Berytus (also written Beritus and Beritos) is the ancient name of Beirut, today the capital of Lebanon.
Berytus was famous for its law school, which was founded by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in 200 A.D, and was the first school of Roman Law in the eastern Empire. The law school existed until the destruction of the city by earthquakes around 551 A.D.
The fame of the law school was, amongst others, due to the fact that two famous jurists and natives of Phoenicia were professors at the law school, namely Papinian (140 - 212 A.D) and Ulpian (died 228 A.D).
The works of these two jurists fill up more than one third of the compilation of Roman Law, commissioned by the Emperor Justinian in the sixth century A.D.
Because of the legal importance of this city, Emperor Justinian gave it the title Berytus Nutrix Legum, Beirut the mother of laws.