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Palingenesia of Latin Private Rescripts. 193-305 AD: from the Accession of Pertinax to the Abdication of Diocletian

 By Tony Honoré 
Editor's Note—The palingenesia presented on these pages was prepared by Professor Honoré to accompany his Emperors and Lawyers, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), ISBN 0-19-825769-4. It is reproduced here by the kind permission of the author and of the Oxford University Press. Those who consult the palingenesia are asked to observe all appropriate copyright restrictions.
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The Palingenesia lists private imperial rescripts in Latin between 193 and 305 AD. General information about its character is given in the preface. Its core is a comprehensive collection, arranged chronologically, of Latin rescripts to private petitioners on points of law (ad ius). These number 2,609, though as explained in the preface the number of texts listed is somewhat greater, because the compilers of legal codes and other collections have sometimes split a rescript into two or three parts. Some documents that are not private rescripts but that occur in well-known legal sources have also been included. The rescripts have been drawn from a number of sources, including Justinian's Codex (CJ), Digest (D) and Institutes (J Inst) and other ancient collections such as Vatican Fragments (FV), Collatio legum Mosaicarum et Romanarum (Collatio), Consultatio veteris iurisconsulti (Cons), the Visigothic summary of the Codex Gregorianus and Hermogenianus (CG Visi, CH Visi) the Appendices to Lex Romana Visigothorum (Appx LR Visi), and the modern Collectio Librorum Iuris Anteiustiniani (Collectio) together with those found on inscriptions and papyri. All the constitutions listed are taken to be rescripts on points of law in answer to petitions by private individuals (i.e. what were at one time called subscriptiones) except those that are specifically marked as letters to officials or prominent people (epistulae) or other types of imperial law, such as edicts (edicta), final or interlocutory judgments (sententiae), and oral pronouncements made out of court (interlocutiones de plano). In principle these other types of constitution should not be included in the Palingenesia, but exceptions have been made when they appear in well-known legal sources such as CJ or Vatican Fragments, so that their omission might cause puzzlement. Rescripts on matters other than law, such as the granting or refusal of concessions or privileges, are likewise in principle excluded; so are those of which we have only a text in Greek (with the exception of three from Justinian's Codex and Digest), and those that cannot be dated to the period 193-305. The same holds of impromptu answers to petitioners of the sort collected in the Apokrimata of Septimius Severus, which were not referred to the secretary for petitions (procurator a libellis, magister libellorum) to draft a reply on a point of law and so cannot be relied on as evidence for the secretary's style.

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