But this, like his former victories, stimulated Justinian's envy.
Roman law owes much to Hadrian, who instructed Salvius Julianus to draw up an edictum perpetuum, to a great extent the basis of Justinian's Corpus juris (see M.
690) from the ruins of Justinian's church of St Mary on Mount Sion, and the central avenue or nave built with them presents the appearance of a Christian church; it however runs north and south, the Mecca niche being at the south end; originally there were seven aisles on each side, now reduced to three.
A little earlier than the publication of the Digest, or Pandects, there had been published another but much smaller law-book, the Institutes, prepared under Justinian's orders by Tribonian, with Theophilus and Dorotheus, professors of law (see Preface to Institutes).
But he remained Justinian's chief legal minister.
In the Anecdota Procopius adds as an illustration of Justinian's vanity the story that he took in good faith an observation made to him by Tribonian, while sitting as assessor, that he (Tribonian) greatly feared that the emperor might some day, on account of his piety, be suddenly carried up into heaven.
In modern times Tribonian has been, as the master workman of Justinian's codification and legislation, charged with three offences - bad Latinity, a defective arrangement of the legal matter in the Code and Digest, and a too free handling of the extracts from the older jurists included in the latter compilation.
170, but in Justinian's reign was destroyed by an earthquake.
Gratian's Decretum mirrors two tendencies, the church legislation with its growingly less extended application, and the wide meaning as in Justinian's Code, owing to the revival of Roman law in the 11th century.
The Constantinopolitan Acoemeti took a prominent part in the Christological controversies of the 5th and 6th centuries, at first strenuously opposing Acacius, patriarch of Constantinople, in his attempted compromise with the monophysites; but afterwards, in Justinian's reign, falling under ecclesiastical censure for Nestorian tendencies.
Justinian's rival Vardanes in turn sought an asylum in Khazaria, and in Leo IV.
Murner also wrote the humorous Chartiludium logicae (1507) and the Ludus studentum freiburgensium (151 I), besides a translation of Justinian's Institutiones (1519).
The Institutiones grammaticae is a systematic exposition of Latin grammar, dedicated to Julian, consul and patrician, whom some have identified with the author of a well-known epitome of Justinian's Novellae, but the lawyer appears to be somewhat later than Priscian.
Justinian's reign was filled with great events, both at home and abroad, both in peace and in war.
It is as a legislator and codifier of the law that Justinian's name is most familiar to the modern world; and it is therefore this department of his action that requires to be most fully dealt with here.
As regards the jus vetus, therefore, the judges and practitioners of Justinian's time had two terrible difficulties to contend with - first, the bulk of the law, which made it impossible for any one to be sure that he possessed anything like the whole of the authorities bearing on the point in question, so that he was always liable to find his opponent quoting against him some authority for which he could not be prepared; and, secondly, the uncertainty of the law, there being a great many important points on which differing opinions of equal legal validity might be cited, so that the practising counsel could not advise, nor the judge decide, with any confidence that he was right, or that a superior court would uphold his view.
The evil had been long felt, and reforms apparently often proposed, but nothing (except by the compilation of the Codex theodosianus) had been done till Justinian's time.
By this means the bulk of the statute law was immensely reduced, its obscurities and internal discrepancies in great measure removed, its provisions adapted, by the abrogation of what was obsolete, to the circumstances of Justinian's own time.
The instructions given to them by the emperor were as follows: - they were to procure and peruse all the writings of all the authorized jurists (those who had enjoyed the jus respondendi); were to extract from these writings whatever was of most permanent and substantial value, with power to change the expressions of the author wherever conciseness or clearness would be thereby promoted, or wherever such a change was needed in order to adapt his language to the condition of the law as it stood in Justinian's time; were to avoid repetitions and contradictions by giving only one statement of the law upon each point; were to insert nothing at variance with any provision contained in the Codex constitutionum; and were to distribute the results of their labours into fifty books, subdividing each book into titles, and following generally the order of the Perpetual Edict.2 These directions were carried out with a speed which is surprising when we remember not only that the work was interrupted by the terrible insurrection which broke out in Constantinople in January 532, and which led to the temporary retirement from office of Tribonian, but also that the mass of literature which had to be read through consisted of no less than two thousand treatises, comprising three millions of sentences.
These two great enterprises had substantially despatched Justinian's work; however, he, or rather Tribonian, who seems to have acted both as his adviser and as his chief executive officer in all legal affairs, conceived that a third book was needed, viz.
The constitutions contained in it number 4652, the earliest dating from Hadrian, the latest being of course Justinian's own.
And, whereas Justinian's constitutions contained in the Codex were all issued in Latin, the rest of the book being in that tongue, these Novels were nearly all published in Greek, Latin translations being of course made for the use of the western provinces.
This Corpus juris, which bears and immortalizes Justinian's name, consists of the four books described above: (1) The authorized collection of imperial ordinances (Codex constitutionum); (2) the authorized collection of extracts from the great jurists (Digesta or Pandectae); (3) the elementary handbook (Institutiones); (4) the unauthorized collection of constitutions subsequent to the Codex (Novellae).
Thus regarded, even without remarking that the Novels, never having been officially collected, much less incorporated with the Codex, mar the symmetry of the structure, Justinian's work may appear to entitle him and Tribonian to much less credit than they have usually received for it.
But let it be observed, first, that to reduce the huge and confused mass of pre-existing law into the compass of these two collections was an immense practical benefit to the empire; secondly, that, whereas the work which he undertook was accomplished in seven years, the infinitely more difficult task of codification might probably have been left unfinished at Tribonian's death, or even at Justinian's own, and been abandoned by his successor; thirdly, that in the extracts preserved in the Digest we have the opinions of the greatest legal luminaries given in their own admirably lucid, philosophical and concise language, while in the extracts of which the Codex is composed we find valuable historical evidence bearing on the administration and social condition of the later Pagan and earlier Christian empire; fourthly, that Justinian's age, that is to say, the intellect of the men whose services he commanded, was quite unequal to so vast an undertaking as the fusing upon scientific principles into one new organic whole of the entire law of the empire.
With sufficient time and labour the work might no doubt have been done; but what we possess of Justinian's own legislation, and still more what we know of the general condition of literary and legal capacity in his time, makes it certain that it would not have been well done, and that the result would have been not more valuable to the Romans of that age, and much less valuable to the modern world, than are the results, preserved in the Digest and the Codex, of what he and Tribonian actually did.
Tribonian has been blamed for the insertions the compilers made in the sentences of the old jurists (the so-called Emblemata Triboniani); but it was a part of Justinian's plan that such insertions should be made, so as to adapt those sentences to the law as settled in the emperor's time.
On Justinian's own laws, contained in the Codex and in his Novels, a somewhat less favourable judgment must be pronounced.
It is not always easy to discover, putting together the trustworthy evidence of Justinian's own laws and the angry complaints of Procopius, what was the nature and justification of the changes made in the civil administration.
Justinian's selections were usually capable, but not so often honest; probably it was hard to find thoroughly upright officials; possibly they would not have been most serviceable in carrying out the imperial will, and especially in replenishing the imperial treasury.
Vitale at Ravenna, though built in Justinian's reign, and containing mosaic pictures of him and Theodora, does not appear to have owed anything to his mind or purse.
Justinian's ecclesiastical policy was so complex and varying that it is impossible within the limits of this article to do more than indicate its bare outlines.
One of Justinian's first public acts was to put an end to this schism by inducing Justin to make the then patriarch renounce this formula and declare his full adhesion to the creed of Chalcedon.
This is the controversy known as that of theThree Chapters (Tria capitula,r pia KEg4aXaca), apparently from the three propositions or condemnations contained in Justinian's original edict, one relating to Theodore's writings and person, the second to the incriminated treatise of Theodoret (whose person was not attacked), the third to the letter (if genuine) of Ibas (see Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, ii.
Inquiries made in the third year of Justinian's reign drove nearly all of these persons into an outward conformity, and their offspring seem to have become ordinary Christians.
The Nestorians and the Eutychian Monophysites were not threatened with such severe civil penalties, although their worship was interdicted, and their bishops were sometimes banished; but this vexatious treatment was quite enough to keep them disaffected, and the rapidity of the Mahommedan conquests may be partly traced to that alienation of the bulk of the Egyptian and a large part of the Syrian population which dates from Justinian's persecutions.
Thus no result of permanent importance flowed from these Persian wars, except that they greatly weakened the Roman Empire, increased Justinian's financial embarrassments, and prevented him from prosecuting with sufficient vigour his enterprises in the West.
Justinian's policy both in the Vandalic and in the Gothic War stands condemned by the result.
Besides these three great foreign wars, Justinian's reign was troubled by a constant succession of border inroads, especially on the northern frontier, where the various Slavonic and Hunnish tribes who were established along the lower Danube and on the north coast of the Black Sea made frequent marauding expeditions into Thrace and Macedonia, sometimes penetrating as far as the walls of Constantinople in one direction and the Isthmus of Corinth in another.
It only remains to say something regarding Justinian's personal character and capacities, with regard to which a great diversity of opinion has existed among historians.
The long wars of Justinian's reign (535-555) recovered Italy for the Empire, and the Gothic name died out on Italian soil.