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Law and Legality in the Greek EastThe Byzantine Canonical Tradition, 381-883$
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David Wagschal

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198722601

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198722601.001.0001

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Systematizing the Law

Systematizing the Law

(p.223) 4 Systematizing the Law
Law and Legality in the Greek East

David Wagschal

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the nature of Byzantine canon law as a legal “system” through a detailed analysis of the first extant Byzantine systematic collections, the Collection in Fifty Titles and the Collection in Fourteen Titles. After a review of the origin, history, and morphology of these collections, and a brief discussion of their self-presentation, the chapter turns to the nature and composition of the systematic rubrics. Particular attention is devoted to how the rubrics interpret and classify the canonical material. The broader patterns of ordering within the collections are also considered. Throughout, an extraordinary simplicity and conservatism in the methods of systematization is observed. This is strikingly coherent with the legal-cultural patterns explored in previous chapters.

Keywords:   systematization, Collection in Fifty Titles, Collection in Fourteen Titles, codification, compilation, canonical collections, systematic collections

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