Lectio legum 

by Simon Corcoran

Contents

Introduction to the Lectio legum

The Lectio legum is a miscellany of secular legal texts from a probable south-Italian context and so, except in its brevity, it resembles the Collectio Gaudenziana. It survives in a single manuscript of the later XI century, written at the end of what is otherwise a miscellany of canon-law texts (Biblioteca Vallicelliana B.32 fol. 158r-v).

It consists of a heading and six chapters. The heading is a mangled version of that for the Ecloga, then follows a chapter from the Edict of Theoderic, a summary as per the Summa Perusina of a law from the Justinian Code, two extracts from the Lex Visigothorum (one being identified as a Novel of Justinian), and two chapters of unknown origin, but probably of Lombard legal flavour.

The text must date later than the mid-VIII century. That the morning-gift (c. 5) was considered as being a quarter follows on from Liutprand’s law of 717, which fixed that as the maximum. The Ecloga was not promulgated until 741 (on the current communis opinio). The terminus post-quem could be even later if the true source of the heading was one of the Ecloga’s subsequent derivatives (Procheiron Aucta; Ecloga ad Procheiron Mutata). The heading, indeed, provides the only evidence for the translation of the Ecloga into Latin. The current view, anyway, is that the compiling of material as in the Lectio legum does not fit any context much before the later X century.

The chapter from the Edict of Theoderic is one of only half-a-dozen chapters deriving from it quoted in mediaeval manuscript sources, since the Edict itself otherwise survives only via the edition of Pithou, first published in 1579.

The text given here has been prepared from the plates in de Ureña y Smenjaud's 1905 volume and checked against both his edition and that of Patetta. The often irregular orthography and grammar have been left intact.

 

Bibliography
G. Astuti, Lezioni di storia del diritto italiano: Le fonti, età romano-barbarica (Padua, 1953) 215-216 and 332-333
L. Burgmann (ed.), Ecloga: Das Gesetzbuch Leons. III und Konstantinos’ V. (Frankfurt, 1983)
M. Conrat, ‘Die Lex legum brebiter factum: eine Sammlung aus dem germanischen und dem römischen Recht’, ZRG:GA 10 (1889) 230-238
M. Conrat, Geschichte der Quellen und Literatur des römischen Rechts im frühen Mittelalter (Leipzig, 1891) 268-274
W. Kaiser, Die Epitome Iuliani (Frankfurt, 2004) 720-723
F. Patetta, ‘Sui frammenti di diritto germanico della Collezione Gaudenziana e della Lectio legum’, Archivio giuridico 53 (1894) 3-40 [repr. in Studi sulle fonti giuridiche medievali (Turin, 1967) 861-898]
F. Patetta (ed.), Adnotationes codicum domini Justiniani (Summa Perusina) (Rome, 1900 ; repr. Florence, 2008) 294-296
C. Radding and A. Ciaralli, The Corpus Iuris Civilis in the Middle Ages: Manuscripts and Transmission from the Sixth Century to the Juristic Revival (Leiden, 2007) 72-73
R. de Ureña y Smenjaud, La legislación gótico-hispana : leges antiquiores, liber iudiciorum ; estudio crítico (Madrid, 1905) 564-567 [rev. ed., Pamplona, 2003, 435-438]. The original edition includes two very clear plates of the two ms pages. These are less clear and reduced in size in the new revised edition.
G. Vismara, Edictum Theoderici (IRMAE I.2.b.aa.a; Milan, 1967) 167-177
G. Vismara, Scritti di storia giuridica I: Fonti del diritto nei regni Germanici (Milan, 1987) 262-265

 

Lectio legum

Lectio legum brebiter facta a leone sanctissimo papa et constantino sapientissimo et piissimo Imperatore . ab instutoribus . ex libro novelle magni Iustiniani . dispositionis . ad directionem humanitatis. [Heading to the Ecloga (ed. Burgmann, 1983, 160); or possibly from one of its derivatives: the Ecloga ad Procheiron Mutata (JRG VI, 227) or Procheiron Aucta (JGR VII, 9)]

[1] Titulus XXIII. Abactor, si usque ad unum equum, id est caballum, et duas equas, id est iumentas, totidemque boves et usque ad X capras et V porcos tulisse tam de stabulo quam de pascuis fuerit approbatus, sive per subreptionem sive ea violenter, id est virtute, alibi duxerit, severissime puniatur. Quicquid vero intra suprascriptum numerum animalium vel pecorum a quocumque sublatum fuerit, tamquam furtum sub quadrupli pena persolvat. [Ed. Theod. 57]

[2] Incipit liber VIII codicus Iustiniani augusti . cap. VIIII.
Lex rerum privatarum. Si quis ausus proprio rem occupavit, si sua est ammittit, aliena et ipsam estimationem rei retdet quadruplum. [Summa Perusina 8.4.7 (CJ 8.4.7); 'quadruplum' is bracketed by Patetta, as absent from Summ. Per., and added from the previous text.]

[3] Constitutio domini Iustiniani Imperatori . quod ille solus culpavilis erit qui culpa committit.
Omnia crimina suoque sequatur auctores, nec pater pro filio, nec filio pro pater, nec uxor pro marito, nec marito pro uxore, nec fratre pro fratre, nec propinquu pro propinquus, nec vicinus pro vicinus, ullam calumnia pertimescat ; set ille solus iudicetur culpaviles, qui culpa committit, et crimen cum illo qui fecerit moneatur, nec successores aut heredes pro facti parentum vel amicos ullum periculum pertimescat. [LV 6.1.7]

[4] Al. cap. Si quis caballum vel bobem aut quolibet animalium genus ad custodiendum susceperit et rem mortua esse provaverit vel perdita, nec ab illo aliquid requiratur et tamen ratione, ut prebeat sacramentum ille qui in custodiam susceperit, quod non per suam culpam aut neglegentia animal perdita sit. [LV 5.5.1]

[5] Al. cap. Volumus atque iubemus ut, si mulier post obitum viri sui in viduitate permanere voluerit, abeat ipsa quartam partem sicut in morgencap fuit inchoata, et si ad alium virum ambulare voluerit, de res mariti priori sui nichil succedat. [For the morning-gift as a “fourth part”, see Liutprand 7.I (MGH Leges in folio IV, 110)]

[6] Al. cap. Si quis iubilius aut iubilias aliena, quod est mercennariis, aut complacitum aut sine placitum abuerit, si quis eum suaserit (suerit aserit, ms), id est si ei munimen dederit, aut infugaverit et de servitio eiusdem mercediosi sui eum distulerit, quod est sustensor, ille, qui eum suaserit vel infugaverit, sit culpavilis pro ipsu banum monimen solidos duodecim ad ille, cui iubileus fuit; et ille, qui eum suaserit, replicentur ipsum iubileus aut unum de propriis suis in servitium illius, cui iubilius fuit, replicentur et amplius calumnia non generentur.

 

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Last edited: SJJC 4/9/2009