizens must be kept free from all oppression, in order that they may easily and promptly pay their taxes; and if those who have been guilty of fraud, and still remain indebted to the Treasury, from this time forward discharge their obligations, they shall be released from liability.





Next, it is proper for you to see that the people do not foment sedition against one another, and that peace is preserved in all the cities given Us by God; while justice is dispensed from here to Our subjects, and Our conduct toward them is not, under any circumstances, determined either by the desire of gain, or by passion.



In the third place, you will endeavor to be mindful of equity in rendering Your judicial decisions, and summarily dispose of all cases of inferior importance, especially where the parties are of low degree; nor shall the proceedings in such cases be reduced to writing. You will avoid all unnecessary arguments, and only in a controversy where the property in litigation is under the value established by Our laws shall you permit the parties litigant to pay the costs provided they are able to do so.

Moreover, you will hear and determine all causes gratuitously; you will use every effort to prevent anyone from coming from a province to this city and annoying Us with his complaints. For you are hereby notified that We shall examine anyone who makes an appeal of this kind, and if after he has applied to Us We should ascertain that he has been refused justice, Our indignation will be directed toward you. But if he presumes to come to this Imperial City without having previously appeared before You, We shall punish him, and send him back without giving him an answer.





In the next place, it will be your duty not to allow any officials despatched by Us, or by any other magistrate or court, to oppress Our subjects, or extort from them anything more than is due. Where any requisition of this kind is made, and a complaint is filed, you must obtain indemnity for the person injured, and not permit anyone acting under orders of any court whatsoever, which have reference to the repair of aqueducts, harbors, highways, statues and walls, as well as the demolition of houses that have been erected in public places, or other similar matters, to do anything to the detriment of Our subjects, for We do not wish them to suffer loss under such circumstances. You will see that everything is done without injury, in all cases of this kind. If anyone who has been directed to carry out such orders should come into your jurisdiction, you must by no means receive him, unless he is the bearer of a written Imperial pragmatic sanction, and even then, although you may acknowledge it, you must not permit it to be executed before having notified Us, and obtained a second order to the same effect.

(1) You will also maintain the public works of cities in good condition, and obtain for the municipal magistrates the money necessary to repair buildings, bridges, highways, harbors, and other public works of the province in your jurisdiction; you will take good care of the ports and walls; and you will by all means give attention to, and cause to be performed, all labor beneficial to the people and advantageous to the towns.

(2) The soldiers stationed in your province shall be subject to your orders, whenever you have need of them to enforce your decrees. If you should find them disobedient, you can inflict on them a suitable penalty, and will cause the inhabitants of provinces who have been injured by their acts to be properly indemnified.


You will not permit persons guilty of crime to avail themselves of any privilege in order to avoid punishment; but you should only manifest indulgence toward those who are shown to be innocent of what they are accused. You must severely punish persons guilty of homicide, adultery, the rape of virgins, trespass with force and arms, and oppression; punishing the culprits according to Our laws, in order that the penalties inflicted may enure to the safety of all persons.

(1) You must restrain all your subordinates, and not permit them to plunder Our subjects; for as they are under your orders, it will be supposed that they have acted in compliance with your wishes.

(2) You will be careful in selecting your legal adviser, as well as all other officials attached to your service, and be sure to select a man of high character, and in every respect irreproachable, who will be satisfied with the salary paid by the Treasury; and if he should take any more than he is entitled to, and you should find that he is abusing your confidence, you must dismiss him from office, and select another adviser who, keeping his hands clean, will observe the law and the principles of justice.

(3) You must conduct yourself both in public and in private in such a way as to cause terror to malefactors and persons who are slow in paying their taxes, and be gentle and kind to such as are quiet and prompt, treating them with the consideration of a father.



You must not grant too readily or for a protracted period privileges which are established by oath, but this should only be done for a reasonable time, and not longer than for thirty days; and this is provided to prevent controversies among men from becoming interminable. If, however, you should grant a privilege to anyone orally, and afterwards someone should accuse him, you must keep your word to him, and have him brought before you and examine the case, still allowing him his privilege; and if it should be necessary to decide against him, you will do so and give him the choice of one of two things, that is, of either absolutely rescinding the privilege and himself executing the judgment, or, if he is unwilling to do this, of being sent back to the place of asylum, and there having your judgment executed, which you will have done with all due reverence for the locality.



You will not permit homicides, adulterers, and ravishers of virgins to enjoy the right of asylum in places where they have taken refuge, but you must remove them, and cause them to be punished; for it is not proper to show indulgence to criminals of this kind, as this right only applies to such as sustain injury, to prevent them from being oppressed by unjust persons. The privilege of taking refuge in temples is not granted by law to criminals but to persons who are injured, and it would not be possible for the protection of sacred places to be enjoyed by both those who commit wrongs and those who suffer them.

(1) You must see that the taxes are properly collected, even in the temples, as they are necessary for the maintenance of soldiers, as well as for the support of the temples themselves, and are useful to

the entire government. The defenders and stewards of the churches will assist you in this matter, and must not oppose those charged with the collection of taxes, or permit them, on this account, to be subjected to any violence or resistance, as they are notified that if they should do anything of this kind, they will be responsible to the Treasury out of their own property.



You will compel the collectors of taxes to state in their receipts the amount of immovable property, that is to say, the number of teams or yokes of animals, according to the method of enumerating them in different parts of the country, on which, as well as on what land, taxes are levied; as well as the amount of the latter, and whether it is payable in kind, or in money. And you must notify all persons that, if they have not complied with the laws previously enacted for this purpose, or the one which is now promulgated, they will sustain great loss of property, as well as the amputation of their hands.

If, indeed (as is sometimes the case), a collector should be found who says that he cannot estimate the amount of property to be taxed, We think that such persons are undoubtedly dishonest; however, neither the Treasury nor the taxpayer shall suffer any loss on this account, for the Treasury shall collect everything due to it without prejudice, and nothing more shall be collected from persons who have discharged their obligations and obtained regular receipts; for no one shall be oppressed, but the taxes shall be collected from all who owe them and paid into the Treasury. Notice shall be given to Our Prefects, to whom tax-collectors are required to show their registers, and if any doubt should arise with reference to the latter, the Prefect shall resolve them; and when the truth has been established concerning these matters the tax-collectors shall be obliged hereafter to describe in detail the various kinds of property subject to taxation, as has previously been decreed by Us.

(1) You will not permit officials of the curia or the census to be guilty of delay, and prevent the possession of land which has been sold from passing to the purchasers; but you will compel them to proceed without the change of ownership causing any loss of taxes, and whenever officers of the census state that the change of ownership should not be made, for the reason that the purchasers are insolvent, you will examine as to the truth of this allegation, without any expense ; and if the purchaser appears to be solvent, you will compel the officers of the Treasury to make the transfer of the taxes gratuitously.

If, on the other hand, you should find that the purchaser is insolvent, you must compel the vendor to state in the conveyance that he will be responsible for the payment of the taxes for which the purchaser will hereafter be liable, for We are aware that this course is pursued

in many of the provinces of the East. In this way no loss will result to the Treasury; the taxes will be paid by the possessors of the property; and it cannot be said that one holds it, while the other pays the tax on the same; for payment should certainly be made by the party in possession, and not by him who no longer has it.




If We desire you to travel into another province, you must be content with the salary which you receive from the Treasury, and not oppress Our subjects by compelling them to pay your expenses. You must not use the money of the province for this purpose, and neither you nor your subordinates shall require the inhabitants to furnish you with transportation, but you must travel with your own horses, and at your own expense. You must obey what We have commanded, even though you do not pass beyond the boundaries of a province, and some necessary occasion requires you to go from one city to another.


We absolutely forbid Governors to send deputies into the towns of the provinces under their jurisdiction, even though these deputies belong to the most distinguished classes of the nobility. Nor shall you permit any soldiers who may accompany you in your journeys to have their expenses defrayed, for We desire them to pay them out of their own salaries. If, indeed, they should not do this, but should take their expenses out of the taxes, and require horses to be furnished them, Our subjects must be indemnified, and you will see that the sums expended are deducted from the pay of the soldiers at your own risk.



You will not permit anyone to. cause annoyance on account of religion and heresy in the province which you govern, and you will oppose any order having reference to this subject from being executed within your jurisdiction; just as you will also, for the advantage of the Treasury, take care to investigate all innovations which may be attempted, and not allow anything to be done in religious matters which is contrary to Our orders. Where, however, either through the agency of bishops or other persons, an ecclesiastical controversy arises, you must hear and decide it along with the metropolitan of the province, and dispose of it in a way agreeable to God; preserve the orthodox

faith; secure the indemnification of the Treasury; and maintain the rights of Our subjects inviolate.





You will, in every instance, provide for the punishment of those who deserve it; you must not touch their property, but permit it to go to those entitled to the same either by blood or by law, according to their degree; for the property does not commit the crime, but those who possess it. Up to this time, the order has been reversed; persons meriting punishment have been discharged and deprived of their estates, and others whom the law calls to the succession have been punished in their stead.



We have ascertained that unjust protection is granted in Our provinces, and wishing to correct this in every respect, We forbid any person to assume the conduct of another's lawsuit, or to charge himself with contesting the title to property to which he has no right, or of promising to defend anyone to the prejudice of others, or with detriment to the Treasury. You will not permit persons to act for the owners of property in this way, for both the law and the Imperial favor should be sufficient to enable you to exert all the authority requisite.



You will entertain great aversion for persons who harbor the serfs of others, and you must compel them to return immediately what they have illegally received; and if they should remain for a considerable time disobedient, you will impose all the expenses of the province upon those having serfs in their possession. Where the serfs are said to be in other provinces, you will address public letters to the Governors of the same, stating therein that they are fugitives, and requesting that they be surrendered along with any property in their possession, and returned to the province of which you are Governor; and you will punish those who have harbored them by forcing them to pay the amount of depreciation suffered, through the absence of the serfs, by the land to which they are attached. Hence, they will make good the diminished value of the said land, and will understand what it means to injure others.

You will see that these provisions are executed, whether owners of land have harbored the fugitive serfs, or whether this was done by persons holding the property under lease or by virtue of any other lawful contract; for both of them must avoid obtaining what does not belong to them, thus wickedly profiting by the injury of others.



You are hereby notified that to place inscriptions asserting a claim to the land of others, or to inscribe a name as owner upon property in a city which does not belong to the person who does so, is a dangerous proceeding; and those who act in this manner are liable to have their possessions confiscated to the Treasury. For if anyone should attempt to obtain anything by the exercise of a right enjoyed only by the Government and the Treasury, he shall be personally responsible, and his punishment shall afford an example to others; and where he has any accomplices, they shall be subjected to the same penalty. Therefore you will observe all these provisions, being aware that Our opinion of you will be regulated in accordance with your behavior, whether you are disobedient, or comply with Our precepts and laws.



As soon as you enter your province, all the people of the metropolis should be assembled (We mean the bishop, the clergy, and the principal citizens), and you will cause Our Imperial instructions to be recorded in their presence, and post a copy of the same not only in the capital, but also in the other towns in the province, transmitting them by means of your subordinates without expense, so that all persons subject to your authority may see that you obey these regulations, and show yourself to be worthy of Our choice.


If you obey Our orders, you will exercise the functions of the office with which We have invested you with more glory and for a longer time; above all, if you were careful not to allow anyone, who is not a soldier, to make use of weapons. If you do this, you will render yourself very dear to God, to the laws, and to Us.

Again, if any person attempting to stir up sedition should, at any time, leave this great city either alone, or in the company of others, and repair to the province which you govern, you must make

diligent inquiry concerning him, ascertain the place of his residence, and inform Us of the same, in order that if investigation of his conduct should be necessary, he can be brought to this Most Fortunate City, and undergo the penalty which the law has prescribed in such cases.

Given at Constantinople, on the sixteenth of the Kalends of May, during the Consulate of Belisarius, 535.





The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Imperial Prefect of the East, Ex-Consul and Patrician.


The government of the Romans which, as someone has said, was certainly founded by God, has already many good laws relating to wills; Our Codes abound in them; and not only have ancient jurists and pious Emperors written on this subject, but We, Ourself, no less than Our predecessors, have devoted much attention to this branch of legislation. And, as We are accustomed to consider God in everything that We do, Our sole desire is to please Him, and to perform acts worthy of honor. With this object in view, We incessantly direct Our attention to laws which are agreeable to Nature, and corrective of former enactments ; hence We have frequently been surprised that jurists and Emperors only allowed the fourth of an estate to be left to legitimate children who have not been disinherited by their parents, which share was given the name of a debt, whilst they permitted the remainder of the estate to be disposed of as the father might desire; and he often leaves it to cognates, strangers, or slaves who have been bequeathed their freedom.

We are all the more surprised that the jurists and Emperors made no distinction where there are numerous children, even when they had not offended their parents; and, in every instance, even where there are ten, or a greater number, they did not allot them any more than three-twelfths of their father's estate. The result of this is that children who are in good circumstances during the lifetime of their father become poor after his death.






These reasons induce Us to amend the law, and to provide that where fathers or mothers have one, two, three, or four children, they shall be required to leave them not merely three-twelfths of their estates, but the third of the entire property, that is to say four-twelfths; and if the parents have more than four children, they must leave them half of their estates, namely, six-twelfths; and the four-twelfths where there are four children, and the six where the latter exceeds this number shall be apportioned among them in equal shares; for We are not willing that the allotment shall be determined inequitably through convenience in dividing the property (for where, under these circumstances, what is good is given to some, and what is bad to others, injustice will result), but such measures should be taken that each participant in the estate shall receive property of the same quality and quantity as the others; which will occur whether the father bequeaths his estate with the appointment of an heir, or distributes it by means of legacies or trusts. So far as the eighth, or six-twelfths belonging to the residue of the estate is concerned, the father shall be free to dispose of it for the benefit of his children or leave it to others; hence it is only after having done what they owe to nature, that parents shall have the right to manifest their generosity to strangers.

The advantages of the present law shall extend to all persons to whom are conceded the right to complain of inofficiousness, in instances where the ancient fourth of the father's estate was not left to them.



The law recently promulgated by Us concerning decurions, and which provides that nine-twelfths of an estate shall go to the sons or daughters of decurions, is an exception to the general rule; and the remaining three-twelfths may be disposed of by the parents in accordance with their wishes. All laws relating to inofficious testaments and ungrateful and natural children, and especially those enacted by Us, shall remain in full force; and, in accordance with what has already been stated, We only increase the amount of the legal shares.




We hereby prohibit an existing evil which, while it appears to have a lawful motive, is still productive of hard and bitter cruelty. For We

have ascertained that when persons who are abouf to die have left the entire usufruct of their property to their wives by will, not acting in a paternal manner as men should do, but manifesting weakness and disregard for duty by leaving their offspring the bare ownership of their estates. Wherefore, I think that the object of a will of this kind is to enable wives to obtain the property, and the children to die of hunger. For how can they be brought up and have their daily food after the death of their father when nothing has been left to them, and the hatred of the wife which perhaps has no reasonable foundation, and deprives them of their daily subsistence? It shall not be lawful, hereafter, for anyone who has children to act in this manner, for he must, by all means, leave them their legitimate share, which We now establish, as well as the usufruct and ownership of the property, if he does not wish his children to perish suddenly of hunger, but to live in health, and call him father.

We decree that these rules shall not only apply to the father but to the mother, grandfather, great-grandfather, and the wives of these persons; that is to say the grandmother, and great-grandmother on both the paternal and maternal sides.



In the future, the law which provides that children and grandchildren, who are not proper heirs or under paternal authority, shall not be entitled to the third part of the estates which their parents, when living, ought to have left them by will, shall not be observed. Nor do We except grandchildren born to the son of paternal grandparents, for they can receive the entire share to which their father would be entitled if he were living. Grandchildren, however, descended from a grandfather through a daughter, whether on the father's or mother's side, shall have a third less of the estate; but only one order of succession shall apply to grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as We are not willing that females shall be distinguished from males by obtaining a smaller share under such circumstances. For neither a male nor a female alone is sufficient for the propagation of the race, but as God has formed both for the work of generation, We also preserve the same equality so far as both of them are concerned.

(1) -We make this law even more comprehensive, for We decree that it shall be applicable to such children as are only legitimated by marriage, even though dowries were not given after the ceremony took place; for the reason that the undoubted affection manifested by the parties is a sufficient justification of the legitimacy of their offspring. Not the gift of a dowry, but the affection of those who were united, constitutes a marriage. This law shall apply to children who, in accordance with Our Constitution, become legitimate after the subsequent matrimonial union of their parents, and this shall be the sanction of their legitimacy.



We have considered Nature alone in the enactment of the following provisions, for many weeping children, who are in distress, have frequently addressed their petitions to Us; and, indeed, We have always treated them with indulgence, but We have blushed because We could not do this legally; and therefore We have enacted the present law in order to benefit Our subjects and afford them all a legal remedy. We hereby permit the fathers of legitimate offspring to leave to their natural children any amount up to one-twelfth of their property, which share they must divide with their mother (as was formerly the case), and, where there are no legitimate children, an amount equal to half their entire estates. These provisions are contained in laws formerly promulgated by Us, which authorize a father to transmit this lawful share either by will, or in any other way whatsoever.

On the other hand, the present law establishes the right of succession to the estates to the fathers of natural children, in case of* intestacy, and therefore lays down a new rule. For if anyone should die without having made a testamentary disposition of his property, leaving no legitimate issue (We mean children, grandchildren, or other descendants entitled to the succession), or a lawful wife, and the cognates, for example, or the patron who claims the estate, or even Our Treasury, is called to the succession (for it is Our intention not to show any partiality), and while the deceased was living he had in his house a free woman with whom he lived in concubinage, and by whom he had issue (We do not permit this to be applicable except where it is certain that the concubine and her children resided in the father's house), We grant these children their maintenance; and, no matter what their number may be, they shall, in case of intestacy, be entitled to two-twelfths of their father's estate, and shall share the said two-twelfths with their mother in such a way that she will have a portion equal to that of one of them.

This rule shall be observed, whether the father has children resulting from his cohabitation with a single concubine, or whether he has in his house other children of a concubine who is dead, or from whom he is separated; for in both instances We concede to all .of them two-twelfths of the property of their father who died intestate. Where, however, a father has been given to licentiousness to such an extent that, having had several concubines in addition to the first one, he leaves at his death a number of them with their children, such a man is odious, and We absolutely exclude him from participation in the benefits of this law. For, as when a man is married to a lawful wife, he cannot have other wives and legitimate issue by them, so in like manner, We do not permit anyone who has children by a recognized concubine (as We have previously stated) to let the offspring of

his other acts of debauchery share in the distribution of his property when he dies intestate. If We did not lay down a rule of this kind, a number of women would be found who were more or less attached to the deceased, and this would also be the case with children; and We are not enacting laws for the benefit of those living licentious lives, but for those who are chaste. We make no distinction whether the children are male or female, for, in accordance with nature, We do not prescribe one rule for women, and another for men. Therefore this law shall be observed for the future, and We shall repeal all others on the subject, as it corrects and explains many things which formerly were not intelligible or observed; and it shall not be applicable to what is past, for such matters cannot be subjected to rules which did not exist when they originated.

Such are the provisions which have been established by Us with reference to the aforesaid successions.



We think that it is advisable to enact what is contained in the following law. For, according to former constitutions, where parents died intestate, everything was brought into hotchpot, but where the deceased executed a will without mentioning it, hotchpot did not take place; and any dowry or other property which had been given remained intact, and only what had been bequeathed was taken into consideration. Without adopting this principle in its entirety, We order that, whether the deceased died testate or intestate (as it is uncertain whether he voluntarily failed to mention the donations which he made, or that this occurred on account of the suffering which preceded his death), collation shall be made in every instance, and that the estate shall be divided in conformity with preceding laws, unless the father expressly stated that it was not to be collated; but, on the contrary, his intention was that he whom the laws compel to collate property should keep what had already been given him, as well as what he was entitled to by the will.

Everything heretofore provided by Us with reference to collation shall remain in full force.



We think that it is necessary to insert in the present law a matter which has often been judicially determined by Us. For it frequently happens that fathers who have many children wish to divide their property among them before they die, in order to prevent them from

engaging in fraternal controversies, which might cause even greater and more bitter disputes. In order to do this, they must clearly distribute their estates by will, or draw up other instruments making such a distribution and sign them; for, by so doing, they will divide their property among their children without giving cause for any doubt; but fathers do not do this, since they either only describe in their own handwriting a portion of the division which they make (and this does not always happen), or they frequently interline some other document, or fail to give an exact description of the property to be divided, and do not leave the paper in the hands of persons worthy of confidence.

So far as the other part of the distribution not mentioned by them is concerned, this is usually done by a public writer, or by someone else who is corrupt; hence arise ten thousand grounds for litigation; because it is uncertain whether the division was voluntarily made by the father, or was due to the artifice of the person who, in drawing up the instrument, unduly favored one of those entitled to the succession.

We, desiring that, for the future, Our subjects shall no longer be annoyed in this manner, do hereby decree that where anyone wishes to divide all of his estate among his children, or to bequeath only a certain portion of the same as a preferred legacy, he ought, as far as* possible, to state this fact in his will, in order to benefit his children in a manner which will give no room for doubt. Where, however, by reason of some impediment which often embarrasses men, he failed to make such an arrangement and distribute his estate by his will, but nevertheless enumerated the articles which he desired to divide, and either signed the instrument with his own hand, or caused this to be done by his children, and his wishes are in this way rendered so clear that they cannot be doubted, the division shall be valid, and no other security shall be required.

When anyone does not do this, but makes a confused division of his estate without the signature of witnesses (as very frequently happens) notice is hereby given that his children will reap no benefit from what he has done, but that they must divide the estate just as if no disposition whatever had been made of the same, and the judges of the case (whom the laws style judges of partition) will not be compelled to comply with what is stated in the document. For fathers must carefully provide security for their children, and not leave them any less than they are entitled to, or make any illegal bequests; for the reason that this gives rise to interminable difficulties, and often results in the commission of crime. All other provisions having reference to successions, collations, and other matters, made up to this time, are hereby confirmed.


The perversity of certain persons renders it necessary for Us to re-enact a law which bore the name of a tribune, and received from

him the name of the Lex Aquilia. In accordance with its provisions having reference to denials, a man guilty of duplicity who attempted to deny his signature was subjected to a double penalty; and this rule was also applicable to other acts committed under the same circumstances. This law was, by degrees, deprived of its force through the exertion of mistaken clemency, which usually encourages the malevolence of unprincipled persons; hence, it has appeared to Us necessary to subject persons guilty of such improper and base denials to the punishment aforesaid. Therefore, if anyone should produce a written instrument, and the other party should deny that it is genuine, or he should acknowledge it, but denies having received the money mentioned therein, and his opponent proves this in a lawful manner, in both these instances We order that he who makes the denial shall be liable to double damages. This provision is not enacted because We delight in severe laws, but for the purpose of diminishing litigation; as We believe that the fear of a penalty is more promptly instrumental in effecting the acknowledgment of the truth. We desire that this penalty shall be incurred by persons making all kinds of denials, and judges are notified that if they should fail to enforce this law, they themselves will be liable to it.

Where, however, the plaintiff does not attempt to prove the instrument, and gives.his consent for the defendant to swear to its denial, the latter will not be liable to the double penalty, if, when the oath is tendered him, he immediately retracts. But if, in the course of the trial, the plaintiff should tender the oath to the defendant, and the latter should confess the truth, We release him from liability to the double penalty; but, on account of his denial, We condemn him to pay the plaintiff all the costs incurred up to that time in the proof of his claim, and to establish the amount of said costs, recourse shall be had to the oath of the -plaintiff.

When the defendant, in the beginning, denies that the money has been loaned to him, and he afterwards admits certain payments, he shall be required to repay the entire debt by way of punishment for his original denial, just as one of Our Imperial predecessors decided; and We do not permit the judges to diminish this penalty, but, on the other hand, they must observe the law in its integrity. If, however, the defendant should produce receipts given by the plaintiff, and prove their genuineness, and the plaintiff disputes them, and claims not only the sums he denies having received, but a stillx-large r one, the same reason exists for tendering him the oath under such circumstances.


Where curators are involved in litigation, in matters in which persons subject to their control are interested, punishment for contradictions of this kind (when they are made in the writing of the said curators) shall not be inflicted upon those of whom they have charge, but against the individuals who made the base and improper

negation. Where anyone has rendered himself liable to the penalty of double, triple, or quadruple damages prescribed by the ancient laws, or contained in the Constitutions of the Emperors, it shall continue to be imposed as formerly, just as We have decreed in Our Institutes, Digest, and Book of Constitutions, for the present law is only intended to be a continuation of the former ones.



We think that what follows with reference to judicial decisions is more important than anything that all Our predecessors have decided or established. For if someone, after having been sued on the ground that he has possession of property, which the plaintiff alleges does not belong to him but to a third party, and in which he himself has an interest, and he who brings the action is compelled to show either by documents, witnesses, or in any other way that the said property belongs to him, and finally the defendant who constantly denied that the property belongs to the third party admits his claim, and maintains that the latter has a better title to possession of the property in litigation than the plaintiff himself has, on account of hypothecation, or some other right vested in said third party, and as Our predecessors have not provided for this kind of a case, We think it proper to punish the defendant by granting the possession of the disputed property to the plaintiff, during the trial of the action, in order to indemnify him for having made the aforesaid proof; which, however, will not prevent the defendant, after having relinquished the property, from establishing the rights of the third party which he had at first refused to acknowledge, and where these rights are well founded, enable him to obtain the justice to which he is entitled, for the penalty only consists in the loss of possession during litigation.

These rules We have established with reference to successions, collations, the distribution of estates, and the security of litigants, to the end that the number of lawsuits may be diminished; and they shall hereafter be observed, and no one will have reason to plead ignorance of what relates to successions, collations, or the distribution of estates; and litigants who display bad faith shall no longer be able to deny their own handwriting, nor shall they deny that money has been paid to them, and afterwards avail themselves of acknowledgments of payment. Nor shall they, in conclusion, dispute the rights of third parties of whose property they have possession, but shall exhibit moderation and mildness in the legal controversies in which they are involved, and thereby obtain an impartial decision.



Doubts have been raised by certain persons, with malicious intent, concerning a subject treated of in some of Our Constitutions, and with reference to which several decisions have been rendered. As it is just that this condition should not longer prevail, We have disposed of it in the present law, for We have held that if anyone should live in concubinage with a reputable woman, and have children by her without the execution of any dotal instrument, and should afterwards desire to marry her, and a contract should be drawn up to this effect, and he should beget other children, then not only those born after this contract was executed, but also those born previously, will be legitimate. For the purpose of avoiding fraud and the malicious interpretation of persons constantly inclined to deceit, We have drawn up another constitution, by which We direct that even though no children may have been born after the dowry was given, or, if born, did not survive, the others shall be considered legitimate. Another doubt has been raised as to whether this rule is applicable to men living in concubinage with their freedwomen; but Our intention is clear in this respect, and this has already been decided by Us, for marriage with a freedwoman is by no means prohibited, and what We have decided with reference to other persons is also applicable to them.

In order to dispose of all ambiguity on this point, We decree that if anyone, who has no legitimate wife or children, should entertain affection for his female slave, and have children by her, while she is in servitude, and should afterwards manumit her and her children, and confer upon all of them the rank of freeborn persons, and honor them with freedom in accordance with the prescribed formalities, and then should marry the woman, and, after the ceremony, should draw up a nuptial contract; whether any children are born afterwards or not (We include in this provision both cases of Our Constitution), she shall be his legal wife, and his children shall be under his control, and his proper heirs, as well as his heirs at law, in case of necessity (We refer to those born'before the marriage), and by this means all of them will be placed in the rank of freeborn persons, and by the subsequent marriage they will enjoy the privilege of legitimacy.


Therefore Your Excellency will publish special proclamations in the provinces which you govern for the purpose of making all Our subjects acquainted with this law, and informed that, as We exert Ourselves to insure their welfare, We shall be fully rewarded for Our solicitude and foresight by the glory which God has conferred upon Our reign.

Given at Constantinople, on the Kalends of May, the year after the Consulate of Belisarius, 536.




The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, twice Consul and Patrician.


It has come to Our knowledge that certain persons have, without good reason, doubted whether what We have decreed concerning children begotten before the execution of the dotal contract should have a retroactive effect, and be applicable to preceding litigation which had not yet been terminated by either judgment or compromise. We very clearly recall that when We enacted the laws with reference to this subject We expressly directed in a former constitution that it should apply to previous cases which had not been decided or disposed of by compromise, whether the fathers were living or not; and subsequently We published another constitution supplementary to the first one, by which We declared that the provisions already established in favor of children born before the dotal contract was drawn up should be observed, and that such children should be considered legitimate, whether there were none born after the contract, or whether, having been born, they were no longer living; and We added to this constitution that its provisions should relate back to former times, and We only excepted from its application such cases as had been terminated by judicial decree or compromise.

After the enactment of these two laws, certain audacious persons tried to change their meaning and give them a false interpretation, which compels Us to promulgate a third law, providing that where a man who was married to a lawful wife had children by her, and, after the dissolution of his marriage, brought about either by the death of his wife or by her repudiation, he had children by another woman whom it was lawful for him to marry, but with whom he did not contract marriage until after the birth of said children, the latter shall be legitimate.

But, for the reason that We did not insert in this third constitution, or in the two preceding ones, that they would apply to lawsuits not yet terminated; certain individuals have thought that We did not intend them to have a retroactive effect in favor of children born before their publication, for they said that this retroactive effect is clearly stated in the first and second constitution of Our Code. This opinion We consider to be absurd. For We very properly omitted this in the first and second laws, and did not include it in the third; since, though in special enactments, it may be necessary to expressly mention their retroactive effect, We did not insert this clause in another law which was only a repetition of a former one, in order that the Code might not be encumbered with a multitude of superfluous provisions.

We did not insert in the third constitution anything with reference to the time when it would become operative, for the reason that it is understood that one law which is interpretative of another is dependent upon the one to which it relates.



We have enacted this law for the purpose of disposing of the objections raised by certain persons who are constantly employed in contention, and who adopt erroneous opinions; again ordering that the three constitutions aforesaid shall be observed, and shall have a retroactive effect so far as the cases on account of which they have successively been promulgated are concerned, that is to say, whether the fathers of children of this description are still living, or whether they are dead; all cases terminated before the enactment of these laws by either compromise or judgment solely being excepted.


It is Our pleasure that Your Highness shall provide for the publication of the present law.

Given at Constantinople, on the fifteenth of the Kalends of August, after the Consulate of Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect, twice Consul and Patrician.


We have already enacted a law concerning appeals which prescribes the method of presenting them, and designates those to whom they should be made. This law was at the same time addressed to Your Highness, and the Most Glorious Quaestor; but because doubt has arisen concerning the officials charged with this duty, and as the employees of the Imperial Bureau of Epistles have claimed this service for judges, and, on their side, the officials belonging to your jurisdiction have stated that their rights would be infringed if any innovation should be made, and they be prevented from discharging the functions with which they were formerly invested with reference to appeals taken from the illustrious Governors of provinces, through your

tribunal, as well as to what took place when you alone had cognizance of such appeals in your consistory; but as the distinguished title accorded to these Governors caused appeals to be taken to the Imperial Consul from the tribunal where you and the Most Glorious Quaestor preside; and the employees of the Bureau of Imperial Records, who took part in the presentation of appeals to the Quaestor, did not alone discharge the duties of the two offices combined in the tribunal of Your Highness, and still more often in that of the Most Glorious Quaestor; they themselves brought up this same question which you recently verbally referred to Us. Your application does not seem to Us unimportant, as, in the meantime, Paphlagonia and Honoria, formerly divided between two Governors, have been united under a single magistrate invested with the title of Praetor, appeals from whom undoubtedly belong to your jurisdiction; just as one Governor, with the rank of spectabilis, has been substituted for the two magistrates who formerly presided over the provinces of The Hellespont and Pole-moniac Pontus, where the same question again came up; for appeals taken in these provinces should only be brought before your tribunal, in accordance with what is provided at the end of the constitution which treats of this subject.



As both your offices and those of the Quaestor have approved of it, it seems to Us proper to have the officials attached to the tribunal of Your Excellency alone discharge the duties of attendants in the appeals previously referred to; and these appeals shall (as was formerly the case) be heard and decided in the Imperial Audience-Chamber and Our Most Glorious Quaestor shall be present, and take part in the proceedings.


As the Governor of First Cappadocia, whose appeals were formerly brought before your tribunal, has just been appointed proconsul, it is proper that appeals from this magistrate should, in conformity with Our Constitution, be heard in the Imperial Audience-Chamber, where Our Most Glorious Quaestor shall preside and give his opinion, and where your officers alone shall act as attendants, as was formerly the custom; for although the office of Count of the Houses has been merged into that of Proconsul of Cappadocia, and as formerly very few cases were brought before this distinguished Count, and very few appeals, indeed, were taken to Us from his tribunal, now that We have entrusted the administration of the Treasury to the Proconsul, and have charged other persons with these duties, there is no reason to limit your jurisdiction on this account, hence the officers attached to your court shall alone be employed where appeals are taken from the Proconsul of Cappadocia.


This rule shall also apply to the Proconsul of Armenia, for while this province was formerly subject to an ordinary administration, We, without adding anything to it, have changed it into a proconsulate. And as the subordinates of Your Highness formerly had charge of appeals, and as these are now regularly brought before the Imperial Audience-Chamber (as We have previously stated), and both of you should examine them; your executive officers shall, nevertheless, be employed in these cases, as was done when the Province of Armenia was subject to ordinary administration, no change being made in the former method of procedure.


The Provinces of Lycaonia, Pisidia, Isauria, which originally were under the charge of Governors, and took their appeals to your tribunal, are now subject to Praetorian magistracy. Although it is apparent in what way this change of administration was effected, as at first there was a general stationed in each one of these provinces, We have, nevertheless, deemed it necessary, because of this innovation, to confer upon your tribunal and that of the Most Glorious Quaestor the right to take cognizance of appeals from the decisions of the Praetors of said provinces, but your subordinates will have the privilege of acting as executive officers in cases of this kind. We also direct that the same order shall be observed in cases of appeal, whether they have been brought before, or after the enactment of the present law.


When two administrations, namely, those of the Count of the East and the Governor of First Syria, existed, appeals from the Governor of Syria were brought before your tribunal, where your subordinates alone discharged the duties of executive officers; on the other hand, appeals from the decisions rendered by the Count of the East, invested with the character of Imperial hearings, were brought at the same time before your tribunal and that of the Most Glorious Quaestor, where the employees attached to the Bureau of Imperial Records performed the functions of executive officers.


It has seemed to Us advisable, in these instances, to make the duties of court attendants common to the employees of the Bureau of Imperial Letters and the officials attached to your tribunal, but, so far as the two Vicegerents of Pontus are concerned, each of whom We have established in a separate province (that is to say one in Galatia, and of one in Pacatian Phrygia) appeals shall be taken from them to Your Highness, as well as to the Most Glorious Qusastor, and the attendants of your tribunal shall alone act as court messengers.


What We decree shall take effect, whether the case has been decided by the magistrate from whom the appeal was taken, for the reason that it was in his jurisdiction, or whether the magistrate rendered judgment by virtue of an assignment by Us. In both instances, the officers attached to the tribunal of Your Highness shall alone act as messengers.


In like manner, the officials attached to your tribunal shall also exercise these functions, whether you, in person, take cognizance of the appeal by virtue of an assignment by Us, or whether you do so because of the rank of the magistrate from whose decision the appeal is taken, and as being in your jurisdiction.


Again, in cases in which We require the services of your officials and those of the employees of the Bureau of Imperial Letters, We desire that these services shall be rendered concurrently, whether the appeal of the case comes before you through assignment, or, whether (as We have just stated) you take cognizance of it because it naturally comes under your jurisdiction.

So far as cases which are not determined by the magistrates, but only by the advocates, are concerned, the appeal shall be taken to your tribunal, and to that of the Most Glorious Quaestor; and, under these circumstances, the functions of court attendants shall be discharged by the faithful employees of the Bureau of Memorials; as We do not make any change in this respect, and preserve the ancient form of procedure, which We also do with reference to everything else concerning which nothing new has been enacted; and if subsequently a reason should arise for making alterations, We shall designate the persons to discharge the duties of court attendants.


Your Highness will, by special edicts, make known to all persons the matters which it has pleased Us to promulgate by means of this Imperial law, so that no one may be ignorant of what We have decreed.

Given on the fifteenth of the Kalends, after the Consulate of Belisarius, 535.



The Emperor Justinian to Acacius, Proconsul of Armenia.

Desiring that the country of Armenia should be governed by good laws, and in no respect differ from the rest of Our Empire, We have conferred upon it a Roman administration; have delivered it from

its ancient customs; and familiarized it with those of the Romans, ordering that it shall have no other laws than theirs. We think, however, that it is necessary, by means of a special enactment, to abolish a barbarous practice which the Armenians have preserved; for among them women are excluded not only from succession to the estates of their ascendants, but also from those of their own brothers and other blood-relatives; they are married without a dowry; and are purchased 'by their future husbands. These barbarous customs they have observed up to the present time, and they are not the only ones who act in this cruel manner, for there are other races that dishonor nature in the same way, and injure the female sex just as if it were not created by God, and took part in the propagation of the human race, and finally, as if it was utterly vile, contemptible, and not entitled to any honor.


Therefore We decree by this Imperial enactment that the laws in force in Our Empire, which have reference to the right of women to succeed to estates, shall be observed in Armenia, and that no difference shall hereafter exist between the sexes in this respect; that women, in accordance with the rule laid down in Our laws, shall inherit from their parents, that is to say, in the ascending line, from their fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, indefinitely; and in the descending line, from their sons and daughters, no matter in what way either of these transmit their property.

Hence the Armenians shall no longer be subject to laws different from those of the Empire; and if they form part of Our subjects, and are under Our government like many other peoples, and enjoy the benefits conferred by Us, their women shall not be the only ones deprived of Our justice; and they shall all enjoy the benefit of Our laws, whether the. latter have .come down to Us from former ages and have been inserted into Our Institutes and Digest, or whether they are called upon to obey the Imperial Constitutions promulgated by Ourself, or by Our predecessors.


We decree that these provisions shall prevail for all time, from the beginning of the fourteenth indiction, the date when We have enacted the present law. If anyone examines the ancient laws of this nation, he will find in them great confusion, instead of the rules of a wise legislation; and, for the future (as We have already stated) from the fourteenth indiction, the rule of succession shall be uniform for all persons, and shall equally apply to men and women. We, however, permit everything to remain in the same condition as formerly, so far as other family property is concerned; for women shall have no share in estates which have already been distributed, or be entitled to successions belonging exclusively to the thirteenth indiction; for Our legislation shall only be applicable to them from the beginning of the fourteenth indiction, as aforesaid.


Therefore Your Highness, Your successors, and Your subordinates, will be careful to see that what it has pleased Us to promulgate by means of this Imperial law, is perpetually observed.

Given on the fifteenth of the Kalends of April, after the Consulate of Belisarius.





The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, twice Consul and Patrician.


A great number of different laws have been promulgated by Us with reference to every branch of legislation; but as many of them appear to Us to be imperfect, We desired to open a way to Our subjects for better things, and explain to them in what way their condition may be improved. This law, which is applicable to all Our subjects, establishes a general rule for their conduct. For as marriage is so advantageous that it seems to provide an artificial immortality for the human race, in that, by the procreation of children, families are constantly renewed, and if God, in his mercy, by this means, confers an eternal existence upon our species, as far as is possible, it is only proper for Us to devote the greatest care to matters relating to marriage. Other laws that We have previously enacted on this subject are not applicable to all men in every instance, nor for all times; and since, as We have already stated, marriage is something which concerns all persons, as the human race is constantly renewed by its agency alone, there is nothing more deserving of Our attention. Ancient jurisprudence did not, however, establish a sufficient distinction between first and second marriages, but allowed fathers and mothers to contract an indefinite number of matrimonial unions without depriving them of any advantage, and the entire subject became confused even in its simplicity.

The greatest care of the legislator with reference to this matter was exhibited during the reign of Theodosius the Great, and succeeding Emperors were also animated with the same feeling, especially Leo, of pious memory. We, also, have published many decrees relating to this question in Our Book of Constitutions, and have deemed it necessary to amend it, and make certain corrections by means of better provisions; giving attention not only to the laws enacted by others, but also to such as have been promulgated by Us. For We should not blush to amend laws which We have published, and ought not to leave this to others, when We ascertain that they can be improved and rendered more effective.



We publish two provisions antecedent to this law. First: all decrees already promulgated, either by Us or by Our predecessors, shall remain in full force, and shall not be altered by the present law; they shall be executed in every instance whenever they apply; all preceding occurrences shall be controlled by them; and they shall not be affected by this enactment. The latter shall only be applicable to cases which may arise hereafter; to first or second marriages which may be contracted ; to marriage settlements that may, in time to come, be agreed upon; and to successions to the estates of children. We leave whatever has occurred in the past to be decided by the laws already published, and by means of the present one We regulate whatever may hereafter occur. Thus the question arising from second marriages; the successions of children born of a first marriage, and to which their parents are entitled; profits resulting from dowries; donations made in consideration of marriage, or for any other reason, whether there are or are not any children by a former union; all these matters shall be decided in accordance with the laws in force at the time of their occurrence.

Both men and women shall enjoy the benefit of the present legislation, whether they have married a second time, or their first marriage still exists; or whether they have succeeded their children; or no matter what they have done, if it was in conformity with previous enactments. For where a contract was made with reference to such laws, no one can be guilty of not having taken the future into consideration, if he trusted to those in existence at that time, and had no fear of others which had not yet been passed. All past events shall then continue to be governed by former legislation; and the future alone shall be subject to the provisions of the present decree, which (as has already been stated) when marriages are contracted hereafter, shall be solely observed in every case to which they are applicable.

This is the first law of this Constitution.



The second provision is as follows: Every testamentary disposition whatsoever, which either a husband or a wife may make with reference to these matters, shall from this day forward be valid. Hence anyone can dispose of his estate in a suitable manner, and his will shall be legal, as was provided by the more ancient Code of the Roman Republic, a short time after its foundation (We refer to the Twelve Tables), which stated: "Every one can bequeath his own property; let this be the law."

Hence no one will have the power to act contrary to the wishes of the testator, even though he may have in his possession an Imperial Rescript, or some other document authorizing him to do so.

Return to  Justinian's Codification


(1) Where the testator neither said anything, nor made any disposition unprovided for by former legislation, or contrary to the laws in general; in this case the present constitution shall be applicable, for it, as far as humanly possible, includes everything in a small compass; amends the laws having reference to first and second marriages, as well as those relating to the successions to children; to the dissolution of marriage caused either by death or by separation; and to events that take place before or after the widow's term of mourning has expired; and operates as a supplement to the one enacted on these different subjects; improving legislation which was formerly incomplete, frequently changed within five, fifty, and a hundred years, very inconsistent with itself, and, in many instances, ambiguous and constantly requiring correction.


Reciprocal affection constitutes marriage, without it being necessary to enter into a dotal contract; for when the parties are once agreed and have been influenced by pure affection, it is not requisite to stipulate for a dowry, or a donation on account of marriage. We shall treat of this relation as regards both its origin and end, whether the latter is accompanied by the penalty or not, since every tie effected by men is capable of being dissolved.

A penalty is also prescribed where marriages contracted without a dowry are dissolved; and these We shall consider first.



Marriages occasionally are dissolved by common consent during the lives of the contracting parties, but it is not necessary to examine this kind of separation, because the parties interested settle their affairs by agreement among themselves; at other times, they are dissolved for some good reason, and this kind of separation is called divorce by common consent; in other instances, separations take place without any cause whatever, and in others still, for one which is reasonable.



Divorce takes place without blame whenever either the husband or the wife enters monastic life, and desires to live in chastity; for another law of Ours specially provides that either a man or his wife, who devotes himself or herself to a monastic life, is authorized to dissolve the marriage, and separate from his or her consort by serving a notice by way of consolation. And whatever the parties may have agreed upon in case of the death of either, as set forth in their marriage contract, shall endure to the benefit of the abandoned wife or husband. The reason for this provision is, that wherever anyone embraces a different mode of life from that of his or her companion, he or she is considered to have died, so far as the marriage is concerned.



Marriage is dissolved for a necessary and not unreasonable cause, when the husband is incapable of copulation with his wife, and cannot do what nature created him for; and, in conformity with the law which We have already promulgated, if two years should have elapsed after the marriage, and the husband still not be able to show that he is a man, either his wife or her parents shall be permitted to dissolve the marriage, and give notice of repudiation to her husband, even if the latter should be unwilling to consent; the wife shall be entitled to the dowry, if one was given, and the husband shall return it if he received it; and the latter, on the other hand, shall be entitled to the ante-nuptial donation, and shall suffer no loss of his property.

We amend this law by making a certain addition thereto; for We decree that not two years, but three, shall elapse from the date of the marriage; as We have ascertained that some persons who were impotent for the term of two years have afterwards showed that they are capable of the procreation of children.


The effect of captivity is to dissolve marriage by mutual consent, where one of two married persons is in the hands of the enemy; for where the husband suffers a misfortune of this kind, and his wife remains at home; or, on the other hand, the wife is reduced to captivity, and her husband remains in his country, the marriage is dissolved for a reason derived from the condition of slavery; as, where a person is once reduced to servitude, the inequality of condition does not permit the equality derived from the marriage state to continue to exist: Therefore, considering cases of this kind from an humane point of view, We desire that the marriage shall remain undissolved as long as it is clear that either the husband or the wife is still living, and while this is the case, neither the husband, nor the wife, who is free, shall presume to contract a second marriage without suffering the consequences of his or her rashness, and becoming liable to punishment, which We decree shall be for the husband, the loss of the antenuptial donation, and for the wife, the forfeiture of her dowry.

When any doubt arises as to the survival of the person in the hands of the enemy, then, when either the husband or the wife is captive, it shall be ascertained whether the term of five years has elapsed, after the expiration of which time, whether the fact of death is established or remains uncertain, the person who is free will be permitted to marry without incurring any risk; which species of separation is classed by jurists among transactions concluded by common consent. We approve of this, since, under such circumstances, no notice of repudiation is necessary between persons thus separated from each other, and neither obtains any advantage; for the husband does not acquire the dowry, nor the wife the ante-nuptial donation, but each remains in possession of his or her own property.


We manifest Our indulgence in an instance in which the severity of the law was formerly exhibited. For when either the husband or the wife was, by virtue of a judicial decree, sentenced to the mines (such as are now situated in the islands of the Sea of Marmora, or in what is called Gypsus), he or she became a slave; and this being established by the ancient legislators as a part of the penalty, the marriage was dissolved on the ground that the culprit had been sentenced to punishment and to service as a slave.

We now annul this provision, and do not permit any person who was well born in the beginning to. become a slave as a part of his punishment ; for We by no means desire anyone who is free to be reduced to a servile condition, as We have long since embraced every opportunity to promote the manumission of slaves. Hence marriage is in no respect affected by a decree of this kind, and shall continue to exist among persons who are free.


If a judicial decree should reduce a free man, a free woman, or their children to slavery, and the marriage took place before sentence was passed, and it should afterwards appear that one of them is a slave, this will cause a separation of the parties interested, just as if death had occurred; for Our predecessors declared that where slavery was imposed it did not greatly differ in its effect from death. Therefore, in a case of this kind, the one who is free shall be entitled to his or her property; the children shall receive the shares which would go to them if their father or mother, who was reduced to slavery, had died; and the balance shall belong to the person in servitude.



Where a man marries a woman under the impression that she is free, and she afterwards proves to be a slave, We do not say that the marriage is dissolved, but that no marriage existed from the very beginning, in accordance with what has previously been stated by Us relative to the inequality of conditions; hence, no advantage can be provided for (nor anything else of the kind) in such a marriage, but actions for the recovery of the property of both parties will lie. We hereby decree and decide that a marriage of this description is void only where the person who contracted it did not know what he was doing, or the owner of the slave did not consent to the marriage, and there was no evidence of malicious intent or negligence on his part.


When a master gives his female slave in marriage, representing her to be free, and the man who marries her is free, and, having confidence in her master, who delivers her to him, receives her, whether any dotal contract is drawn up or not, as the master is responsible for the marriage, it will not be just for such an union to be dissolved, hence the slave shall receive his or her freedom by implication; and, as the master is responsible for this, the said male or female slave shall immediately pass to the condition of freeborn persons and be considered such.

Where, however, the master did not cause the marriage to be celebrated, but was aware of what was being done, and designedly kept silent in order afterwards to be able to bring suit against the husband, who is free, and his wickedness should be proved, We punish it by depriving him of his slave, and confirm the marriage, just as if the owner had given his consent in the beginning; and he shall lose his ownership of the slave, who shall be considered freeborn, and this will result, whether the master gave his consent or designedly kept silent. It is clear that any children born of such a marriage will be free and freeborn, in accordance with this Our law.



There is much more reason for such marriages to be valid where a slave of either sex, who is ill, has been abandoned, or has been treated with contempt and sent away against his or her will. Slaves treated in this manner shall hereafter be considered free, and shall belong to no one; nor can they afterwards be molested by those who formerly disdained to possess them.


Deportation, and the ancient interdiction of fire and water, as specified by Our laws, does not dissolve marriage; for this was decided long since by Constantine, and has been confirmed by Us; hence We have not included it in the present enactment, and, such being the case, the rule shall remain as it formerly was.



We are aware that the founder of this Our Most Fortunate City (We refer to the Emperor Constantine, of Divine memory) enacted a law which provided that where anyone went upon a military expedition, and four years elapsed without his communicating with his wife, or giving her any evidence of his affection, she was free to marry a second time, after having served notice in writing upon the general-in-chief of the army, in order that he might bear witness that this was done; and, under these circumstances, she would incur no penalty by marrying again, nor would she lose her dowry, or be entitled to the ante-nuptial donation. The Most Holy Constantine promulgated this law. It does not, however, seem to Us to have been the result of careful deliberation, for the sorrow that a husband should experience from being deprived of the society of his wife, while he is exposed to the hardships of war, is certainly not less than when he is captive in the hands of the enemy. For this reason We are not willing for the wife to contract a second marriage as soon as was decreed by Constantine, but she shall be required to wait until ten years have elapsed, after which time, in case she should continue to write to her husband or send him messages by anyone, and he formally renounces the marriage, or remains absolutely silent, then the wife shall serve notice upon the Most Glorious Commander-in-chief, general, or tribune, to whose orders her husband is subject; and she can even address a petition to Us (which, however, shall not be permitted until after she has complied with the prescribed formalities), and then she will be free to contract a second marriage; but she is hereby notified that if she does not do what We have directed, she will be liable to the penalties prescribed by law for having rashly contracted a second marriage.

(1) These are the milder ways of dissolving marriages, just as if the parties had a common interest in severing the matrimonial tie by mutual consent.


Causes must be sought for the accomplishment of other kinds of divorce when they are employed either by the husband or wife, in order that the one who is at fault may be punished by the loss of his or her property; that is to say, either the dowry or the donation given on account of marriage. The ancient Emperors established several different causes for divorce. Theodosius the Younger adopted some of them, introduced others, and published the constitution having reference to repudiation, and We have added certain other causes which We have thought had reference to the fault of either the husband or the wife.

(1) The following are the causes of divorce prescribed by the Constitution of Theodosius, of pious memory. If the wife can show that her husband has been guilty of adultery, homicide, or the administration of poison; or has taken part in sedition; or (which is the worst of all offences) has plotted against the government; or has been convicted of forgery, of violation of sepulchres; or has stolen anything belonging to a religious house; or has led a dishonest life; or has been guilty of theft; or is one of those cattle-thieves (who employ themselves in stealing animals or beasts of burden belonging to others, and transporting them elsewhere) ; or is proved to be a kidnapper, or to be living a debauched life, and, while his wife is living, cohabits with other women (conduct which especially exasperates married women who are of exemplary chastity, and careful to maintain the honor of the marriage bed), or if the wife can prove that her husband has attempted her life either by means of poison, by the use of arms, or in any other way (for there are numerous means by which human malice can be manifested) ; or where he has beaten her, these are valid causes for divorce. Therefore, when a wife can show anything of this kind, the law gives her permission to avail herself of repudiation to annul the marriage, and receive her dowry or ante-nuptial donation intact, not only where all these causes of divorce are susceptible of proof, but also where only one of them can be established.

(2) On the other hand, the law allows a husband to repudiate his wife if he ascertains that she has committed adultery; or has been guilty of the administration of poison; or of homicide, of kidnapping, of the violation of sepulchres, or the commission of sacrilege; or has aided thieves; or, without the knowledge, and against the wishes of her husband, she has enjoyed the pleasures of the table with guests unfit to associate with; or where, in violation of the orders of her husband and without good cause, she is in the habit of passing the night away from home; or, without his consent, she makes a practice of enjoying herself at the circus, and frequenting plays and theatres (We mean by this where comedies and similar exhibitions are presented, or where she attends combats between men and wild beasts) ; or where she treacherously attempts the life of her husband by means of poison, weapons, or any other means; or where she becomes the accomplice of persons plotting the establishment of tyranny; or where she has been proved guilty of forgery; or has laid violent hands upon her husband. Under such circumstances the law grants the husband the right to repudiate his wife, when he is able to prove only one of the causes hereinbefore enumerated, and authorizes him to take the dowry and ante-nuptial donation.

(3) But, in case either of these persons should give notice of repudiation without good cause for so doing, and, in consequence, the marriage should be dissolved, he or she shall be liable to the penalties which We have previously prescribed. Moreover, if the wife has been guilty of one of the above-mentioned offences, or has served notice of repudiation without sufficient reason, she will be prohibited from marrying again for five whole years; and any marriage which she may contract before the expiration of this time shall not be considered legal, and any person can appear in court and accuse her of having violated the law.


If, however, a woman has good ground for serving notice of repudiation, and, in case of a contest, should be successful; or if her husband, having repudiated her without sufficient cause, has been subjected to punishment; she will be entitled both to the dowry and the donation given in consideration of marriage; but she will have reason to blush if she marries a second time before an entire year has elapsed. This requirement, however, is not imposed upon a husband who has repudiated his wife without good cause; for although he will not obtain any pecuniary advantage by doing so, he can immediately marry again, as no reasonable suspicion can be raised with reference to his offspring, on which account women are very properly forbidden to remarry before a year has expired; and this prohibition is so important that even though the marriage may have been dissolved by common consent, still, according to a constitution of Anasta-sius, of pious memory, the interdiction of a second marriage is still imposed upon women for the term of a year.

(1) These are the causes for divorce which Theodosius has communicated to Us, to which We have added three others taken from former laws. For where a woman is so depraved as designedly to commit abortion thereby rendering her husband unhappy, depriving him of the hope of having children; or where she is so licentious that, for the sake of pleasure, she even bathes with men; or where, while she is still united to her husband, she refers to her marriage with others; permission is accorded by Us to her husband to repudiate her, and acquire the dowry and ante-nuptial donation; since these causes are sufficient for the dissolution of the marriage, and are included among those for which the Constitution of Theodosius, of Divine memory, prescribed penalties.


A serf, who is under the control of another, is not allowed to marry a woman who is free, whether the person entitled to his services does not know it, or, being aware of it, consents; and where anything of this kind takes place, the master of the serf shall, himself, be permitted to either punish him by a moderate castigation, or the Governor of the province can order this to be done, and separate him from the woman with whom he has been fruitlessly united; for a legal marriage does not take place under such circumstances, nor is the tender of the dowry or ante-nuptial donation valid; but there is merely the punishment of an illegal act.

(1) Such are the causes of the dissolution of marriage during the lifetime of the contracting parties; and such are also the pecuniary penalties, which consist of the loss of the dowry and the betrothal gift.



We have also made provision for the punishment of marriages where persons contract them without any agreement for a dowry, and separate without good cause; for where a man marries a woman, or a woman marries a man, merely by consent, and without any contract for a dowry or the bestowal of a gift at the time of betrothal, the result will be that if a separation takes place on some frivolous pretext, the person who has been so rash shall not be liable to any penalty.

We have enacted a constitution which provides that if anyone should marry a woman who is under the control of her parents, with the consent of the latter, or even if he should marry one who is independent, and no dowry is given, or dotal instrument drawn up, the husband cannot, on this account (although We have known it to be done in many instances), drive the wife from his house, where none of the aforesaid reasonable causes exist which Theodosius, as well as We Ourself, have enumerated. When, indeed, anything of this kind occurs, and the husband repudiates his wife without good cause, or even when he states a reasonable cause why his wife should be divorced from him, he shall be compelled to give her the fourth part of his property; and if it should amount to four hundred pounds of gold, she shall be indemnified by the gift of a hundred pounds, that is to say the fourth of the same; and when his estate amounts to less than this, the portion to be given shall always be the fourth. If, however, the estate of the husband should be worth more than four hundred pounds of gold, he shall not be required to give her more than a hundred pounds; for, in promulgating this law, We have considered this sum to be that which, for the most part, is provided for in the constitution of a dowry, it being, of course, understood that the property of the husband shall, in accordance with Our laws, be free from all indebtedness.

On the other hand, if a wife who has received no dowry, is separated from her husband on account of some fault of her own, or if she should give notice of repudiation without any reasonable cause, she will be liable to the same penalty which We have already mentioned ; and if she is to blame for the dissolution of the marriage, she must wait five years before contracting a second one. But if the separation results from some act or fault of the husband, or this takes place by common consent, she shall only be compelled to wait a year to avoid any doubt as to the offspring, and in order that Our law may >be perfect in every respect.



Another pious and beneficial provision has been added by Us where notice of repudiation has been served during the existence of the marriage, for We forbid fraud to be committed against their parents by children under paternal control, as We have ascertained that sometimes men designedly, and without good cause, give notice of repudiation to their wives, and vice versa; and the marriage is dissolved in order that their parents may be compelled to pay the dowry or the betrothal gift, just as if this was legally done; while the husband and wife secretly cohabit with one another, and their parents are deceived as a reward for having treated their children with kindness.

Hence We have drawn up this law, which provides that emancipated children, or those still under paternal control, whether male or female, shall not be permitted to dissolve their marriages to the prejudice of their fathers or mothers who have given or received dowries or ante-nuptial donations, either alone or along with their children; for as We require the consent of the parents in the execution of marriage contracts, We do not allow a marriage to be dissolved to the prejudice of the parents without their consent.

Where, however, notice of repudiation is served, We do not permit the penalties to be exacted from the parents, if they had given or received anything either alone, or along with others; for it would be unreasonable when a parent cannot dissolve the marriage without the consent of his child, for the latter, while still a minor, and not knowing what would be advantageous to him, to be permitted to dissolve it contrary to the wishes of his parents, and in this way injure them. The philosophical Emperor, Marcus, was the first one who provided for this, and Diocletian followed him. We also have approved of this rule; and We here terminate what relates to the dissolution of marriage where the contracting parties are living.


We shall next discuss marriages dissolved by death, which puts an end to all things. When a matrimonial union is terminated by

the death of either the husband or the wife, if the husband survives, he shall be entitled to the benefit of the dowry, as set forth in the terms of the dotal agreement; and if the wife survives, she shall receive the nuptial donation as was agreed upon by the contracting parties; they are not, however, prohibited from giving unequal amounts of property under such circumstances, but they are not permitted to provide for unequal advantages in their contracts, a regulation established by Leo in his laws, and which We, having adopted, have set forth with greater clearness. For where either of the parties in their agreement makes arrangements for either greater or less pecuniary benefits, it will be uncertain whether the amount should be increased on one side or be diminished on the other. Wherefore We have decided that thex-large r donation must be reduced to the size of the smaller one; for example, if one of the contracting parties has given a third and the other a fourth, the fourth alone will constitute the donation of each, and the amount in excess of this shall be equally divided; but this rule shall not apply to property which the parties themselves have agreed upon.

(1) When the marriage is dissolved for one of the causes hereinbefore specified, it will be better for both parties to remain single, and not sadden their children by contracting other marriages. If they should separate without marrying again, they will be entitled to retain what belongs to them, that is to say, the woman shall have the dowry, and the husband the ante-nuptial donation; still We do not impose any penalty when they contract second marriages. In this case they shall obtain the same advantages as in the first instance, for the husband shall be entitled to the dowry, and the wife to the antenuptial donation, the right to which shall severally vest in them, and the title shall in no way differ from that of their other possessions; so that, during their lives, they can alienate them in the same way as other property belonging to them from the beginning. If, however, they should die, they shall be permitted to dispose of such property to strangers by means of legacies and trusts, and We permit alienations of this kind to be made under the terms of constitutions already promulgated by Us.

(2) When, however, married persons appoint their children heirs to a portion of their estates and strangers heirs to the remainder, the property above mentioned shall be considered as not alienated, for alienation is not held to take place when a stranger is appointed heir, but the property still remains in the children. For if anyone should appoint all his children heirs to unequal shares of his estate, they will not receive the dowry or ante-nuptial donation in proportion to their hereditary shares, but will divide them equally, according to their number; and they will do this even if their father did not appoint any of them, but only strangers, his heirs; or they will be indemnified in some other way, even if they should not be the heirs of their parents.

We have made this provision presuming what the wishes of the parents would be, for as they did not alienate the dowry or ante-

nuptial donation while they were living, when they were not obliged to do so, and when at death they did not expressly dispose of such property in favor of other persons than their children, and did not leave it to strangers, this property, according to Our law, will go to the children as a preferred legacy, even though they did not become the heirs of their father or mother, or both of them, as well as where some of them become heirs, and others reject the estate; for this seems to Us more just than the rule established by Our predecessors. The benefit resulting from this law is that the children will not be disturbed or their rights affected, unless they themselves have given cause for this to take place.


If any child should be found ungrateful, We give its property to the other children who have not acted in this manner, in order that We may compel children to honor their parents and imitate the example of their brothers. But where all of them are ungrateful, then the property of the deceased, including the dowry and ante-nuptial donation, shall go to the other heirs, just as if it had been left to them; for We do not give it to the children, because they should not be rewarded for having treated their parents with disrespect.

(1) Where, however, there are children, and grandchildren representing others who are dead, We give the shares of the latter to their offspring, if they are the heirs of the father; otherwise We grant it to the brothers of the deceased. Hence, in enacting this law, We desire that this provision shall not only apply to the dowry, but also to the ante-nuptial donation, and also be applicable where no dowry has been provided for, on account of the advantages introduced by Our Constitution. For when parents do not contract second marriages but remain single, the property shall belong to the children in the same manner which We have previously mentioned.


Where persons, not content with their first marriages, marry again, it is necessary for the law to provide for cases where there is no issue by the second marriage; or where there is issue by the second; or where, on the other hand, there are no children by the second marriage but there are some by the first; or where there are children by both marriages; or where there are none by either. Therefore, where the " first marriage, or both, are childless, no penalty will attach to the second marriage, as the husband shall be free from the observance of any rule, and the wives shall only be required to permit a year to elapse before marrying again, for they are notified that if they marry before the expiration of this time, they will be liable to punishment

and this punishment shall be more severe when there are children by the first marriage than when there are none. When there is no issue, the woman will be branded with infamy on account of the haste which she shows to contract another marriage; and she shall not be entitled to anything which may have been left to her by her first husband, nor shall she enjoy the use of the ante-nuptial donation; and she cannot give to her second husband property in excess of the third part of her estate; nor can she receive anything from a stranger, nor any estate, trust, legacy, or donation mortis causa; but all these things shall pass to the heirs of the deceased, or to her co-heirs, where she is called to the succession in default of other heirs.

But where other heirs are appointed, or are entitled to the succession ab intestate, they shall receive the property bequeathed to a woman of this kind, and the Treasury shall not claim it (in order that We may not seem to have appropriated such property for the benefit of the Treasury), and whatever may come to her from any outside source shall belong to them. Anything left by her first husband shall, under such circumstances, pass to persons related to him in ten degrees of succession, as enumerated in the Edict; that is to say ascendants, collaterals to the second degree, and the other degrees in their regular order. In case none of these exists, the property shall go to the Treasury. The woman will not be entitled to the estates of her own cognates any farther than the third degree who may die without leaving a will, for beyond that degree her relatives have other heirs. We decree that one penalty to be inflicted upon such a woman is infamy, from which, however, she can be released by Imperial Letters, provided she has no children by her first marriage. If, however, she should have children of either sex, she can petition the Emperor to be relieved of the reproach of infamy, but she cannot obtain any benefit from rescripts. Where she wishes to enjoy the full effect of Imperial clemency and be released from other penalties, she must bestow upon her children by the first marriage half of her property absolutely, and without any condition whatsoever, nor can she retain the usufruct of the same; and this applies to all the property which she had when she married the second time, half of which (as We have already stated) must be transferred to the children who are the issue of the first marriage. This property the said children shall divide equally among themselves, and where they have offspring, they will transmit it to them (for it is necessary to add something to the ancient laws), but where the deceased did not have any children, her share shall pass to her brothers; and if all these should be dead, the mother shall be entitled to the property by way of consolation for her unhappiness; and We make this provision where the children die intestate, for where the mother has once been dispossessed of the property, We forbid them to bequeath it by will; or, when they survive, to dispose of it in any way they may wish. Women who marry before their year of mourning has expired incur these penalties; and this law forms a supplement to the three constitutions already promulgated on this subject.



When a woman allows the prescribed time to elapse without marrying again, and by so doing escapes the above-mentioned penalties, and she then contracts a second marriage (as has been previously stated), she can do this without any risk, provided she has no children. But when there is issue by the first marriage, as the law considers children dishonored on this account, then all the property which she has acquired from her husband shall be taken from her, with the exception of the usufruct of the same.

This rule also applies to ante-nuptial donations and all other gifts bestowed by her first husband, either during his lifetime, or left to her by will, or by donations mortis causa,, whether she received them through an appointment under a will, or as a legacy, or under the provisions of a trust. And, generally speaking, where a woman forfeits all right to any property of her first husband which she may have received, her children shall be entitled to it, and the ownership shall pass to them from the time that their mother was married to another man. This penalty is imposed both upon the husband and the wife, for if the husband has children and marries again, he cannot enjoy the benefit of the dowry on account of his gain by the second marriage, because he obtains other property from this source to which his right is indisputable. He can use and enjoy what he acquired by the first marriage as long as he remains single, and his children, even though they may be under his control, acquire the ownership of said property the moment that he contracts a second marriage.

We make no distinction where the dowry or ante-nuptial donation has been given by the contracting parties themselves; or where others have done this in their behalf; or whether members of their own family or strangers have given it. This rule applies to both ante-nuptial donations and dowries.


What is decreed in this law with reference to the profit derived by persons through marriage is so strict that it prohibits all alienations, and does not even permit parents to make them under such circumstances, or to hypothecate the property, and if they should do so, their own estates will be liable. This, however, does not prevent them from disposing of such property in any way which they may desire, for the law would blush to authorize children to punish their parents. It threatens others, who acquire the property, by making the transaction void; and persons are notified by this Our law that where they purchase property from parents under such circumstances, or accept it from them by way of donation, or commit any of these acts, the result will be that whatever has been done or written shall have no legal effect. For the children, their heirs and successors, can

recover the property from the said third parties, their heirs and successors, who shall have no right to oppose them, unless the term of thirty years has elapsed in favor of those who obtained the property, and this shall begin to run against the children from the time when they attained their majority, or were emancipated, unless the fact that some of them have not yet arrived at puberty may cause the prescription to be extended.


Property of this kind goes to all the children by the first marriage. We do not permit parents, by means of selection, to give them unequal shares through being generous to certain ones and unjust to the others, for all the children are disgraced alike by a second marriage; but as parents succeed to their children as heirs, receiving equal portions of their estates, why should they appoint some to the prejudice of others, and not distribute among them equally the property acquired in this manner? Hence every child shall be entitled to a share equal to that of each of the others, and if he has any children, he will transmit it to them. The grandchildren who divide the property among themselves cannot claim any more than what their father would have received.



Since We have stated that the alienation of property obtained through a former marriage by parents is void, still it is proper to modify this to a certain extent. We have provided that such an alienation is absolutely void where all the children who were the issue of the first marriage are living, and their parents have died before them; but, on the other hand, if all the children should die first, the property will belong to the surviving parent; for who could impose such a restriction, when the children for whose benefit alone We have enacted this are no longer in existence? But an ingenious idea has enabled Us to establish a proper medium in these two instances; that is to say, where the children are still living and the father who married again is dead, no share of the property obtained by marriage will belong to those who have contracted second nuptials; and where all the children have died, the property reverts to them; hence if one of the deceased children has left any offspring, his property, as We have frequently stated, will pass to them. But where the said child dies without issue, his share will not entirely accrue to his brothers, but the parent who is married again will acquire as much of it as he or she would have a right to by virtue of the non-existence of children, and the remainder will go to the successors of the son,

namely, his brothers, or strangers who were appointed heirs (which usually happens when the mother marries again), whether the child dies intestate, or after having made a disposition of his property. We have inserted this rule into Our laws, and have been the first to adopt it, and to accord this indulgence. Therefore when a parent has alienated property obtained by a former marriage before contracting a second one, and then one of his children dies, the alienation which he made will only be valid so far as the share to which he would be entitled by virtue of the clause providing for the non-existence of offspring is concerned; and it will be void with respect to the other shares to which the heirs of the deceased children are entitled.

Hence the effect of the alienation will remain in abeyance, and subject to the occurrence of subsequent events; and it will either be entirely void from the very beginning, or perfectly valid; or it will be void or valid only to a certain extent.

(1) We make no distinction with reference to any nuptial property which children may acquire by the second marriage of their parents, where they are the heirs of the dead husband or wife, or of him who has survived either of them, when some of them have been appointed heirs, and others have not; for, as has already been stated, We grant the property obtained by marriage to all surviving children, whether they have been appointed heirs or not, as it should be divided equally among them, and any grandchildren will be entitled to their proportion of the share of their father. But (as We have previously stated) ingratitude will always be an impediment to a child in acquiring any of such property; for in Our laws We do not manifest indulgence to ungrateful children, but, on the other hand, We desire that they shall honor their parents and show them filial respect. As We prohibit any favoritism, and accord to all an equal share of the property, so also We do not repeal what has been provided in case of ingratitude. For it is clear that a child should be considered as ungrateful who has been guilty of such conduct either toward both its parents, or toward the one who died last.





The observations made by Leo, of Divine memory, with reference to the obligations of persons who contract second marriages, seem to Us to be excellent. For he says that where parents, who have had children by a first marriage, contract one or more subsequently, the father cannot give to his second wife, nor the mother to her second husband, either by a donation inter vivos or mortis causa, any amount in excess of the share that a child of either sex, the issue of the first marriage, could claim if he or she were living; and that where there are several children who succeed to equal shares, neither the stepfather nor the stepmother will be entitled to more than each one of

them. Where a parent, who marries a second time, leaves his or her estate to his or her children unequally divided, the father is not allowed to give to his second wife, or the mother to her second husband, either by means of a donation inter vivos, or by last will, any more than a share of the estate equal to that of the child who is entitled to the least; and everyone is aware that formerly a fourth, and that at present a third, and, under certain circumstances, the half must be left to children, unless they have rendered themselves unworthy by ingratitude. This rule must likewise be observed where a grandfather or a grandmother, a great-grandfather or a great-grandmother having grandchildren or great-grandchildren of either sex under parental control, or emancipated, and descendants in the paternal or maternal line, marries.

Leo has also very properly observed that where anything has been left or given to a stepfather or a stepmother, in excess of the share to which either is entitled, this is considered as not having taken place, and the surplus shall be divided equally among the children.

It has also been stated in a constitution that children who are the issue of a second marriage have a right to share in this surplus, but We are not willing to sanction this, and only the children born of the first marriage, for whose benefit We have enacted this legislation, shall profit by it, without anyone being able to deprive them of this advantage, either by the interposition of other persons or in any other way. This surplus, however, shall only be divided among children who have shown proper respect to their parents, for We exclude from this privilege those who have been guilty of one of the kinds of ingratitude enumerated by the laws, in order that the hope of sharing in the aforesaid surplus may, in every instance, induce them not to manifest any insolence, and violate the laws of nature.

It is perfectly clear that if any of the children entitled to part of the surplus in question should die, his share shall pass to the surviving children, and the children of the deceased shall, in accordance with their number, each receive the portion to which he or she is entitled.


Up to this time, it has not been determined by the laws to what date it is necessary to refer, in order to decide if the donation made to a second husband or wife is in excess of what is proper; that is to say, if it is necessary to revert to the time of the donation, or only to that of the dissolution of the marriage, and it appears to Us advisable to go back to the date of the death of the husband or wife who made the donation. For while men at the time of their decease dispose of more or less of their property, the distribution of their estates is generally dependent upon the caprices of fortune.

Hence, in order that there may be no mistake, reference shall be had to the time of the death of the husband or wife who has married a second time, and from this date the appraisement of the donation given by the second husband or wife shall be made; and if it exceeds the amount which could be bequeathed, the surplus shall be adjudged

to the children of the first marriage; and, in all cases of this kind, not the date of the donation or testamentary disposition, but that of its occurrence shall be considered.



We do not think that We should neglect confirming what Theodosius the Younger, of pious memory, decreed, when he stated that where a woman, having had children by a first marriage, contracts a second by which she also had children, and then her second husband should die, and she herself should subsequently die intestate, the children born of the two marriages shall share her estate equally; but those in each line shall be entitled to the ante-nuptial donations of their respective fathers. Thus the children by the first marriage will receive the entire donation given in consideration of that marriage, just as the children born of the second will also have a right to all the advantages resulting from it, even when the wife does not marry a third time; for how would this benefit the children by the first marriage? And how can it injure the issue of the second marriage, if the children by the third marriage are not injured? Each set of children shall then participate in all the advantages enjoyed by their father; those by the first marriage will be entitled to its advantages, and those of the second to the benefits conferred by the latter, even though the woman may not marry a third time. As a natural consequence, whatever applies to the wife is also applicable to the father when he marries a second time. Hence, just as the dotal property of the first marriage is preserved for the children who are the issue thereof, so, likewise, that derived from the second will belong to the children born of it, even though the father may not contract a third marriage.

(1) But either a father or a mother, who contracts a second marriage, will be entitled to any advantages resulting therefrom through either legacies or trusts, even if he or she should marry a third time; for they will acquire full ownership without the third union being able to prejudice them in any respect, and the property will become a portion of their estates which they can dispose of in any way that they may desire.



As We have established regulations concerning the dissolution of marriage which most frequently occurs through death, We desire to add a brief provision relative to the advantages acquired, whatever

they may be, whether derived from the dowry or the ante-nuptial donation, when the marriage is dissolved through separation by common consent, or in any other way; for these advantageslike those obtained through the death of one of the married personsshall entirely be preserved for the children; and this rule shall apply even where there is no dotal agreement, whenever, in accordance with one of Our laws, the presumption of either the husband or wife, who has given cause for repudiation, is punished. Nor do We make any distinction as to which one of them is to blame for the divorce. For no matter in what way it is obtained, the property derived from the marriage shall go to the children who are the issue of the same, whether the dissolution of the first or the second marriage be involved, even where no third marriage has taken place.




Some former laws have been enacted with respect to the increase or diminution of dowries and ante-nuptial donations, and, after due consideration, We have not only granted permission to married persons to increase donations on account of marriage during the existence of the latter, but We have also allowed them to do so from the very beginning; and as We have permitted them to augment these donations, so also We have allowed them to diminish them; but in order that what has been stated with reference to diminutions may not violate the provisions of the Constitution of Leo, of pious memory, We do not authorize married persons to make any such diminutions during the second marriage, when there are any children who are the issue of the first. For if an excessive dowry should be given at the time of the second marriage, or a similar ante-nuptial donation should be provided for, or any other extraordinary gift should be made, and afterwards, one of the parents having ascertained that this was prohibited by law, should defraud his children by diminishing the said dowry or donation, the consequence would be that the issue of the first marriage, having been injured, would not receive what they were legally entitled to, and the stepfather or stepmother would profit

by their loss.




Where a husband has given to his wife, or a wife to her husband, by testamentary disposition, the usufruct of his or her estate, an

ancient law prescribed that if the spouse who gave it should marry a second time, he or she would lose the usufruct in the same way in which they would be deprived of the ownership, if it had been left to either, and that the said usufruct would afterwards be acquired by the children; and, if they were under the age of puberty, the parent who married a second time would be accountable to them for the enjoyment of the usufruct during their minority, for this is what the law directs.

We do not think that this provision is satisfactory, and We decree that where the usufruct of property which anyone is permitted to dispose of in this way is bestowed as a gift, or as a donation mortis caiisa, the recipient will be entitled to the enjoyment of it during his lifetime, even though he may marry a second time; and the same rule will apply to the use of the property, unless the husband or wife who either gave or bequeathed the usufruct expressly stated that if the one to whom it is given should marry again, the usufruct will determine, and revert to the ownership. We decree that these rules shall be observed whenever a gift of the usufruct is made.



Where, however, the usufruct of property is bestowed by way of dowry, or at the time of betrothal, We establish no innovation with reference to it, but all previous regulations are hereby confirmed, and the property shall remain in the hands of the recipient during his or her lifetime, even though the persons who made the donations should revoke them ten thousand times when they are at the point of death; for a private individual is not authorized to deprive anyone of an advantage conferred by law.




While We are treating of the subject of usufructs preserved by the laws, it will be advisable to confirm the provisions included in the three preceding constitutions, which state that the father, even though he may marry again, will be entitled to the usufruct of all the property which passes to his children, whether through the maternal line, by means of donations in consideration of marriage, or in any other way; for the laws of Our predecessors have declared (and We hereby confirm it) that fathers, during their lifetime, have the right to the entire usufruct of property derived from the mother, or from anyone else, which belongs to the children. We, however, except from this rule all peculium castrense or quasi castrense.




Where a mother, who has given something out of her own property to her child, marries a second time, she will not be permitted under the pretext of ingratitude to revoke the gift which she made. For she cannot allege this reason because she will be presumed to have acted on account of her second marriage; still, the case will be otherwise if it is established that the child has openly attempted the life of its mother, or has raised impious hands against her, or has tried to deprive her of all her property.



We do not permit a woman who has contracted a second marriage to continue to enjoy the dignities and privileges of her former husband, but she shall be reduced to the condition of the second; and the reason for this is that the woman who forgets her first marriage ought not to be allowed to profit by the advantages derived from it.



The Emperor Alexander, of Divine Memory, has taken precedence of many ancient legislators by having decreed that if anyone should manumit a female slave, and then marry her, and she, after having thus been raised above her rank, should obtain a divorce, the law will not permit her to marry a second time without the consent of her first husband; for it would consider this second marriage not as a matrimonial union, but as mere fornication and debauchery, by means of which a disgraceful injury is inflicted upon him who gave her her freedom.


We have also found a constitution of the same Emperor which We think worthy of being confirmed by Us, which says that, as a mother appears better fitted to conduct the education of her children than anyone else, this law confers that right upon her, unless she contracts a second marriage.



Dowries which the contracting parties have received are not readily transferred to wives during the existence of the marriage, unless for certain causes enumerated by the law; and where such a thing takes place, it is held to be merely a donation. If the woman should die, the husband who returned the dowry to his wife prematurely will receive it again from her heirs, together with any profits which may have accrued in the meantime; and he and his heirs will be entitled to the benefit of the same, in accordance with the terms of the nuptial agreement. If the husband should marry a second time, the children can hold the dowry without power of alienation, as is generally provided. But where the husband did not return the dowry .while the marriage was in existence, it can be recovered from the heirs after the death of the wife, in compliance with the dotal contract.



When a woman who is administering the guardianship of her minor children, and has sworn that she will not contract a second marriage, disregards her first one and her oath by marrying a second time, without having previously had a guardian appointed for her said children, renders her account, and discharges all indebtedness, the law not only subjects her own property to hypothecation for the benefit of her children, but also that of her second husband; and it excludes her from the succession of any deceased child under the age of puberty, even though she may maintain that its father substituted her for it. This rule has been established by Our predecessors.

We, however, are surprised that when a woman is so wicked as to disregard her oath, and so desirous of contracting a premature marriage as to forget three most important things, the wrath of God, the respect due to her deceased husband, and the affection she should entertain for her children, legislators should have subjected her to such a light penalty, when they severely punished a woman who marries before her time of mourning has expired, and thereby manifests but little consideration for her children, establishing this regulation solely through honorable motives, even where the woman has no children; and, where she is so under the domination of her passions, did not subject her to the same penalties to which those women are liable who marry a second time before their term of mourning has elapsed.

Hence We decree that, hereafter, when women presume to perjure themselves in this way, they shall be liable to all the preceding penalties which We have previously formulated with reference to widows who marry before their term of mourning has expired, that is to say,

infamy and other punishments. We, however, grant them the power to release themselves from these penalties in the same manner as the others are authorized to do, namely, by petitioning the Emperor, and giving half of their property to their children without reservation of the usufruct; and We place the woman who has thus prematurely contracted a second marriage, and the one who has married before her term of mourning has expired, in the same category. But where a woman who is administering the guardianship of her natural children (for We also have authorized her to do this) marries a second time, and does not do what is hereinbefore prescribed, she shall be liable to the same penalties.' When a woman who is discharging the duties of a guardian desires to marry a second time, provision shall be made in the provinces by the Governors of the same, and here by the Most Glorious Prefect of the City together with the Praetor having jurisdiction, for the appointment of a guardian for her minor children; and she must render her account, and discharge all indebtedness incurred by reason of the trust.





We adopt the Constitution of Zeno, of pious memory, which provides that when a father is directed to bequeath to his own son a legacy either under a condition, or at some specified date, security to preserve the legacy can only be required of him in case he marries a second time, for the obligation to furnish it is among the penalties imposed upon a husband who contracts a second marriage.



Where any member of the most reverend clergy (We refer to those above the rank of reader and chorister) contracts a marriage, We decree and desire that he shall be expelled from the priesthood. If a reader should marry, and then, through some inexorable necessity, should marry again, he shall not be raised above the rank of reader, and his affection for his wife will be an impediment to his promotion; but where a layman is about to be ordained a deacon, a subdeacon, or a priest, and it should subsequently be ascertained that he had married a woman who was not a virgin, but who had been divorced, or with whom he had formerly lived in concubinage, or if he who is about to be ordained has married a second time, he shall not obtain admission to the priesthood, and if he should obtain it by concealing the facts, he shall, by all means, be expelled.





The matter which follows is of great antiquity, and has received many corrections, not only by others but also by Us, without, however, being rendered perfect; for which reason We now, by way of amendment, establish the present rules.

The ancient law, styled the Lex Julia Miscella, enacted with a view to the procreation of offspring, permitted women, even where their husbands had left them something on condition that they should not marry a second time, to do so, and to swear that they acted for the benefit of their children; and even where the woman married within a year the law authorized her to take what was bequeathed to her.

Where, however, she allowed the year to elapse without marrying a second time, the law did not permit her to obtain the legacy without furnishing security that she would not marry again. It was not Julius Miscellus who caused this to be enacted, but Quintus Mucius Scffivola, who was instrumental in having security furnished in cases where prohibitions of this kind existed. Therefore We, being aware that the x-large majority of women who had sworn not to marry again were induced to do so not for the purpose of having children, but through necessity, thus disobeying the directions of their deceased husbands, have thought that the more sacred part of this law should first be corrected, and the opportunity for committing perjury removed, and hence that they should not be required to take an oath, and thereby be tempted to swear falsely. For it certainly was not the intention of. the law that women who have no children, as well as those who have, should be sworn, a proceeding which was offensive to God, as well as insulting to the memory of the deceased husband, when it was so easy to commit perjury, especially when the procreation of children was sox-large ly dependent upon chance.

Therefore, as We have by this Our law excused women from taking the oath under such circumstances, and authorized them to receive what was left by their husbands, We have considered it advisable (as this is something which has also been omitted by Us) to make provision with reference to the memory of the deceased husband. Hence We promulgate this law, for We do not desire the wills of deceased persons to be set at naught, or their widows to obtain anything which is illegal; for if We should say that a woman must, by all means, comply with the wishes of.her husband by not marrying a second time, the law would with reason be considered too harsh; but, on the other hand, it would be too indulgent if it permitted her to marry again, and also to receive what was left to her; for it would be a most flagrant offence to treat the wishes of the deceased husband with contempt, and insult his memory, if permission were given to his widow both to receive the legacy and to contract a second marriage.


Wherefore We decree that when a husband forbids his wife, or a wife her husband (for the same rule is applicable to both) to marry a second time, and bequeaths a legacy under this condition, the spouse who was entitled to it shall have the choice of two things, namely: either to marry again and renounce the legacy, or if she should be unwilling to do this, and wishes to honor the memory of the deceased, always abstain from marrying a second time.

(1) But to prevent the matter from remaining in suspense, and, besides, in order that the return of the legacy may not be required after the lapse of a certain time, it seems to Us to be proper for the person entitled to the legacy to demand it before the expiration of a year, provided an exception is not made in his case on account of his entry into the priesthood, since he can then entertain no hope whatever of marriage.

(2) When, however, the year has expired, We permit the person to whom the legacy has been left to receive it, not absolutely or simply, but where it consists of immovable property, the legatee cannot acquire it without furnishing juratory security,1 and by encumbering his or her own property (which We give authority to be done tacitly under the terms of this law), and if the said person should contract a second marriage, he or she must return what was given, as well as any profits that may have accrued in the meantime.

(3) But where the property is movable, the person entitled to it, if solvent, can obtain it by providing the same security and hypothecation. But when restitution takes place, the property must be returned in the same condition in which it was when received, or indemnity must be furnished for any diminution in value which may have taken place.

(4) When the legacy consists of money with the interest which can be obtained from it, the person entitled to the same must furnish juratory security. Where, however, it was not absolutely given, but only the use of it, interest shall be paid to the legatee at the rate of four per cent.

1 The juratoria cautio of the Roman law, which was applicable to many other cases than that mentioned in the text, and by which a promise under oath was given, generally when no better security could be obtained, is known to the jurisprudence of Scotland, and may be taken in "advocations," or transfers of actions from an inferior to a higher court; and in "suspensions" of decrees in foro, which practically amount to stays of execution. "Where the suspender cannot from his low or suspected circumstances procure unquestionable security, the Lords admit juratory caution, i. e., such as the suspender swears is the best he can offer; but the reasons of suspension are in that case to be considered with particular accuracy at passing the bill." (Erskine, Principles of the Law of Scotland III, III, Page 357 [note] ; IV, III, Page 621.)

In offering the juratory caution, the party either enters into his own recognizance to secure his presence at a criminal trial, or he makes an affidavit containing a detailed statement of his personal property, which he thereby assigns to his adversary by way of security. (Vide Paterson, A Compendium of English and Scotch Law, Pages 495, 546.)ED.

(5) When the legatee is not a person of means, a surety will be required; and if he or she is unable to furnish one, then juratory security must be given, and the hypothecation of his or her property will take place (as has already been stated).

(6) As soon as the legatee has married a second time, whatever was given to him or her can be recovered by the person who gave it, or his representatives; and We order that this rule shall be observed in every case of restitution, whether the property be movable or immovable.

(7) When what has been bequeathed consists of money, and the legatee is not solvent, and cannot furnish a surety, and is himself unworthy of credit, the money will then remain in the hands of the person charged with its payment, and will bear interest at four per cent until the legatee becomes solvent, or contracts a second marriage (or until the accumulation of interest exceeds the capital), or until it becomes clear that the legatee will never marry again either through his or her entrance to the priesthood (in which instance nothing shall be paid), or in case of death; for then the heirs shall be entitled to the legacy without being required to refund the interest.

(8) We have introduced this provision, which shall apply not only where married persons have made bequests reciprocally under such a condition, but also where a stranger has left a legacy to either the husband or wife conditionally, as aforesaid. This law shall be executed in accordance with its nature, whether the payment of the legacy or its restitution is involved.

This is what We have decreed with reference to the constitutions recently promulgated by Us on account of the Lex Julia, Miscetta; but the other kinds of legacies will take effect in accordance with the terms of the donation, and in conformity with the provisions which We have prescribed.

(9) The security above mentioned by Us shall be given to the heirs or their substitutes, or to those to whom they have been bequeathed, where there is a partial appointment, or portions of legacies are left, and when there is a donation mortis causa, the security shall be furnished entirely to the heirs. Where, however, an heir has been appointed to the entire estate under such a condition, security must be given to the substitutes, if there are any, or, by all means, to those who are called to the succession in case of intestacy, so that the law may everywhere be perfect in all its details, unless the testator directed that the person to whom he left something by special appointment or the whole estate, or a legacy, a trust, or a donation mortis causa, shall receive it without giving any security; for the wishes of the deceased must be complied with, and'it is Our earnest desire to observe them whenever they are in accordance with law.





As We have heretofore made very few provisions with reference to the security of property, and as We are aware that a law of Leo, of Divine memory, relating to second marriages, provides that where a woman marries a second time, and cannot furnish a surety who will be responsible for the transfer of the property to her children, she shall be entitled to the interest on the same at the rate of four per cent, We now enact the present law, which is better than the one referred to, and makes a distinction in conformity with what has been established.

(1) We decree (as We have already done in a preceding constitution), that where anyone offers as an ante-nuptial donation property which consists entirely of immovables, the mother shall have a right to the use of said property after she contracts a second marriage, and she must accept, and not refuse it, but she cannot exact interest from her children in proportion to the value of the same; and she must exercise the same diligence as if the law had granted her the entire ownership of the property, and must preserve it for her surviving children as required by law; or if all of them should die, she must, in accordance with Our law concerning children who are no longer living, preserve it for the benefit of their heirs.

(2) Where, however, all the donations made on account of marriage are composed of money, or other movable property, the mother will be entitled to interest at four per cent, as the security previously referred to does not require money to be paid by the children unless it is certain that there is sufficient gold, silver, clothing, or whatever else was given to her out of the estate of the husband, to do this; for, under such circumstances, We grant the mother the choice of accepting the donation by furnishing a bond with a surety, or of receiving the interest at four per cent, as established by the ancient laws as well as by Our own.

(3) Where, however, the property is of different kinds, and the donation is composed of money as well as of immovable property, the immovable property shall, by all means, remain in the hands of the mother, in order that she may obtain her maintenance therefrom. But, so far as the movable property is concerned, the rule which We have formerly promulgated shall apply, in case the entire donation comprises this kind of property; and the woman must be careful not to neglect the immovable property, and to restore whatever she has received without it having suffered any deterioration.



What We have heretofore provided impels Us to treat of the succession of children, to which mothers who contract second marriages are entitled. We have always promulgated a law with reference to these matters, which was addressed to Hermogenes, of glorious memory, Master of Our Imperial Offices, and dated the seventeenth of the Kalends of April, before the Consulate of the Glorious Belisarius; by which We authorized a mother, along with the brothers of the deceased, to be called to the succession of a son who died without issue, and granted them the undisputed ownership of the property, as well as the use of the same, whether an heir was left in the first place, or she had afterwards married a second time, and this law annuls all others which provide anything in contradiction to it.

We order that this Our law shall remain in full force solely with reference to parents who marry again; and We preserve for them indisputably any property which they may have received from their children either before or after having married a second time, where the said property has descended to them.

This, Our present law, applies to women who may hereafter contract second marriages. Hence when a child of either sex dies, whether it makes a will or not, whatever he or she does must be taken into account. We shall, in the first place, discuss cases where property is left by will, and then proceed to its disposal in case of intestacy.

(1) Therefore, when a son has disposed of all or only a portion of his estate in favor of his mother by will, she shall be entitled to it (because We desire that in every instance the wishes of deceased persons should be complied with), and she shall have what was left to her, whether the ownership of the property or merely the usufruct of the same was bequeathed. Moreover, it shall be lawful to leave the property to a stranger, and the second marriage of the woman will not in any way prejudice the heir; so, where anything is left to the mother, either through a testamentary appointment, or by a legacy, both the ownership and the usufruct can be bequeathed, whether the property comes to her from her father, or from some other source; nor can her brothers, on this ground, dispute the validity of the bequest.

(2) Where, on the other hand, a child dies intestate before or after its mother has contracted a second marriage, the latter shall be called to the succession with the brothers of the deceased son or daughter, in accordance with Our Constitution having reference to successions in case of intestacy; but the mother will only be entitled to the usufruct of property obtained by the son from the estate of his father, whether she marries before or after the death of the former. So far as property derived from another source than the paternal estate is concerned, the mother shall be called to the succession in the way which We recently stated ought to be corrected.

These rules which We establish have reference to property other than that included in the ante-nuptial donation. For We order that what has been decreed by Us in this respect, as well as what has been provided by the Constitution of Leo, of Divine memory, shall remain intact, in accordance with which the mother will only be entitled to the usufruct of the property.

(3) With reference to any other acquisition by the mother, which does not form part of the donation on account of marriage, whether the child acquired it through the medium of his father or otherwise, by will, or ab intestato, We decree that ungrateful children shall continue to be excluded from the succession to such property when their ingratitude is established; but We preserve intact all other provisions relating to the succession of parents to the estates of children, or of children to those of their parents.

(4) We consider ingratitude to be a cause of exclusion from inheritance, not only when it is displayed against the mother, as has previously been stated by Us, but also when exhibited toward the deceased brother himself.


As We are aware that many contentions often arise among brothers, We do not permit one who has shown himself to be ungrateful towards his brother to share in the succession to the latter's estate. This rule will also apply where anyone has attempted the life of his brother, or has brought a criminal accusation against him, or has attempted to deprive him of his property; for, under these circumstances, his share will pass to his surviving brothers and his mother. This law, which relates to the succession of children to which brothers are called, along with their mother, shall remain in force subject to the amendment which was made by Us with reference to widows who in the future may contract second marriages. As for women who have already married a second time, and can enjoy the benefits of Our above-mentioned law, they shall be entitled to the succession either by will or in case of intestacy, both as respects the ownership of the property and the usufruct of the same, and are fully authorized to alienate, bequeath, and transfer it, without any impediment being placed in their way by the present law at any time.

(1) We hereby confirm what We have enacted in a former law with reference to the issue of former marriages. For if an antenuptial donation which the mother obtained from her husband should happen to fall into the hands of her dying son, and hence become a part of his estate, his mother who succeeds him will not be entitled to the absolute ownership of the property comprised in the said antenuptial donation, but will only enjoy the use and usufruct of the same as long as she lives. Hence this provision shall continue to be operative in favor of the issue of former marriages, unless some settlement was made either by means of a judicial decision or a compromise before the aforesaid constitution took effect.

(2) In accordance with the terms of the Tertullian Decree of the Senate, the mother was excluded by a male child from the succession to her son, and was placed in the same position as the daughters. We, however, while not questioning the claim of the sons, hereafter grant the mother the legal right to their succession, and call her, along with the brothers of the deceased, to succeed to an equal share of the estate, no matter how many children there may be, so that she will obtain as much as each of the brothers. We establish the same rule where there are both brothers and sisters. Where, however, there are no other heirs but the mother and the daughters, the same Decree of the Senate gave half of the estate to the mother and the other half to the sisters, no matter how many of them there were. As We have not yet changed this, We do so now, and in this instance call the mother to the succession pro rata with the children; that is to say, she shall receive out of the estate of the deceased son a share equal to that of each of his sisters; and, under all circumstances, she shall be entitled to an equal share (which is the law), whether there are only male or only female heirs, or whether they consist of members of both sexes.



We have thought proper to add what follows to this law. Hence if a husband or wife should die and leave children, the issue of a first and second marriage (which was contracted after the enactment of this law, for by it We are providing for the present), We have directed that under such circumstances any gain acquired by the marriage of which the children are the issue shall be preserved for them; and We have also designated the shares that parents should leave to their legitimate offspring who are not ungrateful, but it would not be just that their entire affection should be manifested for children of the second marriage by giving them all the remainder of their property, only leaving to those who were the issue of the first marriage that to which they were legally entitled, and bequeathing all the rest to the issue of the second; for it is only just for something more to be left to the children of the first marriage than what is authorized by law.

Where, however, the parents entertain such an affection for a child born of either the first or the second marriage that they wish to give it preference over the others in the possession of their estates, We grant them permission to do so, but they must proceed in such a way as not entirely to diminish the shares of some and increase those of others; and, when favoring the children of the second marriage, they must be careful not to absolutely forget those of the first, and not violate the rule that Our predecessors established on this subject; for when fathers distribute their estates between the issue of two marriages, they should remember that all of them are their offspring,

and this should induce them to make a proper division of their property by will. For as the law calls them all equally to the succession of intestates, it is proper for them to imitate the law, and not impoverish the children by depriving them of too x-large a share of their estates; as they should show themselves to be good parents and worthy of Our legislation, and they should be just in the observance of the law.

If, indeed, they should leave them anything over and above what the law prescribes, they will prove themselves to be at the same time just and humane. We do not include both grateful and ungrateful children in this statement (for We have already frequently spoken of those who are ungrateful), but We refer to such as are more or less beloved by their parents, as a great difference exists between children who are guilty of ingratitude and those who cause themselves to be beloved, as well as in the way in which both of them treat their


Hence when We discussed the equality which parents should observe in the distribution of their estates among their children by the first and second marriages, We exhorted rather than ordered them, because, having elsewhere increased for all the share which was absolutely to be left to children in case of intestacy, and fixed the amount at four-twelfths of the paternal estate, where there are four children, or less, and half of it, where there are more than four, We have thereby given the children a sufficient consolation, and have relieved them from the poverty to which, according to the ancient apportionment, they were liable to be subjected.

(1) Therefore the present law, as We have frequently stated, is only applicable to the future, and has no retroactive effect, but, consolidated and included under one heading, it regulates almost everything concerning second marriages, and maintains in full force all preceding enactments, as well as explains matters having reference to second marriages, concerning which it introduces a nice and beneficial distinction. Hence, as has already been prescribed by Us, all these things will be embraced in a single constitution, which will be sufficient in every case in which such questions are involved.


Therefore Your Highness will order this law to be published everywhere in your jurisdiction, so that all persons may know that We have devoted Ourselves to labors even greater than Imperial meditations, that We only attempt to provide for Our safety by collecting from every source the principles of justice, and that all persons may see that everything relating to this legislation is condensed under a single head, and learn that We have preserved laws formerly promulgated, and which We now confirm and declare shall be valid in the future.

Given at Constantinople, on the fifteenth of the Kalends of August, after the Consulate of Belisarius.

Copies of this Constitution have been addressed to Patricius, Most Glorious Prefect of this City; to Basilides, Most Glorious Master of the Imperial Offices, Ex-Consul and Patrician; to Tribonian, Most Glorious

Qusestor, and twice Consul; to Germanus, General of Cavalry, Ex-Consul and Patrician; to Tziga, Most Glorious General of Infantry, Ex-Consul and Patrician; and to Florus, Most Glorious Count of Private Affairs, and Ex-Consul.

Your Excellency, when informed of the Constitution which it has pleased Us to promulgate, will cause it to be published in Your Court, not only to the advocates, but to other persons under Your jurisdiction, and they must all observe it, as communicated to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, twice Consul and Patrician.

Given at Constantinople, on the fifteenth of the Kalends of April, after the Consulate of Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to Tribonian, Most Glorious Quaestor and twice Consul.


As We are accustomed to moderate the excessive severity of ancient laws, We think that it is necessary to pursue this course in the present case with reference to appeals. For the ancient law prescribed that anyone who conducted his own case and lost it should have only two days in which to take an appeal, but when this was done by means of an attorney, the time could be extended to three days. We, however, have learned by experience that this was productive of injury, for many men being ignorant of the subtlety of the law, and thinking that an appeal could be brought within three days, allowed the two days to elapse, and thereby lost their right. Wherefore We have considered it necessary to apply a suitable remedy.


Hence We order that all appeals from the decisions of judges of either superior or inferior jurisdiction (with the sole exception of the Sublime Praetorian Prefects), whether instituted by the parties themselves or by their attorneys, defenders, curators, or guardians, shall be filed within ten days after the rendition of the judgment. We grant this term to persons engaged in lawsuits in order to enable them to determine whether they will take an appeal or not, and lest, through the influence of fear, an appeal may be taken without proper consideration, a course which would increase the number of appellants; but now all shall have a sufficient time for deliberation, which will restrain the unreflecting precipitancy of litigants.


We have provided that when an appeal is taken to Our Consistory, and the hearing of the same has been deferred on account of the Emperor being employed with the dispatch of public business, and the senators cannot be called together for this reason, the appeal shall not be exposed to risk on this account. For how can the appellants be to blame when the Emperor is occupied with other matters? Or who has sufficient authority to compel the sovereign to convoke the senators and other officials, when he is unwilling to do so?

When anything of this kind happens, the case shall remain in abeyance until the Emperor voluntarily calls together the senators and nobles, and allows the matter to be brought before him, and everything to proceed as is customary.



In this, the third chapter, a matter must be disposed of which was settled in ancient times, but has recently been neglected. For, formerly, when magistrates of superior, intermediate, and inferior rank, were appointed, appeals, when taken, instead of being brought before the superior magistrate, were filed in the tribunal of the intermediate judges, who, together with their associates, decided them. In modern times, however, this course is no longer pursued, for Our judges of superior rank are annoyed by appeals in cases of trifling importance, and litigants are subjected to great expense where insignificant matters are involved, so that the value of the entire property in controversy is not as much as the costs incurred. Therefore We order that when an appeal is taken in Egypt, or in either Lybia, in a case where an article is worth ten pounds of gold, it shall not be brought to this royal city, but before the Augustal Prefect, who shall hear and dispose of it instead of the Emperor, and that no appeal can be taken after he has rendered a final decision.

(1) In like manner, whenever, either in Asia or Pontus, an appeal is taken in an action where property to the aforesaid amount of ten pounds of gold is involved, it shall be brought before the Counts, Proconsuls, Prators, or Governors whom We have especially authorized to hear it. These magistrates shall take the place of the Emperor, just as the Augustal Prefect does, and shall hear such suits and decide them, having the fear of God and the law before their eyes, without the right of further appeal. Cases which have been in abeyance in the East, because appeals have been taken, and which are limited to the said value of ten pounds of gold, shall be sent before the Count of the East, who shall hear and finally dispose of them.



It must be observed that magistrates having the title of spectabiles, or others invested with similar jurisdiction, cannot have their decisions reviewed by other judges of the same rank, when appeals are taken, no matter what may be the amount of the property involved (as appeals must not be brought before judges of equal authority, but from the decisions of those of inferior jurisdiction, to others of more exalted rank), but by the Illustrious Prefect (as has already been stated), who with the distinguished Quaestor in office at the time, shall decide them with the assistance of their subordinates, that is to say, the employees of the Imperial Bureau of Records and of the Praetorian Prefecture. We make this provision in order that appeals from the Proconsuls or other magistrates who, charged with no other public duties, have been appointed by the Emperor, may not be brought indiscriminately before the aforesaid judges without observing the distinction of rank.

We, however, desire that appeals from the Governors of provinces and judges appointed by Us, where the latter are not spectabiles, shall be restricted to cases where the above-mentioned amount is involved. But where superior judges have been appointed by Us whose rank is above that of those referred to, or Proconsuls, or any other magistrates of equal official dignity who have been commissioned by the Emperor, their appeals, no matter what the value of the property in dispute may be, shall be brought to this Imperial City, where competent magistrates will hear and determine them, in conformity with ancient custom.

Everything prescribed by the ancient authorities, by former constitutions, or by Ourself, shall, in all other matters relating to appeals, remain in full force and effect.

Given at Constantinople, on the Kalends of July, after the Consulate of Belisarius.





Not only the parties litigant themselves, but their attorneys as well as their defenders, curators, and guardians, can take an appeal within ten days from the rendition of the judgment. It is not permitted to appeal from the decision of a Praetorian Prefect.


If the time established by law should elapse without the appeal having been heard by the Emperor, the case shall in no way be prejudiced. When an appeal is taken to the Emperor either from Egypt

or from either of the Lybias, and the amount of property involved does not exceed ten pounds of gold, the appeal shall be heard and decided by the Augustal Prefect; in the East by the Count of the East; and in Pontus and Asia by the Counts, Proconsuls, Praetors and Governors, if they have been expressly charged with this duty. All these officials are hereby invested with imperial authority for this purpose, and no one shall question their jurisdiction when cases of this kind are brought before him.


When an appeal is taken from a Governor, whether the property in controversy is worth more or less than ten pounds of gold, the Praetorian Prefect, along with the Qusestor and other officials, shall take cognizance of the same.



The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Imperial Praetorian Prefect of the East.


We have thought that the ancient Romans never could have rendered their government, which arose from such insignificant beginnings, so vast and powerful, added to their territory (We had almost said) ihe entire ea'rth, and been able to control and protect it by their domination, if they had not invested the eminent magistrates, whom they sent into the different provinces, with great dignity, as well as with military and civil jurisdiction, and had not selected such as were well qualified and capable of performing their official duties. They designated these magistrates by the name of "Praetors," an appellation derived from the fact that they were pre-eminent and superior to others, not only in the conduct of matters relating to warfare, but also in the execution of the laws. In consequence of this, the places in which they resided or publicly dispensed justice were styled Pretoria, and the greater portion of the Edicts published orally by the Praetors had the effect of statutes. Many Praetors governed Sicily, Sardinia, and Spain, while others extended the Empire over land and sea, and ruled the conquered countries.

Bearing these things in mind, and recalling with honor the ancient institutions of the Republic, as well as the dignity of the Roman name, and being aware that the two magistrates appointed for the administration of regions which have been the hardest to control up to this time were neither of them perfectly content with their condition, and that, on this account, in certain of Our provinces subject to both civil and military jurisdiction, the Governors were always quarrelling among themselves, and opposing one another, and, instead of accomplishing

something beneficial to Our subjects, they, on the other hand, rather oppressed them, We have thought that it would be preferable to unite the civil and military jurisdictions into one, and again give the name of Praetor to the magistrate invested with this authority, so that the same official would have command of the soldiers in accordance with the title which he formerly enjoyed, and would also be invested with the execution of the laws, which was originally one of the functions of the Praetor, and that he would be entitled to the emoluments of both offices, and have a single court composed of a hundred subordinates (for this will be sufficient for him) which would be styled the Praetorian Cohort, and be established by letters issued by Us.

Being thus invested with great dignity, the Praetor would be terrible to robbers, and render it impossible for those guilty of injustice to escape. He could accomplish everything through his extraordinary power, and, as a law formerly promulgated by Us orders all judges to have clean hands, he must obey it; and having taken the oath he must govern in accordance with it, both in his military and civil capacity. If anyone of Our glorious Consuls should happen to be appointed to the aforesaid office, this would appear to be an imitation of former times, when Consuls and men of consular rank drew lots for provinces, as the Praetors are not much inferior to them, since they have exalted the Roman name little by little, and increased its renown to such an extent that God has never before conferred such distinction upon any other Republic or Empire.

We have investigated the origin of the Pisidians, and have learned from ancient writers that this people formerly exercised dominion over a x-large portion of the earth, and now that this province needs a powerful and energetic magistracy (for it contains a great number of villages, and a x-large population who are especially seditious wlien it comes to the payment of taxes), We think it necessary to give to a country inhabited by a dishonest and blood-thirsty population of this kind, which, on account of its greed and wolfish voracity, has been called Lycocranitse, a magistrate who will leave here armed with proper power.

And as this magistracy should include both military and civil jurisdiction on account of the danger of revolt, all the military forces in the province shall be subjected to its authority. All the civil officials shall be called by and honored with the name of Praetor, for who will not stand in terror of his name? And who will not respect him, when civil and military jurisdiction are combined in a single official, when he knows what his duties are, and that he must obey the laws; provided he is well disposed and wishes to preserve his life, being aware that, in case he is disobedient, he will immediately be put to death, and the laws be enforced by arms?


It therefore is necessary for anyone who undertakes the duties of this magistracy (for We always bestow it gratis, and without any payment of money whatever, in order that the incumbent may, in

every instance, be free from corruption, and remain satisfied with those emoluments alone which he received from the public, as Our first law has also stated), to act with justice and honesty, and bear himself with a certain degree of severity, but still with kindness towards those subjected to his authority, as We have previously decreed, and banish from his province homicide, adultery, the rape of virgins, and, in a word, all other offences; and punish those who commit them as prescribed by Our law, without evincing any respect for the malefactors, even though they may be men of high rank; nor must he submit to those who offer no excuse for their acts, or only give such as are abominable; but he shall maintain justice in every instance, and regulate his conduct by Our enactments, rendering judgment in accordance with them, so that Our subjects may also form their lives and their rules of conduct in conformity thereto; and he must, above all things, keep the fear of God and of Us in mind, and never plan anything in contravention of Our precepts.

We forbid him to leave his province frequently and come here to annoy Us with unreasonable communications, but he must hear all cases in the first place himself, and decide them with a view to the importance of the office to which We have appointed him, and he must so conduct himself in this respect that no one will have reason to file charges against him on account of his administration of the magistracy, being aware that if anyone, after having applied to him, should not obtain justice, and be compelled to refer the matter to Us, he will be responsible for the result of the controversy which We shall subsequently determine, for as We have honored him with an increase of authority, so, if We find that, in opposition to Our intentions and wishes, he has abused his administration, We shall inflict suitable punishment upon him, and in this way We shall serve God as well as assist in the execution of the laws, whether he has been guilty of dishonesty, or has acted illegally through the influence of either favor or enmity; for We wish again to relieve Our subjects of the evils which formerly existed, and, without being deterred by the greatness of the undertaking, We have hastened to turn Our attention to this subject.


This official must not only perform the duties which have already been enumerated by Us, but he must see that there is a great abundance of provisions in the towns, and that no citizen is without subsistence. He must inspect the public works in the different cities, and not allow them to fall into decay, but keep all aqueducts, bridges and highways in good repair, and not permit the collectors of taxes to oppress Our subjects in any way; and We forbid him to receive any of those orders which, in conformity with a practice that We do not approve of, are issued by your court for the repair of walls, the opening of public highways, and innumerable other purposes. He shall not, under the pretext of orders of this kind, or, for any other reason, permit anyone to inflict injury upon Our subjects, nor shall he execute any decisions proceeding from your office, which in any respect may be improper (for

We have already prohibited such things), but he alone must assume supervision of all public works.

If, however, in accordance with the provisions of Our law, We should address a pragmatic sanction to your prefecture, the Praetor must himself carry out what We have ordered to be done, without any other person being permitted to annoy Our subjects, for while We are rendering Our provinces more and more flourishing by increasing the number of citizens, We do not wish a multitude of men to repair to the capital who dare not return to their homes on account of the iniquity of Governors.

For this reason We order that Your Excellency shall for the future not hold two distinct magistracies in Pisidia, but that only one shall exist there under a Praetor, who shall possess both civil and military jurisdiction and shall have charge of both public and private civil matters, and be in command of the soldiers, so that in this way he will enforce his authority by their aid, and on the other hand, his military jurisdiction will be adorned by the law. No sedition will hereafter take place in the cities, if for the future We select for Praetor a man whom We deem worthy of both these offices which have been combined in one.


Therefore the Treasury will pay the Praetor of Pisidia the ordinary salary which We in the notice appended to this law order that he shall receive. We wish this magistrate to bear Our Imperial name, and that he be styled the Justinianian Praetor. The body of Praetorian officials approved by Our letters (as We have previously stated) shall be appointed, and shall have charge of all affairs and persons, both civil and military. This Governor and his subordinates shall also be responsible for the collection of taxes, and he shall enjoy all the distinctions and insignia which are customary, that is to say, the curule chair of silver, and the axe and fasces; he shall also have among the soldiers an adresponsus, to whom We grant authority over the soldiers of that department, enjoining him to command them properly, preserve discipline, and make use of them not only for the pursuit of thieves, but to retain Our subjects in order and tranquillity.

The Praetor shall not permit seditions to break out in the cities, or the counts to appropriate anything belonging to the Treasury, but he shall have authority over all, without any exception whatever. This magistrate shall be placed among those that are of intermediate rank, and be classed with such as are designated spectabiles. Hence he will be invested with all the attributes formerly possessed by vicegerents and which to-day attach to the Justinianian Counts of Pacatian Phrygia, and First Galatia, as well as those of the Count of the East and the Proconsuls; he shall also be a magistrate of the rank of spectabile, and appeals taken from his decisions shall be decided here, as is customary in the case of other spectabile magistrates, by the tribunal of the Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect, with whom shall be associated in the determination of causes the Most Glorious Quaestor

of Our Imperial Palace; for the reason that although this office is invested with a military character, still, because it will hereafter also possess civil jurisdiction, the same order which was formerly customary in the case of magistrates of the rank of spectabile must be observed.


As We have recently stated in an Imperial Constitution that, where the property in controversy did not exceed in value the sum of fifty pounds of gold, appeals should be taken from Governors, and heard and determined in the Imperial Audience-Chamber, We decree that where an appeal of this kind is taken in Pisidia alone, from the decision of a judge whom We have appointed, or from that of one of Our superior magistrates, it shall not be brought before the Justinianian Count of Pacatian Phrygia (which We have prescribed by former laws), but before the Praetor himself, and be heard just as it would be in the Imperial Audience-Chamber (for We also honor the magistrates in this way) and be permanently decided by him, and not sent to this city, in order that We may prevent persons who engage in litigation concerning matters of slight importance from being subjected to inordinate expense.


In order that the subordinates of the Praetor of Pisidia, or persons appointed to other offices which We have established or shall hereafter establish, may be informed of the manner in which it is proper for them to govern their provinces, it has seemed proper to Us not only to give them the distinctive insignia of their rank with their commissions, but also to prescribe for them certain rules of official conduct, in accordance with which they may govern their provinces (which preceding legislators designated "advices to Governors") so that they might conduct their administration with these before their eyes, and by means of them Our subjects everywhere be benefited.

Wherefore We order that instructions of this kind shall be filed in the Imperial Laterculus and with their commissions be delivered to the magistrates, who will take the oaths which We have laid down in Our Constitutions, as well as observe all the regulations which We have prescribed therein. A schedule appended by Us to this law states the amount which the Praetor must pay after his nomination, either to Imperial Laterculus, or to the Forum of the Most Glorious Prefect, for the commissions of his office; and also fixes the compensation which the Praetor himself and his assessor shall receive from the public. Having taken personal cognizance of everything relating to the consolidation of the magisterial offices in question, the Praetor must, on his part, exert every effort to deserve Our esteem, and'appear blameless in Our eyes.

This law shall be recorded in the Book of Our Constitutions (for We order that it shall also be included among them), and you will see that it is executed, and always observed and recognized in the cases to which it has reference.

Three hundred solidi shall be paid to the Praetor of Pisidia by way of subsistence, capitation, and indemnity; seventy-two solidi shall be paid to his assessor; and fifty-two to the members of his court. The Praetor himself must pay for the commissions of his office the following sums: nine solidi to the chartularii of the Imperial Bedchamber; forty-five to the Chief to the Illustrious Tribunes of the Notaries and the laterculensii; three solidi to his assistant, and sixty to the Cohort of the Most Glorious Pratorian Prefect for orders and all other purposes.



The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, twice Consul and Patrician.


When We consider what writers and historians have stated concerning the origin of the people of Lycaonia, and call to mind their extraordinary affinity with the Romans, which afforded such a good reason for their reunion, We thought that it was but just to give to this magistracy a rank superior to that which it had hitherto enjoyed. Tradition relates that, in ancient times, Lycao, who was King of Arcadia in Greece, lived on Roman soil, and that after having conquered the Enutrians, he, so to speak, founded the Roman Empire (We have reference to times much more ancient than those of JEnseas and Romulus), and a colony having been established in these parts, he seized a x-large portion of Pisidia, and imposed his own name upon it, calling this region Lycaonia after himself; hence it is but just that this province should be subjected to the government of one of the magistrates that the ancient Romans invested with so much honor and distinction, and that the authority of both the magistrates who governed the said province at that time (We allude to the civil Governor, as well as to the one having military jurisdiction) should be combined in a single official designated by the appellation of Praetor. This title is peculiar to the Roman government almost by paternal right, and was in use under the Republic even before that of Consul. For the ancient Romans called their Emperors Praetors, and at the same time invested them with military command; they obeyed the laws promulgated by them; and, afterwards, this magistrate, moderate in the exercise of both jurisdictions, displayed as much resolution in battle as he did in the enactment of laws, and the preservation of order.


Hence We are determined to combine these two administrations into one, and We designate the magistrate who is entrusted with them

by the name of Praetor, so that the character of a magisterial office of this kind, to which such an appellation is given, may acquire great respect for the incumbent, and as he is not invested with a single office (such, for instance, as that of military or civil jurisdiction), but united both of them, he will show himself stern and severe when military affairs are concerned, but lenient and gentle in the administration of civil justice; and for this reason he will display a more terrible spirit towards malefactors, but will conduct himself in a more gracious and moderate manner towards persons who are honorable.

We have established these regulations not without good reason, and have bestowed the name of Praetor upon the aforesaid magistrate alone, being induced to do so on account of the requirements, as well as for the benefit of the province. For, indeed, this country is inhabited by brave men, and does not in any respect differ from Isauria; it is, like it, situated in the centre of the earth, exposed to the rays of the sun, suitable for the pasture of horses, and supports numerous inhabitants and many horses; in it are many x-large towns, and it contains a multitude of men suitable for cavalry and for archers, whose minds are readily inflamed, who are prompt to take up arms, and are fit subjects for military government, because they are opposed to having their fortunes solely under the control of civil magistrates, whom they think should be despised; for bold men are unwilling to obey the law when it is not rendered formidable by a proper display of force.

These considerations have impelled Us to appoint but a single magistrate, as We have previously done among the Pisidians, and to confer upon him the appellation of Praetor, together with Our name, for We desire that he shall be styled the Justinianian Praetor of Lycaonia, as is the case with those of Pisidia and other provinces. We also combine both courts over which civil and military magistrates formerly presided into one, designating it as the Praetorian Tribunal; and it shall be established in the accustomed manner by means'of letters issued from the office of the Imperial Secretary, from which the Proconsuls received theirs; and We grant to the Praetor, as well as to his assessor and other subordinateswho are limited to a hundred in numberthe salaries of the two offices, and fix the amounts thereof in the notice appended to the present law. Finally, the Praetor shall be entitled to an odresponsiis, or apocrisiary, whose duty will be to maintain order among the soldiers, and to this end We direct that he shall have the command of the other soldiers stationed in said province.


We shall send a man to discharge the duties of this office, who is of approved reputation, and of the same eminent rank from which those Praetors formerly were selected that adorned the Republic with their labors, who being a resident of Italy, will soon depart for his seat of government. This man must always be mindful of the requirements of his office, and, no matter how he may have obtained it, he must cause himself to be respected by Our subjects; he must render himself terrible to robbers and other malefactors, and always conduct himself

with courage. For there is no doubt that he will discharge his duty with clean hands whenever he obtains his place gratuitously; and, moreover, the law recently enacted by Us orders all magistrates therein described to refrain from corruption (as they are sworn to do), to render judgment according to Our laws, and, in every instance, to dispense equity and justice to Our subjects. "It was under circumstances of this kind that the old Romans adorned their Republic, and obtained the domination of the world. For who is there who would not at the same time reverence and fear a magistrate of this kind, regarding him as exercising his functions in a twofold capacity, who can both readily execute what the law commands, and properly employ military force where it is violated in any respect?

(1) We have been induced by the same reasons which existed in the case of the appointment of a Praetor to the government of Pisidia to give the same title to the Praetor of Lycaonia. For as he must, under all circumstances, receive his office without paying anything for it, and, remaining content with those emoluments alone which are bestowed upon him by the Treasury, in conformity with the former law promulgated with reference to the duties of Governor, absolutely abstain from base and avaricious conduct, so also he must show himself to be sincere and just in the administration of his office, and act in such a way as to maintain harmony in his province, by treating those subject to his rule sometimes with firmness and severity, and again with leniency, as circumstances may demand.

(2) This magistrate must detest and punish all cases of adultery, homicide, and especially the rape of virgins, with extreme rigor; he must also punish other malefactors who are, as it were, afflicted with an incurable disease, without exception; and he should also endeavor to induce those who are less guilty to lead better lives. In addition to this, he must show no favor to anyone who is guilty of dishonorable behavior,' even though he may be rich or enjoy high rank, for the reason that We have chosen him from among the latter class is that he may not find it necessary to treat with consideration anyone but Ourselves, and the laws, in accordance with which he must dispense justice, and regulate the affairs of Our subjects.


The Praetor must not abandon himself to idleness, or be guilty of injustice to anyone, lest the inhabitants of the province over which he has jurisdiction may be compelled to leave it, and incessantly annoy Us with their affairs. He must hear and determine all cases brought before him, and always remember the honor which We have conferred upon him; he must devote himself incessantly to the duties of government, in order to obtain Our praise and avoid being required to render an account of his administration. He may rest assured that, if any litigant having failed to obtain justice in a case in his jurisdiction should appeal to Us, We will send him back without giving him any answer. But We warn him that where any person applies to him without obtaining redress, and then has recourse to Us, the result of

the decision which We shall render will make him responsible instead of the appellant; and as We have increased his authority, if We should ascertain that he is idle and careless, and does not properly avail himself of the power with which We have invested him, We shall come to the assistance of the law by prosecuting him relentlessly; and as he did not respect either Our instructions, Our laws, or the form and rank of his magistracy, We shall not show any regard for him, but shall take measures to compel him to improve his administration; and whether he be guilty of corruption, of partiality, or of violating Our laws, We shall call him to account for his acts, in order that it may not be said that in the treatment of Our subjects We are only influenced by pecuniary interest, or that We are sparing them for some other reason which may redound to Our own advantage.


It is also necessary for this magistrate to take measures to maintain order in the towns under his jurisdiction; to prevent seditions from breaking out therein; to administer justice everywhere; and exercise the greatest diligence to avoid being too indulgent and lax in the maintenance of discipline.

(1) Again, he must not neglect the public works in the cities of his government, that is to say, the aqueducts, bridges, walls, and highways ; he must keep them in good condition, or report the expense of the repairs to Us, so that this may be partly met by the civil revenues, and partly by Our liberality.

(2) He must not permit Our subjects to be oppressed by collectors sent from here by officials of high rank, or anything to be extorted from them by persons who have been given orders which formerly emanated from your throne, and are injurious to citizens in moderate circumstances; which orders sometimes have reference to the repair of walls, highways, statues, bridges, and harbors; or provide for the renovation of public water-courses, and the cleaning of public places; as well as the demolition of buildings which have been erected where this ought not to have been done, and other matters of this kind which are extremely annoying to Our subjects; but the Praetor himself must discharge this duty, and cause the necessary labor to be performed without any expense to those under his authority.

If, however, it should appear to Us that repairs of this description require special examination, We shall, under such circumstances, avail Ourselves of a pragmatic sanction addressed to you, by which someone else will be authorized to do the work. In this way Our subjects will be relieved; Our cities will flourish; their inhabitants will be greatly increased, and will not be compelled to flee from their country; and the fear with which they regard their Governors will no longer induce them to abandon their property.


Therefore Your Excellency will be aware that hereafter there will be only one magistrate in Lycaonia, and not two; that all the emolu-

ments formerly given by the Treasury to the incumbents of both offices will now be paid to the Praetor and his subordinates, in conformity to the notice appended to this constitution; and this shall take place in the same manner as heretofore.

(1) The collection of public taxes shall be committed to the officials of the Praetorian Tribunal, as well as to the Praetor himself, to whose authority they are subject; and he will be entitled to the insignia of both offices, although the greater portion of these are of a military character. He will take his seat upon the silver chair, the axe will precede him (for this is the emblem of consular power), and the fasces also will be borne solemnly before him; the entire army stationed in the province shall obey his orders; and he must be careful to suppress brigandage and protect persons who have suffered from injustice, and maintain peace and concord among Our subjects.

(2) He shall not permit the Counts to levy public taxes or to take any part in their collection. He shall take rank among the spectabiles, even though he may be promoted to a higher office, for the honor of those who govern provinces is such that We do not think that the dignity of anyone is diminished when he is called upon to administer their affairs. Therefore it is proper for this official to be numbered among the spectabiles on account of the importance of the place which he holds, in which rank are also included the Proconsuls, and the Counts of the East, of Galicia, and of Phrygia.

(3) He shall hear all legal controversies arising in his province, whether they be pecuniary, civil, or relating to freedom, and he can delegate his authority to other magistrates. Appeals from his decisions shall be heard in the same way as has already been prescribed in the case of spectabile magistrates, by the Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect and the Most Glorious Quaestor (as We stated in the beginning) ; the reason for which is that this office becomes civil by means of the laws to which We desire even military jurisdiction to be subordinated.


In conformity to the law recently promulgated by Us, when, in a ease where the value of the property in controversy does not exceed five hundred pounds of gold, an appeal is taken from the decision of one of the magistrates of Praetorian jurisdiction, not the Count of Pacatian Phrygia (as We have previously stated) but the Praetor himself must hear it, even though the judge whose decision is appealed from may have specially been appointed either by Us, or by someone of high rank; and it will not be necessary, for the reasons already stated, for this judge to be spectabile; but the Praetor shall decide the appeal without (as was formerly the case) it being possible for recourse to be had to Us, and to prevent Our subjects from being compelled to incur great expense where the value of the property is insignificant.

We give the Praetor information on these matters in order that he may learn properly to represent Us; We confer upon him not only the

honor of his office by the commissions (for they are so designated) which it is customary to give to magistrates of spectabile rank, but We also communicate to him the Imperial mandates, which the ancient legislators styled "instructions to Governors." When We drew up these instructions We directed that they should be filed in Our Imperial Bureau of Records, in order hereafter to be delivered to the magistrates with their commissions, for the latter confer the authority, and the former indicate the way in which it is to be exercised.

The notice appended to this Our law fixes the amount to be paid by the Praetor for his commissions, when he is appointed, and the salaries to which he, along with his assessor and his court, are entitled from the public. If Your Excellency should ascertain that the Governors of the provinces included in the jurisdiction of the Praetor of Lycaonia are negligent in rendering an account of the taxes, you will not remove them, but will notify the spectabile magistrates, in order that they may reprimand such Governors as are devoted to idleness, and they themselves see that the taxes are paid into the Public Treasury.


Therefore We order that the present law shall be inserted in the Book of Our Constitutions; it shall carry with it the eternal memory of Our benefits; and Your Excellency, as soon as you have received it, shall cause it to be enforced.

The following schedule of payments is applicable to the office of the Praetor of Lycaonia. He shall receive by way of subsistence, capitation, and salary, three hundred solidi; his assessor shall receive seventy-two, and his attendants fifty-two. On the other hand, the Praetor shall pay for his commissions nine solidi to the Chief of the Chartularies of the Imperial Bedchamber; twenty-four to the Chief of the Illustrious Tribunes of the Notaries, and officials of the Later-cidus, three to the assistant of the Chief, and sixty to the subordinates of the Most Glorious Prefects, for orders and other purposes.



The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, twice Consul and Patrician.


It is an admitted fact that when anyone mentions the country of Thrace there straightway arises in his mind a spirit of courage, and a desire for war and battle. And, indeed, such a desire is innate in this people, and is, as it were, an inherited attribute. For this reason We first determined to establish better conditions in that country, and, after having long considered the subject, We have finally drawn up

the present law. We are aware that two vicegerents are stationed at Long Wall, one of whom is in command of the military (for there are a great number of soldiers in that neighborhood), and the other has charge of civil matters. But as one of them performs the duties of Most Glorious Prefect and the other those of general of the army, they never agree among themselves; and although the Treasury furnishes them with subsistence and other emoluments separately, they, nevertheless, encroach upon the jurisdiction of each other so that controversies incessantly arise between them.


Therefore, it has appeared advisable to Us to treat Thrace as We have treated other nations, although the people are not so fierce or so much in need of military government as those referred to; for We do not desire that two officials having respectively civil and military jurisdiction should any longer exist in Thrace, hence We now combine the two offices into one, which We entrust to a single magistrate of eminent character, who is worthy of respect, and will not only discharge the civil duties of the place, but will be careful to preserve proper military discipline, as anyone who performs the functions of Governor alone is not invested with sufficient authority for this purpose.

(1) If, however, the care of this region, the administration of all its affairs, and the preservation of order, as well as the command of the army require the service of a good man, and one who cannot only control the soldiers, but also issue orders in conformity with the laws, what name would be appropriate for Us to confer upon a place of such importance? How shall We designate the official appointed to this magistracy? Is it not clear that, just as the ruler of Pisidia and the supreme magistrate of Lycaonia have been created and appointed by Us, so also, in this instance, the official should be called Praetor joined with the name of Our majesty? For if the ancient Praetor of the Romans occupied the same position under the Republic as under the Empire, it must be admitted that no title is so applicable to this magisterial office as that of Praetor, since this dignitary commands the soldiers, and has not a few towns subject to his jurisdiction, in which he dispenses justice in accordance with Our laws.

Civil as well as military affairs require the services of a man of high character in these places, for in the early days of the Republic soldiers were always appointed to great offices; they not only commanded the army, but also governed Our other subjects at the same time, even though the latter were not enlisted in the army. Finally the invasions of barbarians demanded the adoption of more stringent measures, and it became advisable for the administration to be entrusted to a magistrate who could rule in accordance with Our laws, as there is a great difference between the maintenance and the disregard of order; and it is evident to everyone that when military power alone is exercised it exceeds the limits of propriety, and becomes too bold; while, on the other hand, a purely civil administration,

when not supported by a military force, will be deficient in authority; but when both of these forms of government are united in the same ruler, the management of public affairs becomes more perfect and effective, not only for the prosecution of war but also for the preservation of peace.


Hence the two administrations of this province shall be united, and the official invested with the government of the same shall be designated the Justinianian Praetor of Thrace. We grant him the insignia of his rank both by means of the commissions issued here like those given to spectabile magistrates, and by Imperial instructions which prescribe the method of governing the province, which said instructions Our predecessors called mandates of the sovereign, and were delivered to those who drew the provinces by lot, for the purpose of informing them of the manner in which they should discharge the


The office of Praetor has always been regarded as one of the highest dignity; it has increased the greatness of the Roman name among many nations subject to Our Empire, especially in the West; and it is through the agency of the Praetors that the Romans have added to their dominions almost the entire North, South, and a x-large portion

of the East.

You will communicate the provisions of this law, having reference to the government of provinces, and whatever We have also decreed concerning the Praetors of Pisidia and Lycaonia, to all persons, so that these magistrates may be appointed gratuitously, and may also, without reward, devote themselves to the welfare of Our subjects; and there is all the more reason for this, as the law referred to applies to Our entire Empire, and is well known to everyone, for it prescribes the oath to be taken by Our magistrates when they assume their official duties, and by means of it they devote their souls to God, and promise to govern Our subjects with equity and justice, as well as to refrain from all corruption, enmity, and partiality.

(1) The court of the Praetor of Thrace shall be composed of a hundred persons, and the Praetor shall be invested with the insignia of both military and civil magistracy. In addition to this, an adre-sponsus shall be assigned to him who shall have charge of the army stationed in that region, over which he shall have full command, and which the Praetor shall be authorized to make use of in every way which he may think will be to the advantage of the Government.

(2) The levy of taxes in that region shall be made by the Praetor himself and his subordinates, and the entire body of the latter shall be given the name of praetorian, and shall be appointed by letters issued by the Imperial Secretary's office, whence in former times the members of the vic'eregal court also received their authority.


The Praetor must be careful, in the first place, to keep his hands clean from the acceptance of either bribes or presents, and afterwards,

in public as well as private, to show himself to be just in every respect towards Our subjects, whether they are involved in litigation, or enter into contracts with one another; and he must take measures to prevent them from engaging in disputes. He must also employ his soldiers in military exercises, in order to render them more efficient and active; he must govern the other inhabitants in accordance with law, to the end that they may become just, and free from all wickedness and malice, by which they may the more readily be induced to practice equity, virtue, and courage; and when a military expedition is undertaken, he shall see that it is despatched as quickly as possible, and that every cohort is at hand, as the civil officials should co-operate with the military for the purpose of counter-acting any hostile operations of the enemy.

(1) Again, this magistrate must hear and determine all pecuniary, criminal, and other cases justly and in accordance with Our laws, without evincing any partiality, and not give any occasion to litigants to annoy Us with their importunities; for We are unwilling for Our subjects, when oppressed by their Governors, to be compelled to abandon their provinces in order to have recourse to Us. If, hereafter, the people of Thrace should appeal to Us for any reason, We shall carefully ascertain whether they have already brought their cases before the proper official in their province, and if We ascertain that this has not been done, We shall send them back with a severe reprimand. But if, after having made application to the Praetorian Tribunal, the magistrate has neglected to render judgment, or, if influenced by some dishonorable motive, he has not decided in accordance with law, We shall then devote Our attention entirely to him. For as We increased the power of the Prsetor (that is to say, as We conferred upon him the functions of two offices) and have placed him in control of such a great multitude of men, if We should find that he has acted in any unworthy manner, We shall not overlook the fact, nor shall We impose a moderate penalty upon him; and as We shall exalt him if he discharges his duty properly, so We shall inflict the more severe punishment upon him when he does anything contrary to law. He must show no partiality whatever for anyone, no matter what his rank may be or what wealth he may possess; and We appoint men of distinction and authority to places of this kind in order that it may not be necessary to favor those who desire to make use of their wealth to inflict injury upon others.


The Praetor of Thrace shall see that the public works do not suffer any damage, for instance, the harbors, walls, bridges, and highways; but he himself must provide for all necessary repairs where the civil revenues are sufficient, and if any greater expenditures are necessary, he must inform Us of the fact, and accounts must be rendered, just as has already been prescribed by one of Our laws. Nor do We wish that persons who are ordinarily charged with the inspection of watercourses, and the repair of gardens, walls, pictures, and other things of this kind, should be sent from your prefecture (which indeed We have

already prohibited) into the province; but the Prsetor himself must ascertain what should be done, and render an account of the expenditures for repairs, in accordance with Our Constitution.

(1) But if We should determine to place another in charge of this office, We shall do so by means of a pragmatic sanction, which (if it seems advisable) shall be addressed to your prefecture. For, in order to prevent Our subjects from incurring too much expense, and because We are aware of the great power of money, and have made ample provision for the subsistence of Governors, their courts, and all their attendants, as is customary, We do not desire them to commit any discreditable acts on account of poverty or for any other similar reason, but honored with distinguished rank, and being members of the eminent body of the Senate, they should govern their provinces, having the glory of God and the memory of Ourselves constantly in mind. If the Prsetor does not in any respect disobey what We have commanded, he will greatly increase his reputation.

(2) And, as the ancient Romans only appointed men of consular rank and Prsetors to govern provinces, We do not do anything contrary to good morals when We designate persons for such a purpose who, repressing the yiolence of collectors of taxes, that, sent from here, seek to oppress Our subjects, can in this way render themselves useful in case of necessity.

We confer upon the Prsetor of Thrace power to investigate and prevent things of this kind, and thus correct these abuses, and his secretary shall inform Us of their existence, in order that if the Prsetor should be unable to remedy them, and the case demands it, Our authority may be interposed.


We admonish magistrates by Imperial mandates, which We communicate to them along with the insignia of office, to remind them of the oath which they have taken, as well as of the instructions which We have communicated to them, so that if they desire to show themselves worth of Our approbation, they will lead proper lives, and, in accordance with Our laws administer the offices bestowed upon them. We have conferred authority upon these magistrates subject to the abovementioned condition, granting them (as has already been stated) full power to act, and render decisions in pecuniary, criminal, and all other cases; and appeals should be taken from them to Our Most Glorious Prefects and Quaestors, who shall decide them in the same way that they do cases referred to the Imperial Palace.

Where in this province a case in which a sum less than fifty aurei is involved is taken up on appeal, and it was originally decided by a judge appointed either by Us or by the Prsetor (provided the magistrate is not one of the rank called spectabile), the appeal shall be taken to the Prsetor, who shall hear it in accordance with the procedure of the Imperial Palace. For We honor his office in this way, and place him upon the same footing as the Count of the East, the Proconsuls, and the Counts of Phrygia and Galatia; and if he is of the above-

mentioned rank, as the magistrates of these provinces are, he can render judgment in the same way. Our law does not diminish the importance of the office of Governor, but the Praetor shall himself be charged with the execution of the laws in the province; that is to say, he shall exercise the same functions in the jurisdiction which We have just conferred upon him.

(1) A notice has also been appended to this law which establishes the sums to be paid by the Praetor for his commissions, and fixes the salary given him by the public by way of subsistence. We do not permit him to accept anything beyond that amount, and he must avoid making any profit, for if We grant liberal allowances to magistrates, they must indemnify Us for doing so by consulting the welfare of Our subjects, and always be mindful of the oath which it is customary for them to take.

We desire the present law to be recorded in the Book of Constitutions, and after having received it, you will see that it is perpetually observed hereafter.

The Praetor of Thrace shall be entitled to three hundred solidi by way of subsistence, capitation, and salary; his assessor shall have seventy-two solidi; and his attendants fifty-two; but, on the other hand, the Praetor shall pay for his commissions the following sums, viz.: to the three chartularies of the Imperial Bedchamber nine solidi; to the Chief of the Illustrious Tribunes of the Notaries and the officers of the Laterculi, twenty-four solidi; to the court of the Most Glorious Prefect, for orders and other things, forty solidi.



The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, twice Consul and Patrician.


The government which Our predecessors established in Isauria is at present in Our mind, and We remember at the same time that in First Galatia and Pacatian Phrygia, We united the office of Vicegerent (as it was formerly called) to the civil magistracy, and honored the official who administers them with the ancient appellation of Count, because of which one of these dignitaries bears the title of Count of First Galatia, and the other that of Count of Pacatian Phrygia, added to the name of Our Majesty.


We make the same provisions with reference to the Province of Isauria, for We do not wish that he who in the future may administer this office shall use double commissions, assume the title of civil magis-

trate and at the same time be invested with the insignia of military authority, and bear a double appellation when, in fact, the two places are combined in one; hence, in order that he may have but a single office, We decree that he shall possess military jurisdiction, collect the public taxes, govern all the inhabitants under his control, and preside over only one tribunal which shall be called that of the Count, and shall receive the letters conferring his authority from the Bureau of the Imperial Secretaries. He shall, under all circumstances, obtain the magistracy gratuitously, and shall not give or pay out any money; and in order that he may be free from corruption, We send him the law which We have recently promulgated on this subject.

In addition to the commissions conferring the rank of magistrate which are delivered to him, We also give him the Imperial precepts, called mandates by former Emperors, and which have again been introduced by Us into the government, from which he may understand what is required of him in all matters both public and private, and in addition to this, what measures to adopt to prevent the Treasury from being subjected to any unnecessary expense, and learn in what way he should perform his official functions.


He is notified that he is assigned a place among the spectabile magistrates, and that the Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect, along with Our Most Glorious Quaestor, will hear any appeals taken in his province, as the Augustal Prefect, the Proconsul, the three Praetors, whom We have recently appointed in Pisidia, Lycaonia, and Thrace, as well as the Count of the East, and the Counts of Pacatian Phrygia, and First Galatia do. When a case involving property of the value of less than fifty pounds of gold is hereafter appealed in Isauria the Count himself shall hear it, just as is done in the Auditorium of the Imperial Palace. For We grant him this privilege, adding thereby to the dignity attaching to his office.


Your Excellency will conduct yourself towards the aforesaid magistrate just as you do toward the other magistrates hereinbefore mentioned.

We append to this law a notice stating what must be paid out of the Public Treasury to the Count, his court, and his assessor, and also what he must give in consideration of receiving his commissions. These officials, who have recently been appointed by Us, are hereby notified that they must refuse to receive any money tendered for offices, which is not bestowed by Us either upon themselves, their assessors, and court attendants; for We have allotted x-large salaries to the Governors themselves, in order to prevent them from accepting anything from Our subjects. If you should discover that the Governors of provinces included in the jurisdiction of the Count of Isauria are negligent in the collection of taxes, you will not remove them, but you will notify

the magistrates to threaten such idle and inefficient officials and exert every effort to increase their diligence; for it is only by their cooperation that the government of Isauria can be improved and acquire a greater lustre than it formerly enjoyed.

The Count of Isauria shall be entitled to two hundred solidi by way of subsistence; his assessor to twenty-two; and the attendants of his court to fifty-two. He must pay the following sums for the delivery of his commissions, namely, nine solidi to the Chartularies of the Imperial Bedchamber; twenty-four solidi to the Chief of Tribunes of Notaries, and the Laterculensii; and forty solidi to the officers of the court of the Most Glorious Prefect, on account of orders and for all other purposes.


TWENTY-EIGHTH NEW CONSTITUTION. The Emperor Justinian to John, Praetorian Prefect.


It is certainly not the part of a well-established and powerful government without good cause to alter and divide what has for a long time been settled and confirmed, as the strength of an empire does not depend upon a multitude of words, but upon the faithful and just administration of affairs. We have ascertained that this rule has been violated with reference to the two Provinces of Pontus, that is to say, the Hellespont and Polemoniac Pontus; for they were formerly subject to the authority of a single Governor, while at present there are two officials, without public necessity requiring it, or anyone being able to give a good reason for their existence. The proof that there is no good cause for this is that, up to this time, the two Provinces of Pontus have only had a single Count for the collection and expenditure of taxes; and if anyone should undertake to enumerate the different towns situated in both of them, he would hardly find enough for a single province. For instance, the Hellespont has eight: Amasia, Ibora, Euchaita, Zela, Andrapa, ^Egeumwhose climate, that is, its agreeable location, has caused it to be includedSinopa, and Amisus, ancient municipalities, as well as Leontopolis, which formerly was numbered among cities.

Polemoniac Pontus contains five towns, namely: New Caesarea, Comana, Trapezus, Cerasus and Polemonium, for Pitius and Sebastopol should rather be included among forts than cities; and these are the towns included in the two Provinces of Pontus.

Lazica is situated near them, in which is the City of Petraeon, which by Our favor, is entitled to Our name and is styled Justinianian; and also Archa3opolis and Rhodopolis, both x-large and ancient fortified towns, are among those which We have received from the Persians;

together with Scandis, Sarapanis, Murisius, and Lusiris, and if, in addition to these, any others are included in the country of the Lazi, We are not aware of the fact.

Next come the Tzani who, during Our reign, have for the first time been subjected to Roman rule. This nation has several towns which have recently been built, as well as others which are in course of construction. Then come the Suani, the Scymni, the Apsiles, the Abasges, and others, who, with the permission of God, have either been subjected to Our dominion or included among Our allies.


But as in treating this subject, We have been brought to the consideration of different countries, We now return to the two Provinces of Pontus and the projected union of the same. We hereby establish a single province composed of the two Pontuses, which include thirteen cities, and We grant them their ancient form of government while retaining their modern appellation. For they are called the Hellespont by everyone, which name was given them by the Emperor Constantine, in memory of his most honorable mother Helena who recovered for Us the sacred emblem of Christianity. The ancient name of Polemon, which the greater number of the rulers of Pontus applied to that province, shall hereafter be abolished, first, because it was derived from that of one of the said rulers; second, for the reason that the province itself contains a city called Polemon; and finally, as it is better to designate Christian countries by the names of kings than to call them Polemi, which word conveys the meaning of war or tumult.


The union of these thirteen cities into a single province will not have the effect of depriving either of the two capitals at present in existence (namely Amasia and New Caesarea) of that title; and the bishop of these cities shall continue to be consecrated at Constantinople by the prelates charged with this duty (as has been the custom up to this time), as We make no innovations so far as the priesthood is concerned; for many institutions of this kind having reference to bishops exist in every province, some of which have been established for centuries, and others We Ourselves have recently authorized. A single magistrate, ordinarily designated Harmostes in Greek, shall exercise jurisdiction under the title of Governor, but the name Governor is of high antiquity, and worthy of the greatness of the Romans, while the term Harmost was applied to a magistrate sent from Laca-demon with jurisdiction over conquered cities.


Hence the official who undertakes this administration shall be called the Justinianian Governor of the Hellespont, and will assume command of the military forces stationed in that province. He shall

also have an adresponsus, to whom all men, no matter to what civil condition they may belong, shall be subjected, without exemption on account of any privilege. He shall hear all cases pecuniary as well as criminal, and shall dispose of such as are insignificant in character, without record or expense; and, so far as those of greater importance are concerned, they shall be decided by him, and the proceedings recorded, but no other costs shall be incurred than those prescribed by Our Constitution.

The said magistrate shall receive the emoluments granted to the two preceding ones, which amount to seven hundred and twenty-five aurei; he shall have only one court, and with it he shall be responsible for the levy of taxes, for the reason that he is the only one appointed for government in the province; his assessor shall be paid seventy-two aurei out of the Public Treasury; and the two preceding courts, which have been combined in one, shall be entitled to four hundred and forty-seven and one-third aurei.


Moreover, the official who is discharging these duties shall not despatch deputies to the cities of his province (for the rules established by Our Imperial mandates shall be observed), but he himself shall visit the said cities, one after another, and he shall not be prevented from doing this by any law or pragmatic sanction previously promulgated, even though a former custom may have authorized something of this kind. He can establish his residence wherever he thinks best, either in one of the capitals, or in some other town, provided the latter is of sufficient importance to justify him in doing so. He must abstain from all corruption and illicit gain, and conduct his administration in such a way as not to involve the inhabitants in unnecessary expense. For neither he himself, nor any of his subordinates, nor any soldiers of his escort, shall accept anything from taxpayers, or exact anything gratuitously, and he must not molest Our subjects, or permit the soldiers who accompany him to do so, for this forms part of the instructions which We have given.

He must always be mindful of the oath which he has taken, and that he received the office without paying for it; and that if he is to prove worthy of an increased allowance, he must never venture to accept any gift, unless he expects to be compelled to return it, and be subjected to severe punishment. Nor shall he permit any of his subordinates, under any pretext, to exact anything, or accept it if it is offered. If he does not see that the soldiers under his command are content with the salaries paid them, he will not escape the effects of Our righteous indignation, and will be forced to reserve enough from their pay to indemnify any of Our subjects who have suffered from their impositions.

(1) We desire these dignitaries of high rank to be invested with great authority, not only through the number of persons composing their retinues (the Court of the Governor of the Hellespont shall consist of a hundred officials), but also because of their personal dis-

tinction (for We confer the rank of spectabile upon the Governor of the Hellespont), so that, in case of necessity, We may be enabled to avail Ourselves of magistrates endowed with formidable power, who may be in a position to assist Us. What could the Governors of provinces accomplish under the ancient form of administration, when they had very few attendants, were invested with but little authority, received but small salaries from the Public Treasury, and paid out x-large sums of money in order to obtain their offices? They were obliged to steal, they constantly granted favors and benefits to their creditors, who had loaned them money to enable them to purchase their offices, and who constantly threatened them. The result of this was that Governors compelled Our subjects to sell their property in order to procure for themselves revenues which were precarious and dishonestly obtained.

(2) This unworthy condition of affairs impels Us not only to reject the proceeds of the sale of public offices, but also to refuse to sanction the enormous expenses incurred by the payment of salaries to officials; and where any kind of magistracy was formerly conferred by Our predecessors in consideration of the payment of money, We shall provide a remedy for the evil, deliver Our taxpayers from this imposition, and pay out of Our own Treasury salaries to magistrates who have been appointed to office, and by so doing give them freedom. It is true that God has been liberal to Us in this respect, so that We have not only given peace to Africa and to the nations included therein, but He has also enabled Us to relieve from great expense and infamy peoples established, so to speak, in the midst of Our Empire, against whom a new action was instituted rigorously every year; and who, instead of being subjected to the authority of a single ruler, were, at frequent intervals, placed under the administration of new magistrates.

We have thought that the privilege of remedying this abuse has been conferred upon Us by God, who has placed the Imperial crown upon Our head, and who, for the common welfare, has invested Us with the purple, through the medium of Our Father, and, in short, has been more generous to Us in every respect than to any of Our predecessors.


The magistrate appointed to this office is hereby notified that he will be invested with the government of many men and towns; that he should cause himself to be greatly respected; that the form of his administration from being consular and correctional has been changed and rendered a great magistracy; that he must consult the interests of Our subjects; preserve them from all oppression; govern them without bribery; increase the fiscal revenues and exert every effort for their preservation. He must avoid avarice; abstain from accepting gifts; administer justice to citizens in public as well as in private; visit the cities, and correct any vicious practices existing there, and do

nothing for the sake of profit; he must not be animated by the desire of acquiring either a small or a great reputation, but he must act in such a way as to acquire one which is good and praiseworthy; he must religiously observe the oath which he has taken; and, in conclusion, he must endeavor to render himself acceptable to Us in every respect.

(1) He shall also take care that no one in Pontus is permitted to place notices upon the lands or houses of others, because this right is one of the privileges of the Treasury; and notices of this kind are only placed upon the palaces belonging to Us, or to Our August Consort. If the Governor should ascertain that notices have been set up in the name of a third party, he must tear them down, and prosecute him who is responsible for it. Where, however, the notice has been affixed by someone claiming to be the owner of the immovable property, the Governor shall place a public notice upon said property, after having broken the others on the head of him who affixed them. But if this was done by an agent having charge of the property of others, the Governor must break the notice on the head of the latter (as We have already stated), and also subject him to moderate punishment; in order that the beneficiary of the illegal act may learn that neither he himself in person, nor through the agency of others, nor by means of anyone selected for the purpose of gratifying his avarice, will be permitted to commit any injustice against Our subjects.


In like manner the distinguished Governor will be required to prosecute thieves; men who make a practice of committing fraud; ravishers of women; and robbers who take property, beasts of burden, and other things of this kind by employing force; and he must preserve intact the rights of those subject to his authority, in order that it may be evident that We have made a good choice in giving him his appointment.

Persons guilty of such offences shall not afterwards be permitted to enter the province, which will have no reason to regret that We have done away with the officials formerly sent to suppress violence, and punish thieves, and We have subjected soldiers to the commands of the Governor in order that, with their assistance, he may be able to clear his province of all kinds of criminals.


Our wishes shall be communicated to the Governor in a few words, as he can by reading the general law (which law We promulgated at the time We established the rules for magistracies), as well as by familiarizing himself with the instructions of the Emperors, readily ascertain what must be done; as the said instructions, when given to him, will explain the way in which he should discharge his duties. If he discharges them properly, he will not only show himself to be grateful to Us, but at the same time will devote his soul to God, and be able to hope for a great reward for his beneficent administration.

A notice appended to the present constitution establishes the salaries which the Governor, his assessor, and his subordinates shall receive from the Public Treasury; and it also 'fixes the amounts which the Governor will be required to pay for his commissions. The latter, remembering the extent of Our generosity towards him and the moderate sum exacted for drawing up his commissions, should administer his government with justice, and, above all, with a view to the interests of the great provinces and the multitude of persons committed to his



We further state that appeals taken from the decisions of the Governor of the Hellespont shall, like those from other magistrates, be brought before the Most Glorious Prefects, and Our Most Glorious Qusestor, and decided just as would be done in the Imperial Consistory. When appeals are taken in cases where the amount of property involved is less than five hundred aurei (even though this be done by delegation) but not from the decision of a magistrate of spectabile rank; the Governor himself, who is clothed with high powers, shall hear and determine the same; and shall bear in mind the increase of dignity with which We have honored him, and his public conduct should render him irreproachable in the eyes of Our subjects and Ourself, and before Us, in those of God and the law.


Your Excellency, after having received this constitution, will deliver to the Governor the great emoluments which have been granted him; and he, for his part, impressed with the importance of his office, must endeavor to render himself worthy of the distinction which We have conferred upon him, by being careful to observe the provisions of this law.


TWENTY-NINTH NEW CONSTITUTION. The Emperor Justinian to John, Pra3torian Prefect.


The ancient race of the Paphlagonians was not formerly degraded, inasmuch as it sent out many colonies, and established itself in Venice in Italy, and by it Aquileia, thex-large st of the cities of the East, which had many controversies with kings themselves, was founded.


This country of Paphlagonia suffered a diminution of territory during the reign of the Emperor Honorius, and lost certain cities, the

reason for which is not known. We desire to restore to this province its ancient form of government, and to administer it in the same way as if it was a city, as well as to accomplish what We have done in the two Provinces of Pontus, in order that the official invested with authority who will govern the two provinces (namely Paphlagonia and Honoriades) may be designated Praetor (which is a Roman name applicable to the Governors of provinces), and have a single court of a hundred officials, made up of the members of the two previous courts combined.

This magistrate shall collect the public revenues not only from the Paphlagonians, but also from the inhabitants of Honoriades. He shall also be charged with the administration of all the cities originally included in each province, that is to say, in Honoriades, Prusias, Gratia, Hadrianople, Tio, Claudiopolis, and Heraclea. Some of these, for instance, Prusias, Heraclea the capital and chief city of the province, and Claudiopolis, were originally taken from Bithynia, and as this was done, We do not deem it advisable again to deliver them to the Bithyn-ians, it will not be necessary to make any change in this respect. Thus the six cities included in Honoriades shall now form part of Paphlagonia. The Prsetor shall also have jurisdiction over the six other cities which, from the beginning, have belonged to this province, namely: Germanicopolis, Gangra, Pompeiopolis, Dadybros, the heights of Amastridis, and lonopolis, and thus twelve cities in all will be embraced in the territory of Paphlagonia.

We do not formulate any regulations with respect to the priesthood, but the metropolitans will continue to be consecrated as formerly, and receive their ordination from the patriarchs of this city; and ecclesiastics of inferior rank shall be ordained by them, and there shall be no dispute on this account, nor shall any confusion of jurisdiction arise. In consequence of this, there will be in the future but a single province, which, as in the case of others, will have several metropolitans.


The official invested with the government of the entire province (which shall, as formerly, be designated Paphlagonia) must visit the different cities, but is not authorized to send deputies here and there to the towns throughout the province, even though this may not have been prohibited in former times by any pragmatic sanction. We forbid this to be done under any circumstances, as it would be disgraceful for him, after having been appointed to dispense justice in the province, to entrust this duty to someone else, in violation of the provisions of this law. He himself shall have the direction of everything, and shall collect the public taxes as quickly as possible, and, when doing so, must not exact anything more or less than is due. He shall see that Our subjects are equitably treated, and, at the same time, make provisions for any losses which may be sustained by the Treasury, and he must also prevent the cities from suffering any injury either in public or private matters.

This magistrate shall receive the same remuneration formerly paid to both the others, which amounted to seven hundred and twenty-five aurei; he shall have an assessor, who will be entitled to seventy-two aurei; and a single court composed of a hundred men, selected from the two former ones, to whose members emoluments shall be paid out of the Public Treasury to the amount of four hundred and seventy and one-third aurei. As he obtains his place gratuitously, he must also administer it in the same manner, for We hereby release Our subjects from the control of those who formerly were accustomed to accept gifts, when appointed to office; the salary of the Prsetor shall be paid to him by you out of the public taxes of his province; and We shall not suffer Our subjects to be reduced to servitude under the pretence of an increase of taxation. Nor shall We allow the subjects of Our predecessors, whom We have restored to their ancient freedom after they had been subjugated by the barbarians, and who have always been under Our government, to be enslaved by anyone else; for what offering could be more acceptable to God than the liberty of Our subjects, who have, up to this time, been oppressed by fresh extortions of their Governors (as far as this can be done) since God has made use of Us to bestow freedom upon many nations?

What We have said does not apply to recently appointed magistrates, for they are sufficiently secure in this respect; but in the future We do not permit money to be paid to obtain the office of magistrate, nor Our people to be bought as slaves, and the right to commit injustice again to become the subject of traffic.

Therefore Paphlagonia, formerly divided into two provinces (We do not know for. what reason) shall hereafter only be considered one among the Provinces of Pontus; the magistrate charged with the administration of the same shall have (as We have already stated) the title of Justinianian Prsetor of Paphlagonia, and it shall even be permissible for him to be styled Strategos, in Greek.


You will constantly remind the Praetor of the oath taken by him at his installation, when he swore to keep his hands pure and free from all corrupt gain, to increase the revenues of the Treasury by just and honorable means, and to dispense equity and justice to Our subjects in public as well as in private matters, whether these have reference to contracts or to judicial controversies. He shall visit the cities without imposing any burden upon Our subjects, so that neither he, his assessor, nor any of the persons in his train, nor any soldiers, court-attendants or slaves, may obtain any profit, or travel without incurring any expense. For he himself, and all his escort, must act with propriety, paying their expenses out of the salaries given them by the public; and the soldiers are notified that if, during their journeys, instead of being content with their emoluments, they venture to inflict injury upon Our subjects, cause them any loss, or take anything from them without compensation, this shall be deducted from their pay, by way

of indemnity for the wrong committed; which the Praetor himself must attend to, and, if he does not do so, he will personally Be required to indemnify Our subjects.


This law, which We have enacted with reference to the Paphla-gonians, renders their magistrate more honorable, places him in the rank of spectabiles, and confers authority not only upon him over the soldiers stationed in his province (provided he commands them with justice) but also over others; it does not permit anyone under his jurisdiction to be released from it, even where he may be authorized to do so by reason of some privilege, or is charged with the administration of the estates of powerful persons. He should take special care to prevent any other inscription than those of the Treasury or Royal Houses to be placed upon the property of others, which is something which frequently happens in Paphlagonia.

If the Prsetor should learn of any offence of this kind, he must remove every trace of the inscription, and place those of the Treasury upon the property of the offender, after having broken his own over his head, if he is present. Where he is absent, and the agent in charge of the property is arrested, the Prsetor shall inflict corporeal punishment upon him, and at the same time break the inscriptions over his head.

The Praetor is hereby notified that if he neglects to do what We have ordered, and We should ascertain that he has allowed inscriptions to be placed upon other lands than those belonging to the Treasury, and Ourself and Our August Consort, he will render himself liable to the confiscation of his own property, for the reason that while invested with great power, he has, through negligence, permitted acts to be committed which could readily have been prevented.


We desire the Prsetor of Paphlagonia to pay great attention to the pursuit, arrest, and punishment of persons who are guilty of robbery, stealing the property of others, ravishing women, and other crimes, for all of which offences he must impose suitable penalties. He must, by all means, prevent injustice, nor allow men who are honest and peaceable to suffer injury, lest We may be compelled again to despatch officers charged with suppressing violence, apprehending thieves, and other duties of this kind, a measure which is intolerable to Us. We invest this magistrate with such honor and dignity that the appeals of cases decided in his province shall be brought before Your Excellency and the Most Glorious Quaestor of Our Imperial Palace, who shall take cognizance of the same and decide them, just as if they were brought before the Imperial Audience-Chamber.

The Praetor himself shall hear and determine all controversies where the value of the property involved is less than five hundred solidi, which have been tried in his province before magistrates of inferior rank, even though the judgments may have been rendered by delegation, whenever such cases remain in abeyance for the reason

that appeals have been taken. He shall rank with the other magistrates whom We have recently created, and as such magistrates have more authority, they shall also enjoy greater distinction than their predecessors, and will be able to furnish Us greater assistance whenever this becomes necessary. In fact all their powers are greater, whether they have been bestowed by Our predecessors or granted by


A notice appended to the present law fixes the salaries to which the Praetor, his assessor, and the subordinate officials of his court, shall be entitled out of the Public Treasury, as well as the sums which the Praetor himself shall be required to pay for his commissions.

(1) As the manner in which this Praetor shall conduct his government is only concisely stated here, it will be more explicitly set forth either by the general law which is applicable to all magistracies, or by the Imperial instructions which We intend to deliver to him with his commissions, when, in accordance with Our law, We require him to take the prescribed oath.


After this constitution has been communicated to You, Your Excellency will deliver to the Praetor of Paphlagonia the great emoluments to which he is entitled; and he, impressed with the dignity of his office, and desirous of proving worthy of the Honor which We have conferred upon him, should exert himself to carry out the provisions of the present law.



The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, twice Consul and Patrician.


Persons who have studied history are aware that the people of Cappadocia bear distinguished names; that they had many transactions with the Romans before being subjected to their rule; and that their dominions formerly embraced all of Pontus, and gave birth to famous men who obtained a high reputation among the Romans. Cappadocia is of great extent and wonderfully fertile, and found such favor in the eyes of the Emperors that the latter were accustomed to appoint as Governor of those regions a special magistrate of higher rank than that of a civil official. This country is extremely populous, and contains a great city which bears the name of Caesar, one which is very dear to Us, being that of a ruler who began the acquisition of the empire of the world which We at present possess, a name held in great veneration by all the people of the earth, and which We exalt above all the attributes of Imperial Majesty.


It seems to Us contrary to all propriety and dignity that Cappadocia hitherto should have been subject to the jurisdiction of an inferior magistrate, as We have learned that almost constant seditions have arisen against the government; that the city is divided into two factions, one of which is styled Tamiacal, or Fiscal, and relating to the Treasury; and the other Eleutherical, that is to say, free; and while there is but one community enclosed by the walls, there are two bodies of persons entertaining different opinions. This gives occasion for seditions and quarrels, and if the inhabitants experience any evils it is due to this cause (so We think) and, when it is removed, We shall restore authority and concord, than which nothing better or more desirable can exist among men.

(1) With this end in view, We have established a different form of government, with other magistrates, as We have already done in the case of the Pisidians, the Lycaonians, and the Thracians, by the union of both the civil and military jurisdiction; but, as We desire it to be superior to theirs, We have added a third. For, in addition to the fact that the magistrate entrusted with the government of Cappadocia shall supervise the execution of the laws by the civil officials, and shall have command of the soldiers stationed in his province, as well as all the other provinces of Pontus, where Tamiacal lands are to be found, he shall also be invested with authority over soldiers stationed in those places. For We grant him jurisdiction over the men attached to Tamiacal lands, as well as over those forming part of the Comitian Court, who shall all obey him, and in this manner he shall administer a government of a threefold nature, for he will have civil and military jurisdiction, as well as control of Tamiacal property. Thus he will have two courts, Comitian, whose officers will execute his orders without reference to the Civil Court and that of the illustrious Governor of the province; these two courts shall be styled Proconsular, and We desire that each one of them, that is to say, the one formerly known as Comitian and the one called Civil, although they will have but one appellation (that is Proconsular) shall each exercise distinct functions. In this way the Civil Court will have charge of tributary and civil matters which We are aware from the beginning have always belonged to it; and the court which formerly was called Comitian will be restricted to the administration of property belonging to the Empire, and shall make collections in the manner which We shall presently explain.


Bearing in mind the example of former times, and the enormous injury inflicted by curators and stewards upon Our wretched subjects, We do not desire the names of these officials to longer exist. For this reason there shall be appointed for each separate house thirteen of the principal members of the Comitian Court, who shall be called first and second masters, and shall be personally liable, and thirteen others who shall be next in authority, and shall, like the first be assigned to.

each private house (as already stated) ; and the latter, under the supervision of the head masters, shall attend to the collection of the revenues, and preserve for the Treasury the property belonging to the same; it shall be their duty to correct the indolence of taxpayers, but they must be careful not to cause the latter any loss, for We warn them that they will be responsible for anything of this kind, and will give every public receipt at their own risk.

The first and second masters and the thirteen others who come next in order must be careful not to divert the public revenues to any improper purpose; nor shall they be compelled to pay any personal contribution to the Proconsul in office at the time on account of their commissions, or to do this under any other pretext; but each one of the thirteen collectors shall pay fifty aurei to the thirteen head-masters.


Collectors shall not take from peasants, or others from whom collections can be made by them, any more than has been prescribed by the Edict of Niceta, and they are forbidden to pretend that the taxpayers are indebted, and to oppress them under the pretext of compelling them to make payment to stewards, by way of greeting; or in the observance of some custom; or for any other annoying purpose; for We desire absolutely to deliver Our subjects from such exactions, as well as from the unlawful and onerous contributions that they formerly paid to stewards, and which prevented them from discharging the obligations which they owed to the public. We hereby annul every pragmatic sanction, or long-established usage, where any authorizing similar contributions exists; for by abolishing even the name of these officials, We destroy at the same time everything which has reference to them, and grant a special favor to Our subjects. If any collector should dare to take from tax-payers anything beyond what is authorized by the Edict of Niceta, and which alone We have permitted them to accept, he shall be deprived of his office, rank, and property.


As it may happen that among the thirteen collectors (We order that they shall be appointed to this office in regular gradation), one may be found who is not qualified for the collection of the revenue, We nevertheless allow him to be paid his entire salary. But We order that the thirteen principal masters, as well as those who come directly after them, shall, at their own risk, appoint an assistant who shall make collections in his stead; because in this way the collection of taxes may be promoted, and the Treasury will not suffer any loss through the imbecility of an incompetent official; who, however, shall not be deprived of his rank, or his time of service; but We repeat that the appointment of his assistant shall be made on the responsibility of the thirteen head-masters, and the thirteen other officials who are immediately subordinated to them.

Collectors will have reason to thank Us for having released them from the 'excessive contributions that they were formerly obliged to

make, not only to the head-masters, but also to the Count in office at the time, and his attendants. If, however, We have freed them from this species of imposition, it has been done to prevent them from being guilty of injustice toward Our tax-payers, and that they may not invent pretexts; for instance, that of their assuming office, or various others, by which the means of peasants are exhausted, and that they remain content with what was allotted to curators by the Edict of Niceta, of illustrious memory, and abstain from exacting anything beyond this amount.


The Proconsul shall decide all matters within the jurisdiction of civil, military, or Tamiacal authority. For We desire to place over Cappadocia a magistrate invested with greater power than in the other provinces; and as it was customary among the ancient Romans for the provinces to be apportioned by lot among the Consuls, or those officials who replaced them and were called Proconsuls, We desire that the Cappadocians also should possess a Proconsular Magistracy, an office by which the Romans are conducting the administration of Africa. We place the government of Cappadocia in a class so superior to the others that We designate the official to whom it will be entrusted in the way that We do Our Glorious Praetorian Prefects. He shall be called in a paternal manner the Justinianian Proconsul of Cappadocia, and he shall also have- the special title of Archegetes, that is to say, Principal Magistrate. For it is not without reason that he should be invested with such extraordinary dignity, as his power extends to other localities by means of the Tamiacal possessions; he has civil jurisdiction over persons as well as property; and, as he, at the same time, commands the military forces, he will, in every respect, exercise great authority. He shall, however, be required to conform to custom in the administration of civil affairs, and shall properly direct the soldiers at his disposal.

(1) The Proconsul with the head-masters shall attend to the administration of such Tamiacal property as has been so deteriorated and exposed to the depredations of others that it is worth almost nothing, for We have been informed that such great abuses exist in that province that it is extremely difficult to apply proper remedies. Those who have charge of the estates of powerful persons (We almost blush to say it) conduct themselves on all occasions with intolerable insolence; they are accompanied by guards to prevent the multitude from following them, and they steal with the greatest impudence. We are surprised that the people of this province have been able to endure so many injuries.

Again, every day, a vast number of Cappadocians who have been oppressed by injustice, among whom are to be found many ecclesiastics, and women, lay their complaints before Us, while We are occupied in conducting the government, because no one can be found in their province who is able to prevent acts of this kind from being committed. Tamiacal possessions are almost reduced to the condition of private

property; they are ravaged and torn up; everything belonging to them is removed; and no one makes any remonstrance because the mouths of those who could do so are closed with gold.


Therefore, being fully informed of these matters, We have decided to commit the government of Cappadocia to an official who, possessing triple jurisdiction, will unite in himself all administrative functions; who shall be invested with the insignia of civil office; be entitled to use a silver chariot, the axe, the fasces, and every other mark of Proconsular authority; and shall also command the soldiers, and collect the income of Tamiacal lands; shall see tha't the officials appointed for these collections are not guilty of fraud or negligence, and compel them to deliver to Us everything derived from this source to which We are entitled, and which should be given either to Us or to Our August Consort, whether it consists of gold or cloths, for We wish nothing of this kind to be retained.

(1) These articles, however, shall not be obtainedas has been the case up to the present timefrom Our subjects by extortion (for We regard all such measures as abominable, and wish them to be excluded from Our government) ; but We order that they shall be acquired by the just and legal means which We have prescribed in this Our law.

The Proconsul shall obey these rules, and shall give to Our August Consort fifty pounds of gold, as has been stated; for We appoint him gratuitously, and give him his commissions without requiring him to pay for them, nor do We desire that anyone shall collect anything from him on this account.

(2) We grant the Proconsul a salary of twenty pounds of gold and his assessor two pounds; and each body of attendants shall, without any diminution, receive the same allowance which has, up to the present time, been furnished it by the public. We decree that the connection which the magistracy of Cappadocia has had with the Most Glorious Imperial Chamberlain shall be preserved; and We desire that the latter, as well as the entire corps of Palatines subject to his orders shall retain their former authority and rank in this province. But We forbid the Proconsul then in office, and his court, to exact anything whatsoever, whether it be gold, cloth, or other things, under the pretext of custom or subsistence; and if the Proconsul should violate this order, he will not conduct his administration honorably, and will not prevent the ruin of his province, for which very reason We have placed it under his exclusive jurisdiction.


The official whom We shall dispatch into Cappadocia to discharge the duties of the Proconsulate will have general supervision of Tamiacal lands. He must ascertain whether they consist of meadows, fields capable of tillage, vineyards, or other property or houses, and if held

by private individuals, he shall recover them without the latter being permitted to plead any prescription of time, for to adopt such a measure against the Treasury is not allowed, and anyone who has taken possession of Tamiacal land cannot add it to his own estate; hence, where some person is ascertained to have been induced by avarice to appropriate property of this kind, he will be much nearer poverty than wealth, because he will be compelled to return it, and will also be subject to reproach and disgrace.

(1) The Proconsul shall maintain peace in all the cities, and not permit any sedition to disturb his administration; he shall diligently and justly collect the public taxes, and give this matter his entire attention, without allowing either the Treasury or private persons to sustain any loss. He shall have the same authority over all men, whether they be soldiers, secretaries of the Most Glorious Prefect, generals of the army, members of the Civil Court; whether they are discharging the duties of a Tamiacal office, or are invested with great or little authority; or, finally, whether they are included in the body of ecclesiastics. This magistrate shall have jurisdiction over all persons, and shall make it his special duty to preserve his reputation unblemished ; he must obey the laws, and, above all things, render himself acceptable to God; he shall see that the collection of public taxes is made without loss or delay by the Proconsular officers; he shall cause the revenues from Tamiacal lands to be paid into his Treasury by the said officers, and in this respect he will observe the rules ordinarily laid down by Our Most Glorious Imperial Chamberlain.

The collectors themselves must not accept a single obolus beyond the amount given them by the Most Glorious Imperial Chamberlain, nor can they take anything on the ground of its being authorized by custom, or under any other pretext, either from the Praetor in office at the time, from those who draw up the public receipts, from the Proconsul himself, from the members of his court, from the officials styled Katascevastse, or instructors, from stewards, or from any other person attached to the service of the Imperial domain.

The Proconsul shall have charge of both armies; he shall restrain the satellites of powerful men; he shall prevent the province from being depopulated and infested with brigands; and, finally, he shall not, in person, travel over it as formerly the Counts were accustomed to do. He shall not appoint any deputies in his stead, but shall be represented by the defenders of the different places and his own subordinates.

(2) When any part of the province has need of soldiers, the Proconsul shall direct those stationed therein to render assistance wherever it may be required; and they must travel at their own expense, without causing any loss or damage to Our subjects. The Proconsul shall also travel at his own expense, no matter where he goes, even when We direct him to repair to some other province; and the same rule shall apply to his assessor and his escort composed of Proconsular officers, even though they may have with them slaves or horses. But as We have previously stated, all the soldiers and persons residing in the province, as well as those composing the household of the Pro-

consul, shall be required to obey his orders, under the penalty of losing their places and their property, for the Proconsul can deprive them of both, if they refuse to obey him; and We confer authority upon him to do this in order to render him more formidable to Our subjects, and increase the respect with which he should be regarded. For if a soldier, an official of the Court of the Proconsul, or a member of his household should, while executing the orders which he has received, cause Our subjects any lossprovided he is performing his duties on his own responsibilitythe Proconsul shall deduct enough from his salary to indemnify the person who has been injured. In conclusion, the Proconsul shall not permit any officials, sent from this city, to molest Our subjects.

(3) He shall also see that the public race-course is kept in good condition, for We except nothing from his jurisdiction, and if anyone despatched from a court into the province should be guilty of oppression, or exact anything more than he is entitled to, he must prosecute him.


The Proconsul shall also take care of the city and of all matters relating to the public distribution of grain, as well as of the public works; take measures to have accounts rendered in accordance with Our law; and see that all revenues, Tamiacal as well as civil, are collected. He shall expel from the province any persons who are ordinarily charged with the repair of aqueducts, walls, bridges, highways, and other public works of this kind, who formerly attended to these matters in accordance with an evil custom. He shall not permit such persons to execute orders of this description, or to obtain any profit under this pretext; and when We are convinced that an inspection of works should be made, and that it is advisable to send to the Proconsul a pragmatic sanction on this subject, We shall do so, after having notified Your Highness, in order that the entry into the province to collect money there may not appear to be easy to anyone. The official who discharges the duties of this office shall prohibit everything in his jurisdiction which he finds to be dishonorable. If, in order to do this, it is necessary to adopt more severe measures, he will communicate the fact to Your Excellency, as well as to the Most Glorious Imperial Chamberlain and the other eminent magistrates who have power to act in the matter; and finally he must have recourse to Us, and We will instruct him in what he has to do.

(1) The Proconsul shall not, in the province subject to his jurisdiction, affix to the real property of private individuals any other notices of claims than those of the Emperor, or of the Imperial domain, that is to say, the Treasury; he shall confiscate the property of persons who are guilty of this offence, and cut off their hands in case they are present; but where their agents have committed this violation of law in the absence of their principals, he shall punish the former. In addition to this, he shall break the inscriptions over the heads of those who have either themselves placed them upon the land, or have done

so by their agents. He is hereby notified that, if he neglects to punish a crime of this kind when it is brought to his knowledge, he'will render himself liable to the confiscation of his own property.


This magistrate must devote all his care and attention to the administration of justice, and must not (as was formerly the case) suffer rustics to be oppressed. Nor should the Cappadocians annoy Us any longer by their supplications and lamentations, for the Proconsul himself will act as their judge and decide their disputes. For if anyone should come here without previously stating his grievances at home, We shall send him back with a reprimand for having besought Our clemency before having applied to the magistrate of his province. But where injured persons have gone before the Proconsul, and the latter, steeped in debauchery and abandoned to pleasure, did not listen to their complaints, permitted them to make their applications in vain, and obliged them to have recourse to Us, especially if such persons are women, We, having ascertained the fact that they applied to him and he did not redress their wrongs, shall then regard his conduct as suspicious, and think that he has been influenced by the expectation of gain, or has acted through favor or consideration for certain persons, and shall interpose Our authority; for as he is invested with the functions of a threefold magistracy, he shall be punished in a threefold manner, by justice, by Us, and by the laws.

(1) It is proper for this official, who is entitled to public respect, to constantly bear in mind the instructions which We have given him (Our ancestors called these instructions Imperial Mandates), and always act in conformity to Our law, displaying equity in his judgments, honesty in his administration of affairs, and everywhere cultivating justice, than which there is nothing more powerful or admirable in men, or better adapted to secure the approbation of God and the Emperor.

A magistrate of this kind must act in such a way as to merit Our commendation, and We wish him alone to attend to all the business of his province, and no one else to take cognizance of cases; for, under these circumstances, it is not easy for Us to interfere with his decisions and appoint others to act in Our stead, or to dispatch officials into his province for the purpose of suppressing violence, or for any other reason whatsoever. For although, up to this time, officers of this kind have, by virtue of Our orders and the decrees of magistrates, been commissioned for this purpose, this shall not be done hereafter, and the Proconsul after receiving the administration of his entire province must not permit anyone else to have access thereto.


Moreover, We confer upon this magistrate the rank of spectabile, which is enjoyed by all Proconsuls; appeals from his decisions shall be heard by Your Excellency along with the Most Glorious Quaestor of

Our Imperial Palace, in the form and according to the procedure of consultations. But when, in Cappadocia, any case where property to the value of five hundred aurei is involved is suspended by appeal, even though it may have been determined by a judge appointed by Us, or by some other magistrate, who, however, is not of spectabUe rank, the Proconsul himself must hear and decide it, according to the practice of the Imperial Consistory instead of the Imperial Audience-Chamber. We grant him this privilege, and thereby invest his magistracy with greater dignity than any which an official of this kind has hitherto obtained in Cappadocia.

The Proconsul must be just, a man of high principles, and have nothing before his eyes but Our service and compliance with the law, being aware that if he observes strictly what We enjoin upon him, he will hold his office for a long time, and afterwards deserve promotion to a more important one. But if he should neglect Our orders, and not treat Ourself and the law with proper respect, or permit himself to be influenced by powerful persons, he shall immediately lose the authority with which We have invested him, and be considered as guilty, and unworthy of Our esteem.


This magistrate must punish with severity the crimes of adultery, the rape of virgins, fraud committed with the expectation of gain, and homicide, in such a way as to restrain the majority of persons by the punishment of a few. The law confers upon him the right to search for criminals with this end in view; for this is not ordinary humanity, but the highest degree of that virtue, where many are rendered safe by the castigation of a small number. If this official should favor anyone accused of crime on account of some office which he holds, or his civil or sacerdotal rank, or should endeavor to release him from liability under any other pretext, he is hereby notified that he will incur Our indignation. For no one can rely upon his own influence, and set up a defence which has no connection with the crime of which another is accused, in order to enable the latter to escape the severity of the law. And where anyone makes a defence of this kind, and the Proconsul admits it, there is every reason that he should incur the same penalty as the guilty party, since there is no distinction between the commission of an offence and a desire to release the offender from the hands of the law.

(1) A notice is appended to the present law fixing the emoluments that the Proconsul and his subordinates shall receive from the public, as well as what he will be obliged to pay for his commissions, and what will be due to the household of Our August and Pious Consort. He shall pay the latter, in consideration of the three jurisdictions entrusted to him, fifty pounds of gold, the same amount which has been customary up to the present time.

(2) And (as We have frequently stated) the Proconsul must govern Our subjects uprightly, as it is for this reason that We have taken so much pains, performed so much labor, incurred so much expense, and undertaken such great wars, in consequence of which God has not only granted Us the enjoyment of peace and the subjugation of the Vandals, the Alani, and the Moors, as well as enabled Us to recover all Africa and Sicily, but has also inspired Us with the hope of again uniting to Our dominions the other countries which the Romans lost by their negligence, after they had extended the boundaries of their Empire to the shores of both oceans, which countries We shall now, with Divine aid, hasten to restore to a better condition.  Nor do We hesitate to encounter any difficulties, no matter how great they may be, in the pursuance of this object; and We shall undergo vigils, abstinence, and other privations, even beyond what can be endured by human nature, in order to promote the welfare of Our subjects. The Proconsul must constantly peruse Our instructions, which We shall give him with the commissions of his office, as We have previously stated; and' if he complies with them scrupulously, he will show himself to be entitled to admiration and in every respect worthy of Our Empire.


When the provisions of this law have been communicated to Your Excellency, you will deliver to the Proconsul the emoluments which We have allotted to him. His authority will be so great that many persons aspiring to the honor and distinction which We bestow upon him will be anxious to obtain his office.




The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, twice Consul and Patrician.


While there are certain matters which, being mingled in confusion are, nevertheless, susceptible of proper adjustment, there are many others which though separate are deemed disgraceful, even though this may not actually be the case; for, being without elegance, they still are not absolutely devoid of refinement, or are considered disarranged and discomposed, although they are in reality clear and distinct. As this observation applies to Armenia, We have thought that this country should be regulated and brought into harmony, in order that We might the better render its condition more stable, impart greater strength to its government, and establish better order within its territory.


Hence We divide Armenia into four provinces, one of which shall be called Interior, and shall have for its capital a city which bears Our name, and which formerly was called Bazanis or Leontopolis; and We honor this province, which was formerly governed by the magnificent Acatius, with a Proconsulship. The magistrate appointed shall be of spectabtte rank, and be invested with all the honors pertaining to his office. For We bestow upon him the consular robe, as well as other insignia, and include in his jurisdiction the City of Theodosio-polis, which already belonged to it, Satala, Nicopolis, Colonea (as it was formerly called), which We have taken from Armenia, Trapezunte, and Cerasunte, which belonged to what was originally Polemoniac Pontus, all of which cities were formerly governed partly by an illustrious provincial Governor, and partly by another magistrate. Thus Interior Armenia will include seven cities and the territory dependent upon the same.

(1) We order Second Armenia to be formed from what was previously called the First, and that its capital shall be Sebastea. The cities of which this province is composed are Sebastopol, which it already had; Commana, which belonged Polemoniac Pontus; Zela, which was taken from the Hellespont, and also Brisa. This province will therefore include five cities under the jurisdiction of a Governor whose authority shall not be diminished, and whose rank shall remain the same.

(2) In the next place, We form Third Armenia out of the territory of which the Second was composed, the capital of which is Melitena, a remarkable city situated in a fertile country possessing an agreeable climate, and not far distant from the river Euphrates. We have thought proper by the present law to give this province a magistrate of spectabile rank, who shall be styled the Justinianian Count, to whom shall be allotted the salary of seven hundred solidi; seventy-two solidi shall be paid to his assessor, and three hundred and sixty to the members of his court; and, in addition, We grant him all the attributes attaching to an office of this kind. Those who are appointed members of this court shall perform the same duties as before, and shall be specially charged with the levy of taxes; and the Court shall bear the name of Comitian, and be invested with all the privileges which it previously enjoyed. In accordance with this arrangement, Third Armenia will include the six cities which belonged to Second Armenia; that is to say, Area, Arabissum, Ariarsathea, Comana (which is also called Chrusa) and Cucusa, which makes the six cities which the province formerly had.

(3) We now constitute Fourth Armenia, which was not originally included in the province, but was composed of several nations with barbarous names, such as those of Trophsena, Anzethena, Ophena, Astesena, and Balabithena, which were governed by satraps (the name of this magistrate, however, is not Roman, and was not introduced by Our ancestors, but was borrowed from a foreign Empire). We establish in this province of Fourth Armenia a government which shall be entrusted to a civil magistrate, to whose jurisdiction We add the City of the Martyropolitani, and the fortified town of Cithariza. This government shall belong to the class of ordinary consular magistracies, and We decree that two of the magistrates having jurisdiction over the four provinces of Armenia, that is to say, the Proconsul, who will govern First Armenia, and the Count who will govern Third Armenia, shall be spectabiles; while the two others, who will be placed in charge of Second and Fourth Armenia, shall only possess the rank of ordinary magistrates.

In cases where the value of the property involved is less than five hundred solidi, We desire that appeals taken from these provinces, instead of being brought to this city, shall be sent to the nearest spectabile magistrate. Hence appeals taken in Second Armenia, of which Sebastea is the capital, shall be decided by the Proconsul of First Armenia; and those below the aforesaid value taken in Fourth Armenia shall be heard and determined by the Count of Third Armenia, who will fix his residence at Melitena.


These matters having been in this way attended to by Us, We think it advisable that a man should be appointed for the government of First Armenia, who, on account of his rank and the eminence of his services towards Us, may be worthy of the office. Hence, as We are aware that the most magnificent Thomas has already exercised authority in Armenia, and besides is an excellent man who has always served Us faithfully, and is still in Our service, We intend to promote him to this office, and he shall not merely be charged with the government of First Armenia, but shall also execute in the other provinces the orders which We shall communicate to him in Our Imperial instructions, which will inform him of the way in which he should act with reference to their administration.

(1) We desire that, so far as ecclesiastical affairs are concerned, everything shall (as We have frequently stated) remain in its former condition, and that no change shall take place either in the law governing archbishops, or in that regulating ordinations. Ecclesiastics who have already been ordained shall, as formerly, retain the authority conferred by their ordination, and the former metropolitans shall retain theirs, for no innovation whatever shall be made in matters of this kind.


We have already declared that the Count of Third Armenia is invested by Us not only with civil but with military jurisdiction. The soldiers stationed in that province must obey his orders, and he shall have the power to summon them in his own name, to make deductions from their pay, and to inflict punishment upon them when they act improperly; and he must not, under any circumstances, permit them to injure Our subjects.

When, however, the soldiers commit any illegal act, he must prosecute them like any other criminals, and he will have the same control over them as is conferred upon military commanders. We place under his jurisdiction all the military forces subject to the Counts of Isauria and Pacatian Phrygia and the Prsetors of Lycaonia, Pisidia, and Thrace; and, like them, he will have one court for the despatch of civil business, absolute authority over the army, and supreme jurisdiction over soldiers as well as all others, just as if he held but one office.

He must also take measures to prevent the perpetration of crimes in his province, and suppress those which come to his knowledge; he shall not be turned aside from his duty through the influence of any person in his province, whether he be a civilian, a soldier, or some one attached to the Imperial domain; but We desire him to maintain Our subjects in a just and perpetual peace, and see that Our laws are not brought into contempt by the acts of any persons whomsoever.


Your Excellency will see that what We have been pleased to decree with reference to the division of Armenia into .four provinces, and especially that part of it relating to the Thirdon account of which We have enacted the present lawis scrupulously observed. The various annual salaries which We have ordered to be paid to these magistrates shall be given to them, in accordance with the special instructions communicated to you.






The Emperor Justinian to Agerochius, Most Illustrious Governor of .^Emimons in Thrace.

An evil greater than excessive impiety and avarice exists, which We consider necessary to remedy by a general law, that shall be applicable not only for the present, but for all time to come. For We have ascertained that certain persons in the province which you govern have not hesitated, when there was a scarcity of grain, to lend a small amount of seed to farmers, in order to obtain possession of their land, the consequence of which is that the majority of the unfortunate farmers have been obliged to take to flight; that many have perished from hunger; and that a horrible contagious disease, not less terrible than the invasion of the barbarians, has been added to their other misfortunes.


Therefore We order that, where persons who have lent farmers any quantity of dried fruit, and have received from them security for their

loans, they shall return said security without being able to retain the land of the debtors, under the pretext of such loans, whether the agreement was reduced to writing or not; that creditors shall only be authorized to take, by way of interest, the eighth part of a measure annually for each measure furnished, where dried fruit has been lent; or one siliqua a year for each aureus, where the loan is of money.

Moreover, creditors shall, in the future, be content with the said eighth part of a measure annually for every measure lent, or with one siliqua annually for every aureus lent, no matter what may be the amount of the loan. They shall be compelled to return everything which they have taken in pledge, whether it be land or other property of the debtor, for instance, cattle, sheep, or slaves.

This provision of the present law affords everyone an example of humanity and forbearance, and, at the same time, provides for the necessities of indigent debtors and the interests of creditors.


Your Illustrious Highness will take measures to have this constitution carried into effect, and every creditor is hereby notified that if he dares to do anything contrary to its provisions, he will be deprived of the right to recover what he has loaned, and he who has sustained the injury shall be compensated, either by being released from liability, or by knowing that his creditor has lost his property.

Given at Constantinople, on the fifteenth of the Kalends of July, during the Consulate of Belisarius.



The Emperor Justinian to Dominicus, Prastorian Prefect of Illyria.

We have promulgated a law for the purpose of suppressing the avarice of creditors, who, taking advantage of the prevailing distress, acquire the lands of unfortunate farmers, and seize all their property on account of the little grain which they have furnished them; and this law, at first published in all the provinces of Thrace, We now communicate to all those of Illyria. We order that a copy of it shall be attached to the present constitution, in order that not only private individuals may be certain that its provisions are applicable not only to them, but also to soldiers who rely upon their superior influence.

Your Highness is notified that this law is applicable to the inhabitants of the provinces, to soldiers, and to all officials without any exception, and We address it to you in order to warn soldiers who may think that they are not bound to comply with it, that in case of its violation, they will be deprived of their offices, reduced to the condition of private citizens, and subjected to the penalties which We have prescribed by the preceding law.







The Same Emperor to Agerochius, Most Illustrious Governor of ^Emimons in Thrace.

We have considered it advisable to correct a most atrocious and inhuman abuse which is far worse than any act of impiety or avarice, and administer a remedy applicable to all persons, not only in this present time of necessity, but throughout all future ages; for it has come to Our ears that certain persons, in the province which you govern, being induced by avarice to take advantage of the public distress, and, having drawn up agreements bearing interest, by which they loaned a small amount of grain, have seized the lands of the debtors, and that, for this reason, some farmers have fled and concealed themselves, others have died of starvation, and pestilence, not less terrible than a barbarian invasion, has, in consequence of the failure of the crops, afflicted the people.


Hence We order that all creditors of this kind, no matter what may be the value of the articles which they have loaned, or whether they consist of wheat, barley, or other grain, or dried fruits, shall hereafter be entitled to receive annual interest on such articles at the rate of the eighth part of a measure for each measure furnished, and must return to the farmers the lands which they have taken in pledge, without being, under any circumstances, permitted to hold them under the pretext of a loan at interest, whether the obligation has been committed to writing or not.

Where the creditor has lent money, the debtor shall not be required to pay him any more interest on the same than one siliqua annually for each solidus.

We extend to all Our subjects the benefit of this salutary law, which shall be observed in every respect now, as well as in the future. Thus, as We have just said, creditors who have lent wheat, barley, or other grain at interest, shall receive annually the eighth of a measure for each measure, or a siliqua for each solidus furnished, according to the nature of the article in question; and they shall return to their debtors the lands or other property such as cattle, sheep, and slaves, which they have taken by way of pledge.

This law shall apply to all Our subjects, for it is humane and just, it "relieves the poor, and affords adequate compensation to creditors.


Your Highness shall hasten to put this law into execution throughout the entire province subject to your government. Creditors are notified that if they should violate it in any way, they will lose the right to collect what they have lent; and debtors will have the consolation of knowing that they are discharged from liability for their obligations, and that their avaricious creditors have lost their property.



This Novel Does Not Exist in Greek, and I Have Copied Here the Epitome of the Same Which I Found in the Novels of Julian.

To the twenty-six assistants. You ask whether it is permissible to substitute for the officials called secretaries of the Quaestor experienced men whom the Quaestor may appoint temporarily, in the presence of the Holy Gospels. The persons substituted as aforesaid shall pay those whose places they occupy the sum of a hundred solidi; the officers of these three ranks, that is to say, those next in order to the employees of the Bureau of Memorials, and the two other Bureaus, even though they may not be included among the twenty-six assistants, shall have the same right to substitute others in their stead. Hence the assistants of the employees most closely connected with the Imperial Bureaus shall have the right to sell their employments, provided the amount received is not above a hundred solidi, and the substitute is approved by the Qusestor.

This Constitution expressly confers this privilege upon Theodosius, Epictetus, Quirillus, Sebastian, and Perigenes. If one of the twenty-six assistants should die, his heir shall, with the consent of the Qusestor, discharge the duties of his office, provided he pays a hundred solidi. All the children of the deceased, even though they may not be the heirs of their father, shall enjoy the same privilege.

Given during the Consulate of Belisarius.





(1) Africans can, during the term of five years, recover any property of which they have been deprived in person, or which was taken from their fathers, mothers, grandparents, or their collateral relatives as far as the third degree, provided this is not barred by legal prescription.

(2) They shall be required to prove their parentage on both side's.

(3) All Africans are subject to the Roman laws.



Rules concerning the Venerated Church, etc. The churches of Africa shall be entitled to the property of which they were deprived by the Arians, and shall recover it without being interfered with by anyone, but they must pay any public or private claims that may

be due.

A heretic shall not confer the rite of baptism, or discharge the duties of a public office, and a catechumen shall not circumcise anyone. No heretic shall, under any circumstances, have a house of worship, or a place of prayer. The Carthaginian Church shall enjoy all the privileges granted by the Code to other churches in general. Anyone who takes refuge in a Carthaginian church shall be immune from arrest, unless he has committed homicide, the rape of a virgin, or has been guilty of violence towards a Christian. No one shall take from the churches of Africa any objects which have been donated by persons in gratitude for their restoration to health. This rule shall be generally observed with reference to all churches.



The Emperor Justinian to John, Praetorian Prefect of the East.

Those who governed the Empire before Us thought that it was necessary, as in the case of this Royal City, to appoint in every town a body of men of noble rank, and form them into a Senate or Curia, by means of which the public business could be regularly conducted. This arrangement proved to be eminently successful, and the order flourished to such an extent that there are many families of decurions, and on account of their x-large numbers, none of them found the duties of his office intolerable; for where an employment is divided among several persons, the burden is hardly felt by those who sustain it. But when the decurions began to withdraw from the curia, and found opportunities to be released from its requirements, the curise were, under innumerable pretexts, reduced in importance; so if they still preserved any private property, that which was public and common property was greatly diminished, and there remained only a very small number of persons to perform the official duties, and the pecuniary resources of the latter were constantly lessened; the cities, in their turn, were subjected to loss; the duties of the curia were discharged by unprincipled men who were styled "avengers," and the curia being thus deprived of usefulness, the State, in consequence, became afflicted with abuses and all kinds of injustice.

(1) After having frequently and diligently considered this subject, We have thought it advisable to remedy it. And We do so with

a degree of ardor proportionate to the skill displayed by the decurions in evading laws justly promulgated, and in defrauding the Treasury. For when they saw that they were legally compelled to preserve a fourth of their property for the benefit of the curia,, they began to squander their fortunes to such an extent that they rendered themselves insolvent; and so far from leaving the curia that portion of their estates which was prescribed by law, they only left it their poverty. In order to deprive the curia of their personal services, they invented the most wicked expedient that could be imagined, for the decurions refrained from contracting legitimate marriages, and preferred to remain without children than to render themselves useful to their families and their curias.

Again, a law enacted by their agency has existed for a long time, which enabled them to dispose of their property gratuitously, without being obliged to obtain a decree for that purpose, and which provided that they could not sell their property except by virtue of a decree. Hence, in order to dispose of their property in this way, decurions were compelled to obtain a decree; but they could give it away as a donation without doing this, and in consequence, the estates of decurions were distributed among many persons, without their curise receiving anything. Thus had anyone investigated this subject, he would have found the curise of Our Empire entirely stripped of both men and property, or having very few members, and almost no property whatever.

(2) Therefore We formerly promulgated the constitutions by which We directed that sales, simple donations, and every act by which the immovable property of decurions was transferred should, in pursuance of a decree, be subject to the observance of certain formalities. Hence as decurions were accustomed to make donations under false pretenses, We forbade them by a second law to make any simple donations in favor of any person whomsoever, but We made an exception of those given in consideration of marriage; the reason for which was that these are not true donations, but a species of contracts entered into to secure maintenance for any children which may be born, which is a matter of special interest to Us, especially where decurions are concerned.

After having enacted this second law, and ascertained that many frauds were still being committed, We have promulgated the third, which authorizes the curia to succeed to three-twelfths of the estate of each decurion, whether the latter leaves or does not leave any children to take his place; and which does not permit anyone to bequeath less than that sum to his curia; to use any artifice for the purpose of fraud or to diminish the said three-twelfths in any way whatsoever; and whether the son of the deceased decurion is a member of the same, or whether he is not, the curia shall still be entitled to this amount.

(3) We did not even confine Ourselves to this, for We have in addition decreed that women shall be obliged to give a certain part of their property for their own appointment, so that, as We have pre-

viously stated, the curia shall not, for any reason whatsoever, have a fourth of the property of the decurion, which should be reserved for its benefit, diminished. We have also forbidden decurions to make many and excessive gifts, and We do not permit them to be released from the obligations of their curia, unless to enable them to accept offices of great importance, for instance, those of the patriciate, consulate, or civil or military prefecture; and as the law states that prefectures are offices involving the command of the army, where anyone is administering the affairs of a prefecture, whether he despatches civil business, or issues commands to soldiers, he is, by virtue of Our law, exempt from curial requirements, all other exceptions being annulled. We also directed that honorary distinctions, such, for instance, as those attached to the prefecture and the command of the army, shall not release those who obtained them from curial obligations.

These are the provisions which We formerly decreed, and now confirm, together with many others which it will be permissible to disregard. We wish, however, that the different pragmatic sanctions, by virtue of which We have released certain persons, by name, from curial duties, shall remain in force; and We also desire this law to become operative from the day of the eleventh indiction, recently expired, the time at which We first determined to enact it.

(4) But, as We have observed that there are some decurions who are so hostile to their own country that they prefer to convey their property to strangers, rather than to leave the fourth part of it to the curia, We have deemed it necessary by means of this law to increase this amount when decurions have left no children.


Therefore, if after the promulgation of this law a decurion should not leave any issue either male or female, he shall be compelled to bequeath all his estate to the curia with the exception of one-fourth of the same, of which he can make any disposition which he may desire, as the curia will take the place of one or several children; that is to say, the entire city will, so far as he is concerned, represent the children and heirs of his good reputation and his immortal memory. When any decurion has no legitimate children, but only natural ones, he shall be permitted to appoint them as heirs, subject to the rights of the curia; and, under these circumstances, their appointment will be equivalent to a donation, without there being any necessity to have recourse to the ancient laws, and without the decurion being obliged, during his lifetime, to make a formal donation; but as soon as his natural children become members of the curia, and his heirs, they will be entitled to nine-twelfths of the estate of their father, in conformity to the distribution that he made among them. He will do still better if he leaves them his entire property. In every instance, however, he will be obliged to leave them nine-twelfths, and he is hereby notified that if he bequeaths them less, the amount lacking to make up this share will be supplied by the law.

The children will be required to discharge curial functions in order to give them a right to a share of their father's estate, and if some of them should be willing to do this, and others refuse, the share of the latter shall accrue to the former; and even when all the natural children are unwilling to perform curial duties, the curia will be entitled to nine-twelfths of the estate, just as if there were no children.


When a decurion is silent as to the disposition of his estate, and leaves no legitimate children, a fourth of it shall go to his heirs at law; and if he leaves any natural children, who are willing to perform curial functions, they shall be admitted to the succession, and nine-twelfths of their father's estate shall go to one or more among them who are willing to assume the obligations of the curia, whether all, or only a few, consent to discharge the duties of members of the same.

Where a decurion has had children by a female slave, and has emancipated them either during his lifetime or by his will, if he has offered them to the curia, or if they have manifested a desire to discharge curial functions, and have been admitted to do so, they shall be entitled to nine-twelfths of their father's estate, as We have just provided in the case of free natural children. For where a decurion dies either testate or intestate, We desire those of his children who become members of his curia to receive nine-twelfths of his estate, but if he should only manumit his children by a female slave, without offering them to the curia, and all of them, or one, or only a few, should be willing to discharge its duties, then nine-twelfths of his property shall go to the one or more of them who become members of the curia. But where none of the said natural children is willing to assume the curial obligations, or should not be offered by their father for this purpose, in this case, the curia shall be entitled to the nine-twelfths of the estate.


But if a decurion should leave any legitimate children, then in order that the operation of the law may be perfect, and the curia derive the greatest benefit possible, it must be determined whether the children are males or females, or both were included, so far as the obligations to the curia are concerned. If the deceased left only male children, or male grandchildren by a predeceased son, he will be required at his death to divide nine-twelfths of his estate among all of them; and he can make this distribution in any way that he pleases, provided he does not violate the law having reference to inofficious testaments (cases of ingratitude being excepted). For We do not wish to repeal any laws enacted on this subject, but, on the other hand, We maintain them in their entirety, by directing that nine-twelfths of the paternal estate shall be divided among the children who are not ungrateful. In this way each one of them will discharge the curial duties of his father, who can then only dispose of three-twelfths of his estate for the benefit of a stranger.


Where only married women, who are the children of a decurion, and are the wives of other decurions of the same city exist, the testator will be permitted to divide all his estate among them or only nine-twelfths of the same as he pleases, always without violating the provisions of the law relating to intestate successions.

Where some of the daughters of a decurion are married to decurions, and others to men who do not occupy this position, the father will be required to leave nine-twelfths of his estate to those who are the wives of decurions, which shall be divided among them in the same way that he desired, and the remainder of his property shall go to those of his daughters who are not the wives of decurions, or to other heirs; the portion established by law always being preserved for the former.

When any of the daughters of the decurion are still unmarried, they shall be heirs to nine-twelfths of his estate conditionally, until they are actually married to decurions of the same town. If they refuse to marry decurions, or if their father requested them to do so and they do not consent, nine-twelfths of the estate shall go to the curia of the city, and three-twelfths shall be distributed among them all, as prescribed by law, after the amount of their dowries has been deducted.


Where there are children of both sexes, the males shall be entitled to half of the estate of their father, and the females to the other half, but not in its entirety, as they will be obliged to share the fourth part of it with their brothers, who are members of the curia, provided one or more of them are not the wives of decurions; for, under these circumstances, if the decurions whom they have married are members of their father's curia, they will be released from the obligations of giving a fourth of their father's estate to the curia, as they, through the medium of their husbands, are considered liable to curial obligations as long as they live.

We have deemed it necessary to establish these regulations, not because We desire to deprive decurions of the liberty of disposing of their estates, but to the end that the curias of towns may not be exposed to a lack of these officials, or become impoverished by dishonorable means. We have learned that one of the methods of accomplishing this is for decurions to contract unlawful marriages with a view to having illegitimate children, and thus being enabled to leave their estates to strangers, thereby defrauding the curia out of the share to which it is entitled.


We have ascertained from experience that there are many persons who state, to the prejudice of the curia, that their mother belongs to the condition of Treasury employees, or to that of inspectors of highways, or to that of those entitled to wear purple, or is of some other

privileged status, seeking thereby to evade what is due to the curia. Hence We order that no artifice of this kind shall hereafter be practiced against the public interests. And We desire, by all means, that the children of women married to a decurion shall themselves belong to the curial condition, even though that of their mother may belong to any of the classes above mentioned. For there are comparatively few decurions in Our Empire, while there are innumerable Treasury officials, inspectors of highways, and magistrates decorated with the purple; and it is better to increase the number of decurions, which is very small in certain cities, than to add a multitude of officials to those who already exist. Hence, if certain persons alleging the condition of their mother should not attempt, or have already attempted to withdraw from the curial condition, after the tenth indiction which has recently expired, any orders emanating from Our court or elsewhere, which may have authorized this, shall be void, and such persons shall be reinstated as decurions. Where, however, anyone has been freed from curial obligations before the expiration of the tenth indiction, We desire that his release shall be permanent.


We, however, except from this Constitution Theodosius and his brothers and the sons of John whose surname is Xescon, although they were born of fathers who were decurions, and were placed in the class of officials of the Imperial Treasury before the tenth indiction, and We hereby annul everything that has been decreed with reference to their liberation. For We do not wish them to enjoy the benefit of this law, and desire that they remain decurions; that they discharge the functions of that office; and that they shall not profit by anything promulgated in their favor either from Our palace or elsewhere.


Therefore Your Excellency will hasten to obey and cause to be executed the law which We have just enacted for the benefit of towns and cwriss, and anyone who presumes to violate this law shall incur a penalty of twenty pounds of gold.

Given at Constantinople, on the fifteenth of the Kalends of March, eleventh indiction, the seventh year after the Consulate of Basilius.






The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, Twice Consul and Patrician.


The course and variety of human nature requires attention from time to time, and it cannot be properly maintained (although its first principles may be unchangeable) unless what specially interferes with it is removed, and it is allowed to proceed in tranquillity and peace in conformity to the law. Considerations of this kind have impelled Us to promulgate the present Constitution, for We are aware that, for a long time, doubts have existed as to the transfer of property left under a trust, and when the person charged with them has consented to the hypothecation of the property, the question arose whether he had been able to encumber what was liable to transfer, or only what was his own, a distinction being made between the words used by the deceased; as the case was held to be different when he directed the simple transfer of property acquired after the death of the trustee, from that where he had expressly provided that his entire estate, with the sole exception of the legitimate fourth, should be delivered.

Hence the rule was established that the private creditors of the trustee could bring suit to recover the property left in trust, and could employ several different means of obtaining possession where the parties were insolvent.

We have recently remedied this evil by the enactment of a law which forbids the alienation or encumbrance of property left under a trust, providing that it shall follow the fortunes of the trustee; that is to say, that it cannot legally come into the hands of anyone, but shall always pass to him to whom it ought to be delivered. This law, although somewhat ancient, and constantly observed in judicial proceedings, confirms what We have said in the beginning; still time has shown (as almost always happens) that it is susceptible of amendment, for both men and women who have been injured have applied to Us for relief.

Among other instances, where a husband was dead, his wife claimed both her dowry and a share of the ante-nuptial donation, to which she was entitled by his death; and, on the other hand, the husband's brother, basing his claim on the will of the common father, demanded the estate of the deceased, and seized the woman's dowry, giving a reason for this that his brother had squandered it, and that there was property forming part of the paternal estate in the possession of the widow, of which the common father had ordered delivery to be made to him, in case his brother did not leave any children. He persisted in claiming the entire estate, and demanded the execution of the law having reference to such cases; the woman, however, in her turn, very justly complained that it was inequitable that her brother should, by means of fraud, become possessed of all her dowry, and alleged that if she had happened to die first, her husband would have obtained the ownership of the property, in accordance with the marriage contract; and that it was not proper that, if her husband died without knowing what he was obliged to deliver, she should be responsible; and a decision was rendered upon this point which We believe to be just.

In another instance, a husband had recourse to Us, stating that the estate of his wife had been transferred by substitution to her children, and that she had directed a very small amount to be reserved for herself, and thus he ran great risk of having his own property rendered liable for the restitution of the dowry and the dotal profits agreed upon in the contract relating to the ante-nuptial donation, without his being permitted to retain any of it whatever.

We have very properly been moved by these complaints, and considered it more advisable to amend Our laws than to expose Our subjects to risk, above all where the marriage state is concerned, which no other condition more beneficial to mankind exists as it affords them the sole means of procreation.



For the reasons above mentioned, We publish the present law, without changing any of the provisions which We have formerly adopted; and the only change We make is that when anyone hereafter delivers property which he is charged to transfer, he can reserve from said property the lawful share of his children, who, instead of the fourth (for- We have amended this rule, as We do not approve of such a small amount), shall have the third or half of the estate, dependent upon their number; but if this legitimate share is not sufficient to provide for the dowry or ante-nuptial donation of the children of the trustee, he shall be allowed to reserve from the remainder of the property subject to delivery under the trust whatever may be necessary (in accordance with the rank and position of the parties interested), in order to make up the amount of the dowry or ante-nuptial donation.

We decree that the property mentioned in the marriage contract shall, by all means, be exempt from transfer under the trust, and that any property which has been substituted can be alienated or hypothecated on account of the marriage. And in case either a husband or wife is charged to deliver the property under the trust, if it is the husband, he shall be permitted to reserve the ante-nuptial donation, or the one given in consideration of marriage, without being obliged to surrender it; and if the wife is the trustee, she can, in the same way, deduct her dowry; for We prefer what is to the advantage of all to the special interest of individuals. This is the privilege which We have granted in favor of the deduction of ante-nuptial donations. For if exceptions to general hypothecations existed before Our reign (which certainly was not so advantageous), why should We not authorize a measure which, in cases involving gain through marriage, is still more beneficial ?

(1) Therefore, what We order shall in the future only be available, and applicable to the delivery of property which takes place after the enactment of this law, for We do not permit any wrong to be done;

so that where a woman has a dowry of trifling value, and afterwards learns of the existence of this law, or where a man has made an antenuptial donation of a small amount, and either of them desires to increase what he or she has given for the purpose of evading the said law, and by this means to obtain what they wish from the property left under a trust, We forbid such a fraudulent practice, and decree that the acts of persons wishing to make such an increase shall be invalid so far as any diminution of the trust is concerned, and that Our law shall remain inviolate for the future. This is the first chapter of the present law.



Three constitutions promulgated by Our predecessors with reference to women who marry a second time before the year of mourning has expired, prescribe penalties for an act of this kind. We have also recently enacted a law with some amendments, and have touched upon this matter briefly in a certain part of Our legislation, but a most disgraceful occurrence occasionally takes place, which We are unwilling shall continue to exist during Our reign, and We have very properly decided that it must be corrected. The following is an example of this evil. A woman who had not been chaste during the lifetime of her husband brought forth a child before her year of mourning had elapsed, and more than eleven months after his death; under these circumstances it is not possible to say that the child belonged to the deceased, for conception does not extend for so protracted a period. And as one of the penalties of premature marriage is that the wife shall immediately lose both the usufruct and the ownership of the ante-nuptial donation bestowed upon her by her husband, the children injured by this extraordinary delivery of their mother have a right to claim the ante-nuptial donation given to her, and can also demand that she obtain nothing from the estate of the husband, whose memory she has been so ready to disgrace.

The woman answered (but how can We quote her words without blushing?) that she did not deserve to forfeit the ante-nuptial donation ; that she was well acquainted with the laws regulating legitimate marriage; that she had never contracted any other marriage than the first one; and that the child whom she had brought forth was only the result of her natural inclination to concupiscence. As there is no doubt that this woman who had abandoned herself to debauchery merited penalties ten thousand times more severe, she shall not be exempted from those to which she rendered herself liable; hence (for We come to the relief of the children of the deceased husband), We desire her to be subjected to the loss of the ante-nuptial donation, as legally provided in such cases with reference to women who marry before the term of mourning has expired. For if this law does not

release women from responsibility when they contract legitimate marriages, for the reason that it causes a suspicion to arise that they have hastened to contract a second marriage because of having been unduly intimate with their second husbands during the lifetime of those now dead, why should We leave this woman unpunished, when, in the first instance, there is merely a conjecture, but in the second unquestioned proof exists, and the offence is established beyond doubt by this most abominable of all births ?

(1) Wherefore We decree that if a woman should bring forth a child before the term of her mourning has expired, so that there can be no doubt that it is not the issue of the first marriage, she shall, by all means, be deprived of the ante-nuptial donation (this applies both to the ownership and the usufruct of the same), and she shall also be subjected to all the other penalties, just as if she had contracted a legal marriage before the expiration of the year of mourning. For licentiousness should not enjoy more advantages than chastity, and the woman must be punished, and suffer the loss of the donation on account of her debauchery; and We establish this rule in order that women may not be induced to contract untimely marriages, or disgrace their former ones by still more wicked behavior.


Your Highness will, by formal proclamation, communicate to all persons the matters which it has pleased Us to enact, and which are set forth in this law.

This constitution is addressed to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, twice Consul and Patrician.

Given at Constantinople, on the Kalends of January, during the prefecture of Belisarius.






The Same Emperor to Peter, Most Holy and Blessed Archbishop of Jerusalem.


A law prohibiting the alienation of ecclesiastical property has already been promulgated by Us, which We desire to be observed and confirmed in every respect. But, as it is proper for Us to make provisions for all churches, We certainly should not neglect that of the Holy Resurrection, as well as of the place in which the Creator of the world allowed himself to suffer for the benefit of the human race. Therefore -We have considered it advisable to enact the present law,

not for the purpose of repealing what We have formerly established, but in order to make a proper and necessary addition to what has already been adopted. For it is known to all persons that the Church of the Holy Resurrection receives and nourishes persons who resort to it from the entire world (of whom there is an immense number), and that enormous and incalculable expenses are incurred, to defray which its revenues are not sufficient, without a daily repetition of the miracles of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who, with a very small quantity of bread, fed an innumerable concourse of persons. Hence it is necessary to take measures to enable this church to obtain sufficient income to meet the expenses caused by the assemblage of such a vast multitude of believers.

(1) We have learned from Eusebius, at present priest and sacristan of the Most Holy Church of this city, who has just returned from Jerusalem, that he has greatly increased the income of that Most Holy Church by only employing means which are honorable and approved by God; and that he has been able, by the expenditure of three hundred and eighty pounds of gold, to obtain an income of thirty pounds of gold, more or less; to accomplish which he carefully collected money and induced the stewards of the holy church to borrow more; but that as now the creditors desire to be paid, he had devised another plan to satisfy them, and stated to Us that many persons attracted to Jerusalem through the desire of visiting the tomb of Our Lord wish to purchase buildings belonging to the Church with x-large sums of money, provided they were permitted to enjoy them without any risk, but that the authorities of the Church of the Holy Resurrection refuse to sell said buildings on account of their fear of the law which We promulgated with reference to the alienation of ecclesiastical property, although this would result in a great benefit to the Holy Church, and that there are persons who are willing to buy such property only for the term of fifty years.

This advantage is in fact much greater than can be expressed in words; for if, on the one hand, the Holy Church has been able, by the expenditure of three hundred and eighty pounds of gold to acquire property which yields thirty pounds of income, it will recover (which is something worthy of admiration) the original price of its investment in about thirteen years; and, on the other hand, the sale of the buildings referred to will only be for fifty years; and, besides, the property of the Church of the Resurrection consists of houses exposed to all manner of accidents, and may suddenly be destroyed by fire or some other casualty without leaving a trace of their former existence.


These things have induced Us to enact the present law, which We have dedicated to God and the Church of the Resurrection, most holy of all churches, by which law We decree that former provisions relating to rural, ecclesiastical property (which We, under no circumstances, permit to be sold) shall continue to be observed, and We

relax the rigor of this law only with reference to the alienation of the buildings above mentioned. For while We published the preceding constitution for the benefit of the Holy Churches, as We now perceive that it will be advantageous for the Church of the Holy Resurrection to alienate its property, We, by the present law, permit this to be done, giving it full permission and extending every security to both vendor and purchaser, presuming that the said buildings will subsequently revert to the church, and that those who buy them will, through their love of God, leave them to the church at the time of their death. Therefore the Holy Church will be permitted to dispose of the houses belonging to it, without having reason to fear the general law which forbids this kind of alienation, as it is subject to an exception which is more recent, and dispenses with the penalties imposed by the former constitution.

(1) The aforesaid church can, from this time forward, alienate its property, provided it will be to its advantage to do so; and all purchasers of the same, their heirs and successors, both now and hereafter, need have no apprehension of being deprived of the property, for the reason that by the present law they can make a purchase with confidence; for it is not just that they should suffer molestation on this account, or be liable to any accusation, damage or loss. Your Excellency undoubtedly may notify members of the venerable clergy that alienation of their buildings can be made, when you are satisfied that such an act will be advantageous; that the property sold is of comparatively trifling value; and what is to be obtained by the sale is better and more valuable. Thus the total amount of the purchase-money derived from sales made for fifty years will be available to pay what the creditors have advanced to enable the income which We have mentioned to be obtained. For if God, who is the Creator and Master of all mankind, has, in preference to other cities, granted to Jerusalem the privilege of His resurrection, We should, as far as possible, in imitation of God and His infinite miracles, give to the church of this same city advantages over other cities, and cause it to enjoy the benefit of the present law, which We enact as a special favor to it, being, above all things, desirous of promoting its interests.


As soon as this constitution is communicated by Us, it must be recorded in the Books of the Laws, and Your Holiness will publish it to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. You must also promulgate the provisions which We have decreed for the benefit of the Holy Church of the Resurrection, venerated by the entire human race, provisions which We consecrate to God, whose extraordinary blessings conferred upon Us surpass those of Our predecessors.

This law is especially addressed to Peter, Most Holy and Blessed Archbishop of Jerusalem.

Given at Constantinople, on the fifteenth of the Kalends of June, after the Consulate of Belisarius.




This constitution creates a magnificent magistrate for the army with the title of Quaestor. For in ancient times there were two magistrates of this kind, of whom one remained near the sovereign, and the other was placed in command of the army. The present constitution fixes the amount of the salaries to which the Quaestor and his staff are entitled, and allows him a body of attendants resembling that of the Praetorian Prefect; namely, secretaries, custodians of acts, criers, recorders, torch-bearers, and all other officials of description. It also prescribes the manner in which the emoluments of soldiers who accompany the Quaestor to war, and of those who guard the frontiers, should be distributed. It subjects to his authority five provinces, that is to say Scythia, Mysia, Caria, all the Cyclades Islands, and all of Cyprus. It grants him the right to have a tribunal for the decision of cases, without anyone being permitted to evade his jurisdiction. It includes, in addition, a list of expenses.

This Constitution has been promulgated on the Kalends of June, during the twelfth indiction, after the Consulate of Belisarius.




In the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Emperor Caesar, Fla-vius, Justinian, Gothicus, Francicus, Germanicus, Anticus, Alanicus, Vandalicus, Africanus, Pious, Fortunate, Glorious, Victorious, Triumphant, Ever Augustus, to Mena, Most Holy and Blessed Archbishop and Universal Patriarch.


By means of the present law, We undertake to dispose of a matter which not infrequently arises in the administration of public affairs. Whenever an ecclesiastical sentence has deposed any persons unworthy of the priesthood, and unfit to preside over the Holy Sees of the Church (such for instance as Nestorius, Eutyches, Arius, Mace-donius, Eunomius, and others who are not inferior to them in iniquity) , the government has always sustained the act of the ecclesiastics. In this manner both divine and human regulations unite in making decisions of this kind equitable. We are aware that a similar decree was promulgated against Anthimius, who was deposed from the See of this Royal City by Agapetus, of glorious memory, Pontiff of the

most Holy Church of Ancient Rome, for the reason that he, in violation of all the rules of propriety, as well as in contravention of the sacred canons, had taken possession of the See, he being condemned by a general sentence of the Holy Pontiff above mentioned, and afterwards by the Sacred Synod of this city.

Another reason for this was, that Anthimius had renounced the true dogmas of the Church, and spread his own doctrines in many places; had rejected various forms of purification while pretending adherence to the four Holy Councils, that is to say, that of the three hundred and eight fathers held at Nicsea, that of the hundred and fifty who met in this Fortunate City, that of the two hundred assembled at Ephesus, and that of the six hundred and thirty venerable Fathers convoked at Chalcedon. He refused to accept the dogmas of the Church, and rejected Our clemency and the pardon We offered him for his own safety; he declined to abandon the impious doctrines whose authors were condemned by the Holy Councils, and he even thought it proper to treat with contempt those who had sentenced him. From the time when he accepted dogmas not recognized by the Holy Church, he never returned to those which were true, although We have afforded him an opportunity for doing so, and have exerted every effort for the salvation of his soul.


For all these reasons, and taking into consideration the sentence of deposition issued against Anthimius by the Holy Synod, on the ground that, without being authorized by the sacred canons of the Church, he had taken possession of the sacred Sees of this Imperial City, as well as because he had renounced the true faith, We have enacted the present law against him. We hereby forbid him to reside in this Fortunate City or its jurisdiction, or in any other x-large city whatsoever, ordering him to remain quiet, and to seek the society of those whom he considers worthy of it, without having any communication with Our other subjects, or attempting to imbue them with his prohibited dogmas to their ultimate destruction.

(1) We also confirm the sentence passed by all the Patriarchal or Pontifical Sees (with the concurrence of the monks) which anathematized Severus, who, in disobedience of the sacred decrees of the Church, accepted the See of the Holy Church of Antioch, and by doing so threw everything into confusion, and caused a general and abominable war to break out among the Holy Churches. Our predecessors pronounced the same curse against those who promote dissensions, while propagating rules and blasphemies at variance with the true dogmas; and at the same time against any person who adopts the abominable error of the impious heresiarchs Nestorius and Eutyches. These doctrines, although they may be considered to some extent antagonistic to one another, were devised with the same end in view, and were promulgated for the same purpose, namely, to promote the adoption of the provisions of Arius and Apollinarius, both of which,

in like manner, lead to the perdition of the soul, and anyone who accepts either of them will be equally to blame, and will render himself equally guilty of crime, no matter to which of these sects he may adhere.

(2) Therefore Severus shall remain subject to the anathema which the general, patriarchal, pontifical, and monastic assemblies of Our Empire have justly fulminated against him; he shall be expelled from the City of Antioch, and ejected from the See which he occupied the more irregularly, as he seized it while his predecessor was still living and dwelling among the Holy Churches, and drove away the ecclesiastics appointed to take his place. As Severus did not pay any attention to the proceedings taken against him, but, even while under the general anathema of the Orthodox and Catholic Church, he distributed throughout Our Empire a great number of blasphemous and abominable books, We hereby prohibit all Our subjects from having any of the same in their possession. And as it is not permitted to have possession of or copy the books of Nestorius (Our predecessors have included in this prohibition the lectures and the writings of Porphyry against the Christians) so, in like manner, no Christian shall have in his possession either the lectures or the writings of Severus, which are considered profane and contrary to the doctrines of the Catholic Church, and their possessors shall be required to burn them, if they do not desire to expose themselves to great risks. We forbid the copying of the books of Severus by any writer, either on account of the beauty of his chirography or the rapidity of his execution, and everyone is notified that if he does this, the penalty for the offence shall be the amputation of his hand, for We do not wish that the blasphemy contained in these books shall be transmitted to future ages.

(3) We forbid him to enter this Royal City, or its territory, or any other x-large town, and direct him to retire to some solitary place, to remain there in silence, and not attempt to corrupt others, or induce them to be guilty of blasphemy, or to continue to invent new theories contrary to the true dogmas, and by this means to constantly excite dissension among the Holy Churches.


The Imperial Authority also confirms the anathema of Peter, Bishop of Apamea, who also was deposed at the same time as Severus, and for the same reason, and adopts as its own the decree issued against him. For anyone who has been placed under a general anathema shall remain subject thereto, and the sentence of the most holy ecclesiastics passed upon him is hereby ratified. We do not permit him to reside in this Royal City or its territory, or in any of the principal cities, but in one of those which has adopted his error, and which is situated at the greatest distance, and there he must live in retirement. For it is more beneficial that persons of this kind should remain concealed than be seen, as when they are unknown they only injure themselves; but when they publish their dogmas to the world,

they give occasion for the perdition of many weak persons, which, under no circumstances, should take place among the Christian flock and the orthodox people of God, and is not permitted by Imperial authority.


Zoaras having also been subjected to anathema by the judgment of the most reverend bishops (a very light penalty for such serious offences), whose decisions are always equitable, and having been denounced by them, he will be liable to the punishment which, as is well known, has been inflicted upon Anthimius, Severus, and Peter. Hence the government confirms this sentence, which places him in the number of persons who have been anathematized; denounces him as schismatic, and expels him from this Royal City and its territory, absolutely forbidding him to reside in other cities. As the result of this, Zoaras shall reside and meditate in company with other blasphemers, who have just been punished and condemned to exile. If, indeed, there is anything else included in the sentence of deposition and anathema rendered by the Most Holy Bishops against the persons aforesaid than what We decree, We give it increased force, extend its time, and ratify it by Our Imperial Constitution, just as if it had emanated from the government itself.

If any of those against whom this constitution has been enacted should oppose it, he is hereby notified that he will be liable both to the penalties prescribed by the Imperial laws, and to punishment of even greater severity.

(1) We forbid all persons to attempt to destroy the Catholic Church of God (either by means of the doctrine of the Nestorian heresy, through the foolish doctrine of Eutyches, or the blasphemy of Severuswhich embraces rules similar to theirsor the tenets of others who follow them), to excite sedition among the most holy churches, or enter into any discussion concerning the true faith; but We direct them to keep silence on these subjects, and not call others together with a view to their conversion, or receive them if they come to them voluntarily; or presume to baptize them in their sect, or to defile the Holy Communion by administering it to others; or to explain forbidden doctrines either in this Imperial City or elsewhere; and if anyone should be guilty of such conduct he shall run the risk of punishment.

(2) We forbid all Our subjects to entertain persons who have been anathematized; the latter shall be expelled from cities where they have caused trouble, and all persons are notified that under Our Divine Constitution houses where heresy has been preached shall be taken away from the owners of the same, and adjudged to the Holy Churches. And also where fields are used for this purpose, they shall also be taken, it being entirely just that the Holy Churches should acquire property which is used for the destruction of souls.

(3) We establish these provisions for the common tranquillity of the Holy Churches, in compliance with the dogmas of the Holy Fathers,

in order that the entire priesthood may hereafter suffer no disturbance. By the establishment of tranquillity, Our government will hereafter remain undisturbed, and We shall enjoy the peace which Our Lord Jesus Christ, Member of the Holy Trinity, and only Son of God, grants those who are considered worthy to adore and glorify Him.


Your Holiness will observe this law, and will communicate it by means of special letters to the most Holy Metropolitans subject to his authority, who, in their turn, shall take measures to communicate it to the most Holy Churches under their jurisdiction, in order that everyone may be familiar with the sacerdotal decrees ratified by the government.

Divine Subscription. May God the Holy and Religious Father preserve you for many years.

Given at Constantinople, on the eighth of the Ides of August, after the Consulate of Belisarius.





In the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ Our God. The Emperor Csesar, Flavius, Justinian, Alemanicus, Gothicus, Francicus, German-icus, Anticus, Alanicus, Vandalicus, Africanus, Pious, Fortunate, Glorious, Victor, Triumpher, and Ever to be Honored Augustus, to Longinus, Urban Prefect.


Our subjects are Our constant care, whether they are alive or dead; hence We have provided by laws relating to funeral ceremonies that the obsequies of deceased persons shall not be too expensive for their relatives. And as Constantine, of Divine memory, the founder of this Our City, and the Most Pious Prince Anastasius, prescribed the number of pallbearers or deans, and fixed at eleven hundred the number of shops to be set apart to provide for this expense, and forbade this number ever to be increased, We, desiring that the number of pallbearers to be selected from each quarter shall be preserved, according to the regulations of Anastasius, of Divine memory, direct that what has previously been established shall remain in full force.

But for the reason that the inhabitants of the said quarters of this city, who, above all others, are the objects of Our solicitude, have applied to Us, stating that they are reduced to extreme necessity; and because the Principal Church is entitled to the income of eleven hundred shops, which has been voluntarily granted to it free of all taxes, for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the people of the city, and that, as the result of this transfer to the Holy Church, the said shops have been released from all other impositions; and that, while these shops are not the only ones destined for the sale of different kinds of merchandise which are exempt from public contribution, but there are many others which also enjoy this privilege, for instance, those set apart for other holy churches for the maintenance of places of entertainment for travellers, and for monasteries, and other religious foundations; which, at first taken away from heretics, have subsequently come into the possession of ecclesiastics of the orthodox faith and of royal houses, magistrates, senators, distinguished men, or officers of the Imperial Bedchamber, are also exempt from taxation ; and that the proprietors of these shops, taking advantage of this privilege, cause loss to the government; and hence there are so many exemptions from taxation that there are very few people who pay any taxes, and the result is that where formerly assessments were increased threefold and fourfold, they are now increased tenfold; although the Divine Prince Anastasius only included in his list of exemptions the eleven hundred shops set apart to defray the funeral expenses incurred by the Holy Church, We have considered it advisable to communicate these complaints to Our nobles, and above all to the Archbishop of this Most Fortunate City, in order that they may assemble for the purpose of ascertaining what property is exempt from taxation, and inform Us on the subject.

We have been pleased to address this law, by which We confirm the rules promulgated by the Most Pious Prince, Anastasius, to you.


Hence We order that the eleven hundred shops charged with defraying the funeral expenses incurred by the Holy Principal Church, as well as to provide it with deans or pallbearers shall, by all means, be maintained intact and free from any other burden; and that no other church but this shall be entitled to demand any deans, whether the said church belongs to heretics or not. What We have already determined shall also be valid, namely, that eight hundred shops shall be set apart to provide pallbearers for the service of the Principal Church, and that three hundred shall pay their share in money, the disposal of which has already been made by Our pragmatic sanction. Any shops which may be destroyed shall be rebuilt in the manner prescribed by the orders of Anastasius of pious memory. The said eleven hundred shops devoted to the service of the Principal Holy Church shall continue to be free and exempt from every species of taxation; nor shall they, or the quarters which furnish them, be compelled to pay tribute, suffer any loss, or recognize any other authority.

(1) The other shops of the fourteen quarters of this city, whether they belong to some holy church, to houses destined for the entertainment of travellers, to monasteries, orphan-asylums, hospitals, or any other establishments of this kind, such as those of magistrates performing public functions of trifling importance, to senators, to nobles of high rank, to Imperial Chamberlains, and to officers enrolled in the army; all these shops, We declare, shall, through the prefects of their quarter, pay the taxes imposed upon them, and shall discharge all other duties which it is proper for each one to assume in its own quarter. No one can, in order to be released, plead any privileges or offer any other excuse, for We do not permit charges imposed upon some to be a burden upon others, nor tolerate the harshness of proposing to frequently increase contributions (which We are informed is done) more than fourfold, fivefold, and even tenfold, especially when We are so diligently exerting Ourselves to prevent anyone from being subjected to new impositions. By a new imposition is meant not only one which is created for the first time, but an addition to one that has already been established. All persons should be treated alike; and this Imperial Pragmatic Sanction (which it is permitted to style a law) shall be of general application, so that everyone may know in what way he may be free from annoyance. For each citizen will the more readily bear his burdens, if he perceives that no one else is exempt except the eleven hundred shops set apart for the provision of funeral expenses in the Holy Principal Church, a regulation which is common and advantageous to all men.

(2) But if anyone should attempt to give an excuse in order to release himself from the payment of contributions, or to prevent them from being collected from his tenants or clients; or to escape liability for the performance of any military, civil, ecclesiastical, or any other contribution, he shall be absolutely deprived of the ownership of his shop, the title to which shall vest in the entire quarter. Under these circumstances, persons will be more careful, and will not attempt to do what is prohibited.

Moreover, if the contributions are equally divided, the amount which each one is obliged to furnish will be very small, and its collection will involve but little trouble, and this will be accomplished more easily as it will be paid by several persons. And, indeed, is it not exceedingly absurd for men who labor with their own hands, and women who nurse the children of others in order to obtain the necessaries of life, alone to have been oppressed with high taxes up to the present time, especially when they belong to the poorest class of society? This abuse is of infinite extent, nor can it be limited in any way.

(3) We prohibit all these things, and promulgate this Imperial Pragmatic Sanction, threatening all of Our subjects with the penalty of losing their property, if, when residing in certain quarters, they interfere with the collection of ordinary taxes which have been established from the beginning, or attempt to convert them into private revenues. Everyone shall have the right to enjoy any income to which

he is entitled, but must see that his shops or warehouses pay the ordinary contributions imposed upon them. For as every private individual should have an eye to his own interest, there is much more reason for Us to come to the relief of this Great and Royal City, which is tottering and almost ready to fall, since We can only provide for the public welfare by releasing persons from burdens to which they should not be subjected, and which, up to the present time, they have been compelled to bear.


Your Excellency, as well as the subordinates attached to Your office, shall, now and hereafter, cause the provisions of this law, which it has pleased Us to enact, to be carried into effect.




The Emperor Justinian to John, Praetorian Prefect, Twice Consul and Patrician.


We have recently learned of a controversy which has given occasion to the enactment of this law. An instrument, of which a woman was said to be the author, but which was not written in her own hand (for she could not write), but had been copied by a notary, who had added the woman's signature to it. The instrument also indicated that witnesses had been present. Doubt, however, arose as to the credit which should be given to it, the woman declaring that she had not consented to certain clauses included therein; and the judge having jurisdiction of the case attempted to ascertain the truth by means of the notary, who, having been called into court, answered that he recognized the handwriting, but was ignorant of what the parties agreed to, because the document had been dictated to one of his clerks, and he had not been present when it was completed. Then the clerk, having been summoned, appeared in court, and also stated that he had not written the instrument in the first place, but had only been present at its execution, and that he to whom it had been dictated could not be found; hence the judge being unable to ascertain the truth by means of witnesses, the whole matter was left in uncertainty, which has induced Us to make an investigation, and publish a decree for the regulation of similar cases.


We also deem it proper to come to the relief of Our subjects, and enact a law for the general welfare of all, by which it is proposed to

compel notaries by all means to be present at the execution of legal instruments, and, unless this is done, such instruments shall not be considered complete, in order that the said notaries may be familiar with, and take part in the transaction, and when they are interrogated by judges, may be aware of what has taken place, and give proper replies, especially where the parties to the instrument are ignorant of letters, under which circumstances it is very easy for them to deny what actually happened.

(1) Therefore, with a view to preventing such occurrences, We have drawn up the present law, and desire it to be explicitly observed by notaries both in this Most Fortunate City and in the provinces; and they are hereby notified that if one of these should violate it in any respect, he will certainly be deprived of his office; and the person who is directed by him to see to the execution of the document, and was present, shall be substituted for him, and shall hereafter exercise the functions of the office, just as his superior did in the first place, by way of punishment for having neglected to discharge his duty, and for not having acted in compliance with the wishes of the parties interested. We impose this penalty upon notaries, in order that such officials may become more just and circumspect, and may not, for the sake of their own pleasure and convenience, cause annoyance to others.

(2) Therefore, if a notary should prove himself to be unworthy of holding his office, he shall be deprived of it, and his place shall be taken by another; but the chief of the body of notaries shall not be prejudiced in any way (even if he himself is not a notary), nor shall he be deprived of any emoluments, as the punishment shall be strictly confined to him who failed to perform his duty, and who shall lose his place; for the offences of notaries do not affect the rights of their official superiors.

(3) Notaries shall not excuse themselves from being present at the execution of instruments by alleging as a pretext illness or their occupation with other affairs, for if anything of this kind should occur, they will be permitted to call the contracting parties before them, and have the business attended to, as such cases rarely happen; and it is not proper for private business to prevent public officials from attending to matters of general importance, as there is nothing so absolutely certain among men that it cannot (even though it may be perfectly just) still give rise to some doubt. The fees of notaries shall not be diminished on account of this law, as they have many opportunities to draw up contracts, and, besides, it is much better to do a few things carefully than many in a negligent manner.

(4) Therefore, in order that this law may not appear to notaries to be too severe, We, being aware of the failings of human nature, have provided reasonable rules for them, and on account of the probability of doubt arising under such circumstances, do hereby grant them permission to appoint substitutes (a matter which shall formally be published by the Illustrious Master of the Census of this Most Fortunate City), and We authorize the said substitutes to be present

at the execution of the instruments aforesaid; but no other notary shall either be appointed in the beginning, or be present at the transaction, except the one indicated, and his substitute, who is duly authorized and designated for this purpose.

If this law should be violated and someone else be appointed, the notary who has been duly empowered by Us in the first place shall be liable to the penalty; but the instruments shall not be rendered void, because of their usefulness to the contracting parties.

We desire that, for the future, notaries shall, through the fear of punishment, obey this law and strictly observe everything which has been prescribed by Us.





We also add to the present law that notaries shall not draw up instruments on any other sheet than the one (called the protocol) which bears at the head the title of Our Most Glorious Count of the Imperialx-large sses, and the date of the execution of the document, and whatever else it is customary to write there, and notaries must not abridge the protocol, but leave it as it was inserted; for We are aware that many forgeries have been, and are now being committed in instruments of this kind, and that some of the latter have protocols which do not belong to them, but to other documents, the result of which is to render them void; hence the whole of the instrument must be written on the same sheet, as We have previously stated.

Therefore, whatever has been decreed by Us with reference to the nature of such documents, and the abridgement or substitution of protocols, We desire to be observed only in this Most Fortunate City, where there is always a multitude of contracting parties, and a great supply of blank paper, and it is easy to be present and have transactions conducted in a legal way, and not afford any opportunity for the commission of forgery, for which crime those will render themselves liable who presume to act in any other way except that prescribed by law.


Your Highness will hasten to carry into effect the rules which it has pleased Us to promulgate by means of this law.

Given at Constantinople, on the nineteenth of the Kalends of September, during the second year after the Consulate of Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to John, Praetorian Prefect, Twice Consul and Patrician.


Your Highness has informed Us that Jews, Samaritans, Montan-ists, and other men deserving of contempt, for whom the light of the immaculate faith has never shone, who remain in darkness and have never experienced in their minds the benefit of the true sacraments, are included among decurions; and because We hold heretics in horror, they think, for this reason, that they are exempt from curial obligations, and refuse to perform the duties incumbent upon them. We, however, are surprised that one of your wisdom and shrewdness should have accepted their excuses, and did not at once hasten to punish them, for if certain individuals think that, because of some extreme absurdity, they are entitled to the enjoyment of certain privileges which We have reserved only for persons of the highest distinction, who is there among Our subjects who will not hereafter manifest extreme insolence and folly? Wherefore, let such men continue to perform curial as well as official duties, as was formerly decreed, whether they complain or not; and no religion or civil condition shall render them exempt (for nothing is mentioned on this point in either the ancient or modern law), but they shall not enjoy the honor attaching to the office of decurion, or the privileges granted to persons of this kind, for instance, freedom from corporeal punishment, exemption from removal to other provinces, and numerous others.

But where anything is stated with reference to decurions which does not confer any privilege, it shall also apply to these, and they shall be liable to personal and pecuniary charges, and no law shall exempt them therefrom; they shall enjoy no honors, but must remain in the baseness of their condition to which they are devoted.

These are the provisions which We have enacted on this subject.


You have also mentioned another matter which is worthy of inquiry. We have forbidden heretics to testify whenever orthodox persons are engaged in litigation with one another, and We have permitted

them by Our Constitution, whenever they have any legal controversies with one another, or either the plaintiff or the defendant is an heretic, he can testify, because they are litigants; and they can give testimony for an orthodox person against a heretic, but not against one who is orthodox; and, in conclusion, We have prescribed that the evidence of such persons is not admissible when orthodox believers are engaged in legal disputes with one another.

You have stated to Us that when orthodox persons desire to be released from curial obligations, the testimony of their relatives and others familiar with their condition may be received. As the law rejects the evidence of heretics when offered against orthodox Christians, the judges hesitate to permit it under such circumstances. We, however, think that this apprehension is unfounded, for as such persons are permitted to testify in behalf of orthodox believers (for the law does not forbid them to do this), then, where decurions desire to be released from their public obligations, and call heretics to testify in their behalf, why should not this be permitted? In this instance the orthodox government which God has especially entrusted to Our administration is one of the litigants, those, however, who give evidence for the government, in reality testify for orthodox persons. Our conclusion is just, it is consistent with the orthodox faith, and is based upon the hatred which We entertain for all heresies.


As soon as Your Highness is informed of Our wishes, being aware of what is beneficial to Our government, and, above all, remembering that We have been careful to prescribe by the present constitution what is advantageous to the public welfare, will see that it is observed.

Given at Constantinople, on the fifteenth of the Kalends of September, after the Consulate of Belisarius.






The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, Twice Consul and Patrician.


We have devoted all Our attention to the laws, and We are daily exerting Ourselves for the welfare of Our subjects, by removing whatever is redundant and superfluous, and substituting therefor what is excellent and praiseworthy. For We have formerly often corrected the diffuseness of the laws, and, by restricting their application, introduced equity in subsequent times. We have very recently published a constitution having reference to all holy churches, monasteries, and other religious houses, forbidding them to make alienations of any immovable property; for We have seen that great confusion prevailed in consequence of this; that ecclesiastical possessions were, little by little, being acquired by strangers, without the payment of sufficient money, and without any urgent necessity existing for the sale of such property; and yet ten thousand frauds were constantly being committed against the laws already in force. Thus, by forbidding alienations, We render the means of committing fraud impossible.

It was only after this that the greater portion of the lands belonging to the Church became of any benefit to the owners, for no one dared to acquire them. Still, a matter difficult of solution has arisen, that is to say, ancient debts as well as others recently contracted, and, above all, fiscal claims, have imposed upon religious houses the necessity of selling their lands; they are forced to take this step because they have no personal property, and if their heads are unable to alienate their lands, they will have no means of discharging their obligations.

These conditions have already induced Us to give permission to churches to surrender their possessions in payment to their creditors, after observing the usual formalities. But as this power was not expressly granted by Our former Constitution, and when the creditor was not a private individual, but the Public Treasury and the Church had no money, and it was impossible for the former to accept real property in payment, We have deemed it advisable to make some concessions, and to a certain extent relaxing the strictness of the law, permit alienations of this kind to take place.


Hence We order that if any of the holy churches or other religious houses should incur fiscal obligations, and not have the means to meet them, all the clergy including the Bishop of the City and the Metropolitan shall be assembled, and the matter shall be examined by them, and if there should not appear to be any other way to pay the debt, except by the alienation of immovable property, permission to do this may be obtained by virtue of a decree issued by the Governor of the province authorizing the disposal of real property sufficient to discharge the indebtedness; and those who acquire said property shall, themselves, become liable for the payment of the obligation, and shall satisfy the Treasury, which must give them a receipt for the same. In this way, they will have ample security, and need not entertain any apprehensions on account of the preceding law; the receipts of payments made to the Treasury shall be filed and recorded by the purchasers in the Bureau of Registry, if they desire to be fully released from all liability toward the holy churches for what they have paid in their behalf, in order that the taxes may be settled, and everything be done in accordance with Our law.

No one shall feign the existence of a fiscal debt for the purpose of obtaining the alienation of real property belonging to the Church; and, with a view to preventing all fraud of this kind, We desire that the decree of the Governor, who intervenes in this matter to establish the existence of such an obligation, shall state the time when it became due, the reason for it not having previously been paid in money, and why the necessity for such alienation exists; for in this way the truth will be absolutely established.

We desire all these formalities to take place in the presence of the Holy Gospels, and that the bishops, clerks, and all others concerned in the alienation shall remember that God will know what is being done by them, and if they are guilty of any deceit or fraud through desire of gain, they will, while living and dead, be punished in their souls.


Where, however, a private individual is the creditor of the Church, he can receive immovable property by way of payment, a decree must always be rendered under such circumstances, and the property of the debtor shall be transferred to the creditor for the amount of his claim. But where the debt is due to the Treasury, and an alienation of immovable property is made, this shall be done in accordance with the previous rules, and no formality, nor any consideration for the public welfare shall be neglected.


The present regulations shall not, however, be applicable to the Most Holy Principal Church of this Most Fortunate City, its territory, or the chapels subject to its authority; but the law already formulated

with reference to ecclesiastical alienations shall remain in full force, so far as they are concerned. If, however, the Most Holy Principal Church has any monasteries under its jurisdiction, We also release them from the provisions of the present constitution, which We enact solely for the exterior provinces in which a scarcity of money exists, which prevents the holy churches from paying their debts in cash.


As soon as Your Highness becomes acquainted with what We have just decreed, you will require these rules relating to the alienation of ecclesiastical property to be scrupulously observed.

Given at Constantinople, on the fourteenth of the Kalends of September, during the second year after the Consulate of Belisarius.






The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect, Twice Consul and Patrician.


Documents and contracts in which the dates are given are the ones to which the greatest credit shall attach. The same rule applies to those in which the name of the Emperor appears. For the consuls, the indictions, and the dates mentioned in public documents indicate the time when they were executed, as well as the signification applicable to them. We have no intention of suppressing anything of this kind; but, on the other hand, We desire to make additions to it, so that the course of time may be designated more explicitly and perfectly therein. For whoever studies the events of past ages, and the ancient history of the government, will learn of JSneas the King of Troy, Prince of the Republic, from whom We are said to descend; and if he turns his attention to the second epoch, when the Roman name attained great lustre among mankind, he will ascertain that Romulus and Numa founded the government and constructed the city, and that the latter regulated and adorned it with laws.

If he should consider the third epoch, namely, that of the Empire, he would read of the Great Caesar and the Pious Augustus, and would find that the government which now is so powerful was rendered immortal by the acts of these sovereigns. It would, however, be absurd for the name of the Emperor to be placed at the head of all contracts, judicial decisions, and, generally speaking, all of those in which any mention of the date is made.

Wherefore We order that all those officials employed in drawing up documents or decisions, no matter where this may be, and that the notaries who, in compliance with certain rules, draw up various instruments in this great city, or in other parts of the Empire, over which God has given Us the right to preside, shall begin as follows: "The year of the reign of the Most Holy and August Emperor," and, afterwards insert the name of the Consul for that year, and then the indiction, month, and day; in order that the date may be entirely preserved by the mention of the reigning sovereign and the order of the consulate, and the other formalities be observed, as is customary, and when this has been done no changes should be made.

(1) Where, however, the inhabitants of the East, or any other nations, are accustomed to state in their public documents the date of the foundation of their cities, We do not prohibit them from doing so, but We desire that the year of the reign shall first be written, and that (as We have already said) the name of the Consul, the indiction, the month and the day when the transaction took place, and was committed to writing shall follow, and that afterwards the year of the foundation of the city shall be inserted; for We do not abolish any of these former customs, but merely add the Imperial designation. From the date of the preceding indiction, documents shall be begun in the name of God, for instance: "The eleventh year of the reign of the Most Holy Emperor Justinian, the second year after the Consulate of that most illustrious man, Flavius Belisarius, on the .... day of the Kalends of ........"

Thus in all public documents, the year of the Empire, that of Our reignso far as God may be pleased to prolong itand, in the future, the names of succeeding Emperors, will be mentioned. This is perfectly clear, because at present the eleventh year of Our reign is written; but from the beginning of next April, the day upon which God invested Us with the government of the Empire, the twelfth year shall be stated; and so on, as long as God may permit Us to reign, so that this name may survive the laws, and the mention of the latter may remain immortal, while the commemoration of the Empire shall be introduced in all transactions for all time.


We also add that those who insert the date in judicial decisions, and who now use for that purpose ancient and uncertain characters, shall hereafter, in every judicial decision, be obliged to write after the ancient characters, others which are familiar to all, and can be easily read; and which will intelligibly indicate the date of the documents, and not embarrass those who wish to know it, and compel them to seek someone who is able to understand the characters which have been used.

When, however, the body of these documents which follows the date written in characters that cannot easily be deciphered is in the Greek language, the date shall be inserted in Greek letters underneath just as where all the document is in Latin, the date also shall be in that language. When letters which are easily read are employed in this way, their meaning will readily be intelligible, and all persons who are not absolutely ignorant of Latin will be able to understand them.


Your Highness will cause the regulations which We have been pleased to lay down in this Imperial Law to be published in this great city and in all the provinces subject thereto, in order that no one may presume to reckon the time in a different manner, or to do anything else in violation of what We have recently decreed.

Given at Constantinople, on the Kalends, during the eleventh year of the reign of Justinian, ever Augustus, and the second year after the Consulate of Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to John, Praetorian Prefect, Twice Consul and Patrician.


We have always had the intention of preserving inviolate the dispositions of dying persons unless they were contrary to law, and opposed to the rules which it prescribes. We are informed that when a testator makes a will, by which, in disposing of his estate in favor of his heirs, he swears to what it is composed of, and some of the said heirs refuse to believe the declaration of the deceased (in which they are guilty of injustice, for when acting as heirs of the testator they thereby agree to what he does), and do not wish to confirm what he has stated under oath, and refuse to accept it, notwithstanding Our laws consider an heir and the person who has transferred the estate to him as a single person, as no one can oppose himself, or consider what he has sworn to as not true, he cannot deny his own statements.


Therefore We order that if anyone should make a list of his property either with his own hand, or through the agency of someone else, but signed by him; or should mention in his will the amount of his estate whether some of his heirs are present and others absent, or whether all of them are present, We hereby forbid the said heirs to contradict the statement, and one to accuse the others of having con-

cealed property which was not mentioned by the deceased. Where, however, the dying person has made oath that he has nothing more than he says he has, the heirs, whether they be children or strangers, must accept the statement. We do not wish them to hesitate, to abuse their co-heirs, or, in order to prove their allegations, to demand that the slaves of the deceased be tortured, or to take other measures and make other investigations of this kind, which will lead only to controversy; for if nothing more should be found among the property of the estate than what the testator declared under oath it was composed of, the conclusion will be reached that he desired this amount alone to go to his heirs.

(1) We desire that the declarations of the deceased as to his property shall be conclusive with reference to the heirs, who are desirous of ascertaining what the estate consists of, but it shall not be conclusive so far as creditors are concerned, because it has been prescribed by Our laws that whatever anyone may say or write for his own advantage will be of no benefit to him, nor will prejudice his creditors to any extent, and they shall be permitted to investigate everything in any way that they choose; but the heirs must remain content with the statements of the testator.

The penalty imposed upon the heirs shall be that any one of them who makes a contest on account of the property left to him cannot enjoy it at all, for he will be required to agree to all the dispositions of the testator, or not to accept any of them; and the result of this will be that he must consent to all that the deceased said, and contradict him in nothing if he wishes to enjoy his share of the estate.

These provisions shall be valid for all time hereafter, and be applicable not only to cases which have not yet been brought, but also to such as have been terminated by a judicial decision or compromised in an amicable manner.


Your Eminence, after having learned what it has pleased Us to enact by this Imperial law, will formally communicate it to all Our subjects by a special proclamation.

Given at Constantinople, on the fifteenth of the Kalends of September, during the second year after the Consulate of Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to John, Praetorian Prefect, Twice Consul and Patrician.


Human affairs are changeable, and what can not remain the same will never be characterized by stability, and constantly introduces confusion into legislation, and perplexity into matters which seem to have been justly and permanently disposed of; and those things whose observance has been carefully provided for, for the most part, subject to the disturbing influence of various contingencies. For We remember that We recently corrected certain abuses which affected appeals in an evil and fraudulent manner, for the appellants were content merely to appeal, and furnish security to appear in court, and then after having taken the first steps against the other party, or having contradicted his allegations (for this is perfectly indifferent), they abandoned the case, so that the victory obtained by the other party was unavailable, as he could neither enjoy the advantage of the judgment, as execution was suspended by filing the appeal, and it could not be heard on account of the absence of the appellant.

(1) We have already provided for the correction of this abuse by allowing the appellant, whether he made the application in person or by an attorney, a year in which to proceed and obtain judgment, and not leave the matter in abeyance. If, after this time, he, through indulgence, by an order of court, or for any other good reason should cause further delay, and have the decision of the appeal prolonged for another year, We have decreed that when the litigation was not ended after this second postponement, the first decision in favor of the other party shall be affirmed.

(2) A great many litigants have applied to Us, alleging that after having notified appellants that they wish to have the case tried and disposed of, they have been unable to obtain a hearing from the magistrates on account of, for instance, a press of business. Others have alleged that violent storms or contrary winds have not permitted them to travel by sea to their provinces; and that they have been prevented by extreme poverty from making the journey by land; or, indeed, because, residing on an island, they could not travel in any other way than by sea, and that, for these reasons, they were not able to proceed with the case during the second year; others have stated as an excuse the severity of the weather, and others again have pleaded a dangerous illness. We have been justly influenced by all these excuses, and, without desiring to violate the present law, We intend as far as possible to come to the relief of those who are injured by such unfortunate occurrences.



What then was there to do, unless enact another law which might afford relief ? We direct that the provisions of the preceding law shall (as We have previously stated) in every respect, remain in force. If, however, through some inevitable accident, the litigant who took an appeal does not appear when a certain day, which was final, has been

assigned to hear it, and the expiration of the two years was approaching, We direct that the first decision shall, under certain circumstances, be confirmed; as was provided in Our former law, to which We now make certain additions. For as We have come to the relief of defendants on appeal, by granting them delay in opposition to those who, after having a time appointed for a hearing, are still unwilling to proceed with the case, or abandon it during the argument, We desire to modify to a slight extent the right which We have granted them while taking into consideration what is proper. For We direct that if the party who has obtained the first decision in his favor should, in case the appellant does not appear, wish this decision to be confirmed, not under any convenient pretext, or through lapse of time, but actually and definitely, let him give notice of his intention, and seek out the appellant, and whether he finds him or not, he can take measures in the meantime, and if all the two years but one month have expired, and it is decided that he is right, the first decision shall be affirmed; for if it is not founded in justice, judgment should be rendered against him, even though the appellant who appointed a fixed day for the case to be heard may not have appeared.

We add that whether the defendant gains or loses the case taken up on appeal, the appellant who did not appear, shall be liable for all the costs incurred since the appeal was taken; for if the defendant should gain the case, for the very reason that he is successful, it is only proper that his costs should be paid. If, on the contrary, he should lose it, and the appellant should gain it without having put in an appearance, it is still no more than right that he should pay the costs, as he did not appear; but he will enjoy the benefit of the decision on appeal, for which he should thank God and the present law, which treats him with justice and only makes him liable for the costs, for the payment of which his absence and not the said law is responsible. But where neither of the parties to the action, that is to say, the defendant or the appellant who has appointed the day for the hearing, appears, the first decision in favor of the defendant shall remain in full force.

In addition to this, We ratify the provisions of all other laws having reference to delays, and other matters of this kind, for in enacting the present constitution, especially against litigants who, after having themselves appointed a certain day, do not appear, We do not repeal or change anything in former laws having reference to the postponement of appeals, all of which We confirm by this constitution.

(1) It is also advisable to determine whether appellees who have already obtained a decision affirming the prior judgment shall enjoy the benefit of it; for We do not intend to take any steps with reference to matters which have already been decided. If, however, there are cases on appeal which are still pending, and the term of two years has almost but not entirely expired, and the first decision has not been ratified by a judgment, such cases shall be decided as above set forth, and the defendants on appeal shall enjoy the benefit of them if they should be affirmed.




We have decided that the following addition should be made to the present law. We have, sometime since, drawn up a constitution forbidding the comparison of handwriting in the case of private instruments, and only authorizing this to be done with public documents; but experience has convinced Us that this law should be amended, and, as this is the case, We are going to proceed in accordance with the custom observed by litigants. For it frequently happens that the plaintiff produces an instrument in someone's handwriting by which he can establish either the title to property, or the proof of his allegations; and the defendant produces other instruments written in the same hand, by means of which he desires to contradict what has been offered by his antagonist, and then the plaintiff avails himself of the law which, while authorizing the comparison of the handwriting of public documents, on the other hand, prohibits that of private ones.

(1) We order that if anything of this kind should occur, and someone should desire an examination to be made of any documents presented by his adversary, this proceeding shall not be considered improper. For the plaintiff cannot discredit the document upon which he depends to establish his title, and which he has produced; and he should not prevent its comparison with one in other handwriting, even though the latter be that of a private individual. Nor should he contradict himself, and deny the statements which he has already made.

(2) Where, however, a document taken from the public archives is produced, for instance, a receipt issued by the Bureau of the Most Glorious Prefecture (for a question of this kind has been suggested), as an instrument of this description is based upon public evidence, We decree that it can be admitted in a comparison of handwriting. For, as We entertain hatred for the crime of forgery, We order that the experts charged with the comparison of the handwriting of public documents shall be sworn before any private instruments are placed in their hands for this purpose. Wherefore this law, as well as the present modification of the same, shall remain in full force, and the experts aforesaid shall by all means be sworn.



Therefore in order to preserve honor among litigants, We direct that they should make oath at the beginning of the suit, that is to say, that the plaintiffs shall swear that they are not proceeding for the purpose of causing annoyance, and the defendants that they believe the plaintiffs to have been satisfied, and are not actuated with the

desire of encouraging strife; and We render this law applicable to all persons, without any exception whatsoever.

We also add that if anyone should demand proof of the statements of the plaintiff, or the acknowledgment of any of his documents, instruments, or letters, he must first swear that this is not done for the sake of delay. For there are many persons who, on account of trifling injury (and this is especially the case where noble women are concerned, or the proof of documents is called for, or for some other reason), have recourse to this oath, so that it is frequently taken in one and the same transaction.

(1) Hence, in order to remedy this evil, and being unwilling that the oath should be exacted repeatedly in the same action, We order that both parties, the plaintiff, when he takes the oath of calumny, and the defendant, when he swears that he has ground to dispute the claim, shall add that during the entire course of the proceedings, no matter what evidence he may demand from his adversary, he will not do this to cause delay, but only in order to establish the truth, and when he thinks it is necessary that the said evidence should be produced by him.

Where either party takes this oath, his opponent can, by no means, exact another from him, even though proof may frequently be demanded ; but the testimony shall be given, and no one will be required to be sworn several times, and, generally speaking, an oath of this kind can only be taken once.


Your Highness will cause what has been enacted by Us and published by means of this Imperial law to be brought to the attention of all persons, by means of direct edicts, so that everyone may be aware of what We have decreed.

Given at Constantinople, on the fifteenth of the Kalends of September, after the Consulate of Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to Bonus, Most Glorious Quaestor of the Army.


We are aware that We have previously promulgated an Imperial Constitution by which We entrusted to Your Glory the five provinces

of Caria, Cyprus, and the island surrounding them, Mysia, and Scythia, for the purpose of being subjected to your administration. In this constitution We add that appeals taken in these provinces instead of being brought, as heretofore, before Our Most Glorious Prefects, shall be brought before yourself. Many persons from Caria, Rhodes, and Cyprus have applied to Us, making complaint, and stating that they are frequently obliged during the winter to resort to Scythia and Mysia, where you reside, for the purpose of prosecuting appeals, many of which involve very small sums of money, and that they are compelled to cross wide seas, and regions infested with barbarians; and for this reason We have determined to address this law to Your Glory; so that any appeals taken from Scythia and Mysia, as they are in your vicinity, may be heard by you, but any from elsewhere, that is to say, from Caria, and the aforesaid islands, and Cyprusprovided they were formerly brought before Our Most Glorious Prefect and, by virtue of Our Imperial order were within the jurisdiction of the Prefectural magistracyand you should be in this royal city, shall be brought before and decided by you and the Most Glorious Quaestor of Our Imperial Palace, in the Imperial Audience-Chamber, as the law regulating appeals directs.

(1) If, however, you should continue to reside in Scythia and Mysia, appeals from the three other provinces shall be heard by the magistrate who takes your place in this Fortunate City, and shall be disposed of by him and Our Most Glorious Quaestor, in their regular order, as We do not desire litigants to be subjected to inconvenience for too long a time; however, as We have enacted this law on their account, their cases shall be determined by the two magistrates whom We have just mentioned, the proceedings shall be conducted with greater diligence, and the decisions shall acquire still greater authority.

(2) But if you appoint a judge in the above-mentioned provinces, the magistrate who takes your place in this Fortunate City shall have cognizance of appeals taken from the decisions of the former, and shall determine them conjointly with the Most Glorious Prefect; for if a case taken up on appeal should be begun before you, while you are here (which is likely to occur), and afterwards you should change your residence on account of judicial expenses, this appeal shall be disposed of without delay by the magistrate who takes your place, in the same way as if you yourself had decided it. When, however, in the first place, the appeal is taken from any of the provinces, instead of being brought before the Most Glorious Prefects, or some other tribunal, We do not, in this instance, change the ancient practice in any respect.


Your Glory will hasten to render effective the matters which We have decided upon, and promulgated by means of this Imperial law, which you will cause to be observed forever hereafter.

Given at Constantinople, on the fifteenth of the Kalends of September, during the eleventh year of Our Lord the Emperor Justinian, after the Consulate of Belisarius.





The Emperor Justinian to John, Praetorian Prefect, Twice Consul and Patrician.


We know that We have already published a law prohibiting sureties from being required of women kept in houses of prostitution to insure their remaining and pursuing their infamous calling. This law does not afford any opportunity for repentance to persons who exact such security, but it even threatens them with severe punishment, and it also provides that the sureties shall not be responsible, and that there is no necessity for them to represent the women for whom they have become bound. But We have ascertained that, at the present time, a cruel and intolerable fraud has been committed against chastity, which is something greatly revered by Us; for, as We have forbidden sureties to be taken, a much more abominable method has been devised, and those who profit by the vile profession of prostitutes compel them to swear that they will never abandon their base and wicked life; and these wretched women, influenced in this way, think that they are acting honorably if they remain, and they keep their oaths to the destruction of their chastity, when they should be aware that such transgressions are more agreeable to God than the observance of such oaths. For if anyone has, at the instigation of another, sworn, for instance, to kill, to commit adultery, or to commit any other unlawful act, this oath need not be observed, as it is base and unlawful, and leads to perdition. Therefore, even though a woman may have taken such an oath, she shall be permitted to violate it, and to live chastely without danger of prosecution for perjury (if, indeed, the penalty applies to a case of this kind), for it is more acceptable to God that punishment should be inflicted upon him who required the oath to be taken.


Wherefore We impose the penalty of ten pounds of gold upon anyone who presumes to exact and receive an oath of this kind, as soon as it is tendered. We order that this sum shall be collected by the Governor of the province, and given to the unfortunate woman to

assist her in leading a virtuous life. Governors are hereby notified that if they should be negligent in this respect, they themselves will be required to pay it at the end of their administration; and that their heirs and successors, as well as their estates, will be liable for it, because they have neglected to perform a meritorious act.

(1) If, however, the Governor of the province should himself exact such an oath, he shall be compelled to pay the said fine of ten pounds of gold; and if there is a military magistrate in the province it shall be his duty to collect it, and, as We have already stated, it shall be given to the woman. But where there is no military magistrate, the money shall be collected by the metropolitan bishop of the province, who shall refer the case to Us, if it becomes necessary; or the matter shall be attended to by the superior magistrate of the adjoining province.

Anyone who commits an act of this kind in any place, whether he be a magistrate or a private individual, shall be punished as above stated, and shall pay the amount to the woman without which she cannot live in chastity, and she shall not be considered to have perjured herself.


Your Highness will, by suitable proclamations, communicate to all persons what we have pleased to enact by the present law, in order that the subjects of Our Empire may be aware of Our zeal for the preservation of chastity.

Given on the Kalends of September, during the eleventh year of the reign of the Emperor Justinian, and the second year after the Consulate of Belisarius.





The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, Twice Consul and Patrician.


Many laws formerly enacted, and especially those which have been promulgated by Us, have a horror of dishonorable pledges, and the odious seizures to which they have given rise; but We are not ignorant of the reasons for such abuses, and that, when prohibited by so many laws, they still take place in the Empire, with even more regularity than if the laws had made them necessary.


On this account We order that, under no circumstances, shall a pledge be taken in Our Government, or in the markets (for We have learned that this is most frequently done there), nor in the country, nor in cities, nor in villages, nor be required of citizens, villagers, or farmers anywhere, or at any time whatsoever; but We direct that anyone who presumes to take from another gold or other property to indemnify himself for what is owing to him by a third party shall be compelled to return quadruple the amount to him who has suffered the wrong, and he shall be deprived of the right of action which he has against his true debtor. For it is not reasonable that one person should be a debtor, and the claim be collected from another; or that anyone should be molested on account of a third party, in the same manner as if a trespass or some similar injury had been perpetrated upon the latter; or that a person belonging to the same village should be maltreated, sustain injury, suffer violence, be subjected to malicious prosecution without any lawful cause, or be liable to a corporeal penalty because of someone else. Governors of provinces are hereby notified that if they do not prevent such abuses, or permit seizures of such pledged property to be made in the provinces within their jurisdiction, nothing will prevent them from being punished by Us.



We have also deemed it proper to make the following addition to this law. As donations made by the government do not require to be recorded, but have sufficient force of themselves; so, also, those made by private persons to the Emperors (unless they are actually drawn up as public documents by notaries, bear the signatures of witnesses, and are executed with the other formalities required in the case of donations) do not need to be recorded, no matter what their value may be. For it is of no consequence that the government does not, so far as private individuals are concerned, enjoy the same advantages which it enables them to enjoy.

This inequality results from the innovation which the Constitution of Zeno, of pious memory, introduced, which provided that Imperial donations do not require to be recorded. But, as this law appears to Us to be imperfect, and We wish to amend it, We decree that the rule shall apply to both parties, that is to say, neither donations made by the Emperors to private individuals, nor those made by private persons to the Emperors, need to be recorded; so that justice, which is derived from equality, may be observed in cases of this kind.


Your Excellency will see that what is contained in this Our Imperial Constitution is formally communicated to all persons by means of the proper proclamations.

Given on the fifteenth of the Kalends of September, during the eleventh year of the reign of Our Lord the Emperor Justinian, and the second after the Consulate of Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, Twice Consul and Patrician.


Many persons have had recourse to Us, for the reason that they have been summoned by others, or taken into different provinces by virtue of an order issued by Us, or in obedience to judicial decrees, and by this have been caused much suffering; thus plaintiffs summon others, or exact security from them to appear within a certain time before a designated judge, while they themselves, remaining in the province, subject the former to great expense on account of the journeys which they are required to make.



Our compassion having been excited, We decree that when anything of this kind takes place, and the time appointed by the plaintiff for the execution of the bond, or the appearance has expired, and the defendant comes into court, but the plaintiff does not, and fails to appear within ten days after the arrival of the defendant in the province, the latter can then go before the judge and inform him of

this fact, and be summarily discharged; and after the defendant has been sworn as to the amount of the expense which he has incurred on account of his journey and his residence in a strange place, judgment shall be rendered against the plaintiff who has brought suit to no purpose. And as it is not customary for citations to be served, or appearances to take place unless the plaintiffs produce sureties responsible up to a certain sum, by which they become bound to prosecute the case and obtain decisions in their favor, the said amount shall, by all means, be collected from them, and given to him who has been subjected to this unnecessary annoyance.

If, however, the latter should swear that his expense was greater than the amount for which the plaintiff furnished security (although the sum which the laws call taxatio shall be prescribed by the judge), this can also be collected in addition, in order that persons may know that they cannot make a jest of the lives of others, but must select judges in the province of the latter, and proceed against their adversaries where they reside.





We are aware that security usually is given in this place by plaintiffs to those against whom they bring suit, but, as this rule is evaded when they are called into other provinces, We order that if the judge or the Most Glorious Quaestor appointed by Our Imperial letters should direct anything of this kind to be done, no one can be summoned from another province before the plaintiff produces a surety in court to guarantee that, if he does not prosecute the case, or if, after having done so, he should be unsuccessful he will pay him the amount fixed by the judge in accordance with the distance which he is obliged to travel.

We decree that everything shall be done which We have prescribed with reference to the appearance of the defendant; the sum fixed by the court shall be collected from the sureties, and given to the defendant; the oath of the latter shall be taken to establish the amount of the costs; and if he swears that he has expended ax-large r sum than that mentioned in the bond he shall receive it, in order that Our legislation may seem to be perfect in every respect.



At present, persons make a practice of violating the beneficial rule established in ancient times of using the clemency of Our laws, by making it the ground of vexatious litigation, as formerly, a person notified to appear in court was allowed ten days for deliberation, in which he could examine the case, and perhaps settle the claim and be

released from liability; and, after the said ten days, he could accept service by indorsing the summons and then give security in court. Certain persons, however, being aware that Our laws do not, after issue has been joined, permit the judge to be rejected and another to be demanded, act fraudulently in this matter, with the connivance of court officers; and as soon as a citation is granted they bring the defendant into court without filing a complaint, or any bond, and compel him to join issue and defend himself, although he is not informed of the facts; so that, when issue has once been joined, he can not be permitted either to reject the judge, or demand another, if the one appointed should be liable to suspicion. In this way plaintiffs accomplish whatever they wish, and after having craftily obtained control of the defendant, they do with him whatever they please.

(1) Therefore We order that when a summons is served upon anyone, the cause of action shall be specifically communicated to him; and that he shall, in accordance with the ancient legislation, not only be entitled to the term of ten days to put in his appearance, but this term shall be doubled, that is to say, it shall consist of twenty days; and if he chooses, he shall have the right to reject the judge and demand another, or acknowledge the debt, or be released by his adversary from the suit in an amicable way; and that he shall not, either for the sake of annoyance, or by fraud, be compelled to have his case heard by a judge who may be liable to suspicion, or otherwise unacceptable to him, or more frequently by one who entertains dislike to him; but the party who brings the action shall not be entitled to any delay in order to deliberate with reference to the joinder of issue for which the defendant appears.

(2) The complaint having been received, only personal security shall be furnished by the defendant; and, the fees having been paid in accordance with Our Constitution, the defendant shall sign the paper which is called the answer; he must state the time when the complaint was served upon him, in order that no fraud may be committed in this respect, and, when the trial begins, the judge shall ask the defendant to show whether the twenty days allowed for deliberation have elapsed, the defendant must tell the truth, which shall also be established by the date and the signature to the complaint, and if the defendant says that if the said term of twenty days has elapsed, the trial shall then proceed. The defendant shall, during this time, be permitted to file objections to the judge, and demand that another be appointed; or he can, with the plaintiff, select another or even amicably agree to one; and, during this interval, the rights of the defendant shall not, in any way, be prejudiced, nor shall any execution be issued, or served by the officers of justice; and the defendant shall furnish a judicial bond which the judge will approve, and be entitled to twenty days for deliberation.

If these rules should not be observed, all the steps taken by the plaintiff will be void, even though the case may have already been begun; still, after joinder of issue, he will be permitted again to institute proceedings after the expiration of another twenty days, just as if joinder of issue had never taken place.


We do not permit a defendant, after having once rejected a judge and accepted another, to reject the second one. For while We protect the interests of the defendant, We are, by all means, opposed to adopting any measures against the plaintiff by countenancing further delay; but if the defendant should swear that he will come into court, and, before joinder of issue has taken place disappears from this great city, the plaintiff shall, even before joinder of issue, be permitted to go before the judge who has been appointed to hear the case, and notify him of the disappearance of the defendant. The aforesaid judge, if he is the Governor of the province, shall direct the defendant to be considered guilty of perjury, and, so to speak, to have accused himself of this offence by having become a fugitive. Where, however, the judge is not the Governor of the province, but was appointed by some magistrate, either by virtue of a pragmatic sanction, or an Imperial order, or even if he had been appointed by some other public official, the plaintiff can have recourse to the magistrate who made the appointment, in order that he may exercise his authority to compel the appearance of the defendant, lest the case of the plaintiff may be fruitless, as the judge cannot do anything, for the reason that joinder of issue has not yet taken place, and the defendant, who has treated the law as well as his oath with contempt, has left the plaintiff without any opportunity to obtain lawful relief.

(1) Therefore, to prevent the case from remaining in abeyance, because of the defendant remaining concealed and his appearance being delayed, the judge shall ascertain, as far as he is able, to what place the defendant is said to have gone, and shall fix a time for his appearance; and if he does not come within that time (provided the judge is convinced that the nonappearance of the defendant is not due to the act of the plaintiff), then he shall hear the case, and put the plaintiff in possession of the property of the defendant to the amount of the debt, as stated; and, when he has been placed in possession, he shall hold the said property as security for the claim, and if the defendant should afterwards appear, he can recover his property after having previously indemnified the plaintiff for all expenses incurred, and when the property has been returned to him, he must furnish a surety, and the case shall proceed.





It is extremely advisable to regulate what follows by means of a general law, on account of the doubt attaching to the questions involved. For it was at first uncertain whether offices could be subjected

to hypothecation, or whether they were exempt, but this doubt was removed by a law, and it is now settled that some offices can either be sold or encumbered. We have examined the opinions entertained by Our ancestors on this subject, and have come to the conclusion that, in former times, offices could not be hypothecated, but that they were subject to certain claims which no longer exist. The Emperors, moved by compassion toward creditors who constantly applied to them for redress, by degrees granted them the right of hypothecation, when the offices were public, and they did not receive any other compensation except that derived from Imperial munificence.

(1) Hence We order that hypothecations which are designated ex-easu shall not indiscriminately be granted to all persons, unless a creditor has lent money for the purpose of purchasing the office; but where there are any children, or a surviving wife of the deceased, We give them preference over all the creditors, and by virtue of Our Imperial order We grant them the privilege of taking an hypothecation on the office of the deceased, not, however, as part of his estate, but as a concession of Imperial liberality. We establish this rule in order to furnish a deserved consolation to those who leave an estate, as well as to those who have none.

Where, however, the deceased left neither wife nor children, nor any creditor who lent him money to enable him to obtain his office, under such circumstances We grant other creditors the right; for We do not desire it to be said that We have done something that is not humane, and that We have enacted a law for any other purpose than to perform an act which is pious and acceptable to God. The privileges which have been bestowed upon the Silentarii shall remain in full force.



As every law enacted by Us is based upon clemency, and We see that when men married to women who have brought no dowry die, the children alone are legally called to the succession of their father's estates, while their widows, even though they may remain in the condition of lawful wives, for the reason that they have not brought any dowry, and no ante-nuptial donation has been given them, can obtain nothing from the estates of their deceased husbands, and are compelled to live in the greatest poverty, We wish to provide for their maintenance by enabling them to succeed to them, and be called to share their estates conjointly with the children. But as We have already enacted a law which provides that when a husband divorces his wife, whom he married without any dowry, she shall receive the fourth of his estate, just as in the present instance, whether there are few or many children, the wife shall be entitled to the fourth of the property of the deceased, if, however, a husband has left a legacy to his wife and this legacy amounts to less than a fourth of his estate, this amount shall be made up out of the same. Hence, as We come to the relief of women who have not been endowed or divorced by

their husbands, so We assist them where they have constantly lived with them, and We grant them the same privilege.

Again, everything that We have stated in the present law with reference to the fourth to which a poor woman is entitled shall equally apply to a husband, for like the former one, We make this law applicable to both.

(1) But if the woman has property of her own in the house of her husband, or situated elsewhere, she will have the right to retain said property, and it shall not, under any circumstances, be subject to hypothecation for the benefit of the creditors of her husband; unless he is the heir of his wife to the amount established by the present law.

(2) We enact these provisions as applicable in cases where either of the two married persons has not brought either a dowry or an antenuptial donation, and the survivor is poor, or the deceased was rich. For if the survivor has property elsewhere, it would be unjust when, having neither brought any dowry nor ante-nuptial donation, he or she should oppress the children by sharing the estate with them; and as another of Our laws provides that a wife who does not bring any dowry cannot, by means of an ante-nuptial donation, acquire any property from her husband, We desire that this rule shall continue to remain in force, establishing, however, an exception to it where a husband has bequeathed a legacy, or some other share of his estate to his wife; for We by no means wish to prevent this, in order that the laws may, in every respect, be consistent with one another, and that the poverty of one spouse may be compensated by the wealth of the other.


Your Highness will hasten to cause this law, which it has pleased Us to enact, to be observed and carried into effect by everyone; and this you will do by means of a general proclamation issued from your office, in order that what We have decreed may everywhere be obeyed.

Given on the tenth of the Kalends of October, during the eleventh year of the reign of Our Lord the Emperor Justinian, and the second after the Consulate of Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to John, Praetorian Prefect, Twice Consul and Patrician.


Questions have been raised by certain persons who think that they have found some obscurity in one of Our Constitutions, where, in fact no obscurity exists; for, as We are deeply attached to freedom, this constitution, at variance with the ancient principle providing that children born of a serf and a free woman shall follow the condition of their father, establishes a contrary rule, and states that in order to determine the civil condition of a child, the condition of its mother should be taken into consideration. This beneficent law of Ours is unwilling that the child born of a free mother shall be a slave, as We stated in it that whether serfs were already married to free women when it was enacted, or whether they were united to them afterwards, the issue of such marriages would be free. Certain persons have ventured to interpret this so foolishly and in such a subtle manner as to hold that children born before the law was published, even though they were old at the time, are just as free as if they had been born after its enactment, and not long previously. They base this opinion upon the assumption that We certainly intended that where serfs were already married to free women, and children were born to them after the enactment of the present law, or even if they were not yet married, and contracted marriage subsequently, the children born afterwards would be free by virtue of the law.




Therefore, in order that no artifice may prevail, or any fraud be committed, and the use of subtle interpretations for the purpose of injuring possessors of property may no longer be allowed, We hereby decree that all children born of free mothers after the publication of this law shall be released from the condition of serf, and that the other ancient legislation on this subject shall remain in full force.






We have recently drawn up a law for the purpose of remedying abuses relating to the alienation of ecclesiastical property, and We desire, where any public debt exists, to enable them to dispose of it, if they observe all the formalities prescribed by law. When, however, there is any private indebtedness, immovable property can be given by way of payment, provided no law prohibiting alienations of this kind is violated by doing so; and We add that, where the case is urgent, and it is advantageous to religious houses to give or receive such

property, one church may transfer it to another, or one hospital to another, or one house for the entertainment of travellers to another; for We authorize such an exchange to be made between one religious house and another founded for a different purpose, such as a church and an asylum for poor invalids, a monastery and another religious house, etc.

By the terms of the present law We grant authority to the heads of these monasteries to make exchanges of this kind, and We hereby establish the validity of such exchanges; thus the government shall not be the only one (as was provided by the former law) entitled to the privilege of exchanging immovable property with churches. Religious houses, dedicated to God, the common King of all mankind, can also do this, but the interposition of a decree as well as the taking of an oath shall be absolutely necessary; the reason for the exchange shall be investigated by the metropolitan bishop of the diocese, and if it is actually proved under oath that the exchange will be advantageous to both parties, it shall be confirmed and rendered valid, and there will be no need of a pragmatic sanction, or any special order for that purpose.

Those who make exchanges of this kind will have the judgment of Omnipotent God to fear, if any fraud for which they are responsible should be committed, or any collusion take place on their part, and they should consider the benefit of one of the parties rather than that of the other; for terrible maledictions in addition to those which We at present prescribe are denounced against persons guilty of offences of this kind, when the said stewards fail to comply with any of the requisite formalities, and are afterwards proved to have done this with evil intent, and where this is the case the transaction shall be void.

(1) We except the Holy Principal Church from the operation of this law, just as was done by the previous constitution; and We desire that it shall continue to be included in the former prohibition concerning alienations, as this has been considered to be proper by the ecclesiastical authorities having it under their control.


Your Eminence will communicate these matters which have appeared to Us to be good and proper, and which are set forth in the present law, to all the provinces under your jurisdiction; in order that they may be formally promulgated by means of suitable proclamations.

Given at Constantinople, on the fifteenth of the Kalends of September, during the eleventh year of Our Lord the Emperor Justinian, and the second after the Consulate of Belisarius.



FIFTY-FIFTH NEW CONSTITUTION. The Emperor Justinian to Menna, Archbishop of Constantinople.


We have already enacted a law prohibiting the alienation of ecclesiastical property, and which allows the most holy churches, as well as the Most Holy Principal Church of this Fortunate City, to make exchanges when the Empire desires to obtain anything from a religious house, and We have subsequently promulgated another law by which We have excepted the Most Holy Principal Church, but authorized certain alienations which are set forth in the said law. But, for the reason that We have ascertained that certain persons have evaded what is provided in a chapter of Our first Constitution, which treats of exchanges made between the government and the most holy religious houses, and as the said persons ask Us to Ourselves acquire property from the Most Holy Church, in order to transfer it to them, and many with the intention of evading the Imperial Constitution aforesaid have presented petitions to Us for this purpose, We desire that whatever We have prescribed up to this time shall be valid, and that none of the transactions which have been made by Us with the Most Holy Church, or with others that have received anything from Us by virtue of such contracts, shall be abrogated.


We decree that, hereafter, no person shall be permitted to do anything of this kind, but that only those exchanges shall be valid which have been made between the government and the Church; in order that the property transferred may always remain in possession of the Empire, and not be conveyed to any private individual, nor that the title to said property shall pass to such persons through the medium of the government. If anything of this kind should occur, We grant permission to the most reverend stewards to seize the property and restore it to the Most Holy Church, just as if no such transfer had been made to the government in the first place.

This law shall, from this day, remain forever in force, and all exchanges which (as We have stated) have been made through the medium of the government after the enactment of the first law shall be confirmed, for the reason that said transactions have already been perfected. Now, however, certain persons, taking advantage of these former examples for the purpose of annoying Us, and defrauding the Most Holy Principal Church of this Most Fortunate City, desire to obtain possession of property in this way, which We are unwilling should be done at any time. If, however, such an exchange should take place, it will be void, and the property in question shall be recovered by the Most Holy Principal Church, and held in perpetuity, and no prescription of long time can be pleaded against it.



We hereby decree that all provisions enacted with reference to emphyteutical rights, so far as the Most Holy Principal Church or all other religious houses are concerned, shall remain in full force; but churches and religious houses, with the exception of the Most Holy Principal Church, shall be permitted to make perpetual emphyteutical contracts with one another, provided a decree authorizing this has been previously obtained, as We are not willing that this right should be enjoyed by a private individual.


Therefore Your Holiness will observe these matters which have been ordered by Us, and communicate them to those who occupy Metropolitan Sees in Your jurisdiction, so that they may become familiar with what We have been pleased to enact, and will not venture to evade any provisions of these laws; for if they should either do this themselves, or permit others to do so, they will become liable to the judgment of Heaven, as well as to severe penalties.

Given at Constantinople, on the third of the Nones of November, during the eleventh year of the reign of Our Lord the Emperor Justinian, and the second after the Consulate of Belisarius.





The Emperor Justinian to Menna, Archbishop of the Royal City of Constantinople.


As We intend to make many additions to Our laws, We have thought it proper to address this constitution to Your Holiness. The clerks ordained by Your Reverence in the most holy churches (from which, however, the Most Holy Principal Church is excepted) are subjected to the most cruel exactions of all, for We have ascertained from frequent complaints made to Us on the subject that they are not permitted to receive their churches before they pay into them certain sums of money by way of contributions.


Therefore We order that Your Holiness shall diligently inquire whether it is customary for those who are ordained in the Most Holy Principal Church to contribute in this manner, and if it is, they shall continue to do so, for We do not change anything where payments are made in this way in the Most Holy Principal Church. But, so far as all other churches are concerned, no ecclesiastic shall collect anything whatever from a member of the clergy under the pretext of admission fees. If an act of this kind should be committed, the culprit shall be expelled from the priesthood, and he whom he imposed upon shall obtain his place, for this shall be the reward of his avarice, and the defenders of the Most Holy Principal Church must obey what We have prescribed, under the penalty of ten pounds of gold, if they fail to comply with the provisions of this law, and they shall perform all their functions gratuitously, for We do not wish clerical services to be subject to sale, or be done for reward, but honorably and without compensation. In this way ecclesiastical duties, not being purchasable, will be more worthily discharged.


Therefore Your Holiness, together with those who may subsequently occupy Pontifical Sees, will hasten to carry into effect the matters promulgated by Us in this law.

Given at Constantinople, on the third of the Kalends of November, during the eleventh year of Our Lord the Emperor Justinian, and the second after the Consulate of Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to Menna, Most Holy Archbishop of this Royal City, and Universal Patriarch of Its Territory.


Many members of the clergy who have been in the service of religious houses, or have been appointed by persons who have paid their salaries, frequently abandon the establishments to which they are attached for reasons known to them alone.



Hence, in order that there may be no interruption to religious service, We decree that other members of the clergy shall be subro-gated by the bishops to those who have deserted their charges, and shall be entitled to their salaries. For We do not wish that the revenues paid to the most holy churches by their founders for the maintenance of ecclesiastics, who have abandoned them, should, under any pretext whatever, be a source of profit to certain individuals; but the emoluments which were provided from the beginning shall always be given, and the holy ministrations of the church shall not be suspended on this account; nor shall the former incumbents be reinstated and those who have been substituted for them be expelled, after having been appointed by the Most Holy Patriarch or the provincial bishops. Those who have incurred this expense shall not be required to pay double, that is, pay the substitutes as well as those who desire to be reinstated, and if the latter should return they shall not be received. Their emoluments shall be given to those who have been appointed after their departure, nor shall any ecclesiastics already in the service of the church profit by their accession, and the salaries of the clerks as well as the expenses of the church shall be entirely furnished by the founders. The heirs and successors of the latter are hereby notified that if, after the promulgation of this law, they should perpetrate any fraud with reference to this matter, a certain portion of their property will be assigned to Our Imperial domain, to provide for the payment of the above-mentioned obligations.





We decree what follows for the honor and advantage of Your See. When anyone who has founded a church, or made provision for its expenses, desires to appoint ecclesiastics, he will have no assurance that those whom he, on his own authority, presents to Your Reverence for ordination, will be admitted, but Your Holiness must examine them, and those who, according to your opinion or that of him who occupies the Pontifical See, appear competent and worthy of the

service of God, shall be ordained. In this way the holiness of God will not be profaned (which is recommended by the Holy Scriptures), but will remain intact, ineffable, and awe-inspiring, and everything relating to it will be treated with reverence and in a way acceptable

to God.


We order Your Holiness to cause what it has pleased Us to insert in this Imperial law to be perpetually observed, you being well aware that We are not less solicitous for the welfare of the holy churches than for the salvation of your soul.

Given at Constantinople, on the Nones of November, during the eleventh year of Our Lord the Emperor Justinian, and the third after the Consulate of Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to Menna, Archbishop of the Royal City of Constantinople.


It has been provided by former laws that sacred mysteries shall, under no circumstances, be celebrated in private houses, but that the belief in and the worship of God shall be professed in public, in accordance with the custom which has been handed down to Us with regard to the observance of religious ceremonies; and We, by this present law, do provide that what We wish shall be strictly complied with. For We forbid the inhabitants of this great city, as well as all others in Our Empire, to have any kind of chapels in their houses, or to celebrate sacred mysteries there, and to do nothing which may be opposed to Catholic and Apostolic tradition.

Where, however, any person desires to have an oratory in his residence without the celebration of the sacred mysteries, We hereby authorize him to do so. There is no objection to anyone having a private place for prayer, as in holy places, provided he abstains from doing anything else there. Where anyone wishes to invite members of the clergy to come for the purpose of conducting religious services, this can be done where they belong to the Most Holy Principal Church and the holy houses subject to its jurisdiction, if this is authorized and approved by the Most Holy Archbishop; and in the provinces any priests who are sent for this purpose must be approved by the bishop. No innovation is made by the present law with reference to any rights enjoyed by Your See, either here or in the provinces, so far as ordinations and government are concerned, and all its privileges shall be preserved now and for all time.

We order Your Glory to cause the law which We have enacted to be obeyed, and to communicate the same to all Our subjects by special letters, in order that it may be effective in every respect. We give the same order to the Most Glorious Prefect of this Fortunate City, and to the Most Holy Archbishop and Universal Patriarch, in order that these provisions may be forever observed by both the civil and ecclesiastical authority.

The owners of houses are hereby notified that if they do not obey these rules they will incur the anger of the Emperor, and that the buildings in which anything of this kind takes place will become public, and be confiscated to Our Imperial Treasury. Persons who have chapels in their houses are also notified that if, after the term of three months from the promulgation of this law has expired, they do not cease celebrating the sacred mysteries there, and comply with its provisions, they will be liable to the aforesaid penalty; but We wish them to act sincerely, and not with dissimulation, for We are greatly attached to the truth.

We command Your Highness to see that this law is executed, and to permit nothing to be done in violation of its provisions; and you are hereby notified that if, after any breach of the said law has been communicated to you, you or your successors do not immediately take measures to suppress it, you will be liable to a fine of fifty pounds of gold, and your subordinates will incur the same penalty, because they permitted a matter to which We attach much importance, that is to say, the unity of the Most Holy Church, to be interfered with, and allowed what has been publicly prohibited by Us to be secretly done, and suffered Our authority to be despised; and they will also run the risk of losing their offices, and, in addition to this, the house in which anything of this kind takes place shall become public property, and be confiscated to the Imperial Treasury.


This law has been addressed by Us to the Most Holy Patriarch of this Fortunate City, in order that he may provide for its execution. We desire that it be rendered inviolate for all time, by both sacerdotal and judicial authority.

Given at Constantinople, on the third of the Nones of November, during the eleventh year of the reign of Our Lord the Emperor Justinian, after the Consulate of Belisarius.




The Same Emperor Justinian to John, Praetorian Prefect, Twice Consul and Patrician.


It is necessary for each of the good works of which We are the author to be begun with the favor of God, or if corruption should find its way into the beneficial laws of Our predecessors, this must be remedied by Us, and they be placed in their former condition, in order that We may always endeavor, either by enactments or amendments, to participate in measures advantageous to the public welfare. Hence We think that matters connected with the funerals of deceased persons require correction, and that provision should be made for all 'contingencies so that no one shall be subjected to the double embar-rassment of losing his property, and, at the same time, of suffering personal injury. But as what Constantine, of pious memory, after due deliberation, decreed, and Anastasius, of pious memory, subsequently confirmed by making additions to the revenues set apart for funeral expenses, seemed about to fall into disuse, We are compelled to restore it, taking every precaution and proper means to do so, with a view to rendering it permanent. For Constantine, of pious memory, set apart nine hundred and eighty warehouses in the different quarters "of this Most Fortunate City for this purpose after having exempted them from taxes, the income from which was payable to the Most Holy Principal Church. Anastasius, of pious memory, not only increased the number of said warehouses by a hundred and fifty, but also, by two pragmatic sanctions, apportioned a certain revenue to be employed by the reverend stewards, to be paid to persons who conducted funeral


Many individuals, however, have applied to Us, stating that matters were not as they should be, and that funerals were not conducted gratuitously, but enormous sums of money were extorted; and it has been ascertained that much property has been taken from mourners against their consent, and that even those who were unable to do so were called upon to contribute; hence We have determined that all these abuses should be remedied.


Therefore, in the first place, as the number of warehouses originally set apart has been greatly diminished, We restore them all to the Most Holy Principal Church, addressing for this purpose a pragmatic sanction to the Urban Prefect; in order that he, along with his subordinates, may place eleven hundred warehouses at the disposal of the defenders and most holy stewards of the said church. Eight hundred of these warehouses shall be charged with furnishing pallbearers to the defenders, and the remaining three hundred with paying the stewards the revenues allotted to the Most Holy Church by Anastasius, of pious memory. No payment, however, small as it may be, can be exacted for conducting funerals, as the stewards have the revenue from three hundred warehouses for the purpose of paying the deans and other persons employed the monthly salary which is due to them; and the defenders have under their control the income

of eight hundred warehouses to furnish pallbearers, and provide what is necessary for the funerals of deceased persons, in order that all the expenses of those who mourn their loss may be defrayed.


Therefore it is necessary for the aforesaid eleven hundred warehouses to be preserved for the use of the reverend stewards and defenders, without any diminution of their revenues, as well as to remain exempt from taxation; and if any accident should happen, or any change in their arrangement or destination should take place, this must be effected by the Most Glorious Prefect of this Fortunate City, in order that the stewards charged with the administration of property to defray the expenses of burial, having at their disposal the revenue of three hundred warehouses free of taxes, and the defenders, having control of eight hundred of these warehouses, the Most Holy Church may defray the funeral expenses of deceased persons.

As We have already stated, the said stewards shall, in addition to the revenue of the three hundred warehouses aforesaid, use for this purpose the property which they have petitioned Us to enable them to acquire, with this end in view. Therefore, for the reason that among the eleven hundred warehouses situated in this Fortunate City, there are many in a ruinous condition, We direct that they shall immediately be repaired, in order that the entire number may remain undiminished, and without taxation; and that they shall continue to be divided between the stewards and the defenders, as We have just stated; so that there may be not less than eight hundred deans furnished to the defenders by eight hundred warehouses; and that, so far as the other three hundred warehouses allotted to the stewards are concerned, the latter shall be permitted to obtain from them three hundred deans or less, or to collect from all or some of the said three hundred warehouses an income in money which the said stewards have not obtained up to this time, and which We Ourselves have informed them they must expend in the funerals of deceased persons, distributing it in the same way as the income from other property, among the deans, hermits, canons, and acolytes, as We shall prescribe hereafter. For the said stewards, having informed Us that in the future it will be impossible to collect the same revenues as heretofore, We have very properly given them an increase of three hundred warehouses, in order that the revenues which have heretofore regularly been paid to those who conduct funerals may be available hereafter, that is to say, four hundred solidi shall be divided every month among the deans, acolytes, ascetics, and canons, in accordance with the custom observed up to this time; the deans shall be entitled to one hundred and eighty-two solidi, the ascetics to ninety-one solidi, the acolytes to ninety-one solidi, and the canons to thirty-five solidi a month, which sums shall be paid semi-annually to those who have been in the habit of receiving them.


The stewards shall be required to pay the share due to the most reverend ascetics, in accordance with the amount which We have just established through the agency of Eugene, Deacon, and Superior of the Hospital of Samson, of holy memory, which has been founded by Us; and through the agency of those who, after him, are the heads of similar houses already mentioned, for the reason that the ascetics employed at funerals are subject to the control of the temporal heads of these venerated establishments. Thus, as the stewards pay to the acolytes and most reverend canons the money to which they are entitled through the medium of those who at present exercise authority over them, and to whom their interests are committed, these officials shall distribute the money among the ascetics, canons, and acolytes subject to their authority. But if the stewards should be in default in paying the said officials, and if six months should have elapsed, and the second half year should have begun without anything having yet been paid, then the entire amount due shall, after the expiration of the first six months, be collected from them with interest at four per cent. The Most Holy Archbishop and Patriarch of the Principal Church of this city shall be charged with the execution of this provision.


If, however, an entire year should elapse, and the stewards should not pay anything to the most reverend women, or to the aforesaid deans, the Most Holy Patriarch shall be permitted to collect from them not only the amount due with the interest previously mentioned, but also to compel them to pay whatever has been decreed; and (if he should wish to do so) to deprive them of the administration of the property, and force them to surrender it in good condition. The Most Blessed Archbishop and Universal Patriarch, to whose authority the members of the clergy and everything relating to the Principal Church are subject, shall exercise the greatest care with reference to all these matters.

(1) Where these things have once been accomplished, nothing shall be accepted by way of compensation for watching a corpse; and that everything may be plainly understood on this point, We direct that an assisterium shall be assigned gratuitously to every bier, which shall consist of ascetics or canons preceded by not less than eight women, who, chanting, shall precede the bier, and three acolytes, who shall be entitled to nothing whatever for their services. If, however, any of the heirs of the deceased should voluntarily, and without compulsion by anyone, desire to have two assisteria, or even more, he can employ them at his own expense; and in order that We may not leave this matter in doubt, We desire that those who perform this duty shall consist of the same number of canons and acolytes which We have already prescribed, that is, that there shall not be less than eight ascetics or canons, and three acolytes in each assisterium.


When the funeral ceremonies take place within the new walls of this Fortunate City, there shall be paid to the ascetics or canons, in excess of the number which ought to accompany the body gratuitously, the third part of a solidus, which they must not divide with the acolytes. Where three acolytes, in excess of the three who are required to give their services gratuitously, are employed, they shall remain content with three siliquse, and where there are six, they must be satisfied with six siliquse, and so on, according to the number.

It is certain that if the distance which the funeral procession is compelled to traverse is very long, and more pallbearers are necessary to carry the bier, then the ossisterio, which are in excess of the one gratuitously furnished will be entitled to something more by way of compensation for this increased labor.

This rule which We have just established is only applicable to funerals conducted within the space enclosed by the new walls and the Passage of Justinian, as, in this case, the distance will not be very great, and much time and trouble will not be required to reach the sepulchre. Where the funeral ceremonies are celebrated outside of the new walls of this Fortunate City, or in some other place beyond the Passage above referred to, half of a solidus shall be paid to the ascetics or canons, which they must not divide with the acolytes, and the latter in each assisterium shall receive four siliquse, to be divided among them (as We have already stated) ; but there must always be one assisterium,, which, along with three acolytes, shall gratuitously follow the bier which has been furnished. This assisterium, composed of eight ascetics and three acolytes, shall, as previously mentioned, receive absolutely nothing for their services, nor shall they exact any compensation for tapers, or under any other pretext whatsoever.


We have established all these rules for persons who are not sufficiently liberal or ostentatious to demand the two x-large biers deposited in the venerated Hall of Vases; We mean the biers of Studius, of glorious memory, and of Stephen, of magnificent memory. If anyone should desire to have these, as several men are required to carry them and great care must be exercised when they are used, We do not include these biers with the ones already mentioned, and since those who desire to use them for the purpose of making a display must pay the pallbearers, ascetics, and canons a certain sum for their use, We decree that this shall not exceed ten solidi for the said two biers of Studius and Stephen. And so far as the gilded bier deposited in the Most Holy Church is concerned, a solidus shall be paid for each pallbearer, which makes four in all; and the ascetics, canons, and acolytes shall receive double the amount which We have previously allotted them. Again, the assisterium, or canons who precede the other biers gratuitously, shall be entitled to the same as the others, and the acolytes shall also receive twice the sum which We have

already prescribed, when the bier used for the funeral ceremonies is one of the three that We have just mentioned; for if the defenders are compelled to furnish pallbearers and biers out of the revenues of the eight hundred warehouses which We have placed at their disposal, they shall not be required to incur other expenses, and the stewards shall not be obliged, on account of the revenue which has been allotted to them by Anastasius, of Divine memory, to pay out of the income from the three hundred warehouses set apart for their use any other persons than those employed in funerals, in accordance with the general rule which We have established. In this way nothing will remain unprovided for; those who desire burials to take place with moderate expense will enjoy the benefit of this arrangement; and others who are given to pomp and display will not be put to great expense, but will be liberal, and at the same time practice moderation.


This is what We have decreed with reference to warehouses and their revenues, and funeral ceremonies, whether the latter are conducted gratuitously, or at the expense of the relatives of the deceased. We charge not only the Most Glorious Prefect of this City and his subordinates, but especially Your Highness and those subject to your jurisdiction, to see that the number of these warehouses is never diminished. We also impose a fine of fifty pounds of gold upon your office if any one of your attendants should fail to obey this rule, and double that sum upon those who may hereafter occupy your place; for We desire that the number of eleven hundred warehouses shall never be decreased, and that the division which We have established shall always be maintained. But if Your Highness, or your successor, should ascertain that the number of warehouses is not complete, you or he must take pains to make it so. The warehouses shall be free from all burdens of any kind, and shall not be interfered with either by Your Highness or by anyone else, in order that there may be no occasion to exact any contributions for the funeral expenses of anyone whomsoever, in contravention of what We have decreed. We make no distinction between deceased persons, whether they be rich or poor, unless, as We have already stated, one of the three biers with reference to which We have formulated appropriate regulations should be selected.

We desire that this Imperial pragmatic sanction shall be strictly observed, and that, in accordance with what We have prescribed, it shall remain unchanged and immortal, and be obeyed by all persons, as long as there are men upon the earth; that the name of Christian shall be great and praised among them, and its renown daily increased by the efforts of Divine Providence. The Most Holy Patriarch of this Most Fortunate City will himself, before all other persons, see that this law is observed; he will make use of his pontifical authority to prevent it from being violated; and will not permit this to be done by any person of sacerdotal or judicial condition; and We, as the

representative of the government, fixing Our eyes upon God, pray that, as the Eternal Master of all rulers, He may vigilantly provide for the execution of this law. For the maintenance of pious institutions concerns the living as well as the dead, and, above all, involves the salvation of those entrusted with the cares of government; and it is also important that the efforts of preceding legislators should not be rendered void by the negligence of their successors.

And, just as We have decreed that the eleven hundred warehouses allotted to the service of the Principal Church shall be preserved intact in number, and free from all taxes, so We order that all other warehouses shall be liable to taxation, and that none of them shall be absolutely exempt from it, whether the said warehouse belongs to a religious church, a hospital, a hermitage, a monastery, or any such establishment whatsoever, or even to Our Imperial House, or to a great or wealthy man. We also desire that all warehouses shall be equally liable to the payment of taxes, and that none of them can exempt itself, or be released from liability from the share which it owes, so as to impose the entire burden of taxation upon a small number of warehouses, which are not able to sustain it.


Therefore after Your Highness has received your office and appointed the members of Your court, you will see that what it has pleased Us to enact by this Imperial pragmatic sanction is perpetually observed.

Given at Constantinople, on the third of the Nones of November, during the eleventh year of the reign of Our Lord the Emperor Justinian, and the second after the Consulate of Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, Twice Consul and Patrician.


Persons who make comparisons of different cases are not easily mistaken if they carefully examine the truth; for it is probable that those are in error who, in considering the multitude of laws promulgated by Us on every subject, do not take into consideration the necessity which compels Us to publish new enactments, with a view

to providing for cases which have not been foreseen by laws already enforced, an instance of which has recently occurred. A certain man who alleged that he was the creditor of another, being aware that his debtor was about to die, collected a number of officials and several slaves, and with them invaded the chamber of the man who was at the point of death. The latter, being alarmed, began to cry out, until overcome by the violence of his sufferings, he gave up the ghost; and then the creditor, on his own responsibility, affixed his seals to the property of the deceased, although there was no magistrate present, and he did not observe any legal or civil formality; and not only did not retire, but was not ashamed to abuse the deceased, and at first insisted that no funeral should take place. Afterwards, when the funeral procession had begun to remove the corpse from the house, he refused to permit the bier to be carried in public, stating that this should not be done unless payment of his debt was made, or until a surety had been furnished, and that only under such circumstances would he allow the body of the deceased to be placed in the grave. While We have already laid down suitable rules with reference to a case of this kind, We still think it is necessary to remedy the abuse by means of a law of general application, in order to prevent such an act from being repeated, and always remaining without proper legislation.



Therefore We decree that if anyone, while a person who he thinks is indebted to him is still living, should enter his house and annoy him or members of his family, for instance, his wife, his children, or any of the members of his household, and presume, on his own authority, to place his seals on the property of the person who is ill, without having previously obtained a decree, and observing the ordinary legal formalities, he shall, after the death of him who he alleges is indebted to him, be absolutely deprived of all rights of action against him, whether they are well founded or not; and an amount equal to that which he says is due to him shall be collected from him, and paid to the heirs of the deceased. He shall also suffer the loss of the third part of his property (a penalty which the philosophical Emperor Marcus inserted in his laws), and be branded with infamy; for he who does not blush to injure human nature deserves to be deprived of money, reputation, and everything else.

(1) If, after the death of a debtor, his creditor should interfere with the funeral ceremonies in such a way as to prevent them from taking place, a law which was promulgated by Our Father imposes a penalty upon him, but a still more severe one will be imposed upon him by Our laws, for We decree that he shall be subjected to the punishment that the present law inflicts upon creditors who abuse dying debtors in the manner which We have mentioned. The Most

Glorious Prefect of this Fortunate City, who is charged with the suppression of crime, shall pay special attention to the prevention of what is treated of in this law, and the Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect, as well as the Most Glorious Master of the Imperial Offices, will see that it is enforced; for it is necessary that the right to prevent and punish wrongs against nature should be granted to all magistrates.

What We now order shall be applicable not only to this Most Fortunate City, but also to all the provinces, the government of which has been entrusted to Us by God from the beginning, or which He has added to Our Empire, or which he may subsequently add, as one of Our predecessors has already stated. All provincial magistrates, both military and civil, are charged with the execution of this law, and a fine of thirty pounds of gold shall be imposed upon the magistrates of Constantinople and their offices, and one of five pounds of gold shall be imposed upon provincial judges, if they fail to perform their duties in this respect, or disregard any notices of the violation of this law either in this city, or in any of the provinces.



We have decided that (in conformity with the Constitution of Leo, of pious memory, as well as with that which We Ourselves have promulgated) it is proper not to permit the councillors of judges to hear by themselves any cases brought before magistrates charged with judicial duties or before judges who have been appointed by Us. For it is much better and preferable for proceedings to be instituted before the proper officials themselves, in the presence of the parties interested, as the witnesses produced will be more influenced by fear; and the case will be tried with the same decorum as it would be before ordinary judges, who differ in no respect from councillors. But as the magistrates always appointed by Us may be occupied with the execution of Our orders, or with other matters, and not be able to hear cases themselves, it is absolutely necessary, under the circumstances, to enact a law applicable to existing conditions.

(1) Therefore We order that suits shall be brought before the magistrates themselves, who have either superior or inferior jurisdiction, and when this is once done, the action may proceed before councillors; but when final judgment is to be rendered, it cannot take place without the presence of the magistrates, and the latter, with the dignity befitting their office which We have for a long time charged them to display, and in the presence of the Holy Scriptures, shall hear the report of all the proceedings, and decide the case, and receive the appeals, without any delay, if anyone should appeal under circumstances permitted by the law. We desire that the judges of appeal shall, by all means, hear cases entirely by themselves, and that

no one shall presume to do otherwise; for if anything of this kind should happen, the magistrates themselves will be liable to a penalty of twenty pounds of gold, and the councillors, who have ventured to hear the case alone, if they are advocates, shall be expelled from the association of advocates, and if they are not, shall be deprived of their offices (if they have any) and punished by a fine of ten pounds of gold. For those who treat with contempt the Constitution of Leo, of pious memory, in addition to the one which We have long since promulgated, as well as the present law, cannot expect to escape punishment for their wrongful act.

The Most Glorious Count of Our Imperial Domain shall be charged with the execution of this law, and shall collect the fine and turn it over to the Treasury, whenever any violation occurs; for he is well aware that he will be liable to the Treasury for the said fine out of his own property if he does not take measures for the observance of this constitution.

(2) What We have decreed has reference to magistrates whose duty it is to see to the execution of Our orders, and they have a good excuse not to hear cases by themselves. But so far as other magistrates are concerned, who, having no regular employment, hear cases by virtue of Our orders, whether in this Most Fortunate City or in others, if they should be guilty of anything of this kind, We impose still more severe penalties upon them, when they do what We have forbidden, and those who are subject to their authority as councillors take cognizance of cases; for unless proceedings are conducted before these magistrates from the beginning to the end of the action, and they hear it conjointly with their councillors, We threaten them with the loss of office and a penalty of twenty pounds of gold, and their councillors shall be expelled from the city in which they have violated Our law, and be disgraced in other respects.


Therefore Your Eminence will communicate to all persons the matters which We have been pleased to enact by this Imperial law, and you will do this by the publication of formal edicts throughout the provinces, in the usual manner, in order that no one may be ignorant of what We have ordered. The Most Glorious Urban Prefect is charged with said publication in this Most Fortunate City.

Given at Constantinople, on the Kalends of December, during the eleventh year of the reign of Our Lord the Emperor Justinian, and the second after the Consulate of Belisarius.




The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, Twice Consul and Patrician.


A pitiable case having been brought to Our notice, We, having corrected it in the proper manner, desire to remedy abuses of this kind by means of a general law, as We are accustomed to do.





We order that if anyone should agree to give an ante-nuptial donation, or one in consideration of marriage (for We have decided that the latter name is preferable), whether he does this himself, or someone else agrees to give it, for instance, the father, the mother, other relatives, or even strangers, and the said donation consists of immovable property, We expressly prohibit the husband from either encumbering it, or disposing of it in any way whatever thereafter, for it is not proper to alienate anything which has been once bound by the ties of nuptial generosity; and the wife, if she should happen to obtain this advantage, and the property was not found in the possession of her husband because it had been alienated or hypothecated to a third party, who perhaps was a powerful person, would find it difficult, or perhaps entirely impossible to recover it, and she would be reduced to the necessity of bringing an action for that purpose, when she should be protected by the law itself.

(1) Wherefore, this constitution shall be observed; and anyone who hereafter makes a contract of this description is hereby notified that whether he purchases the property, or has it encumbered to himself, he will reap no benefit whatever from doing so; and whatever has been reduced to writing or agreed upon verbally shall be considered as not having taken place, in order that the advantage to which the wife was entitled may not be interfered with. For those judges who, after the dissolution of the marriage, formerly granted to wives an action in rem to recover the immovable property of which an ante-nuptial donation was composed, do not appear to Us to have acted unreasonably, as We consider this practice to be praiseworthy,

but hereafter judges must not longer observe it. We do not wish creditors to make use of crafty methods to induce wives to consent for immovable property composing ante-nuptial donations to be hypothecated to them, and thus to be deprived of their rights; for the consent of the wife either to hypothecation, sale, or alienation of such property shall be of no benefit whatever to the person who obtains it; and as We have stated with regard to women becoming sureties, it is necessary for its validity that, after the lapse of two years, a new declaration in writing, confirmatory of the first, be made by her, and then the transaction which has already taken place shall be


(2) If the wife should consent to the encumbrance of the property, as in the case where she becomes surety, she shall be entirely exempt from all liability, unless (as We have just stated) she gives her consent a second time. For deception is often practiced to obtain consent in the first place, and a wife readily deceived by the representations of her husband may be negligent of her own rights, while after some time has elapsed, she can reflect upon the matter, and perhaps become more cautious.

(3) Still, We do not make this statement without any reservation, for We do not subject the wife to the risk of losing the immovable property of which the donation is composed, on account of her second consent; provided her husband has other property out of which it is possible for her to be indemnified for either the personal or real property of which the ante-nuptial donation is composed, and which is in the hands of a third party by virtue of some alienation or encumbrance; but, on the other hand, if there is no other in his hands, We do not permit the wife to sustain any loss; for even though she may consent a second time, or several times, to the hypothecation of the property of the ante-nuptial donation, her right to it shall still remain secure, and the alienation will not be valid; unless, We repeat, there is sufficient property remaining in the hands of the husband to make up the amount of the ante-nuptial donation.

We establish this rule not only for the purpose of protecting the interests of wives, but even more to safeguard the rights of husbands, as, in a great number of instances, the property composing the ante-nuptial donation is set apart for the benefit of the common children, and reverts to the husband, thus becoming part of his estate; and in this way the law is advantageous to both husband and wife. The rule is still more applicable to dowries, where any property belonging to them is either alienated or hypothecated; but provisions relating to dowries have already been sufficiently described and


(4) Nor do We, in any respect, neglect the rights of third parties who make such contracts; for as We desire the alienation of property to which wives are entitled to be held not to have taken place, or to have been committed to writing, so We also desire the transfer of the property of husbands, when obtained by anyone through alienation or hypothecation, to be considered void.

We preserve the rights of women unimpaired, so far as the immovable property composing ante-nuptial donations and the other property of their husbands is concerned; and the privileges which We have already granted shall remain in full force, even in the case of the woman herself if she should institute legal proceedings, for We have never previously granted any privileges of this kind to anyone else, nor do We at present do so.


Your Eminence will communicate to all persons the matters which it has pleased Us to insert in this Imperial law, by availing yourself of edicts published in the customary manner, in order that no one may be ignorant of what has been ordered by Us; and the Most Glorious Urban Prefect will see that this is done in this Most Fortunate City.



Concerning the Order of Senators (as inscribed in certain books) or concerning consultations (according to the new manuscripts of Contius) or as Antonius Augustinus, in his work on the Florentine Code, states concerning Senators.

The Epitome of this novel has been partly taken from that of Halo-ander, and partly from that of Julianus collected by Antonius Contius, for in scrimgerus nothing exists but the title.

This novel was published in the Latin language, the opinion of Julianus and Haloander being that it had no preface.

This constitution orders that appeals for consultations shall not only be argued before magistrates, but before all the senators, to enable the entire Senate to hear and determine the matter, even though each senator may keep silent, and not openly give his opinion; for consent is held to be indicated by silence. Therefore senators will hear cases on appeal in the presence of the Holy Gospels, and the decision of that body shall be referred to the Emperor, in order to be confirmed by Imperial sanction.

(1) The Senate shall meet in the hippodrome.

(2) The Urban Prefect shall take precedence of all other officers, that is to say, he shall be seated before them. After the Prefect, the other Patricians shall take their places, and the Consuls, and those who are decorated with the Consular insignia, shall be seated in accordance with the Consular rank and prerogatives, in such a way that the ordinary Consuls will be placed before the honorary ones. Next after them shall be seated the Prefects, the Generals of the army, and Illustrious persons, all of whom shall have the right to give their opinions in the Senate. Those magistrates who, on account of the offices which they occupy, are honored with the rank of senator, shall be seated with them; even after they have retired from office. Illus-

trious men shall be permitted to receive the commissions of patrician, although they may not have formerly been either Consuls or Prefects. The modification of the rule on this point shall not only be applicable to the future, but also to the past.

(3) It is certain that senators shall be required to give the third part of their fees upon their accession to office, and all other contributions which it has been customary to give in consideration of any promotion whatever shall remain without alteration.

Those who violate the present constitution shall be punished with a fine of fifty pounds of gold, and this penalty shall not only be imposed upon the actual violators of it, but also upon those who permit

this to be done.

Given at Constantinople, after the second Consulate of Belisarius, and following the edition of Haloander, during the month of January, the second year after the Consulate of Belisarius.



SIXTY-THIRD NEW CONSTITUTION. The Emperor Justinian to Longinus, Prefect of This City.


We think that it is just to forbid and correct an abuse which has been introduced into this Royal City, and relates to the construction of edifices. The Constitution of Zeno, of pious memory, provides that houses shall be separated from each other by a certain space, and We also have ordered something of this kind. The result of this is, that in this Royal City a rule has been established prohibiting anything that may obstruct the view of the sea from being erected at a distance of a hundred feet from it, which is extremely acceptable to all. This rule, however, is evaded by means of a very ingenious expedient. Certain persons, leaving a space of a hundred feet or more, erect buildings without any other purpose than to use them as a kind of screen, and when, on their own authority, they have shut off the view of the sea, as they no longer violate the law which provides that the distance of a hundred feet shall be observed, they build without any interference; and, having obtained what they desire, they demolish the first building which they have fraudulently erected, and thus having evaded the law, they construct other houses for occupancy. We desire that nothing of this kind shall take place in the future.


But if anyone should wish to plan and execute a fraudulent act of this kind, he shall not do so merely as a pretext, but if he has made a beginning, he must actually construct the entire edifice, at

the prescribed distance (that is to say a hundred feet) just as if it was really necessary and indispensable to him; and he shall not build walls merely for the annoyance of his neighbor, and for the purpose of deceiving him, and depriving him of the view of the sea. For as We naturally entertain a dislike for those who appropriate the property of others by force, and think that they deserve punishment, We are also of the opinion that anyone who attempts to deprive another of a view of the sea does not exhibit less malice; therefore, if persons are bold enough to rob others of property of little value, thereby incurring the penalty of quadruple damages through the actio vi bonorum raptorum brought against them, why should it not be necessary for anyone who forcibly deprives his neighbor of the view of the sea to be liable to even a more severe penalty? Hence We decree that such a person shall be liable to a fine of ten pounds of gold, to be paid into the Treasury of the theatres (which is under the supervision of Your Highness), in order that a wicked neighbor may not escape and make a jest of the law, as not being subject to its provisions.


Therefore Your Highness will hasten to cause to be executed in this Most Fortunate City the matters which it has pleased Us to promulgate by means of this Imperial law, and see that the latter is hereafter always obeyed; as the penalty of ten pounds of gold which it provides shall be imposed not only upon those who violate it, but also upon the officials who permit this to be done.

Given at Constantinople, on the seventh of the Ides of March, during the eleventh year of the reign of Our Lord the Emperor Justinian, and the Consulate of John.



SIXTY-FOURTH NEW CONSTITUTION. Interpreted by Antonius Contius.

The Same Emperor to Longinus, Most Glorious Prefect of This Fortunate Royal City.


Many accusations have for a long time been brought before Us from every quarter against the gardeners of this Fortunate City, and its environs, and no one seems to be free from their malice. What they are accused of is as follows.


It is said that the appraisers of values (or experts) belonging to the Association of Gardeners are frequently guilty of grave irregularities. For when the owner of a garden transfers it to a gardener

in consideration of the payment of rent, the value of nothing more than the plants and vegetables existing therein is estimated, and this is always done for the benefit of the gardener or lessee. At the expiration of the lease, however, when the garden is returned, the said appraisers make a very careful appraisement of what it contains, so that they increase its actual value six times and often much more, for example, when it contains plants and vegetables which are worth fifty aurei, they estimate their value at three hundred, and sometimes above that sum. They frequently do not confine themselves to this exaggeration of value, but, alleging that the lessee has manured the land and that it is greatly improved thereby, they raise its value as much as they can, and they also increase it by the estimation of the value of plants and treesalthough when the lessee obtained the gardens from the owners no such expense was taken into consideration_even if the gardener stated generally in the lease that he would keep up the number of growing trees, and plant new ones; and if the same appraiser should, a short time afterwards, be employed in estimating the value of the same property, he will be guilty of such dishonesty that if the unfortunate owner is not careful, when his property is returned to him and he has leased it to another gardener, the latter will subject him to a loss of a third or a fourth of the appraisement, and he will thus be exposed to the cupidity of the new gardener, and run the risk of losing the ownership of his garden, and of being deprived of what belongs to him.

He is also subject to a still greater injustice, for if, after this, the owner increases the second gardener's rent, the latter, at the termination of his lease, will make the entire amountx-large r, just as if this was the result of his own exertions, while, in fact, the land was not augmented in value through his care, because in the beginning the appraisement was made too low by reason of the imprudence and negligence of the proprietor. This abuse appears to Us to be characterized by surpassing malice and audacity, and We desire that it be repressed by Your Excellency, who will observe this Our law, and see that gardeners return the gardens in the same condition in which they received them.

Whenever a garden contains plants and vegetables, an estimate should be made of their value, and one should also be made of the same when it is returned; and the gardener shall only be entitled to the actual excess over and above the first appraisement. But where there are no plants or vegetables, and the gardener receives the land absolutely without any crop, whether any manure has been placed upon it or not, it should be returned in the same condition, and, both when it is leased and given up, the lessee shall return it just as he received it, without the owner of the same being subjected to any loss.

The appraisement shall not be made by gardeners alone, but by officials called summarii, who are experts in matters of this kind, and who shall give their opinion upon the Holy Gospels. For We do not wish owners to be deprived of their possessions on account of the malice and greed of lessees.

Therefore you will explain these things to the gardeners when called together, and will not permit any fraud to be committed against the owners, but see that the latter are, under all circumstances, kept free from damage and loss. For We wish the reciprocal relations of owners and gardeners to be the same, for which reason We have established absolute equality in these matters, in order that neither party may sustain any injury.


When anyone rents land which is thorny and neglected, and cultivates it, he shall be rewarded for his labor, and receive the true value of the vegetables which may be found there at his departure; and he must terminate his lease without any controversy, and without any display of avarice or deceit on his part.

We desire that, by means of this Imperial pragmatic sanction the execution of which is entrusted to Your ExcellencyWe may, in the future, remain without annoyance from complaints of this description, and that such cares may not distract Our attention from other things connected with the government of the Empire. For there is no part of the administration of either great or small importance which does not demand Our attention; We perceive everything with Our mind and Our eyes, and We do not desire anything to remain neglected, confused, or ambiguous.

You will impose a fine of five pounds of gold upon any person who may hereafter commit an act of this kind, or allow it to be committed.

Given at Constantinople, during the Consulate of John.




This Novel, with the exception of the title, is entirely lacking in Scrimgerus. It was first written in Latin. The Greek Epitome is in Haloander, the Latin in Julianus.


We are aware that We have formerly promulgated a law upon this subject. But this constitution is local, and has been enacted with reference to the Church of Mysia. It orders that if anyone should give or bequeath any immovable property to this church, the revenue from which is certain, and should add that it shall be applied to the relief of the poor (and Haloander adds also to the redemption of captives),

the said legacy, inheritance, or donation shall, under no circumstances, be alienated.

Where, however, the income from it is uncertain, and the building or vineyard which has been left is quite a distance from the city in which the church to which the said legacy or donation was made is situated, it shall then be permissible to sell the property. If the house or the land should be either within the city, or outside its walls, and the testator desired it to be sold and the purchase-money used for the redemption of captives, or the support of the poor, then the sale can take place in accordance with his will. Such a disposition is perfectly valid. If anyone, after having been sued, should not appear, he shall be condemned as having a bad case, where he has first been summoned, brought into court, and lawfully called, and does not obey

the notice.

Published during the month of April, during the fourteenth year of the reign of Justinian, and the Consulate of John.




The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, Twice Consul and Patrician.


Events which constantly occur afford Us the occasion of enacting laws, for many additions have been made by Us to the Constitutions which We have drawn up with reference to successions, (for instance, "it is necessary for a testator to write the name of the heir with his own hand; of how many twelfths the Falcidian portion must consist which parents leave to their children, where they are three, four or more in number"), and many wills run the risk of being considered void if their provisions are not complied with. But as statutes, although enacted, are not known in the provinces, or, perhaps, have not yet been published in this city, or communicated to anyone, We have deemed it necessary to correct this by means of a brief law.


Therefore We decree that Our Constitutions relating to wills shall become operative from the date of their publication. We also decree that they shall be applicable in the provinces from the moment that they have been promulgated by the metropolitan, or immediately afterwards, in order that (as has previously been stated) men who make wills may not appear to have acted in disobedience to the law. And in order that this may be more clear, We hereby order that where a law of this kind is drawn up on this subject, it shall become operative everywhere within two months after having been recorded, either in this Most Fortunate City, or in the provinces, as this term is sufficient to make it known to all persons after it has been placed upon record, so that the notaries may become familiar with its contents, and that Our subjects, being informed of its provisions, may comply with them. In this way no one will have any good reason for not obeying Our law. We do not wish the wills of deceased persons to be disregarded, and, indeed, We use every effort to cause them to be observed. For why should We blame those who are ignorant of the enactment of Our Constitution, where testators have died only a short time after the law was made, and when, as yet, its existence was not known to them, and for this reason they did not write the names of their heirs with their own hands, or left only three, instead of four-twelfths of their estates to their children; and whether a law has or has not yet been enacted, but has not yet been published, is it not on this account justly ignored?

(1) Therefore, although up to this time an ancient constitution existed, which was included in the Code of Constitutions bearing Our name, and provides that the name of the heir shall be written in the hand of the testator himself, still many persons have made wills in violation of this provision simply because they were not aware of it. Information of these omissions has, hitherto, frequently been communicated to Us, but We have always been indulgent to those who were at fault, as it happened that the laws which were violated had not yet been published. We have issued Imperial pragmatic sanctions with reference to this matter, granting those who ask for it proper relief.

And in order to be no longer annoyed, and compelled every day to promulgate pragmatic sanctions on this subject, We hereby decree (as already stated) that the ancient law included in the Justinianian Code shall become operative in this city from the date of its record, and in the provinces from the time it was despatched to, and published in, each capital or other city. For, Our Code having been sent to every part of the Empire, after the expiration of a considerable time its contents cannot legally be ignored.

(2) We desire that the other Novel which is included among the number of the constitutions issued after the Code, and which sets forth what should be left to children, shall take effect in this Most Fortunate City, and in the provinces, two months after it has been

recorded, as We have already stated. We have made two uniform copies of this Novel, one of which is written in Greek, on account of the x-large number of persons to which this language is familiar; and the other is in Latin, which is better adapted to the proceedings of the government; and the said law is dated on the Kalends of March, but was not recorded at that time, but was, on the Kalends of April, addressed to Solomon, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of Africa.

(3) For the reason that the copy written in Greek was not immediately published, and was not addressed in this city to its Most Glorious Pratorian Prefects, or recorded by them until the month of May, We direct that the legislation which it introduces with reference to the share to be left children by will may be observed in this city after the Kalends of May, to which time We add two months; and in the provinces, We also add two months more from the date of its publication, after it has been recorded.

If it has not yet been despatched to all the provinces, this shall be done immediately, together with the other constitutions which have not yet been sent, and those which, with the aid of God, We may hereafter promulgate, in order that Our Constitutions may now and hereafter become known in all metropolitan cities. As soon as the Governors of provinces receive them, they must despatch them to all cities within their jurisdiction, so that, for the future, no one may have an opportunity to allege ignorance of their existence.

(4) Therefore wills previously executed shall be entitled to just indulgence; the testamentary dispositions of deceased persons shall be carried out as they desire them to be, even though they have recently been made, and testators did not, in accordance with the provisions of the present law, write the names of their heirs with their own hands, or did not mention them in the presence of witnesses, or did not leave more than three-twelfths of their estates to their children. For (as We have previously stated) We do not desire the testamentary dispositions of deceased persons to be disregarded, but We absolutely confirm them; so that if wills have been executed shortly after the enactment of the law, and when it was not yet promulgated, even though surviving testators may have made no change in them, they shall still be valid, just like those which have been executed in the beginning in compliance with already existing laws; and they shall have full effect, and shall not be contested on the ground that the testators did not change them during their lifetime. For We are not Our own masters, and have not always time to make a final disposition of our property, for frequently men are attacked by death, and are deprived of the power of testation. Wherefore We think that testamentary dispositions which have been regularly made in the first place, and not subsequently changed, should not be rewritten, or considered void, but that the wishes of testators should always be considered valid, and remain unaltered; as, indeed, it would be absurd for what had been properly done in the first place to be afterwards changed,' when a new law had not yet been published.

(5) Therefore, in short, it may be said that (where anything of this kind happens) the children shall receive the three-twelfths left to them by the wills of their fathers, whether this has been done before or after the enactment of the law, but previous to its communication to the magistrate. If it was added in the will that the lawful share due to the children was left to them in accordance with the laws then in force, the children shall take it in conformity to the ancient laws; so that if anything should be lacking to the three-twelfths to which they are entitled, this shall be supplied in compliance with the said law, but they shall not obtain four-twelfths of the estate, for the law providing for this was, at that time, not yet known.


Therefore Your Eminence will, by means of suitable proclamations, communicate the matters which it has pleased Us to enact by means of this law to all the inhabitants of this great city and its suburbs; in order that what We have authorized for the public welfare may become clear to everyone.

Given at Constantinople, on the Kalends of March, during the eleventh year of the reign of Justinian, and the Consulate of John.




The Same Emperor Justinian to Menna, Most Holy and Blessed Archbishop of Constantinople, and Patriarch of Its Entire Jurisdiction.


Although We have included matters having reference to the most holy churches in numerous laws, We still have need of another to dispose of difficulties which have arisen, and provide for emergencies. For many persons build churches in order to perpetuate their names, and not with a view to utility, and they do not take care to furnish sufficient means for their expenses, their lights, and the maintenance of those charged with Divine service, but after the churches are constructed they leave them to be either destroyed, or entirely deprived of the ministrations of the clergy.



Therefore We order, before all things, that no one shall be allowed to build a monastery, a church, or an oratory, before the bishop of the diocese has previously offered prayer on the site, erected a cross, conducted a public procession, and consecrated the ground with the knowledge of all persons. For there are many individuals who, while pretending to build houses of worship, contribute to the weakness of others, and become not the founders of orthodox churches, but of dens for the practice of unlawful religious rites.




We decree that no new church shall hereafter be constructed before having recourse to the bishop, and determining the amount requisite for lighting, for the holy service, and for keeping the building in good condition, as well as for the maintenance of those who have charge of it; and if the amount given appears to be sufficient, the preliminary donation shall be made, and the church erected. Where, however, the person desiring to do this does not offer sufficient funds for the purpose, and wishes to be styled the founder of the church, and has the ambition to accomplish something of this kind (for there are many churches in this Royal City as well as in the provinces which, instead of being properly maintained, run the risk of being ruined by age, or which are of very small dimensions, and badly provided for owing to the negligence of the clergy assigned to them), the proposed founder shall, with the consent of the bishop and the orthodox clergy, be permitted to rebuild one of these churches, which shall bear his name as the founder of a religious house; but nothing shall be expended by him out of his own property by way of endowment, as the revenues already set apart for this purpose shall continue to be paid by those who previously furnished them.



In accordance with the law already enacted by Us, We decree that bishops shall stay in their churches; shall not abandon them; shall not sojourn for a long time in this city, and compel stewards to send them the money for their expenses, and the Holy Church to furnish it; and this the bishops themselves shall not tolerate. Hence We order that the law already promulgated by Us shall continue to remain in full force. For if a bishop should absent himself from his church for a longer period than that which is prescribed, his expenses shall not

be sent to him from the provinces, but the money shall be used for pious purposes, and for the benefit of the Most Holy Church. Thus a bishop who may come to this city will not be supported by his church; and if he remains absent for too long a time, what We have previously decreed with reference to this matter shall be observed.



As We have already provided that if anyone should make an alienation of immovable ecclesiastical property in the provinces, this must be done after a decree has been issued, which should take place in the presence of both the bishop of the city and the clergy of his diocese, as well as in that of the metropolitan bishop; and, moreover, We direct that if the Most Holy Metropolitan Bishop should sell any immovable ecclesiastical property, even where the most holy stewards of his church consent to the sale, two bishops selected by the metropolitan from the synod under his jurisdiction shall be present at the time, and in addition to this, all the formalities previously prescribed shall be strictly observed.

The metropolitan bishop and his synod shall then be considered to have made the sale, and as he, by his presence, confers sufficient power upon the prelate under his jurisdiction, so the representation of the synod by the two bishops aforesaid shall be held to have confirmed the sale made by the metropolitan, which sale shall, in this way, be witnessed by the synod.


Your Holiness will, by means of suitable letters, cause this Our law to be communicated to the other Most Holy Patriarchs and metropolitans under Your jurisdiction, who must, in their turn, notify the bishops subject to their authority, so that no one may be unaware of what has been decreed by Us.

Given at Constantinople, on the Kalends of May, during the twelfth year of Our Lord the Emperor Justinian, and the Consulate of John.



SIXTY-EIGHTH NEW CONSTITUTION. Interpreted by Antonius Contius.


We are aware that a Constitution of Leo, of pious memory, has been enacted with reference to persons who contract second marriages, whether they be men or women, by whose provisions the nuptial property of the first marriage is carefully preserved for the issue of the same, and stipulates that the parent shall only be entitled to the usufruct of it; but the said constitution, while reserving the ownership of the property for the children, directs that if all the children or grandchildren should die without leaving any survivor, through whom the parent who has married a second time may be deprived of said property, then the ownership of it shall be reunited with the usufruct of which the parent already has the enjoyment.


We have recently amended this constitution by enacting other provisions, being desirous that the heirs of deceased children or grandchildren, whether they be relatives or strangers, shall receive some benefit from their appointment, and acquire, by the right of ownership, whatever would be obtained by the surviving parents because of the death of the children, in accordance with the terms of the agreement where there are no survivors; but that the residue shall go to the heirs of the deceased children or grandchildren, without any change being made by Us with reference to the usufruct.

(1) We wish this constitution to take effect now and for all time, except Where the children have died before it was promulgated. For when the property obtained by marriage has, through the death of the children, entirely come into the hands of the parent who has married a second time, and this occurred before the law was enacted by Us, the latter will have no force, and will only become operative in cases to which the Constitution of Leo is applicable. Hence parents who have married a second time will, under such circumstances, solely be entitled to what they would have acquired by the death of their children or grandchildren; but if any property should have passed into the hands of a third party, they can recover it under the law which applies to owners. Thus, by briefly recapitulating these laws, We resolve any doubts to which they may have given rise, in order that We may no longer be annoyed with such matters; and, returning to the subject by a general law, We dispose of all difficulties; desiring the legislation which preceded that introduced by Us to remain applicable to such preceding cases as are entitled to its benefit.


Your Excellency will take measures to have this law communicated to all persons by means of suitable proclamations and notices.

Given on the eighth of the Kalends of June, during the twelfth year of the reign of Justinian, and the Consulate of John.



SIXTY-NINTH NEW CONSTITUTION. The Emperor Justinian to the People of Constantinople.


One of the most perfect of all human virtues is that which dispenses equity, and is designated justice, for no other virtue, when accompanied with this, is worthy of the name; therefore We do not praise fortitude, which is not united with justice, and although the Roman language calls virtue courage in battle, if justice is excluded from it, it becomes a vice, and is productive of no good.

As we have ascertained that justice is treated with contempt in Our provinces, We have deemed it necessary to re-establish it in a proper condition, by means of a law which will be acceptable to God. For very many persons availing themselves either of Imperial letters, special privileges, pragmatic sanctions, or orders issued by magistrates, employ their time causing annoyance, and while continuing to dwell in the provinces, make a pretense of instituting litigation elsewhere. How can any man, no matter where he may suffer damage or lose part of his property, conduct a lawsuit involving boundaries, possession, hypothecation of his land, or on any other right whatsoever, in a strange place, and produce evidence to substantiate his allegations? Persons who do this only exert their power; they think that they act without injustice; they believe that they are invested with some kind of perpetual authority; and they do not take into account the thousand or ten thousand examples in which We see robust children born to feeble and impotent parents, and those who are rich spring from others who are indigent; and, in almost all ages, We have seen weak children born to powerful parents, and poor ones derive their origin from those who are wealthy. The injustice of parents is thus punished in their offspring, and those who commit crime do not reflect that, in making use of their authority for this purpose, they prejudice their posterity, for the power which they enjoy is not always transmitted to their descendants.


After having considered all these matters, We have thought it necessary to enact the present law; and We hereby order all magistrates subject to Our authority in the provinces, and who are distributed throughout the Empire, which looks upon both the rising and the setting sun, and extends from north to south, to see that each

person is tried in the province where he has committed a crime, or is a defendant in a civil or criminal action having reference to the boundaries or the ownership of land, the possession or hypothecation of property, or any other matter whatsoever (for provisions have been made in an inconsistent and irregular manner on this subject by preceding legislators, which We have already taken into consideration) in order that no one may attempt to conduct litigation outside

of his province.

(1) Whether the question at issue relates to a serious or a trifling offence, or involves merely the validity of a contract, the citations as well as the petition, when there is need of one, shall be issued and filed in the province, and the trial of the case shall also take place there, to render the production of evidence more easy, no matter whether the illegal act is of great or little moment; for when the defendant has no good ground for defence in cases of small importance, he tries to transfer the proceedings to another province, in order to answer the petition of the plaintiff there, and have the latter summoned, who, being absent, and perhaps out of the province, cannot conveniently appear, either on account of the power of his adversary, or because of his own infirmities. And, indeed, is there anything more oppressive than for a private individual who is injured by the theft of an ox, a horse, or some other beast of burden, or an animal forming part of a flock, or (to descend to small things) of a domestic fowl, to be compelled to plead, not in the place where the theft was perpetrated, but in another province where proof of his allegations will be required of him, and he must adopt the alternative either of being subjected to much greater expense than the value of the property which was taken from him amounts to, or be reduced to poverty ? A multitude of such persons complain to Us every day, and We are frequently annoyed in this manner on account of matters which are insignificant by crowds of unfortunates of both sexes who, called from their homes, come to this Most Fortunate City, many of whom are greatly afflicted and reduced to beggary, and some of whom die here.


Therefore, where both the plaintiff and defendant reside in the same province, the case shall not be transferred to another nor to this Fortunate City by virtue of any pragmatic sanction or order, but shall be decided in the said province. Where one of the parties is present and the other absent, and the one who is present has suffered damage from one of the household of the former, he who has committed the injustice (whether he be a curator, a lessee, or some other person representing the absent party) shall, by all means, be sued; and shall be permitted to notify the absent party, and be granted time to do so, in proportion to the distance from the province, and in accordance with the general law formerly enacted with reference to continuances.

(1) Where, however, the absent party is in a neighboring province, distant only one or two days' journey, the term of four months shall be granted him, and six months if he is farther away; and if he is in Palestine, in Egypt, or in any other distant province, the term of eight months will be sufficient. When he is in one of the Western or Northern provinces, or in Lybia, he shall then be entitled to nine months, in accordance with the provisions of former legislators; so that if he has confidence in the person who notifies him, he can entrust him with the conduct of the defence. If, however, he should not have confidence in him, he can employ someone else to accept service, and execute any judgment which may be rendered, when the case is either of great or small importance, and no appeal is taken.

Where the agent or lessee has given notice to the absent owner, and the latter permits the prescribed time to elapse without doing anything, then the said agent or lessee upon whom service was made will have the right to defend the case, as the representative of the absent party, and the judge shall compel him to appear before his tribunal, even involuntarily; he must hear the case in his presence, and render judgment against him if he seems to deserve it; and, if there is ground for doing so, he shall also condemn the absent party who, despite his notification, was not willing to attend to the matter in the province. If the said agent or lessee is wealthy, his property will be subject to execution; but if it is not sufficient to satisfy the judgment, the remainder shall be paid by taking the property of the absent person in execution at the instance of him who has obtained judgment in his favor.


When, however, he who is directed to represent the principal party in the action, or who is compelled to appear for him, does not do so, he shall be duly called, and if he fails to answer, the absent party shall be condemned under the rule styled peremptory, that is to say, applicable to one who has abandoned the case, for he who is contumacious is considered to be absent. If, on the other hand, the defendant should appear, or should send anyone to represent him, and the plaintiff does not come, then the defendant shall be discharged, and the court shall compel the false accuser to pay all the expenses incurred. In this way men will become more reasonable, they will cease to commit crime, and they will no longer think that the power of wealth can prevail over justice.

(1) We are well aware that what We decree may perhaps be insufficient perfectly to remedy the abuse which We have endeavored to correct, as judges are accustomed to favor powerful persons rather than those who come from the provinces to have their cases heard. Still, We know that many instances of injustice can be prevented by similar legislation, and that it will provide remedies for much that We are not able to effect. For We do not appoint magistrates to office

without compelling them to take oath to judge all men with equity, and to keep themselves pure from corruption. And I do not think that after this constitution any further legislation will be necessary, if magistrates decide with justice and with due regard to the law and

their oath.



No person who avails himself of any special privilege, of his power, or of a pragmatic sanction, shall be authorized to remove anyone who has committed violence from the jurisdiction of the judges of his province, unless he has previously obtained from Us an Imperial pragmatic sanction based on the public welfare, and which states that the defendant shall be notified to appear here, or, at least, that the plaintiff shall not notify him under the law, as when an appeal is involved; although We have, to a great extent, made provision for such matters by appointing many superior judges in the provinces, in order that when cases are not of much importance, appeals may be brought before them rather than in this great city.

(1) In enacting this law, We shall render it still more just by not permitting anyone to avail himself of any privilege against it, even though the privilege may have been granted to one of the most holy churches, to a sacred hospital, or other religious establishments, or even to one of the Imperial houses, to the Imperial domain, or to special sacred rites, which deservedly occupy the first place after the honor due to what belongs to the Most High; or to a judge, or other person in authority, or to anyone subject to Our orders. Everyone must obey this law and subject himself to the approval of justice; he shall honor and observe it in every respect, and not only consider it individually, but also with reference to his posterity; remembering that almost nothing remains stable in Nature, which is always inconstant, and introduces many changes which are neither easy to foresee, nor possible to provide for; and that only God, and after him the Emperor, is able to exercise control over these things.

(2) If, however, anyone should make use of any Imperial authority, whether contained in pragmatic sanctions or communicated in other ways, permitting him to take his case before another magistrate, it shall be entirely void; judges will render themselves liable to a severe penalty if they receive it, and do not only think of what has been done but also of what ought to