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Welcome

to the homepage for the Roman Law branch of the Law-related Internet Project at the University of Saarbrücken! These pages are dedicated to Roman Law: the legal system invented by the Romans more than 2000 years ago, which - having undergone the process of decay, revival, transformation and reinterpretation innumerable times - continues to influence legal thinking and legal practice to our days.

If you are not an expert in Roman Law or Legal History, you may want to have a look at these "Questions and Answers on Roman Law". (Sorry this text is not yet available in English.) If you are looking for a specific source text, go to the index . In case you are interested in an in-depth discussion of problems related to Roman Law, consider subscribing to the IusRomanum mailing list. Should these pages not contain the material you are looking for, perhaps one of our links can help you find the information you need. For a full overview of the pages available, see the menu in the frame on the left.

The gloss of Accursius

The essential part of this collection of pages is the representation of some fragments of the Corpus Iuris (the collection of laws initiated by the Emperor Justinian) with the apposite parts of the gloss of Accursius. (It is also the most laborious part). As of now, only two fragments of the Digest with glosses are available . We hope to add further texts soon. The objectives for undergoing the amount of work required to create a hypertext representation of even these small parts of the Corpus Iuris Iustiniani and the corresponding medieval comments were two:

The modern legal systems that are based on Roman Law are not based direcly on the legal system of Rome. Rather, they are derived from the European Ius Commune, which is - essentially - Roman Law as it was interpreted and reshaped by medieval jurists. Accursius' gloss is the most important piece of medieval legal writing. As this collection grows, it will be a means of easily accessing the texts that are so important for the understanding of today's legal systems. For the time being, the few texts present can at least serve as a demonstration of the glossators' method of reshaping Roman Law.

At the same time, the representation of the Digest and the medieval commentaries in the HTML format may show, that the concept of hypertext is less unheard of that it could seem: In the middle ages already, the ancient legal texts and the commentaries were liked together in a way very similar to modern hypertext documents. Single words in the texts of Justinian create links to the medieval comments which in turn contain large numbers of references to other parts of the Corpus Iuris.

In order to enable the reader to appreciate the distance in time that lies between the texts of the Corpus Iuris and the medieval comments, some biographic information on both ancient and medieval jurists is given. This information as well as some of the other pages, is in Latin. It may such remind the reader of the times, when Latin used to be the international language of science. This is the same period during which much of Europe was not split into various national legal systems, but shared the Ius Commune based on ancient Roman Law.

Your help is needed !

There are many ways in which you can help to make these pages more useful. First of all, all error reports are very much appreciated. As most of the material is written in languages other than my own, I expressly invite you to notify me of any linguistic errors you may spot. Reports of errors in the HTML-encoding or of historically wrong statements are equally welcome.

If you have some free time left, you may also contribute to these pages. Send me source texts you typed in. (Maybe you have some texts stored in your computer which you entered for other purposes?) Or suggest any additions you consider useful.

There are some forms available for those who want to report an error or to send texts. If the forms are not suitable for your purposes, send me a message.