Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Legists
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Teachers of civil or Roman law, who, besides expounding sources, explaining terms, elucidating texts, summarizing the contents of chapters, etc., illustrated by cases, real or imaginary, the numerous questions and distinctions arising out of the "Corpus Juris" enactments of the ancient Roman code. From the twelfth century, when a fresh impulse was given to legal researches, the terms legist and decretist — the latter applied, in the narrower sense, to the interpreter of ecclesiastical law and commentator on the canonical texts — have been carefully distinguished.
P. J. MacAuley.