Gratian (jurist)

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For other figures with this name, see Gratian .

Gratian, was a 12th century canon law from Bologna. He is sometimes incorrectly referred to as Franciscus Gratianus, Johannes Gratianus, or Giovanni Graziano. The dates of his birth and death are unknown.

Since the 11th century, Bologna had been the centre of the study of canon law, as well as of civil law, after the Corpus Juris Civilis was rediscovered in western Europe. Little is known about Gratian's life. For a long time he was believed to have been born at the end of the 11th century, at Chiusi in Tuscany. He was said to have become a monk at Camaldoli and then he taught at the monastery of St. Felix in Bologna and devoted his life to studying canon law. Recent research has found no foundation for this view.

His compilation, the Concordia discordantium canonum (Concord of Discordant Canons), later simply named the Decretum, was an attempt, using early scholastic method, to solve seemingly contradictory canons from previous centuries. Gratian quoted a great number of authorities, including the Bible, papal and conciliar legislation, church fathers such as Augustine of Hippo, and secular law in his efforts to reconcile the canons. The vulgate version of Gratian's collection was completed at some point after the Second Lateran Council, which it quotes. Research by Anders Winroth established that some manuscripts of an early version of Gratian's text, which differs...
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