Edictum Theoderici

1. Introduction

Of the Edictum Theoderici only fragments have been preserved, so that the knowledge of the text is based primarily on Pierre Pithou’s Editio princeps from 1579. The manuscripts that had been used by him are now lost. The edict probably came to life around the year 500 in the Ostrogothic kingdom under Theodoric the Great. In 1955 Giulio Vismara alternatively attributed it to the Visigothic king Theodoric II., which means that its origin would be set about 40 years earlier.

In its 154 capitula the short text collects Roman law provisions from the Theodosian Code (with amendments and interpretations), the codices Gregorianus and Hermogenianus, the pseudo-Pauline sentences as well as the responsa of Paul. The Edictum Theoderici regulates in particular issues of criminal law, procedural law and the civil law.


2. Edition

Friedrich Bluhme (Ed.), Edictum Theoderici regis, in: Georg Heinrich Pertz (Ed.), MGH LL V, Hannover 1889, S. 145-179.


3. Reading recommendations (2000 onwards)

  • Detlef Liebs, Art. “Edictum Theoderici”, in: Handwörterbuch zur deutschen Rechtsgeschichte 1, 22008, cols. 1184-1185.
  • Sean D. W. Lafferty, Law and Society in Ostrogothic Italy: Evidence from the “Edictum Theoderici”, in: Journal of late antiquity 3 (2010), 337-364.
  • Sean D. W. Lafferty, Law and order in the age of Theoderic the Great (c. 493-526), in: Early medieval Europe 20 (2012), 260-290.
  • Sean D. W. Lafferty, Law and Society in the Age of Theoderic the Great. A Study of the Edictum Theoderici, Cambridge / New York 2013.
  • Detlef Liebs, Recension to Sean D. W. Lafferty, Law and Society in the Age of Theoderic the Great. A Study of the Edictum Theoderici, Cambridge / New York 2013, in: Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte. Romanistische Abteilung 132 (2015) 560-570.

4. Further resources


5. Manuscripts [6]