Corpus Juris Civilis

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The Justinian Code or Corpus Juris Civilis (Corpus of Civil Law) was a major reform of Byzantine law created by Emperor Justinian I (r. 527-565 CE) in 528-9 CE. Aiming to clarify and update the old Roman laws, eradicate inconsistencies and speed up legal processes, the collection of imperial edicts and expert opinions covered all manner of topics from punishments for specific crimes to marriage and the inheritance of property. Not only used as a basis for Byzantine law for over 900 years, the laws therein continue to influence many western legal systems to this day.

More about: Corpus Juris Civilis


  • 527 - 565
    Reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.
  • 529
    The first part of Justinian's Code, the Codex Justinianus, is released and immediately adopted across the Byzantine Empire.
  • Dec 533
    The Digestum and Institutiones parts of Justinian's Code are released which supersedes all previous laws across the Byzantine Empire.
  • Dec 534
    Justinian's Code, which is the basis of law across the Byzantine Empire, is amended and updated.