Readers, Texts and Compilers in the Earlier Middle Ages

Readers, Texts and Compilers in the Earlier Middle Ages: Studies in Medieval Canon Law in Honour of Linda Fowler-Magerl

Edited by Martin Brett and Kathleen G. Cushing
Ashgate Publishing, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7546-6235-8

Reflecting the focus but also range of their honorand’s work in medieval canon law in the era before Gratian, the essays in this volume explore the creation and transmission of canonical texts and the motives of their compilers but also address the issues of how the law was interpreted and used by diverse audiences in the earlier middle ages, with especial focus on the eleventh and early twelfth centuries. These issues have lain at the heart of Linda Fowler-Magerl’s distinguished body of scholarly work on judicial ordines and procedural literature, on the transmission of canonical texts and their formal sources before Gratian, and perhaps most especially her pioneering role in the creation of a database of canon law manuscripts before Gratian now published as Clavis canonum. Linda Fowler-Magerl’s work has fundamentally transformed our understanding of canonistic activity in the era before Gratian and its reception across the Church throughout Europe.


Individually the scholars whose studies are included in this volume offer new viewpoints on several key issues and questions relating to the creation of canonical texts, the concerns of their compilers and the transmission of their work, as well as the use of such texts by readers with the most various interests in the period. As a whole, the volume contributes to an understanding of the increasing importance of the written law for a far wider circle than Roman reformers and local advocates. These issues are especially highlighted by the editors’ introduction.


The Notitia Galliarum: an unusual Bavarian version, by Roger E. Reynolds

Useful guilt: canonists and penance on the Carolingian frontier, by Abigail Firey

Authority and the canons in Burchard’s Dectreum and Ivo’ s Decretum, by Greta Austin

The Collection in 74 Titles: a monastic canon law a collection from 11th-century France, by Christof Rolker


‘Intermediate’ and minor collections: the case of the Collectio Canonum Barberiniana, by Kathleen G. Cushing

Poitevin manuscripts, the abbey of Saint-Ruf and ecclesiastical reform in the 11th century, by Uta-Renate Blumenthal

Another re-examination of the council of Pisa, 1135, by Robert Somerville

Marital consent in Gratian’s Decretum, by Anders Winroth

Crimina que episcopis inpingere dicis: the contribution of the Collectio Polycarpus to an early Ordo Iudiciorum, by Bruce C. Brasington

Margin and afterthought: the Clavis in action, by Martin Brett

The origins of legal science in England in the 12th century: Lincoln, Oxford and the career of Vacarius, by Peter Landau


My learned friend: professional etiquette in medieval courtrooms, by James Brundage

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