Decretum Gratiani

Decretum Gratiani

Decretum Gratiani

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The Decretum Gratiani or Concordia discordantium canonum (in some manuscripts Concordantia discordantium canonum) is a collection of Canon law compiled and written in the 12th century as a legal textbook by the jurist known as Gratian. It forms the first part of the collection of six legal texts, which together became known as the Corpus Juris Canonici. It retained legal force in the Roman Catholic Church until Pentecost 1918, when a revised Code of Canon Law (Codex Iuris Canonici) promulgated by Pope Benedict XV on 27 May 1917 obtained the Force of Law.

Recensions

Research by Anders Winroth shows that the Decretum existed in two published recensions. The first dates to some time after 1139, while the second dates to 1150 at the latest. There are several major differences between the two recensions:
  • The first recension is a more coherent and analytical work.
  • The second recension places a much greater emphasis on papal primacy and power.
  • The second recension includes Roman law extracts taken directly from the Corpus Juris Civilis, whereas the first recension does not demonstrate substantial familiarity with Roman jurisprudence.
These differences led Winroth to conclude that Roman law was not as far developed by 1140 as scholars had previously thought. He has also argued that the second recension was due not to the original author of the first recension (whom he calls...
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