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Prof. mr F. Brandsma (Frits)

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Dorotheus and his Digest Translation



Dorotheus was professor at the law school of Beirut around the year 530 A.D. His fame had obviously preceded him to the imperial residence in Constantinopel, for emperor Justine summoned him to court in that year to participate in the commitee which was assigned to compile the Digest and the Institutes. After these two law books had been written and published in 533, a revised edition of Justinian's Codex was compiled by a committee of wich Dorotheus was also a member. So Dorotheus took an important part in the information of the Justinianic law books and this certainly makes any of his writings an interesting source of information on Justinan's codification. After the codification activities he made a Greek translation of the Digest. This translation renders the Digest text quite literally and will have been an important aid in Greek-speaking Byzantine legal practice in applying the largely Latin text of law. To us this translation is especially important, because it can provide data for the textual criticism of the Digest: data that may be all more valuable, because they derive from one of the compilers of the Digest.

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