12 September 2018

BOOK: Peter SARRIS, eds. and David J.D. MILLER, transl., The Novels of Justinian : A Complete Annotated English Translation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018). ISBN 9781107000926, £ 180.00

Cambridge University Press is publishing the first English translation based on the original Greek of Justinian’s Novels later this month.


The novels comprise a series of laws issued in the sixth century by the famous Emperor Justinian (r.527-65), along with a number of measures issued by his immediate successors on the throne of Constantinople. They reveal the evolution of Roman law at the end of antiquity and how imperial law was transmitted to both the Byzantine East and Latin West in the Early Middle Ages. Crucially, the texts cast fascinating light on how litigants of all social backgrounds sought to appropriate the law and turn it to their advantage, as well as on topics ranging from the changing status of women to the persecution of homosexuals, and from the spread of heresy to the economic impact of the first known outbreak of bubonic plague. This work represents the first English translation of the novels based on the original Greek, and comes with an extensive historical and legal commentary.


Editor: Peter SarrisUniversity of Cambridge

Peter Sarris is Reader in Late Roman, Medieval and Byzantine History in the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity College. His publications include Economy and Society in the Age of Justinian (Cambridge, 2006), Empires of Faith: The Fall of Rome to the Rise of Islam (2011), and Byzantium: A Very Short Introduction (2015).

Translator: David J. D. Miller

David J. D. Miller was educated in classics and theology and taught Latin and Greek at Bristol Grammar School (where he was Head of Classics for twenty-one years) and at the University of Bristol. His previously published translations include the first-ever English versions of Eusebius' Gospel Problems and Solutions (2011) and (with Richard Goodrich) of Jerome's Commentary on Ecclesiastes (2012).


1. Translator's preface David Miller
2. Introduction Peter Sarris
3. Maps
4. Papyrus protocol (as discussed in J.Nov. 44)
5. Novels 1-168
6. Edicts 1-13
7. Appendices 1-9
8. Bibliography.

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