ŠARKIĆ S. The Influence of Byzantine Law on Serbian Mediaeval Law

DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2015.3.6    

Srđan Šarkić

Doctor of Legal History, Professor, Faculty of Law,

University of Novi Sad

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Dosithea Obradovic Sq., 1, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia


Abstract. The Serbian law had being developed from the early 13th century under the direct influence of Byzantine law. Serbian lawyers adopted the Byzantine law in the form of translation of Byzantine legal compilations. The first of them was Nomokanon of Saint Sava of 1219 which contained ecclesiastical rules together with canonist’s glosses, a translation of part of Justinian’s Novels and the whole of the Procheiron of Basil I. 

In 1349-1354 Serbian lawyers created a special Codex Tripartitus, codifying both Serbian and Byzantine law. The Russian scholar T. Florinsky noticed this in 1888, pointing out that in the oldest manuscripts Dušan’s Code is always accompanied by two other compilations of Byzantine law: the abbreviated Syntagma of Matheas Blastar and the so-called Justinian’s Law.

Beside the translations of Byzantine legal miscellanies, Serbian lawyers adopted a great number of the institutes of Roman law. However, Serbian lawyers were not educated in Bologna, so that Roman law was adopted in an indirect way, i.e. through Greek (Byzantine) translations, not from original Latin texts. 

Dušan’s Code as the most important legal source of mediaeval Serbian law borrowed about 60 articles directly from the Basilica: articles 171 and 172 are the most important of them.

Key words: Saint Sava’s Nomokanon, Syntagma, Justinian’s Law, lex, νόμος, law, Dušan’s Code, Basilica.

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The Influence of Byzantine Law on Serbian Mediaeval Law by Šarkić S. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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