The Eleventh-Century Byzantine Jurist Nicaeus: His Scholia on the Basilica Laws and his Connection to the Meditatio de nudis

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Abstract

Nicaeus belongs to the generation of the ‘new’ Basilica scholiasts. There are eighty-five scholia linked to his name. Most of his scholia have been preserved in the codex Parisinus graecus 1348, which dates to the thirteenth century. A few scholia have been preserved in the codex Coislinianus graecus 152 (second half of the twelfth century) and the codex Parisinus graecus 1350 (twelfth century). Nicaeus has commented on different books of the Basilica, but the majority of his scholia deal with the law of procedure. The majority of his scholia are brief. Nicaeus has, on the whole, an accurate and unadorned way of explaining the law. After comparing his style with that of another ‘new’ Basilica scholiast, Hagiotheodorites, my impression is that the latter has a more vivid approach to explaining the material and more originality in his thoughts. However, Nicaeus makes a broader use of the legal writings from the time of Justinian than Hagiotheodorites does. Nicaeus uses antecessorian methods, such as thematismoi (hypothetical cases) and often tries to harmonize apparent contradictions. Yet, he is not so keen on the use of the erotapokriseis, the form of a question and an answer, which characterizes the writings of the antecessors. Based on this observation and other internal characteristics of his scholia and a comparison of their style to that of the treatise about mere agreements [Μελέτη περὶ ψιλῶν συμφώνων, or Meditatio de nudis pactis], I conclude -contrary to scholars in the past- that Nicaeus was probably not the author of this treatise.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFontes Minores
EditorsWolfram Brandes
PublisherDe Gruyter
Pages111-131
Number of pages20
VolumeXIII
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-11-072947-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-11-072791-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameForschungen zur byzantinischen Rechtsgeschichte: Neue Folge
PublisherDe Gruyter
Volume3
ISSN (Print)1866-962X
ISSN (Electronic)2629-5385

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