The Donation of Justinian, in the Form of a Legal Code

Constantine (C) = The First Christian, Roman Emperor

Justinian (J) =  The Last Christian Roman Emperor (West)

(C) = Bears a mirror-like reflection of Alexander of Macedon in many ways (see earlier post)

(J) = Bears a mirror-like reflection of Constantine in many ways (see this post)

(C) = Left Rome, headed east to build Constantinople

(J) = Left Constantinople, heading West, Retook Rome and rebuilt it (somewhat)

(C) = Called a Council, produced the innovative Nicene Creed in writing

(J) = called a Council, yielded the innovative Corpus Juris Civilis (the final copy was in fact in Greek)

(C) = Recording Appointed Historian of Council = Eusebius of Caesarea

(J) = Recording Appointed Historian of Council = Procopius of Caesarea

(C) = Built a Cathedral famous in Christendom, and many basilicas besides

(J) = Built the Hagia Sophia, a Cathedral famous in Christendom

(C) = One of First Roman Emperors to compile the Roman legal codes

(J) = The Great and Final Compiler of Roman Legal Codes

(C) = Had a consort (almost a wife) named Theodora

(J) = Had one wife named Theodora

(C) = Set the pace for defining orthodoxy as an eccelsiastical law (Nice)

(J) = Ordered Christian orthodoxy into law for the state (Corpus Juris Civilis) — allegedly

Other Oddities as Unlikely Parallels Between Emperors

(J) = Crowned Emperor by Patriarch of Constantinople

(Ch) [arlemagne] = Crowned by the Pope of Rome

(C) = Builds a city named after him in 330, dies 7 years later

(A) lex. of Macedon = Builds a city named after him in 330, dies 7 years later

(Ch) =  was born “in a place unknown.”  If the sources are so good, why do we not know his origin?

Theory to explain the coincidences:  The life of Justinian as we have it is in fact apocryphal, and Procopius of Caesarea is a makeshift (pseudepigraphic) apocryphon himself.  His name is even ad hoc, meaning something like “a Scribe.”

Question: If Justinian is actually an ahistorical figure, where would we have gotten the Corpus Juris Civilis?  Answer: it could have been a legal code produced earlier — perhaps under Theodoric the Goth — that was later worked over and edited to yield a much better code.  Two facts point in this direction: the first is that the Code was first produced in Latin, and its final draft in Greek. This suggests that a redacting team was involved along the way of its production.  Second, Theodoric’s reign was noted as a very JUST reign, even more just than that of Justinian.

Constantine’s life is also somewhat apocryphal: His supposed Edict of Milan (312) was an edict of toleration, which seems unnecessary given that just such an edict had already been given by Galerian (305); The Homeric-like, and somewhat silly, divine pronouncement, “In this sign (the Cross) shall you conquer” runs into the stipulation that Constantine later abolished the cross; that is, he forbade use of the cross to condemn criminals to death, and banned it permanently (LOL).

Another silly superstition indicates that Constantine claimed to be the 13th apostle, which was Paul.  He would have said that he was the “the 14th” apostle.  This error smacks of ahistorical and ad hoc innovations in “Constantine Legend.”  Did Constantine not know that Paul was the 13th apostle? Baloney.

According to Diodorus (16. 92. 5), At Aegae (ca. 340), Phillip of Macedon had his statue carried along with those of the “12 Olympian gods.”  They did not exist either.

Remember brethren the Donation of Constantine, which proveth well that the Christian brotherhood was well acquainted with the deliberate production of forgeries to promote the Faith (And besides, my Church is clearly the best one — see how many crosses it has!  That the good emperor has banned!

Constantine (supposedly) died in 337 and was buried in Constantinople at the Church of the Holy Apostles (who, of course, never existed). If Constantine placed himself among their ranks, it is possible has also did not exist?  Consider this: He was buried in a tomb prepared by himself in advance of his demise, flanked on either side by six empty tombs, representing the 12. Empty tombs are a good metaphor for people who do not exist (i.e. are “not there”).

In another clearly “apocryphal moment”,  as recorded by Will Durant (Age of Faith, p. 3),which I call “Constantine Parcels Out the Earth” Like Alexander and his four generals:

“The Emperor Constantine, feeling the nearness of his death, called his sons and nephews to his side, and divided among them, with the folly of fondness, the government of the immense empire that he had won. … [Then it recounts just who received which parcel(s)].”

Charlemagne does the same kind of (apocryphal) distribution: [Age of Faith, p. 471], “Perhaps because he foresaw like Diocletian, that his overreaching empire needed quick defense at many points at once, he divided it in 806 among his 3 sons — Pepin, Louis, and Charles.”

Another Constantinian oddity just odd enough to note, is the claim that he supposedly moved from Mytilene a statue of the historian, Theophanes, Historian of Pompey, to Constantinople for its founding.

Another interesting apocryphal “Typology” unit assumes that the emperor in question had no (or little) formal training, but somehow showed himself a very accomplished man of letters anyway.  Thus runs the lore of Constantine, Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths (crowned, 475) and Charlemagne. Ostrogothic Italy’s years were 493 – 536.   The Age of Faith, p.97, indicates that Theodoric had grown intelligent at court (11 years at a Byzantine court), and that he (Theodoric) absorbed the arts of war and government there, but never learned to write.

Recall that the fictitious Bible character, Daniel, likewise “remained at the king’s court,” and was “learned in all Babylonian arts and sciences.”

Charlemagne also was said quite unrealistically to be able to speak Old Teutonic (what?), literary Latin (not likely that one who cannot write would spend so much time on languages — to what end?), and had a fair grasp of Greek, but never learned to write.  (Age of Faith, p. 461).  This is strange for a German.

Homework assignment for fun: try to find more coincidences between the roman emperors and post them on a blog of your own.  You might be surprised what you find!

MY NEW THEORY: In my efforts at continued research on this topic, I have stumbled across a fascinating data field that intuitive falls into a neat pattern, that pattern being my new “Justinian law code” theory.   Here are the facts:

  1. Justinian ordered that the Patriarch of Constantinople crown him emperor, not the Pope of Rome.
  2. The texts taken together that comprise collectively what we call the “CJC (ivilis)” appear every one of them in LATIN, the language of Rome, and not of Constantinople.  One belated exception drags in at the end — the Digest, a short handbook consisting of the opinions of ROMAN justices with their best decisions and most prominent cases, was made in 533 (at the end of the process of making the CJC) in the tongue of Greek.
  3. From the 480’s and forward, following the sack of Rome by Odovoacer (463), the ostrogothic king, Theodoric II ruled Italy (this prize comes with Rome thrown in for free), whose administration was “legally active” in producing what is now called the “Salic Law” code, which Will and Ariel Durant laud as much more civilized and excellent than Justinian’s code.
  4. Available to those in Rome (good libraries because the Emperor used to live there) also was the second century compilation and summary of Roman legal codes (second century) by one “Gaius.”
  5. Theodosius II is believed to have yielded a compilation and code similar in many ways (438) to that of Justinian.
  6. Procopius displays at one point a very hostile attitude toward both Justinian and Theodora in what is called the “Secret History,” that the royal historian, Procopius allegedly published posthumously — it displays just the opposite of his somewhat flattering history written while he was alive.  This radical difference has been hard for historians to explain.
  7.  Strangely, Justinian the statesman was supposed to have tried to provide a kind of theological compromise between warring factions in his day, called the Three Chapters.  This overly theological effort would far more likely have been assigned to others, and not come directly from the hand of the emperor.
  8. Supposedly, and this is somewhat bizarre, the Emperor Justinian orders Christian orthodoxy into law, an effort countermanded by his own edict publised at the outset of the CJC which forbids in public the discussion of any topic touching upon the Trinity, so controversial had the topic become in the Empire.  Think on it, if YOU had done that, would you then sign something into law guaranteed to start the NFL equivalent of the Controversy Super Bowl???  In the East, the technical term for this condition is called “JIHAD.”  JIHAD?  JIHAD!
  9. Twice the strange for your money is the fact that the historian who called his master “a man who was a skilled artisan of hypocrisy and an ‘evil assassin,’ says that Justinian ordered all Christian churches to come under the leadership and primacy of the Church of Rome (not of the city he built and which was named after himself, or of its patriarch who had crowned him Emperor at his own order).
  10. The Latin (and the 533 Greek edition, for the botched cover-up) “Digest” codifies into law the opinions and prominent cases of Roman justices, and omits the rest.  This clearly indicates the tendency to favor Roman primacy, and stamp it into law with the Emperor’s (forged) signature.

How is one to account as a good historian for this difficult landscape of historical facts? Try this and see if it makes sense:  Justinian had nothing whatever (or else little beyond collecting and sorting out the Roman codes like Constantine was supposed to have done)  to do with the code that bears his name, and he probably never heard of any such Code, since it was created in Rome, shortly after his demise, and ascribed to him in, say, 570.  He really had no need to do this, since the Theodosian Code was less than one hundred years old — if “We have already got one,” why make another with so much trouble that hardly seems necessary?

If you do actually need a new one because of innovations in legal prescription, they could simply have used the commentaries of Gaius to annotate and update the Theodosian Code, perhaps with Salic footnotes and “Theodoric-legal” endnotes.  The writings of “Procopius” (Perhaps actually “the Roman 10” who favor the decisions of Roman justices over those of Constantinople) strongly suggest this.

Next Up:   Justinian the god of Christian Orthodoxy

According to Ariel and Will Durant, Procopius tells us (sometimes he very much dislikes Justinian) that the emperor encouraged others to think of him as divine in the oriental tradition of understanding the transcendent nature of monarchy, especially imperial monarchy.  Here, Procopius has erred badly, and no one seems to have noticed.  Justinian is a CHRISTIAN emperor, which religion does not allow (for it is blasphemy to Christians for a man to claim divine status for Himself, since they zealously guard this as the prerogative of one “Jesus of Nazareth.”).  The man who wrote the “Three Chapters,” and showed great concern for orthodox Christian doctrine, even ordering it into law (this never happened), also taught men to think of him as a God?  Which one — the other God besides YHWH — the God of Christian orthodoxy? Hallelujah.

I believe such faux pas factoids in Procopian writing show that he is a forgery, and an editing group in the Roman court of Theodoric’s successors, probably made up of some ten scribes (collectively named “Procopius of Caesarea,” and following Eusebian and Constantinian tradition), who zealously competed against Constantinople to place all churches under Roman authority.  So I call the Code of Justinian, the Donation of Justinian, quite accurately.

Why did the Patriarch of Constantinople, who put the crown on Justinian’s head, not reprove him for such antichristian behavior, if he did this?  If Justinian follows the tradition of Constantine in compiling Roman codes, then why break with that tradition in promoting himself divine?  Constantine did no such thing as this.  This makes no sense.

These considerations lead one to conclude that the so-called Code of Justinian was created by the historical  and legal progeny of Theodoric Rome (perhaps by several (Maybe 10) assistants to the court historian of Theodoric’s successor).  They had a copy of the Theodotian Code, access to Gaius’ commentaries, to the Salic law, and has churchmen in the group who codified the Three Chapters.  They wrote the first copy of all these in Latin, their native tongue, and then did their best to put one of them (they wanted to put all of them, but had language limits that forbade this) in the Greek tongue when they realized that leaving them in Latin would make the mirage an obvious, pseudepigraphic forgery of one (non-existent) “Procopius” — who had to be from Caesarea to have borrowed credibility from Eusebius of Constantine’s court. This gives away the forger, as a would-be successor (But a Latin one) to Eusebius.  Signing this into law contradicts the prefatory “Trinitarian Prohibition” of Justinian, but would neatly solve the Church primacy question in favor of Rome and Christian orthodoxy worldwide, fixing it forever.

Fact, the Theodosian code could have been used without renovation for the purposes to which the J-Code (I could not shorten it to JLaw) was intended.  We simply did not need the “Justinian” effort.  The Salic Law was better anyway. It would never have been in Latin.  It would have sought to avoid theological controversy.  This means “No Three Chapters” of controversy would have come from Justinian.  If daring such controversy, it would have placed all churches under the Patriarch of Constantinople, or of a council of the Patriarchs — Justinian supposedly called a COUNCIL to create the Corpus and would model himself after Constantine. Hence “Procopius of Caesarea.”

The post-mortem hostility of Procopius can be accounted for easily on this view.  The Procopian slam would easily ruin Justinian, and the reputation of Constantinople, (Aim = demote Constantinople, elevate Rome) in favor of the need to create Roman primacy, after his law code had been established as valid by his office alone. Thus was it was written in good Constantinople’s finest Latin. LOL. Civitas non-seqitur is Latin for “the City that just doesn’t follow” from that line of reasoning.  We should have called this forgery the “Donation of Justinian.”  Finally, the Digest, should at the very least in order to be credible, have reduced its page to the important decisions, opinions and cases of first Constantinople and then of Rome, for C. was the NEW (and improved) ROME to the emperor Justinian.  This order is reversed by the phoney, imperial mandata appended awkwardly to these documents after the fact.

Justinian did not, would not, and (almost) could not, write the Latin Code. Much too controversial a venture. Punchline? Forgery alert.  The Romans, the Greeks defamed.

 

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