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This book is a study of the character and compilation of Justinian's Digest, the main volume of Justinian's Corpus Iuris Civilis (528-534 AD).
This is often considered as one of the most influential works in the history of Western culture. It remains significant, partly because it is still a part of the law in six countries in Southern Africa, and partly because of its role in the evolution over fifteen hundred years of the theory and practice of human rights - a theme explored in Professor Honore's previous book studying Ulpian (2nd ed, OUP 2002).
The book gives a detailed account of the probable methods used in the compilation of the Digest and distinguishes the respective roles of imperial ministers, law professors, and advocates. It also examines the broader issues raised by the Digest's creation - how it was conceived by its compilers, its purpose, and its impact.