Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

the two elements which they had to deal with, namely ancient French law, and that of the Revolution. The point in which their work is comparatively weak is the system of hypothec (q.v.), because they did not succeed in steering a middle course between two opposite systems, and the law of the 23rd of March 1855 (sur la transcription en matière hypothécaire) was necessary to make good the deficiency. A fault frequently found with the Code Civil is that its general divisions show a lack of logic and method, but the division is practically that of the Institutes of Justinian, and is about as good as any other: persons, things, inheritance, contracts and obligations, and finally, in place of actions, which have no importance for French law except from the point of view of procedure, privileges and hypothecs, as in the ancient coutumes of France, and prescription. It is, mutatis mutandis, practically the same division as that of Blackstone’s Commentaries.

Of late years other objections have been expressed; serious omissions have been pointed out in the Code; it has not given to personal property the importance which it has acquired in the course of the 19th century; it makes no provision for dealing with the legal relations between employers and employed which modern complex undertakings involve; it does not treat of life insurance, &c. But this only proves that it could not foretell the future, for most of these questions are concerned with economic phenomena and social relations which did not exist at the time when it was framed. The Code needed revising and completing, and this was carried out by degrees by means of numerous important laws. In 1904, after the celebration of the centenary of the Code Civil, an extra-parliamentary commission was nominated to prepare a revision of it, and at once began the work.

The influence of the Code Civil has been very great, not only in France but also abroad. Belgium has preserved it, and the Rhine provinces only ceased to be subject to it on the promulgation of the civil code of the German empire. Its ascendancy has been due chiefly to the clearness of its provisions, and to the spirit of equity and equality which inspires them. Numerous more recent codes have also taken it as a model: the Dutch code, the Italian, and the code of Portugal; and, more remotely, the Spanish code, and those of the Central and South American republics. In the present day it is rivalled by the German civil code, which, having been drawn up at the end of the 19th century, naturally does not show the same lacunae or omissions. It is inspired, however, by a very different spirit, and the French code does not suffer altogether by comparison with it either in substance or in form.

See Le Code Civil, livre du centenaire (Paris, 1904), a collection of essays by French and foreign lawyers.  (J. P. E.) 

CODIAEUM, a small genus of plants belonging to the natural order Euphorbiaceae. One species, C. variegatum, a native of Polynesia, is cultivated in greenhouses, under the name of croton, for the sake of its leaves, which are generally variegated with yellow, and are often twisted or have the blades separated into distinct portions.

CODICIL, (Lat. codicillus, a little book or tablet, diminutive of codex), a supplement to a will (q.v.), containing anything which a testator desires to add, or which he wishes to retract, to explain or to alter. In English law a codicil requires to be executed with the same formalities as a will under the Wills Act 1837.

CODILLA, the name given to the broken fibres which are separated from the flax during the scutching process. On this account it is sometimes termed scutching tow. Quantities of this material are used along with heckled tow in the production of tow yarns.

CODINUS, GEORGE [Georgios Kodinos], the reputed author of three extant works in Byzantine literature. Their attribution to him is merely a matter of convenience, two of them being anonymous in the MSS. Of Codinus himself nothing is known; it is supposed that he lived towards the end of the 15th century. The works referred to are the following:—

1. Patria (Τὰ Πάτρια τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως), treating of the history, topography, and monuments of Constantinople. It is divided into five sections: (a) the foundation of the city; (b) its situation, limits and topography; (c) its statues, works of art, and other notable sights; (d) its buildings; (e) the construction of the church of St Sophia. It was written in the reign of Basil II. (976–1025), revised and rearranged under Alexius I. Comnenus (1081–1118), and perhaps copied by Codinus, whose name it bears in some (later) MSS. The chief sources are: the Patria of Hesychius Illustrius of Miletus, an anonymous (c. 750) brief chronological record (Παραστάσεις σύντομοι χρονικαί), and an anonymous account (διήγησις) of St Sophia (ed. T. Preger in Scriptores originum Constantinopolitanarum, fasc. i., 1901, to be followed by the Patria of Codinus). Procopius, De Aedificiis and the poem of Paulus Silentiarius on the dedication of St Sophia should be read in connexion with this subject.

2. De Officiis (Περὶ τῶν Όφφικίων), a sketch, written in an unattractive style, of court and higher ecclesiastical dignities and of the ceremonies proper to different occasions. It should be compared with the De Cerimoniis of Constantine Porphyrogenitus.

3. A chronological outline of events from the beginning of the world to the taking of Constantinople by the Turks (called Agarenes in the MS. title). It is of little value.

Complete editions are (by I. Bekker) in the Bonn Corpus scriptorum Hist. Byz. (1839–1843, where, however, some sections of the Patria are omitted), and in J. P. Migne, Patrologia graeca, clvii.; see also C. Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur (1897).

COD-LIVER OIL (Oleum Morrhuae, or Oleum Jecoris Aselli), the oil obtained from the liver of the common cod (Gadus morrhua). In the early process for extracting the oil the livers were allowed to putrefy in wooden tubs, when oils of two qualities, one called “pale oil,” and the other “light brown oil,” successively rose to the surface and were drawn off. A third oil was obtained by heating the liver-residues to above the boiling-point of water, whereupon a black product, technically called “brown oil,” separated. The modern practice consists in heating the perfectly fresh, cleaned livers by steam to a temperature above that of boiling water, or, in more recent practice, to a lower temperature, the livers being kept as far as possible from contact with air. The oils so obtained are termed “steamed-liver oils.” The “pale” and “light brown” oils are used in pharmacy; the “brown” oil, the cod oil of commerce, being obtained from putrid and decomposing livers, has an objectionable taste and odour and is largely employed by tanners. By boiling the livers at a somewhat high temperature, “unracked” cod oil is obtained, containing a considerable quantity of “stearine”; this fat, which separates on cooling, is sold as “fish stearine” for soap-making, or as “fish-tallow” for currying. The oil when freed from the stearine is known as “racked oil.” “Coast cod oil” is the commercial name for the oil obtained from the livers of various kinds of fish, e.g. hake, ling, haddock, &c. The most important centres of the cod-liver oil industry are Lofoten and Romsdal in Norway; the oil is also prepared in the United States, Canada, Newfoundland, Iceland and Russia; and at one time a considerable quantity was prepared in the Shetland Islands and along the east coast of Scotland.

Cod-liver oil contains palmitin, stearin and other more complex glycerides; the “stearine” mentioned above, however, contains very little palmitin and stearin. Several other acids have been identified: P. M. Meyerdahl obtained 4% of palmitic acid, 20% of jecoleic acid, C19H36O2, and 20% of therapic acid, C17H26O2; other investigators have recognized jecoric acid, C18H30O2, asellic acid, C17H32O2, and physetoleic acid, C16H30O2, but some uncertainty attends these last three acids. Therapic and jecoleic acids apparently do not occur elsewhere in the animal kingdom, and it is probable that the therapeutic properties of the oil are associated with the presence of these acids, and not with the small amount of iodine present as was at one time supposed. Other constituents are cholesterol (0.46-1.32%), traces of calcium, magnesium, sodium, chlorine and bromine, and various aliphatic amines which are really secondary products, being formed by the decomposition of the cellular tissue.

Cod-liver oil is used externally in medicine when its internal