The codification of the Roman law began near the beginning of the third century. The great number of jurisconsults who had been writing during the previous two centuries made some compilation of these writings a necessity if the full benefit of this wealth of material was to be obtained. The earliest codes were those of Gregorianus and Hermogenianus. Only fragments of these codes have been preserved and the importance of these codes lies mainly in the fact that they were the pioneers in this new field.