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De Instituten van Gaius verdwenen eeuwenlang vrijwel uit beeld. Begin negentiende eeuw werd een handschrift gevonden in de Biblioteca Capitolare te Verona waarin de tekst ervan in palimpsest is overgeleverd.
Met behulp van chemische middelen werd geprobeerd om de tekst leesbaar te maken, waarbij het handschrift zwaar werd beschadigd. Gaius floruit AD — was a celebrated Roman jurist. Scholars know very little of his personal life. It is impossible to discover even his full name, Gaius or Caius being merely his personal name praenomen. As with his name it is difficult to ascertain the span of his life, but it is safe to assume he lived from AD to at least AD , since he wrote on legislation passed within that time.
From internal evidence in his works it may be gathered that he flourished in the reigns of the emperors Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. His works were thus composed between the years and After his death, however, his writings were recognized as of great authority, and the emperor Theodosius II named him in the Law of Citations, along with Papinian, Ulpian, Modestinus and Paulus, as one of the five jurists whose opinions were to be followed by judicial officers in deciding cases.
The works of these jurists accordingly became most important sources of Roman law. Besides the Institutes, which are a complete exposition of the elements of Roman law, Gaius was the author of a treatise on the Edicts of the Magistrates, of Commentaries on the Twelve Tables, and on the important Lex Papia Poppaea, and several other works. His interest in the antiquities of Roman law is apparent, and for this reason his work is most valuable to the historian of early institutions.
In the disputes between the two schools of Roman jurists he generally attached himself to that of the Sabinians, who were said to be followers of Ateius Capito, of whose life we have some account in the Annals of Tacitus, and to advocate a strict adherence as far as possible to ancient rules, and to resist innovation. Many quotations from the works of Gaius occur in the Digest Roman law , created by Tribonian at the direction of Justinian I, and so acquired a permanent place in the system of Roman law; while a comparison of the Institutes of Justinian with those of Gaius shows that the whole method and arrangement of the later work were copied from that of the earlier, and very numerous passages are word for word the same.
Probably, for the greater part of the period of three centuries which elapsed between Gaius and Justinian, his Institutes had been the familiar textbook for all students of Roman law. Gajusz, Gaius II w. Mucio, De verborum significatione oraz komentarze: do edyktu miejskiego i prowincjonalnego, do ustawy XII tablic, do lex Iulia et Papia, do Senatus consultum Tertullianum i Senatus consultum Orphitianum.
Nie jest to jednak pewne. Si tratta dell'unica opera del periodo classico ad esserci pervenuta direttamente, senza il tramite e le interpolazioni dei giuristi giustinianei. Al Breviari d'Alaric se l'esmenta com a Tit Gai.
Fou autor de nombroses obres, de les quals cal esmentar: 1. Dotalicion [Dotaliciorum].
ISBN 13: 9788520325452
Institutas do jurisconsulto Gaio