The codex contains an articulated collection of Roman-Justinian juridical texts, the main role of which is played by the Epitome Iuliani – the shortened collection in which Justinian’s Novellae Constitutiones circulated in Italy – with related appendices. As a matter of fact, it is an elaborated version of the Lex Romana Wisigothorum alias Breviarium Alarici, a compilation that was also imprinted of Roman – namely Theodosian – laws, issued by Alaric II, king of the Visigoths, in 506. From Alaric’s Breviarium the Lex Romana Utinensis contains a compendium and parallel re-adaptation due to the different political situations and juridical needs of the extra-Hispanic territories where it was widespread. The name Lex Romana Utinensis is due to the fact that when the codex, kept in the Archives of the Chapter of Aquileia since an unspecified epoch, was found towards the end of the eighteenth century, it belonged to the Archives of the Chapter of Udine. The circumstances how the German jurist Gustav Haenel (1792-1878) came by the book were never completely clarified, but beyond the German scholar, the main role was therein played also by Gianfrancesco Banchieri, canon and primicerius of the Chapter of Udine, who was thereafter accused of selling the manuscript to Haenel for not so much money, if not of letting him purloin it.
- S. IX1 e IX med.; parchment; mm 365 × 260; ff. I, 150 (paged 55-354), I’ [Haenel 8]; II, 27 (paged 1-54), I’ [Haenel 9].
- Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek Albertina, Haenel 8+9.
An articulated collection of Roman-Justinian juridical texts circulating in Italy in the early Middle Ages.