Introduction: The Institutes of Justinian

  • Jan M. Broekman
  • Larry Catá Backer


Justinian (482–565 BC), a Roman Emperor residing in Constantinople with the strong desire to re-unite the Roman Empire with Rome as its capital, ordered a new body of law, called the Corpus Iuris Civilis, long before the diversification between Civil- and Common Law. He wanted to establish a re-ordering of centuries old Roman Law, to eliminate what was no longer effective in the prevailing discourse of law, and to initiate a Code which could function as the sole source of (legal) authority. The first three books of that Code were on Persons, Things, and Obligations. This division in the internal order of legal issues survived millennia; its force of power was in effect until the end of the 10th century and is still in shape when legal thought patterns are at issue. No wonder, that semiotic legal studies accepted this ordering of facts, as the Editorial 6 underlines.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dickinson School of LawPenn State UniversityCarlisleUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Law and International AffairsPenn State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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