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commentaries of the old jurists of the Empire,

has been preserved and constitutes the basis

of the civil law inmost civilized countries.

The compilation, consisting of fifty Books, was

completed after three years of work on the

part of the commission, again headed by Tribonian, and was published under the title of the

Digest and Pandects of the Eliminated Law

collected from all the Ancient Law. The work

was intended as a practical compend so arranged and entitled as to make the practice of

law in the Imperial courts easy and expeditious.

The record of Justinian's reign should not

be closed without a brief reference to the introduction of the silk-worm into Europe. By

the time of Justinian the Christian missionaries had penetrated to the corners of the known

world. They had planted churches on the

pepper coast of Malabarand in the island of

Ceylon. Others had penetrated China, and

two Persian monks had taken up their residence in the city of Nankin. Here they saw

with wonder and delight the work of the silkworm. They easily learned by observation

the whole process, from the hatching of the

egg to the weaving of the web. Nor was the

climate and vegetation of the region dissimilar

to that of many parts of Europe. The monks

perceived that the transfer of living worms to

so great a distance would be impossible; but

the eggs could be carried to any country, however remote. The Persian fathers accordingly

hollowed out their canes, filled them with the

precious eggs, and bore away in triumph a

richer spoil than had been gathered by battle

and conquest. The brood was easily hatched

under direction of the monks; the young

worms, nourished on mulberry-leaves, soon

took to wing, and Europe had gained a butterfly which contained in her delicate body the

treasures of the East.

In 565 Justinian died, and was succeeded

on the throne of the Eastern Empire by his

nephew, Justin II. The latter owed his elevation to craft. While his cousins, the co-heirs of the Imperial crown, were absent

fighting Justinian's battles, he remained in the

capital courting the favor of the monarch,

who as he grew old also grew susceptible of

blandishments. Justin also knew how to assume the possession of virtues which he had

not; and by a parade of generosity he succeeded in winning the applause of the circus.

Thus fortified, he easily maintained his claim

to the throne, and was recognized as the legitimate successor of Justinian.

For a season the .new Emperor ran well.

He adopted a liberal policy. Offenders, political and other, were freely pardoned. The

debts contracted by the preceding sovereign,

who had been lavish in expenditure, were

liquidated; and an edict was issued granting

religious toleration throughout the Empire.

It was not long, however, until the claws

of another beast appeared under the lambskin. The drama of blood began with the

murder of Justin, cousin of the Emperor-his

offense consisting in his kinship. Others met

a similar fate. Then began a corruption of

the administration. The public offices were

sold to procure money for the further degradation of the service. Oppression and rapacity

were resorted to as a means of quieting creditors, old and new. The government became

odious. Private piques and personal hatred

poisoned the capital, and then spat venom on

the army. The Empress Sophia, disliking

Narses, now the exarch of Ravenna, procured

an edict for his deposition. But the old general was not to be so easily disposed of. He

invited the Longobards, or Lombards, to descend from their native seats in the North and

ravage Italy. In 568 they poured through

the Julian Alps, under the lead of their great

king Alboin, and devastated the country as

far south as the Tiber. They chose Pavia as

their capital, and gave the name of Lombardy

to the valley of the Po. Narses was amply

revenged; but the hope which he had cherished of being restored to the exarchy by the

Lombards was blown away, and he is said to

have died of despair.

While these events were fulfilled in the

West, the Persians once more rose against the

Empire in the East. They fell upon Syria,

ravaged the country, and took the city of

Dara. When the news of these disasters was

borne to Justin his jealous and cruel brain

was thrown in a fever of excitement, which

presently ended in insanity. The government