A heretical hypothesis: on the beginning of the Codex Justinianus

Bernard H. Stolte*

*Corresponding author for this work

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In a recent paper published in this review (79 (2011), p. 253-296), L. Waelkens investigates the problem of the lacunose oldest western manuscripts of the Code, especially at their beginning. He argues that the first 13 titles of the Codex Justinianus had been compiled after the promulgation of its second edition and placed in front of the text of 534, where they did not in fact belong. This successful forgery would have led in various stages to the composition of the Code in its accepted form. This paper sets out to demonstrate that there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary: C. 1,1-13 have always been part of the Codex repetitae praelectionis, as is proven by, inter alia, P.Oxy. 1814, the Collectio XXV Capitulorum, the scholia of the Basilica and, pace Waelkens, even the Collectio Tripartita. The solution of the problem of the western medieval tradition of the Code has to be sought elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-128
Number of pages20
JournalTijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Codex Justinianus
  • P.Oxy. 1814
  • Collectio XXV Capitulorum
  • scholia of the Basilica
  • Collectio Tripartita

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