Why was the Corpus Juris Civilis important?

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The Justinian Code (Corpus Juris Civilis) was one of Emperor Justinian's greatest accomplishments—along with the construction of the impressive Church of Holy Wisdom. Justinian, who ruled in the middle of the sixth century, was perhaps the greatest of all Byzantine Empire rulers. The Byzantines had often been in the shadow of Rome, but under Justinian, they established their own identity.

One area in which they did this was in law. Justinian realized that there were too many laws and that legal complexities hindered progress. His committees of legal scholars did away with archaic laws and streamlined others. Contradictions were resolved, and Roman law was systematized. The Justinian Code had four parts, and its completion was an impressive achievement. The laws, which were written in Latin, would be used until 1453. When the Byzantine Empire collapsed in that year, the Justinian Code became a model for later European nation states.

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