This is the second edition of an original and controversial book. It analyses some 2,609 legal rulings (rescripts) given by Roman Emperors between 193 and 305 AD, and argues that, though issued in the name of emperors, they were really both in style and substance the work of professionallawyers. From their style we can detect when one lawyer-draftsman gave way to another, we can identify some of the lawyers and we can allot most of the rescripts to their real author. On this basis the author argues that in the third century there was a convention that the rights of citizens wouldbe governed by objective legal standards. The Roman Empire was not a pure autocracy.Updated and in large part rewritten, this edition includes on a high-density diskette a reconstruction (Palingenesia) of the 2,609 rescripts. This new and original work of reference will enable scholars to read the texts chronologically and to judge the soundness of the arguments advanced.