Justinian Presenting the Pandects to Tribonian

By Lorenzo Lotto

This scene depicts ‘Justice’ (or ‘Law’), one of the four themes of the room.

In this scene, Tribonian, a jurist in the court of Justinian I, Eastern Roman Emperor presents Justinian with the Corpus Juris Civilis (“Body of Civil Law”), a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534.

Justinian gave orders to collect legal materials of various kinds into several new codes, spurred on by the revival of interest in the study of Roman law in the Middle Ages. This revived Roman law, in turn, became the foundation of law in all civil law jurisdictions. The provisions of the Corpus Juris Civilis also influenced the Canon Law of the church since it was said that ecclesia vivit lege romana — the church lives under Roman law.
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