Pandects This word, which properly means a work containing all subjects (πανδέκτης), an encyclopaedia, is principally applied to the general code of law drawn up by order of the emperor Justiniann (q.v.) It acquired the name of Pandects from the universality of its comprehension; it is called also by the name Digestum, or Digest. It was an attempt to form a complete system of law from the authoritative commentaries of the jurists upon the laws of Rome. The compilation of the Pandects was undertaken after that great collection of the laws themselves which is known as the Codex Justinianeus. It was entrusted to the celebrated Tribonianus, who had already distinguished himself in the preparation of the Codex. Tribonianus formed a commission consisting of seventeen members, who were occupied from the year 530 till 533 in examining, selecting, compressing, and systematizing the authorities, consisting of upwards of two thousand treatises, whose interpretation of the ancient laws of Rome was from that time forward to be adopted with the authority of law. A period of ten years had been allowed them for the completion of their work; but so diligently did they prosecute it that it was completed in less than one third of the allotted time; and some idea of its extent may be formed from the fact that it contains upwards of nine:thousand separate extracts, selected according to subjects from the two thousand treatises referred to above. The Pandects are divided into 50 books, and also into 7 parts, which correspond respectively with books 1-4, 5-11, 12-19, 20-27, 28-35, 36-44, and 45-50. Of these divisions, however, the latter (into parts) is seldom attended to in citations. Each book is subdivided into titles, under which are arranged the extracts from the various jurists, who are thirty-nine in number, and are by some called the classical jurists, although other writers on Roman law confine that appellation to five of the number, Papinian, Paulus, Ulpian, Gains, and Modestinus. The extracts from these indeed constitute the bulk of the collection; those from Ulpian alone making one third of the whole work, those from Paulus one sixth, and those from Papinian one twelfth. Other writers besides these thirty-nine are cited, but only indirectly, i.e. when cited by the jurists whose works form the basis of the collection. The principle upon which the internal arrangement of the extracts from individual writers was made had long been a subject of controversy. The question seems now to be satisfactorily solved; but the details of the discussion would carry us beyond the prescribed limits. Of the execution of the work, it may be said that although not free from repetition (the same extracts occurring under different heads), and from occasional inaptness of citation, and other inconsistencies, yet it deserves the very highest commendation. In its relations to the history and literature of ancient Rome it is invaluable; and taken along with its necessary complement the Codex, it may justly be regarded (having been the basis of all the mediaeval legislation) as of the utmost value in the study of the principles not alone of Roman, but of all European law," including the ecclesiastical. The word Pandects was used by Papias (q.v.) to designate the Scriptures.

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