Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

Collatio Legum Mosaicarum Et Romanarum

COLLATIO LEGUM MOSAICARUM ET ROMANARUM (or Lex Dei), one of the rare examples of a systematic comparison of two different legislations, the Jewish and the Roman. It was probably compiled in Rome, between the years 294 and 313 C.E. At one time the author was thought to have been a Christian; however, Volterra's view that the author was a Jew who wanted to prove the priority and superiority of the teachings of Moses (Scitote, iurisconsulti, quia Moyses prius hoc statuit, Coll. 7:1) appears to be preferable and is accepted by Levy. The Collatio contains 16 chapters dealing particularly with penal law; the first extract in every chapter is the biblical one, normally preceded by the phrase Moyses dicit ("Moses says") or Moyses Dei sacerdos haec dicit ("Moses, the priest of God, says the following"), followed by the paragraphs from the Roman jurists and the imperial constitutions. The biblical extracts (taken exclusively from Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) are carefully translated into Latin, probably by the same author, who used the text of the Septuagint and Latin translations before Jerome, frequently comparing the Hebrew text and also bearing in mind at times the traditional Jewish interpretation. The author often alters the text in order to make it more comprehensible juridically, or to make it agree with Roman precepts. Cassuto assumed that the translation of the biblical texts contained in the Collatio might be a reflection of "the tradition of the Italian Jews" who needed a Latin translation of the Bible for use in their synagogues and schools (Annuario di Studi Ebraici, 1 (1934), 105). The work, preserved in three manuscripts, was discovered in the 16th century and first published by P. Pithou (Basel, 1574). Among the principal editions should be mentioned those by Bluhme (Bonnae, 1833), by Mommsen (Berlin, 1890), by Girard (4th ed., Paris, 1913), by Hyamson (Oxford, 1913), and by Baviera (2nd ed., Florence, 1940).


E. Volterra, in: Memorie della Reale Academia Nationale dei Lincei, series 6, vol. 3, fasc. 1 (1930), contains earlier literature; E. Levy, in: Zeitschrift der Savigny Stiftung fuer Rechtsgeschichte (romanistische Abteilung), 50 (1930), 698ff.; G. Scherillo, in: Archivio Giuridoco F. Serafini, 104 (1930), 255ff.; idem, in: Novissimo Digesto Italiano, 3 (1959), 446–8; N. Smits, Mosaicarum et Romanarum Legum Collatio (Dutch, 1934); Schulz, in: Studia et Documenta Historiae et Iuris, 2 (1936), 20–43 (Ger.); idem, in: Symbolae Van Oven (1946), 313–32 (Ger.) A.M. Rabello, in: Scritti sull' Ebraismo in Memoria di G. Bedarida (1966), 177–86; idem, in: RMI, 33 (1967), 339–49, with the most recent literature.

[Alfredo Mordechai Rabello]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.