Digest (Roman law)

Digestorum, seu Pandectarum libri quinquaginta. Lugduni apud Gulielmu[m] Rouillium, 1581. Biblioteca Comunale "Renato Fucini" di Empoli

The Digest, also known as the Pandects (Latin: Digesta seu Pandectae, adapted from Ancient Greek: πανδέκτης pandéktēs, "all-containing"), is a name given to a compendium or digest of juristic writings on Roman law compiled by order of the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian I in the 6th century CE (530–533). It is divided into 50 books.

The Digest was part of a reduction and codification of all Roman laws up to that time, which later came to be known as the Corpus Juris Civilis (lit. "Body of Civil Law"[1]). The other two parts were a collection of statutes, the Codex (Code), which survives in a second edition, and an introductory textbook, the Institutes; all three parts were given force of law. The set was intended to be complete, but Justinian passed further legislation, which was later collected separately as the Novellae Constitutiones (New Laws or, conventionally, the "Novels").


The original Codex Justinianus was promulgated in April of 529 by the C. "Summa". This made it the only source of imperial law, and repealed all earlier codifications.[2] However, it permitted reference to ancient jurists whose writings had been regarded as authoritative.[3] Under Theodosus II's Law of Citations, the writings of Papinian, Paulus, Ulpian, Modestinus, and Gaius were made the primary juristic authorities who could be cited in court. Others cited by them also could be referred to, but their views had to be "informed by a comparison of manuscripts".[4]

The principal surviving manuscript is the Littera Florentina of the late sixth or early seventh century. In the Middle Ages, the Digest was divided into three parts, and most of the manuscripts contain only one of these parts.[5] The entire Digest was translated into English in 1985.[6]

The Digest was discovered in Amalfi in 1135, prompting a revival of learning of Roman law throughout Europe. Other sources claim it was discovered in 1070 and formed a major impetus for the founding of the first university in Europe, the University of Bologna (1088).[citation needed]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Digesta
български: Пандекти
català: Digesta
Deutsch: Pandekten
español: Digesto
français: Digeste
한국어: 판데크텐
հայերեն: Պանդեկտներ
hrvatski: Pandekte
italiano: Digesto
Latina: Digesta
lietuvių: Pandektos
magyar: Pandekták
Nederlands: Digesten
română: Pandecte
русский: Дигесты
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Pandekte
suomi: Digesta
svenska: Digesta
українська: Дигести