The researchers of Roman Law usually ignore the importance of the Theodosian Code in the history of the sources of law: the work of Justinian inevitably distracts the attention of the research. As a matter of fact, the publication of the Theodosian Code in 438 d. C. completely altered the Roman system of the sources of law. The ordo iuris was from the beginning 'horizontal', with all sources located at the same level; the Theodosianus, instead, created a 'vertical' system, which provided a rigid hierarchy of sources. In practice, the Theodosian Code can be considered the magna-lex (such as it is the Civil Code of 1942): all other sources, which are recognized as such by the Code itself, come only after this. This appears to be the most important historical precedent of the western pyramidal legal system of the modern age.
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