The Corpus Iuris Civilis, a distillation of the entire body of Roman law, was directed by the Emperor Justinian and published in a.d. 533. The Institutes, the briefest of the four works that make up the Corpus, is considered to be the cradle of Roman law and remains the best and clearest introduction to the subject. A Companion to Justinian's "Institutes" will assist the modern-day reader of the Institutes, and is specifically intended to accompany the translation by Peter Birks and Grant McLeod, published by Cornell in 1987. The book offers an intelligent and lucid guide to the legal concepts in the Institutes. The essays follow its structure and take up its principal subjects―for example, slavery, marriage, property, and capital and noncapital crimes―and give a thorough account of the law relating to each of them. Throughout, the authors explain technical Latin vocabulary and legal terms.
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