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The emperor Justinian's legislation continues to be relevant for historians of the law As Caroline Humfress has written For the legal historian the Age of Justinian is nothing short of pivotal Medievalists and early modernists interested in the socalled reception of Roman law in later times and places must look back to Justinian and his law books as classicists and historians interested in Roman republican or early imperial law must frequently look forward to them Justinian's law books are of course the Digest the Code the Institutes and the Novels Novellae Constitutiones which have become known collectively as the Corpus Iuris Civilis CIC It soon becomes clear to those interested in the CIC that the standard modern version is based on the works first created in the late 19th century by Theodor Mommsen Digest ' Berlin 1870 Paul Kr├╝ger Institutes ' Berlin 1867 and Code ' Berlin 1877 and Rudolf Schoell and Wilhelm Kroll Novels ' Berlin 1895 These were formed into a three volume stereotype set early in the 20th century Wolfgang Kunkel has noted ÔÇ£By comparison with this stereotype edition which offers the same text in all editions older general editions of the Corpus Iuris can be used only as auxiliary materialÔÇØ However Mommsen Kr├╝ger Schoell and Kroll offer more than the bestregarded versions of Justinian's legislation Their prefaces to the Digest Code and Novels describe among other things the many manuscripts they read and used in their recensions their criteria for accepting some readings and rejecting others the previous printed editions and their flaws Moreover while there is an English translation of Mommsen's Digest and although English translations are planned for the Code and the Novels the first does not include a translation of its preface and none is planned for the prefaces of the latter two Neither did Justice Fred H Blume whose translations of the Code and the Novels I edited and published on the web translate the preface of either work It is true that much of the information contained in Kroll's preface to the Novels can be pieced together from scattered sources in languages more accessible than Latin For example Kr├╝ger's German monograph on the history of the sources and literature of Roman law covers the Novels in some detail Noailles described the Novels extensively in French and I have written at length in English of the Novels and their transmission However Kroll's Preface contains unique detail and insights in a relatively compact form and it has remained inaccessible to all but those who can comfortably read Latin ' an everdecreasing percentage of the population Therefore this selective translation of Kroll's Preface will perform a useful function