INSTITUTESLegal Dictionary -> INSTITUTES
INSTITUTES. The principles or first elements of jurisprudence.
2. Many books have borne the title of Institutes. Among the most celebrated in the common law, are the Institutes of Lord Coke, which, however, on account of the want of arrangement and the diffusion with which his books are written, bear but little the character of Institutes; in the, civil law the most generally known are those of Caius, Justinian, and Theophilus. 3. The Institutes of Caius are an abridgment of the Roman law, composed by the celebrated lawyer Caius or Gaius, who lived during th e reign of Marcus Aurelius. 4. The Institutes of Justinian, so called, because they are, as it were, masters and instructors to the. ignorant, and show an easy way to the obtaining of the knowledge of the law, are an abridgment of the Code and of the Digest, composed by order of that emperor: his intention in this composition was to give a summary knowledge of the law to those persons not versed in it, and particularly to merchants. The lawyers employed to make this book, were Tribonian, Theophilus, and Dorotheus. The work was first published in the year 533, and received the sanction of statute law, by order of the emperor. The Institutes of Justinian are divided into four books: each book is divided into two titles, and each title into parts. The first part is called principium, because it is the commencement of the title; those which follow are numbered and called paragraphs. The work treats of the rights of persons, of things, and of actions. The first book treats of persons; the second, third, and the first five titles of the fourth book, of things; and the remainder of the fourth book, of actions. This work has been much admired on account of its order and Scientific arrangement, which presents, at a single glance, the whole jurisprudence of the Romans. It is too little known and studied. The late Judge Cooper, of Pennsylvania, published an edition with valuable notes. 5. The Institutes of Theophilus are a paraphrase of those of Justinian, composed in Greek, by a lawyer of that name, by order of the emperor Phocas. Vide 1 Kent, Com. 538; Profession d'Avocat tom. ii. n. 536, page 95; Introd. a l'Etude du Droit Romain, p. 124; Dict. de Jurisp. h. t.; Merl. R‚pert. h. t.; Encyclop‚die de d'Alembert, h. t.