Leges novellae

1. Introduction

Leges novellae or posttheodosian novellas refer to the legal constitutions issued after the completion of the Theodosian Code (438/439). They have been preserved in three collections, of which the second is obtained in the Lex Romana Visigothorum, but enriched in some manuscripts by addititions. All constitutions originate from the western part of the Roman Empire and include the laws of the Emperors Theodosius II., Valentinianus III., Maiorianus, Marcianus, Libius Severus and Anthemius. The third collection is a complement to the previous ones.

2. Edition

Theodor Mommsen / Paul Martin Meyer (Edd.), Theodosiani libri XVI cum constitutionibus Sirmondianis et leges novellae ad Theodosianum pertinentes. 2 vols., Berlin 1905.


3. Reading recommendations (2000 onwards)

  • John F. Matthews, Laying down the law: a study of the Theodosian Code, New Haven 2000.
  • Detlef Liebs, Römische Jurisprudenz in Gallien (2. bis 8. Jahrhundert) (Freiburger Rechtsgeschichtliche Abhandlungen N.F. 38), Berlin 2002.
  • A.J.B. Sirks, The Theodosian Code. A Study (Studia Amstelodamensia 39), Friedrichsdorf 2007.

4. Futher resources

  • Giovanni Cristoforo Amaduzzi, Leges Novellae V. Anecdotae Imperatorum Theodosii Jun. et Valentiniani III., Rom 1767 (available online BSB)

5. Manuscripts [8]

The second and third collection contain also the following manuscripts of the Lex Romana Visigothorum together with their epitomae and of the Codex Theodosianus: