This book explores the evolution of Roman law and society in Italy from 493, with the proclamation of the Ostrogoth Theoderic the Great as king, until about 554, when the eastern Emperor Justinian was able to re-establish imperial authority in the region. Drawing upon evidence from a variety of legal and historical sources, it investigates how Theoderic and his successors attempted to govern the peninsula in the wake of foreign invasions, the collapse of civic administration, the break-up of the Mediterranean economy, and the emergence of new forms of religious and secular authority. It challenges long-held assumptions as to just how peaceful, prosperous and Roman-like Theoderic's Italy really was. Its primary focus is the Edictum Theoderici, a significant but largely overlooked document that offers valuable historical insights into the complex and sometimes contested social, political and religious changes that marked Italy's passage from Antiquity into the Middle Ages.
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