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 p301  Codex Gregorianus and Hermogenianus

Article by George Long, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College
on p301 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

CODEX GREGORIA′NUS and HERMOGENIA′NUS. It does not appear quite certain if this title denotes one collection or two collections. The general opinion, however, is, that there were two codices compiled respectively by Gregorianus and Hermogenianus, who are sometimes, though incorrectly, called Gregorius and Hermogenes. The codex of Gregorianus was divided into books (the number of which is not known), and the books were divided into titles. The fragments of this codex begin with constitutions of Septimius Severus, A.D. 196, and end with those of Diocletian and Maximian, A.D. 285‑305.​a The codex of Hermogenianus, so far as we know it, is only quoted by titles, and it only contains constitutions of Diocletian and Maximian, with the exception of one by Antoninus Caracalla; it may perhaps have consisted of one book only, and it may have been a kind of supplement to the other. The name Hermogenianus is always placed after that of Gregorianus when this code is quoted. According to the Consultationes, the codex of Hermogenianus also contained constitutions of Valens and Valentinian II, which, if true, would bring down the compiler to a time some years later than the reign of Constantine the Great, under whom it is generally assumed that he lived. These codices were not made by imperial authority; they were the work of private individuals, but apparently soon came to be considered as authority in courts of justice, as is shown indirectly by the fact of the Theodosian and Justinian codes being formed on the model of the Codex Gregorianus and Hermogenianus. (Zimmern, Geschichte des Römischen Privatrechts, Heidel. 1826; Hugo, Lehrbuch der Geschichte des Röm. Rechts, Berlin, 1832; Frag. Cod. Greg. et Herm. in Schulting's Jurisprudentia Vet. &c., and in the Jus Civile Antejustin. Berol. 1815; Böcking, Institutionen).

Thayer's Note:

a In January, 2010, Simon Corcoran and Benet Salway, researchers at University College London's Department of History, announced that they had identified fragments of an actual copy of the Codex Gregorianus in the binding of a 16c book. For very full details, see Corcoran, "The Gregorianus and Hermogenianus assembled and shattered", Mélanges de l'École française de Rome, 125‑2.

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