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he basic feature characterising the field of Law in the Late Byzantine period is the infiltration of canon law into the secular system of justice, and that because the Church recovered more rapidly than did the secular authorities from the state's submission to the crusaders.

During this time the Emperors did not legislate. The only laws enacted were those concerning the reorganisation of the courts, otherwise legal literature in general offers nothing new.

This period, in spite of the great number of legal codices which have been preserved, provides no new legal concepts. We have only a few collections of earlier works, such as the Synopsis Minor, whose writer is unknown and which is dated to the period of the Emperor John III Vatatzes (1222-1254), the Euxemenon Prochiron, one of the most important legal handbooks of the time, whose writer is also unknown and which is dated to the end of the 13th century, and finally the famous Hexabiblos by Constantine Harmenopoulos. A rare originality is exhibited in the literature of public law, particularly in the field of political philosophy.

The Taktikon by pseudo-Kodinos is full of information on the administration of the state of the Palaiologoi (on the offices and titles conferred by the Emperors), while the Parainetikos Logos ("Admonitory Speech") addressed by the Emperor Manuel II to his son, speaks of the way in which the former perceived the duties and responsibilities incumbent upon the emperor during that time. Similar is the content of two studies by Thomas Magistros.

The most outstanding works, however, are those of George Gemistos Plethon, among which are two advisory memoranda on Peloponnesian affairs addressed to the Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos, and the Nomon Syngraphe, ("Book of Laws") which was written in imitation of Plato's work of the same name. In this book, Plethon sets down what he believes should be the "Constitution" of the ideal state, in which Aristotelian philosophy provides the basis for the regeneration of the Empire.

See also: George Gemistos Plethon