To be published in the Villanova Law Review


The Biography of Gratian, the Father of Canon Law


Kenneth Pennington


Who was Gratian?  asked John T. Noonan Jr. at the beginning of his classic essay on the biography of the Father of Canon Law.  He continued:[1]

That Gratian was the author of the Concordia discordantium canonum; that he was a teacher at Bologna; that he was a monk; and that he was a Camaldolese are assertions made by all twentieth-century historians of canon law. That he was dead by 1159 is also often added as a fact, that his school was at the monastery of Saints Felix and Nabor is sometimes stated as certain or probable, and that he was born at Ficulle near Carraria or at Chiusi is occasionally noted as likely. An authoritative history adds that he was probably educated as a monk at Classe in Ravenna. From these statements, meager as they are, a distinct picture emerges of a scholar, bound to a particular monastic tradition, and circumscribed by particular places and dates.


At the end of his essay and after a vigorous use of Ockham’s razor, Noonan concluded that:[2]


we have reason to believe that Gratian composed and commented upon a substantial portion of the Concordia. In such composition and commentary he revealed himself to be a teacher with theological knowledge and interests and a lawyer's point of view. He worked in Bologna in the 1130s and 1140s. Beyond these conclusions, we have unverified hearsay, palpable legend, and the silent figure in the shadows of S. Marco.


Since John Noonan’s superb historical detective work using the standard tools of criticism with admirable dexterity, we have added some very important, undoubted facts to Gratian’s biography.  After Anders Winroth’s splendid discovery of an earlier recension of Gratian’s Decretum in the 1990’s and the work of other scholars inspired by his discovery, we can also state with absolute certainty that he compiled and commented on the Decretum in stages.[3]  For that reason in this essay I shall abandon the terminology of “Gratian I” and “Gratian II.”  Referring to the stages of the Decretum as “Gratian I” and “Gratian II” gives a misleading picture of uniformity in how the  Decretum evolved.  Gratian and later jurists who taught and used the book never thought of it as a fixed text.  They added canons to it at all stages of its evolution.  In this essay I will use the terms pre-Vulgate and Vulgate to refer to Gratian’s great law book.  By Vulgate I mean the text that became the basic, introductory canon law text sometime  around 1140, without the numerous “paleae” added later in the twelfth century.[4]   

        The research on the  pre-Vulgate manuscripts has been enormously interesting and, not surprisingly, has created areas of disagreement about aspects of Gratian’s life, work and teaching.  These scholarly debates have given birth to a fruitful and vigorous exploration into the teaching and development of law in the first half of the twelfth century.[5]  The issues are many.  Perhaps the most important is the lack of consensus about how long Gratian worked on the Decretum and how long he taught.  That will be the focus of this essay.

To further complicate the story of Gratian, Winroth has argued that there were two Gratians.  The first Gratian compiled the pre-Vulgate Decretum  that Winroth discovered; a second “Gratian” — persona incognita — doubled the size of the Vulgate Decretum during the 1140’s.  There is very little evidence for his conjecture.[6] He was compelled to create a second Gratian because he had shrunk Gratian’s teaching career to only a few years.  I will examine his reasons for doing so below.  My main argument for not accepting the theory that there were two Gratians is quite simple.  It is difficult to imagine that if a Gratian compiled the pre-Vulgate Decretum, and another person doubled the size from ca. 2000 canons to ca. 4000, the first generation of jurists after Gratian would have not noticed or not known about the second Gratian’s work and blithely attributed what was now a massive work to just “Gratian.”  Further, as we shall see, the additional canons were not added in one fell swoop, but over time.  Gratian may have had an atelier of assistants, but it seems unlikely that another completely unknown  person would step in  to complete the Vulgate Decretum with not only many canons but also dicta which all the later jurists recognized as Gratian’s.

        The main reason that Winroth created a second “Gratian” is because of a text that is found in all the pre-Vulgate manuscripts.  At D.63 d.p.c.34 Gratian cited a papal conciliar canon.  The passage is contained in all pre-Vulgate manuscripts and also in the Vulgate Decretum:[7]

Nunc autem sicut electio summi pontificis non a cardinalibus tantum, immo eta ab aliis religiosis

clericisb auctoritate Nicolai papae est facienda, sicc episcoporum electiod non a canonicis tantum, sete ab aliis religiosis clericis, sicut in generalif synodog  Innocentii pape Romeh habita constitutum est.i


a et] etiam PFdBcAa BiMeMlMzPd     b uiris uel clericis BiPd  c sic] ita et PFdBcAa BiMeMzPd, ita Ml     d lectio Biac    e set] set etiam PBcAa BiMeMlMzPd   set etiamac, immo etiampc  Fd    f gnālaac,  gnālaspc  Fd      g studio add. ante synodo Biac    g Roma Me     hconstitutum est] add. ait enim: Obeuntibus sane episcopis .  .  . add. Aa in textu, add. Bc in marg.


In translation:


Now, however, just as the election of the supreme pontiff is not made only by the cardinals but  by other religious clerics, as was established by Pope Nicholas II’s authority, so too not only canons of the cathedral chapter but also other religious clergy participate in the election of bishops as was established in the general synod of Pope Innocent held in Rome.


Gratian’s comment is the last datable text in the pre-Vulgate manuscripts.  Pope Innocent II was the bishop of Rome from 1130 to 1143.    If one is convinced, as Winroth and others are, that this text can refer only to c.28 of the Second Lateran Council then one is faced with an almost intractable problem.[8]  In the pre-Vulgate manuscripts this text is the only one that  can be dated after ca. 1125.  That fact, if true, would raise the question what was Gratian doing between ca. 1125 and 1139; or to put the question differently, why would Gratian have compiled a collection of canon law in the late 1130s that ignored all the conciliar legislation and papal decretals after ca. 1125; or to add further complexity, why would Gratian add this reference in 1139 to a recent council and not add the text of the canon; or even more puzzling, why did he not refer to other canons of that singularly important council in his pre-Vulgate Decretum(s)?  

         In a recent article Atria Larson has attempted to provide a possible answer to some of those questions by arguing that since late eleventh- and early twelfth-century councils generally, and Innocent II’s councils in particular, repeated canons of previous councils almost word for word, one might explore the possibility that Innocent held a council in Rome before 1139 and that is the council to which Gratian referred.[9]    Larson went on to present evidence that Innocent did hold a council in Rome in 1133 and that council might be the one that Gratian cited.  Since the canons of this council are not preserved, her conjecture cannot be considered conclusive evidence.  Nonetheless, if correct, it would explain what Gratian was doing in the 1120s and early 1130s: teaching canon law in Bologna and working on  his textbook.  He did not finish the pre-Vulgate Decretum ca. 1140 but rather ca. 1133. 

        Three of the pre-Vulgate manuscripts added the text and a rubric to c.28.  The Florence and Barcelona manuscripts placed it in the margins of their main texts. Florence also had it in the supplementary appendix at the back of the manuscript.  It is striking and important that the marginal and supplemental texts of the canon in Florence are clearly from two different textual traditions and must have been added at different times.  The Admont manuscript incorporated it into the body of Gratian’s text:[10]


Sicut in generali sinodo Innocentii papae Romae  habita constitutum est.

Ait enim: Absque religiosorum uirorum consilio canonici maioris ecclesiae episcopum non eligant.a  Obeuntibusb sane episcopis quoniamc ultra tresd menses uacare ecclesiame sanctorum patrum prohibent sanctionesf sub anathemateg interdicimus,  nech canonici de sede episcopalii ab electione episcoporum excludant religiosos uiros, set eorum consilio honesta et idonea personaj in episcopum eligatur.k  Quod sil exclusism religiosis electio facta fueritn, quod absque eorum consensuo et coniuentiap factum fuerit, irritum habeatur et uacuum.


Collated: Fdin marg. Fdin suppl. AaBcin marg.BiCdMeMzPdPfSa


a Absque — non eligant Fdin suppl.CdBiMeMzPdPfSa,  om. Fd in marg. Aa, Ait enim: Absque — non eligant Bc     b Abeuntibus Fdac, in suppl.BcMzpcPf   cqūo Aa      d tres om. Aaac, add. super lin.  iii. Aapc        e ecclesias COGD2     f prohibent patrum sanctiones tr. COGD2                           g anathematis uinculo CdMzPd   h ne Aapc, ne Fdin suppl.BiCdMeMzPdPfSa  COGD2                  i episcoporum Fdin suppl.                      jhonestam et idoneam personam Fdin suppl.CdMeMlMz   k eligant Fdin suppl.BcCdMeMlMz    l si om. Aaac    m exclusis] eisdem add. COGD2           n facta fuerit] fuerit celebrata, electio facta fuerit legi non potest Fd in marg., fuerit facta tr. Pf      o consensu eorum tr. Mz     p coniuentia Aa : continentia Fd in marg.,  covenienti Saac, conuenientia Fdin suppl.BcCdBiMeMlMzPfSapc  COGD2, conniuentia Pd, var. in apparatu COGD2


In translation:[11]


Indeed he <Innocent> says: Without the counsel of  religious men the canons of the major church may not elect a bishop.   Since the decrees of the holy fathers prohibit a church to be left vacant for more than three months, we forbid that under anathema and also that the canons of the episcopal see may not exclude religious men from the election of bishops.  Rather with their counsel may an honest and worthy person be elected bishop.  But if an election is carried out that excludes those religious men, because it was made without their consent and agreement, the election shall be held to be invalid and vacated.


Although the manuscript tradition of the Second Lateran Council is rich,  there has not yet been a critical edition of the canons.   The text in Aa, Bc and Fd, in other words, cannot provide a proof of its origin by comparing it to any current printed edition.   Nonetheless, one significant variant in this canon gives pause.   Gratian’s text has “facta fuerit” whereas all twenty manuscripts containing this canon from Lateran II that Martin Brett has collated have the reading “fuerit celebrata.”  “Celebrare” is the verb that one would expect in a papal conciliar decree.  That is not a conclusive proof that Gratian’s source for this text was not the Lateran II decrees, but it does introduce a modicum of doubt.[12]

What one may more confidently say is that the text in the three pre-Vulgate manuscripts provides further evidence that Gratian “tweaked” his pre-Vulgate Decretum after it began to circulate.  Of the five pre-Vulgate manuscripts, Florence, Barcelona, and Admont have the text of the canon.  In Florence and Barcelona it is a marginal addition.  In Admont, however, it is inserted into the body of the Decretum.  That does not prove that the inserted text is from Lateran II or from an earlier council, but it does lead one to the conclusion that the canons added later to the Vulgate Decretum circulated in stages and were not received at other centers for the study of law at one time.  The evidence for that last statement is contained in the texts, margins and appendices of pre-Vulgate manuscripts.  They provide textual evidence that the Vulgate canons were not copied into pre-Vulgate manuscripts from complete Vulgate texts.[13] 

There is further evidence in the pre-Vulgate manuscripts that Gratian probably never conceived of his work as a definitively finished product.  In the Paris (P), Florence (Fd) and the Barcelona (Bc) manuscripts Distinctions 100 and 101 are missing.[14]  In Fd the missing texts are inserted by a later hand.   However, the scribe of Fd’s main text may have known more Distinctions were coming because he ended D.99 c.1 with the notation “§ d.c. (Distinction 100).”  The scribe of Admont (Aa) included pre-Vulgate Distinctions 100-101 in the main text.  Barcelona added them on an inserted folia.  The only conclusion that can be drawn from this textual evidence is that these manuscripts reflect slightly different stages of a pre-Vulgate text that circulated over a wide geographical area.  There was a pre-Vulgate Decretum circulating with 99 Distinctions and 36 Causae.  This version reached Northern France (P) and the Iberian peninsula (Bc).   Scribes in Italy learned of two new Distinctions (Fd), left space for them with a notation and added them later.  In Bc the revisions of the text were handled differently.  Originally, the text omitted D.100-101 completely.  A folio was inserted into the manuscript at a later time, and D.100-101 of the Vulgate text were included in their entirety.[15]  The Admont scribe had an expanded pre-Vulgate Decretum at hand and  incorporated parts of D.100-101 into the text. (Aa fol. 92v-93r).  The scribe, however, excluded most of the Vulgate text.[16]

How much time would have elapsed for these different stages of the text to have circulated to Northern and Western Europe?  Again, the evidence does not provide us with any clues beyond the text itself.  One may say, however, that the geographical spread of the manuscripts alone would dictate that the time for these texts to circulate could not have been less than a few years before they reached the Northern France and the Iberian peninsula.  What was Gratian doing during those years?  I would say: teaching and expanding his text in Bologna.

        More can be said about the stages evident in pre-Vulgate texts.  Melodie Harris Eichbauer has done a careful study of the canons that were added to the margins and to appendices in the Florence and Admont manuscripts and to the margins of Barcelona.[17]  Winroth had concluded that these canons must have been taken from Vulgate exemplars of Gratian’s text.[18]  I was puzzled from the beginning why a jurist, institution, or scribe would go to the trouble of creating an updated text that would have been so difficult to use.   Eichbauer’s study revealed that the appendices could not have been drawn from a Vulgate text.  The proof is in the numbers and in the fact that they were added by different scribes at different times.  As it is, neither Admont nor Florence have all the canons that Gratian added when he compiled his Vulgate text.[19]   The numbers are not small: Admont omits 87 canons and Florence 62 from the Vulgate.[20]  Significantly, the omitted canons are different in each manuscript.  If one puts the numbers a little differently, between the two manuscripts ca. 117 canons are missing from the Vulgate text.  In percentage, ca. 8% of the Vulgate’s canons are not included in the margins or the appendices of these two manuscripts.  These numerous omissions could not be attributed to sloppy, careless scribes.  There are just too many missing canons.  These numbers are the evidence for Eichbauer’s conclusion that the canons added to the pre-Vulgate texts in Paris, Florence, Barcelona and Admont must have been done in stages and over a period of time.  Her evidence also points to Gratian’s having circulated a x-large bulk of the additions in one fell swoop but then having updated these additions afterwards.

There is one last powerful piece of evidence that militates against pushing the date of the Vulgate Decretum too far in the 1140’s: the Second Lateran canons.  Eichbauer’s research has convinced me that Gratian did not add the canons of the Second Lateran Council in a flurry of last minute additions as scholars have previously believed. Gérard Fransen more than fifty years ago had argued that the Second Lateran’s canons were hasty and last minute additions to the Decretum.  At first glance some of them, but not all, seem as if they were added without carefully integrating them into the flow of Gratian’s arguments.   In his study of the rubrics or summaries of the canons, Titus Lenherr found textual evidence that supported Fransen’s conjecture.[21]  He charted the textual variants in the summaries and saw that they varied more frequently than was usual in Decretum manuscripts.  The pre-Vulgate manuscripts have confirmed that the canons were only added to the later stages of Gratian’s text.  However, they were not added at the last minute. Almost, but not all of the canons attributed to Lateran II are in the margins or the appendices of the Florence and Admont manuscripts.  The Florence manuscript, which is the earliest of the four pre-Vulgate manuscripts discovered by Winroth, omitted two canons attributed to Lateran II completely.[22]  One of those canons is also not to be found in Admont.  The remaining canons were added to the appendices or to the margins of the pre-Vulgate manuscripts.  One canon that was added to the appendix and the margin of Florence came from two different textual traditions, i.e. the text in the margin is different from the text in the supplement.[23]  This is good evidence that the Lateran canons were not added to the pre-Vulgate manuscripts at one time.  Consequently, they cannot be texts that Gratian added in a final, rushed effort to complete the Vulgate as Lenherr has argued.  

An evenx-large r question looms over the Lateran II canons.  Are they all, in fact, canons from Lateran II?  In the Vulgate Decretum modern scholars, but not Gratian, have attributed 15 canons (out of 30 promulgated by Lateran II).  Their attributions are problematic for several  reasons.   Canon 28 (D.63 c.35) was from the beginning identified as a canon promulgated by Innocent II in Rome but not as having been promulgated in the Lateran.  Without an explicit attribution, as Atria Larson has argued, one cannot be absolutely sure it belonged to the council of 1139.  I have already demonstrated above that the text of Gratian’s Canon 28 has a significant variant not in any manuscript of the Lateran II’s canon 28.

Another canon in the Vulgate Decretum combined canons 18, 19,  and 20 of the Second Lateran Council (C.23 q.8 c.32)  and is identified only as having been taken from “a universal council under Innocent II,” which cannot be attributed to Lateran II with certainty.[24]  As Larson has demonstrated in detail the adjective “universalis” when attached to synod or council did not mean automatically what we mean today by an ecumenical council.  A “concilium” called by the pope and having participants of different nationalities could be termed “universale.”[25]   All the other canons that scholars have attributed to the Second Lateran Council have the inscription of “Innocentius II” and nothing more.  Their inscriptions bear no indication that they are conciliar canons promulgated at the Lateran II or at any other council.     To be sure, their texts are very close to the canons that we have accepted as products of the Second Lateran.  But many of them differ significantly from the texts of Lateran II.  The common repetition of wording that is characteristic of conciliar canons in this era and the lack of an explicit inscription to Lateran II in all the canons makes an attribution to the council of 1139 problematic.  As Martin Brett has explained to me “there can be no argument about the extremely close resemblance between most of the canons attributed to Innocent's councils at Clermont, Reims, Pisa and the Lateran,” which can make attributions to a particular council difficult.[26]  At the very least we should be cautious, therefore, about attributing some or all of these canons to the Second Lateran Council.  If they are not Lateran II canons but drawn from other councils over which Innocent II presided during his pontificate, it would resolve a number of dating issues that have plagued the study of Gratian’s teaching career and his life.  However,  much more work has to be done on this problem before we could come to a more firm conclusion — if a firm conclusion would ever be possible..  A preliminary edition of the canons attributed to Innocent II in the early Gratian manuscripts must be constructed from the best Vulgate manuscripts and then the results compared to Martin Brett’s edition.  A task that is already well underway.

        I have postponed a discussion of the St. Gall Stiftsbibliothek 673 until now.  I wanted to present the evidence for Gratian’s long teaching career in Bologna from the pre-Vulgate manuscripts of which Gratian’s authorship is not questioned.    Scholarly opinion is unanimous that Gratian compiled the collections preserved in the pre-Vulgate manuscripts that we have discussed to this point.[27]

If the St. Gall text could be proven to be a version of a stage that preceded the text of the Admont, Barcelona, Florence, and Paris manuscripts, there could be little question that Gratian taught in Bologna for a long time.  No scholar questions the fact that if St. Gall were an abbreviation, it is an abbreviation of pre-Vulgate Decretum, not the Vulgate text.  I have written previously that if an abbreviator shortened Gratian’s text from those manuscripts he was almost impossibly clever.  He left no undisputable fingerprints.  The very few places where one may argue about whether he nodded off while doing his cutting are debatable. 

        John Noonan and many other scholars have recognized for a very long time that Gratian’s causae (cases) are wonderful teaching tools and were Gratian’s stroke of genius.[28]   If it were a version of an UrGratian, the St. Gall manuscript would be proof that Gratian began to teach using cases and developed a Socratic case law teaching methodology.  He was the Christopher Columbus Langdell of the twelfth century.  There is no question that his Decretum became a very popular text because of the causae.  Its immediate acceptance as a “liber legalis” (textbook) that took its place alongside Justinian’s Roman law codification in the schools all over Europe was not because the first part of the Decretum, the distinctions, offered exciting and compellingly teachable material.  It was his causae that won Gratian his unique place in the history of canon law.  Before the discovery of the St. Gall manuscript one could have conjectured that he had begun teaching with the causae.  In this context one cannot be too surprised that St. Gall exists.

        The St. Gall manuscript is not, however, a pristine UrGratian.  From Causa 27 to 36, the text of the manuscript received significant interpolations and editing by unknown hands, probably not by Gratian’s.  Nonetheless, Causa prima to Causa 23 (causae 24-26 are missing) must have corresponded fairly closely to an UrGratian (remembering, however, that there is some evidence that stages preceded the St. Gall text as well).[29]   The additions of Roman law authenticae in the margins and glosses indicate that the manuscript was used in the classroom at a significant law school (Bologna?) and not one on the periphery.[30]   The authenticae would not have been known to teachers of canon law outside Italy in the 1130’s.   Just as Rolandus, a commentator on the Decretum in the 1150’s, had, it seems, only used the causae to teach his students, so too did the early Gratian.[31]

        Where was the St. Gall manuscript produced and used?  Scholars who have examined the illuminated initials have concluded that they were done in Central or Northeastern Italy in the second half of the twelfth century.  The script is certainly older than that.  I would date it to the middle of the twelfth century at the latest.  Its provenance is Italian.  The combination of its carefully prepared script and its elaborate — and quite beautiful — illuminations is proof that it was the product of a sophisticated scriptorium in Northern Italy.[32]

        Only one piece of evidence seriously calls into doubt St. Gall’s being derived from an UrGratian.[33]  Causa 2 in St. Gall and Causa 1 in all the other recensions of Gratian’s text dealt with the issue of simony.  The case he presented was complicated to say the least.  I will give it in each of the versions beginning with St. Gall:[34]

A certain man gave his son to a monastery and, as demanded by the abbot, rendered a payment of ten pounds.  The son was ignorant of this because of his age.  The boy matured.  He quickly became a priest.  The  suffragan bishops selected him to become a fellow bishop on his merits.  Finally, his father interceded with his consent and prayers to his election and also money gave to a member of the archbishop's household;  he was consecrated bishop without knowing of his father's consent and of his gifts of money.  As time passed he ordained some clerics for free and others for money.  Consequently, he was accused and convicted <of simony>.  He suffered the judgment that condemned him.



In the other pre-Vulgate and Vulgate versions presented a more nuanced and detailed story: [35]


A certain man had a son whom he gave to a very wealthy monastery.  The abbot and the brothers demanded ten pounds to take his son.  His son, because of his age, did not know about the money.  The boy grew and with the passing of time and with a succession of offices, he came of age and was ordained a priest.  Finally, he was elected bishop by the suffragan bishops because of his talents.  His father gave his consent and prayers to his election and also money to a member of the archbishop's household;  he was consecrated bishop without knowing of his father's consent and of his gifts of money.  In the passing of time, he ordained several priests for money and to others he gave the sacerdotal benediction for free.  Finally, he was accused and convicted <of simony> at the archiepiscopal court.  He accepted his judgment of damnation.


A comparison of the two texts makes it difficult to imagine that the pre-Vulgate text in St. Gall is an abbreviation of the pre-Vulgate text in the other manuscripts.  The pre-Vulgate hypothetical incorporated specific facts into the case that are left out or remain ambiguous in St. Gall. The pre-Vulgate’s monastery was wealthy.  It practiced simony in spite of its wealth.  After his ordination, the boy received other clerical offices on his merits, one presumes,  and not simoniacally. In contrast, the St. Gall case suggests that the boy became a priest inappropriately quickly (convolare = to fly).  The description of the court’s decision in St. Gall (contraria sententia) could be interpreted to imply that the bishop lived with a decision that was not in accord with his own views of his actions.  In the other pre-Vulgate hypothetical the bishop accepts his fate.  These differences do not suggest an abbreviator to me.  They suggest a reworking by Gratian.

Gratian then listed seven questions that he wished to consider which are almost the same in all the versions of the text.   Number six was the question whose text created a problem of interpretation:  “Sixth <question> Whether those who were ordained by him in the past without knowledge of his simony must be deposed?”[36]  There was only one text in the entire corpus of canon law that could answer that question: two canons that Pope Urban II had promulgated at the Council of Piacenza in 1095.   To answer Question six, Gratian presented the two Piacenza canons as one canon in the St. Gall manuscript.[37]   The logical place for the canon was in question six.  That is exactly where it is in the St. Gall manuscript:[38]

If those , he said, who were ordained by simoniacs but not simoniacally can be proven that when they were ordained to have not known the <bishops> were simoniacs, then they will be considered as Catholics in the Church, and we will sustain those ordinations mercifully, if their laudable lives endorse them.  Who, however, knowingly is consecrated by simoniacs, rather one would say execrated, we declare that their consecration is completely invalid.


In the transition from the St. Gall Decretum to the manuscripts in Florence, Paris, Barcelona, and Admont, Gratian added 15 canons to Question one between c.90 and c.113.  One of those canons was  decretal of Pope Nicholas II in which the pope distinguished between several types of simoniacal ordinations: simoniacs ordained simoniacally by simoniacs, simoniacs ordained by non-simoniacs, and simoniacs ordained by simoniacs but not simoniacally.   Nicholas  did not, however, cover all the possible permutations, the most important being the legal issue of ignorance.  Gratian had already applied the principle of ignorance to marriage law in St. Gall Causa 26 (=29).

As he considered Nicholas’ decretal Gratian must have thought, “what about the cleric, as in my hypothetical, who was ignorant that the prelate was simoniacal?  Or a cleric as in my hypothetical who did not know that someone was paying for his ordination?”  He must have also considered the issue that his raising the question of ignorance in Question one and not leaving it for Question six disturbed the organization that he had created for Causa one.  In Question one his question had been:  “Is it a sin to buy spiritual things?”[39]  In spite of whatever reservations he may have had, Gratian moved Urban’s conciliar canon from Question six to Question one and placed it after Nicholas’ decretal.  As Gratian remarked in the dictum he wrote before the canon:[40]

But these clerics <i.e. Nicholas’ last category> must be understood as being those who are ordained by simoniacal prelates, whom they did not know were simoniacal.  The decretal makes these simoniacs, but not guilty of a crime, yet < having> an ordination of a simoniac.  Concerning these clerics Pope Urban stated <in his canon>.


Moving a canon is unique in the textual tradition of the Decretum.  Causa one Question one is the only place in the Decretum in any of its versions where Gratian moved a text significantly.  We may think with some justification that he could have placed Nicholas’ decretal in question six.  Question one was already ungainly long.  His moving Urban’s canons did not improve his argument or the organization of Causa one.  Nevertheless, he moved Urban’s text.  Gratian then reworked his introductory dictum to Question six in his later versions of the Decretum  to read: [41]

What indeed ought to be done concerning those who unknowing are ordained by simoniacs, which is asked in the sixth question, is  found  above  in the chapter of Urban that begins: “Si qui a simoniacis non simoniace ordinati sunt .”


Previously in the St. Gall manuscript Gratian had introduced the Piacenza canons with a dictum, and it is this dictum that has created problems of interpretation and the conviction of some that St. Gall is an abbreviation:[42]

Quid autem de his fieri debeat qui ignoranter a symoniacis ordinati sunt, quod quidem sexto loco quesitum est supra in capitulo Urbani dictum est quod, quia forte ibi quantum ad negotium pertinebat integre poni non fuit necessarium, in presenti ad evidentiam in medium adducamus.


In translation:


What moreover ought to be done with those clerics who unknowingly are ordained by simoniacs, which is asked in the sixth question,  <can be found> in the chapter of Urban that has been cited above, but indeed, because it was not necessary to place the entire text there as far as it pertained to the issue, I bring it forward here.


Winroth and others have interpreted Gratian’s dictum at the beginning of Question six as being proof of St. Gall’s being an abbreviation.[43]  They assume that the abbreviator fell asleep and forgot that he had omitted Pope Nicholas’ canon and also that he had eliminated Urban’s canons immediately after Nicholas’.  With that assumption, Winroth is quite right that the reference is puzzling and, if he had interpreted the passage correctly, could be a solid proof that St. Gall is an abbreviation.  However, the compiler of the St. Gall text was quite wide awake.  What Winroth overlooked was that Gratian had, in fact, cited Urban’s canon “supra” in Question four of St. Gall and in all the subsequent versions of the Decretum.  That is the place Gratian referred to in his dictum before Question six in St. Gall.  He was not citing a now non-existent text in the first question.  He alerted his readers that he could have put the Urban’s canon in Question four but did not.  In his dictum in question four he had written: [44]

Again, if someone is excused from having been ordained unknowingly by a simoniac, just as he can be excused who is ordained simoniacally but  unknowingly.


In the later versions of the Decretum Gratian clarified that the dictum referred to Urban’s canon that was now placed in Question one with an inserted added phrase :[45]

Again, if someone is excused from having been ordained unknowingly by a simoniac, as seen above in Urban’s canon <in q.1 c.108>, he can also be excused who is ordained simoniacally but  unknowingly.


Once Gratian’s dictum before Question six in the St. Gall manuscript is understood to refer to his dictum in Question four, the use of this passage as being a proof that St. Gall is an abbreviation cannot be sustained.  An abbreviator did not nod;  Gratian was practicing a methodology he used in all the versions of his Decretum: referring to canons in other parts of his work with their first few words or as here with a short reference to a canon’s content.

        The other arguments for and against St. Gall’s being an abbreviation rest upon small textual variants that cannot come close to being a full proof.  A number of scholars, including me, have made textual arguments taken from Gratian’s dicta in St. Gall.  Some are more persuasive than others.   None of them  makes a full proof for either opinion.[46]   As I have stated above, I believe that the textual anomalies in St. Gall in Causae 27-36 of Gratian’s text cannot be used as evidence of an abbreviation because I believe the text is a redaction with interpolations.[47]  A significant piece of evidence for my conviction about St. Gall’s being an early pre-Vulgate version of Gratian’s Decretum  and not an abbreviation are the four authenticae that are added to the margins of the manuscript.  Two of them Gratian included into the text of the Decretum in later recensions.  Two of them he did not.  Gratian did not add them; someone else did.  Whoever added these authenticae to the margins of St. Gall knew Roman law very well and was using the manuscript to teach canon law in a center where others were teaching Roman law.  Such a person, I have argued, would not have been teaching with an abbreviation.[48]

        Anders Winroth noticed, as many other scholars have, that Gratian cited the Bible frequently in his dicta.  He chose canons with many biblical citations as well.  Winroth drew attention to the fact that Gratian cited the Pseudo-Paul Pastoral Epistles to Timothy and Titus when he analyzed clerical discipline in Distinctions 25-49.  That Gratian would have turned to these epistles was inevitable.  Any medieval author who discussed clerical behavior and norms of rectitude would have thought immediately of the Pastoral Epistles.  The canons Gratian compiled for those distinctions cited them many times more than Gratian did.  Winroth concludes his discussion about Gratian’s use of the Pastoral Epistles with the statement:[49]

Gratian’s use of St. Paul for his organization is, incidentally, a well-nigh irrefutable argument against the idea that the text of the Decretum known from the infamous manuscript St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek 673 would be the earliest version of Gratian’s work .  .  . This manuscript makes a hash of that organization, cutting most references to the Epistle to Timothy, while allowing a few to stand, orphaned and barely intelligible.


Like black truffles, rrefutable arguments are hard to find in scholarly debates.  There are two very good reasons for thinking that Winroth’s conclusions can be questioned.  The first objection is that the Pseudo-Pauline epistles do not provide an “organization” or an “organizing principle” for Gratian’s distinctions in the ordinary sense of those terms.  He does not follow the epistles exactly as they discussed clerical discipline line by line or chapter by chapter.  He skips around in the epistles, quoting them and taking whichever ideas he found useful for the issues he was discussing.  He also cited other texts in the Pauline epistles in his analysis of clerical rectitude. If there is no organization or organizing principle in his use of the Pastoral Epistles, it cannot be violated.

        The second objection, and much more weighty, is that comparing the Distinctions to Causa prima in St. Gall is to compare two different literary genres.  In Causa prima Gratian created a hypothetical, asked a series of questions, and presented texts that pertained to his case.   He presented an hypothetical in which a student had a concubine, a subdeacon had a wife,  and after this sorry history became a priest and then a bishop.  In St. Gall Gratian did not focus on “what are the virtues a cleric should have?”  In the Distinctions, he did.  When he refashioned that material, the wingspan of his subject matter was much wider.   In Causa prima of St. Gall Gratian explored clerical sexual norms, and how they might affect a prelate’s status; in the later distinctions that grew out of Causa prima he dealt with a much broader set of issues touching on clerical discipline and what characteristics a good cleric should possess.  The difference is not trivial.  It is an entirely different project.  To compare the two is to compare tuber melanosporum (black truffles) to agaricus bisporus (button mushrooms).  To combine the two is not good gastronomy or scholarly methodology.  Timothy and Titus have not much to say about clerical sexual behavior covered in Causa prima of St. Gall; they have a lot to say about the topics covered in the Distinctions.

Finally, Winroth’s conclusion sidesteps another question about St. Gall that I raised ten years ago; if St. Gall is an abbreviation, why did the abbreviator ignore the Tractatus de legibus D. 1-20 and Distinctions 80-101?  Or why did the abbreviator cut out Causae 24-26 and 28?  If the abbreviator went to the trouble of transforming the Distinctions 27-79 into Causa prima, and if he was using the text to teach, chopping out the Tractatus de legibus is strange. A good reason for deleting the causae is also difficult to find.  It is an old principle of humanistic scholarship that the easiest and simplest explanation for textual changes is usually the most compelling.  To my mind, when Gratian decided that the issue of clerical marriage and sexual behavior had been resolved by conciliar legislation of Lateran I, and and Innocent II’s councils, especially Pisa in 1135, he set to work dismantling Causa prima.[50]  He quite logically put together his distinctions on clerical discipline before his first Causa.[51]  To imagine an abbreviator taking the Distinctions between 27 and 79, omitting half the canons, and creating a coherent causa is to my mind not only a much difficilior task, but also raises the question why did he do it?  If one argues that the abbreviator created Causa prima, one ought to give reasons why he thought there was a need for that Causa.    Was there any longer a need for a causa with the issues of Causa prima?  Gratian certainly did not think so when he finished the Vulgate Decretum.  No causa of the Vulgate focuses on the problems Gratian broached in Causa prima.

In the end, what can we conclude from the manuscript evidence that remains from the early versions of Gratian’s Decretum?   He taught many years in Bologna and had many students.  Some of them began to gloss and comment on his magnum opus.[52]    The glossators began their work very early.  The primitive set of glosses contained in all the early manuscripts of the Decretum, pre-Vulgate and Vulgate, with its citations to Burchard of Worms’ Decretum and the Lombarda are undoubtedly of Italian origin.[53]  Nonetheless, they circulated in the margins of Gratian’s text following it wherever it went. 

John T. Noonan wrote his conclusion without the benefit of what we know today about Master Gratian.  It is still a pretty good biographical summary: Gratian “revealed himself to be a teacher with theological knowledge and interests and a lawyer's point of view. He worked in Bologna in the 1130s and 1140s.”[54]  I would tweak  his conclusion only with “also the 1120s.”  In my reading of the causae and thinking about the changes he made in the different versions of his book, I have been impressed by how Gratian developed and expanded his analysis of the problems posed by the hypotheticals he created.  One could conclude, as I have, that he could not have done that work and thought through so many different legal issues in a few years of teaching. 

        “Horror vacui” is a metaphor that that applies to almost any field of study.  If we do not know what we wish we could know, we search for evidence to fill in the void of our ignorance.  Noonan proved quite persuasively that the “horror vacui” created a rich tapestry of illusory knowledge about Gratian during the twelfth and thirteen centuries.  Twenty-first-century scholars have taken up the search to know more about Gratian.  It is a worthy quest.  Anders Winroth has endorsed two medieval conjectures that have been recently put forward by other scholars: that Gratian was a bishop of Chiusi and that he participated in a Venetian court case in 1143.  Both of these conjectures would mean that Gratian lived until ca. 1145.  Winroth has done more to revive and invigorate the study of Gratian’s Decretum than anyone else in the last 200 years.  Not surprisingly he cares about Gratian and thinks often about this man who did so much to launch European jurisprudence.  Although I may not agree with all of his conclusions or conjectures about Gratian, I must emphasize that Winroth’s work has opened new vistas and perspectives for thinking about Gratian the teacher, the jurist, and the man.  A few disagreements do not undermine or diminish his achievement.

        Winroth has been convinced by an argument first advanced by Francesco Reali that Gratian became the bishop of Chiusi at the end of his life.  Medieval authors also thought Gratian had been the bishop of Chiusi.[55]  Reali noticed that a necrology of the Cathedral Chapter of Siena contained a notice that a Gratian from Chiusi who was also a bishop had died sometime in the middle of the twelfth century.[56]  Reali made the assumption that this Gratian was not only from Chiusi but had been bishop of Chiusi.   Winroth has embraced Reali’s discovery and used it as evidence of Gratian’s fate in the 1140s.  There is, in fact, as Noonan had already conceded, very early evidence for Gratian’s having been a bishop.  Rudolf Weigand printed an introductory gloss or prologue that precedes eight Decretum manuscripts.[57]  In three of them, the text states that Gratian divided the Decretum into two parts, i.e. that the last part on sacraments, De consecratione, was not yet part of the Decretum; the other five manuscripts change the two parts to three.[58]  All five manuscripts that contain “three parts” are later copies of the Decretum.    The reading of the three manuscript witnesses for this passage is a certain evidence that the gloss was written very shortly after the Vulgate version of the Decretum left Gratian’s desk in Bologna without the third part, De consecratione.[59]

        The scribe of possibly the oldest of these three manuscripts, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France lat. 3884-I, entered the text on the folio preceding the beginning of the Decretum.[60]  We cannot know with certainty whether this short prologue was an attempt to introduce the Decretum to readers or an introduction to the primitive set of glosses in the margins of the manuscript or both:[61]

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The first part of the Decretum begins with a discussion of written and non-written law.  It treats the authority of law, the election of clerics and their dispensation.

The Concord of discordant canons.  In the beginning a treatment of the ius of constitutions and of nature.[62]

The Concord of Discordant Canons which Bishop Gratian organized into two parts.  The first part contains 101 Distinctions, although Distinction 49 (48) seems incomplete.

The second part contains 36 causae  and you must note that several canons are edited[63] and are arranged in various causae so that if indeed you wish to see the entire canon, <you can find it> in another place; you may not presume to fill them in or to continue as if this was the the result of scribal error.  Similarly even when you find other translations  of Greek councils, you should consider  those reliable which are inserted into this work.  You should not presume to mix similar chapters or change a row of translations.


The text is not without its intriguing ambiguities.  The first line is a standard introduction to a medieval works, but not, as far as I know, to Gratian.  Weigand did not include this line of text in his edition.  If it does occur in the other manuscripts, that would be a stronger piece of evidence that it is part of a prologue introducing the glosses, not to Gratian’s text.  The second sentence is a summary of the subject matter of distinctions 1-101.  That too might be part of the prologue to the  glosses.  The Italicized text is taken from a different tradition that one finds at the beginning of quite a few twelfth-century Gratian manuscripts.  The scribe must have had two different texts in front of him and combined them.  The remainder, that I have taken from the Paris manuscript and which Weigand calls the early version, called the readers’ attention to three textual matters.  The first is that Distinction 49 (or 48) is not complete.  The second is a warning that the reader should not be concerned if other texts, presumably in other collections, were different.  Gratian had edited them to suit his purpose.  Finally, the Greek councils that Gratian inserted into the Decretum should be respected.  Gratian, he implied, made good choices.

        I lean towards thinking the text is a prologue to the primitive and sparse but significant glosses in Paris, BNF 3884-I and II.  Weigand had studied manuscripts with these glosses for years and called them part of the “First Composition” of glosses when he worked out his categorization of early glosses to Gratian.[64]   He did not mention in his work that this layer of glosses, which is found in almost all the early glossed Gratian manuscripts, including the pre-Vulgate Barcelona and Admont manuscripts, included many references to canons in Burchard of Worms’ Decretum and in the Lombarda.[65]  No other pre-Gratian canonical collection received as much attention from the early canonists in the margins of Decretum manuscripts as Burchard of Worms’ Decretum.  Their function has not yet been studied.  Were they to supplement, support, or contradict Gratian’s choices of sources?  Some were later incorporated into the Vulgate Decretum as “paleae.”  The citations to Burchard disappear from the margins after ca. 1200.  The citations to Lombard law are not as frequent.[66]   Citations of the Lombarda are not common in Italian Roman law manuscripts and have not been noticed before in canonistic texts.[67]  Weigand had already concluded that the “First Composition” was very early, not later than 1150, perhaps earlier.  Its presence is a good test for the date of a manuscript.  No canonist would have needed or wanted these glosses after ca.1150.  This layer of glosses also can provide evidence of its origins: Italy.  Although Paris, BNF 3884-I and II are written and illuminated in Northern France, it is difficult to think of many reasons why a Northern French jurist would be interested in Lombard law.  These allegations to the Lombarda would have been of interest and use to canonists in Northern and Southern Italy and make it likely that the First Composition had its origins in the Italian schools.[68]  The presence of a version of this gloss that graces the margins of the Barcelona and Admont manuscripts is good evidence that the pre-Vulgate Decretum circulated long enough for someone to have composed a gloss for it.  If the pre-Vulgate manuscripts had a very short shelf life, no one would have bothered.

        There is one more puzzle in Paris, BNF lat. 3884-I.  Carlos Larrainzar discovered that the front flyleaf was a folio from a pre-Vulgate version of Gratian’s Decretum.[69] Jacqueline Rambaud had long been convinced of the manuscript’s significance, and Larrainzar’s discovery raises intriguing if unanswerable questions.  The manuscript was produced in an important center.  No expense was spared on its production.  The text was divided into two volumes and provided with magnificent illuminations.  One might presume that when the Vulgate text arrived, the owners of the pre-Vulgate text decided to trash their old text and use the manuscript(s) for more mundane purposes, like flyleaves.  If one could localize this manuscript and trace other manuscripts produced at the center, one might find more flyleaves of pre-Vulgate Gratians.  One might guess that Paris, BNF 3884-I was produced in a major center in Northern Europe for the study of canon law and that the center had close ties to Bologna.  Art historians have connected its illuminations to Paris or perhaps Sens.  An important center in Paris would make sense.

        What does this information mean for Gratian’s biography?  First, the glosses in Barcelona, Admont, Paris, BNF 3884 I and II and other manuscripts were not written in Northern Europe but in Italy.  This very early Italian glossator(s) of Gratian’s text who was writing close to 1140 thought that Gratian was a bishop.  For obvious reasons he would have been in a position to know.  The Decretum in its earlier forms was an immediate success all over Christian Europe.   The oldest three manuscripts of the eight that contained the “prologue” discussed above identify Gratian as the compiler.  Other manuscripts do as well.[70]  It is not accurate to say that Gratian was unknown or that the glossators did not mention his name.  As Noonan illustrated in great detail, twelfth-century authors thought they knew many details about him.[71]  But was he bishop of Chiusi as Reali and now Winroth would like to believe?[72] 

        The passage about Gratian in the Siena necrology was written after an entry but on the same line as a notice of a certain Anslem.  Anselm’s death is not dated.  It reads: “Obit Anselmus subdiaconus et canonicus Sancti Martini Lucensis.”  At the end of Anselm’s entry a later scribe added in an inelegant and barely legible script: “et Gratianus Clusinus episcopus.”    Reali and Winroth date both hands to the twelfth-century, and I think they are right.[73]  Nonetheless, there are problems with their attribution.  If one adheres to the rules of Latin syntax, the text reads: “Gratian of Chiusi, bishop.”  “Clusinus” cannot normally be applied to “Gratianus” and “episcopus” at the same time.  If one can assume the scribe knew his Latin well, one can interpret the text as stating that Gratian from Chiusi was a bishop.  Winroth asserts that it is Magister Gratian because the name is not common.[74]  That is not the case.  He overlooked the fact that in the same necrology that has a modest number of names, there is another Gratian who is memorialized.[75]

The final problem with this entry in the Sienese necrology is that if this is the Gratian who compiled one of the most famous textbooks of the twelfth century and who taught canon law at Bologna for a long time, can we believe that he would have been given such a modest entry?  It is much more modest than Anselm’s and many others in the necrology.  Would the Sienese scribe have given him no title, no descriptive adjectives, and no clues that he was a person of European wide fame?  In the end, after reviewing the evidence, I think John T. Noonan would have concluded that yes, Gratian was probably a bishop.  When was he bishop?  Difficult to say.  Was he the bishop of Chiusi?  The evidence, I think he would say, is inconclusive.

        Another Gratian appears in a Venetian court case that was held in 1143.  The case concerned tithes, a subject on which Master Gratian had more than a little expertise.  The case has been in print for several centuries.  Noonan thought it possible that this Gratian could be Master Gratian, but he thought it was only possible, “even plausible,” but not certain.  Recently, Gundula Grebner uncovered more evidence that would confirm Gratian’s presence in a Venetian courtroom and change Noonan’ plausible to certain.[76]  Winroth accepts Grebner’s argument.  The issues of the case are only sparsely given, except that it concerned monks holding the rights to tithes.  Grebner points out that Gratian dealt with that issue in his Decretum at C.16 q.7.   The judicial sentence was rendered with the concurrence of “consilio Patriarce Aquilejensis et episcopi Ferrariensis et magistri Walfredi et Graciani et Moysis et aliorum prudentum” (with the counsel of the Patriarch of Aquilea, the bishop of Ferrara, Master Walfredus, Gratian, Moses, and other prudent men).[77]  Again, the question:  can this be Master Gratian, the Father of Canon Law, the compiler, by this time, of a famous book?  The hesitations are some of the same as they were for the necrology in Siena.  Walfredus, the Roman lawyer, is given the title “magister.”  Gratian is not.  Gratian would have been in 1143 at the end of his life, having taught canon law at Bologna for almost ca. 25 years.  Would he not have received at least some recognition of his contributions to Bolognese legal culture?  I think so.   Furthermore, there is another Gratian whom Noonan, Grebner, and Winroth did not know in the Venetian court records who participated in a case in 1150.[78]  In spite of having a cognomen in 1150, he may be the same Gratian who heard the 1143 proceedings — or another Gratian.  In any case as in 1143 he heard the case with a master but is not given that title.  It is also another piece of evidence that every Gratian is not Gratian.

The man in Venice is someone who has, perhaps, training in canon law, but he is very likely not the Father of Canon Law.  Noonan is right:  after you strip away the myth and dubious evidence, Gratian is a shadowy figure.  I think that Noonan would agree that Gratian was probably a bishop — but where and more importantly when?  Was he a bishop-elect at the end of his life?  He could not have been a bishop and teaching and compiling his text book while he was in Bologna.

As we have seen speculation without any or much evidence has dominated the debate about Gratian for the past ten years.  I would like to exercise my right to speculate about Gratian too.  If all my guesses and uncertainties in this essay about Gratian’s work and life were to be confirmed as fact, this is the story we might have (remembering that I label these remarks a conjectural novella):  Gratian began teaching ca. 1125-1130 using a text that looked something like the St. Gall manuscript.  He expanded his text ca. 1133-1135. He added ca. 1500 canons, including some canons from Innocent II's conciliar legislation prior to Lateran II. They derived from Innocent’s other councils or letters.  He became bishop of (pick a city).  Around 1135 Italian canonists (maybe even Gratian himself?) provided a primitive set of glosses to his text that circulated in the earliest manuscripts. He composed a final part of the Decretum on sacraments, De consecratione ca. 1140.  This additional text is very unsophisticated in comparison to the rest of his work and very old-fashioned:  it contains just one dictum and 405 texts.  If Gratian compiled it, he could have done it quickly and without much thought or effort.  Does this story fit the possible facts?  Yes.  Is it true? As I hope this essay suggests, some of these conjectures are more plausible than others.  Let’s wait and see whether the scholarly world of Gratian’s followers reaches a consensus.  It may take time.

Gratian would move from the shadows to the brilliant and shadowless light of day only in the fourteenth century when Dante put him in Paradiso Canto 10, 97-103:

Questi che m’è a destra più vicino, frate e maestro fummi, ed esso Alberto è di Cologna, e io Thomas d’Aquino.

Quell'altro fiammeggiare esce del riso di Grazian, che l'uno e l'altro foro aiutò sì che piace in paradiso.

Those who are to my right were my brother and master, Albert from Cologne and I Thomas Aquinas.

That other person with the light shining from his smile, is Gratian, whose contributions to the secular and the ecclesiastical courts has pleased Paradise.[79]

[1] “Gratian Slept Here:  The Changing Identity of the Father of the Study of Canon Law,”  Traditio 35 (1979) 145-172 at 145.  Noonan also wrote a very insightful essay about Causa 29 in which Gratian introduced the principle “error of person,”  a concept that is still an important norm in canonical marriage law (Codex iuris canonici c.1097 § 1), see ‘The Catholic Law School—A.D.1150’, The Catholic University Law Review, 47 (1998): 1189–1205.

[2] Ibid. 172.

[3] Anders Winroth, The Making of Gratian’s Decretum (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought, Fourth Series 49; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). See Melodie H. Eichbauer, “Gratian’s Decretum and the Changing Historiographical Landscape,”  History Compass 11/12 (2013): 1111–1125 for the most recent  discussion of the historiographic problems discussed in the recent literature with a rich bibliography..  The most recent biography of Gratian is Orazio Condorelli, “Graziano,” Dizionario dei giuristi italiani (XII-XX secolo), edd. Italo Birocchi, Ennio Cortese, Antonello Mattone, Marco Nicola Miletti  (2 vols.; Bologna: Mulino, 2013) 1.1058-1061.

[4] Peter Landau, “Gratian and the Decretum Gratiani,”  The History of Canon Law in the Classical Period, 1140‑1234, edd. Wilfried Hartmann and Ken Pennington (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University Press, 2008) 47-48.

[5] Anders Winroth, “The Teaching of Law in the Twelfth Century,”  Law and Learning in the Middle Ages: Proceedings of the Second Carlsberg Academy Conference on Medieval Legal History 2005, edd. Helle Vogt and Mia Münster-Swendsen (Copenhagen: DJØF Publishing, 2006), 41-62 has argued that the teaching of Roman and canon law did not begin until the 1130s.  I have presented evidence that Roman law cited in court cases and was taught much earlier, probably as early as the traditional dates for the beginnings of the law school in Bologna, ca. 1075-1100; see Pennington, “The ‘Big Bang’: Roman Law in the Early Twelfth-Century,” Rivista internazionale di diritto comune 18 (2007) 43-70,  my essays The Beginning of Roman Law Jurisprudence and Teaching in the Twelfth Century:  The Authenticae, “ Rivista internazionale di diritto comune 22 (2012) 35-53 and “Roman Law at the Papal Curia in the Early Twelfth Century, “ Canon Law,  Religion, and Politics: Liber Amicorum Robert Somerville, edd. Uta-Renate Blumenthal, Anders Winroth, and Peter Landau (Washington, DC: The Catholic University Press of America, 2012) 233-252.

[6] His main argument is that the Vulgate Decretum is not as well organized as the pre-Vulgate.  As I have pointed out in other examples of jurists expanding their texts, their methodology of revising texts inevitably leads to a lack of clear argumentation, see my essays “An Earlier Recension of Hostiensis's Lectura on the Decretals, “ Bulletin of Medieval Canon Law 17 (1987) 77-90, “Johannes Andreae's Additiones to the Decretals of Gregory IX, “ Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonistische Abteilung 74 (1988) 328-347, and “Panormitanus's Lectura on the Decretals of Gregory IX, “ Fälschungen im Mittelalter: Internationaler Kongreß der Monumenta Germaniae Historica München, 16.-19. September 1986: Gefälschte Rechtstexte: Der bestrafte Fälscher (Schriften der Monumenta Germaniae Historica 33.1-6; 6 vols. Hannover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 1988) 2.363-373.  He has also argued that Gratian changed his mind, see Anders Winroth, “Neither Free nor Slave: Theology and Law in Gratian’s Thoughts on the Definition of Marriage and Unfree Persons,” Medieval Foundations of the Western Legal Tradition: A Tribute to Kenneth Pennington (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2006) 97-109, in his treatment of the marriage of unfree persons.  I do not find his argument convincing.   There are many changes in emphasis and topics as the Decretum evolved.  These changes are not proof that someone else made them, e.g. Gratian’s treatment of Jews, Pennington, “The Law’s Violence against Medieval and Early Modern Jews,”  Rivista internazionale di diritto comune 23 (2013) 23-44.

[7] I base the transcription on St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek 673 (Sg), pp. 25-26, which I have collated with Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France nov. acq. lat. 1761 (P), fol. 65va,  Florence, Biblioteca nazionale centrale Conventi soppressi A.1.402 (Fd), fol. 12va., Barcelona, Arxiu de la Corona d’Aragó, Santa Maria de Ripoll 78 (Bc), fol. 76rb, and Admont, Stiftsbibliothek, fol. 72v of the pre-Vulgate manuscripts, and  with these very early Vulgate manuscripts: Biberach, Spitalarchiv B 3515 (Bi), fol. 57vb, Bremen, Universitätsbibliothek a.142 (Br), fol. sine numero, Mainz, Stadtbibliothek II.204 (Mz), fol. 44vb, Munich, Staatsbibliothek Clm 13004 (Me), fol. 78ra and Clm 28161 (Ml), fol. 53v, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France lat. 3884-1 (Pf), fol. 78ra, 14317, fol. 52va-vb (Pd). I have not recorded minor scribal errors here and in the text of Obeuntibus below.

[8] Winroth, Making of Gratian’s Decretum 137. 

[9] Atria A. Larson , “Early Stages of Gratian’s Decretum and the Second Lateran Council: A Reconsideration,”  Bulletin of Medieval Canon Law 27 (2007) 21-56 at 37-39.

[10] Fd is the base text that is collated with AaBc, the manuscripts listed in n.4, and with the text in Conciliorum oecumenicorum  generaliumque decreta, edd. Antonio García  y García et multi alii  (Vol. 2.1; Turnhout: Brepols, 2013) 113=COGD2, omits “Ait enim” of Gratian’s dictum.  The new edition of Cod3 did not introduce any changes into the text.  The COGD2’s reading of “conuenientia,” which generally means a meeting,  seems less likely than the reading in Aa, which means “consent.”  “Coniuentia” can be found in many twelfth century sources in contexts in which it means “consent.”

[11] Translation based on Norman Tanner’s in  Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, 1: Nicaea I-Lateran V, 2: Trent-Vatican II, (2 Volumes.  London-Washington, D.C.: Sheed & Ward and Georgetown University Press, 1990) *203, with minor changes.

[12] My thanks to Professor Brett for providing me with his preliminary edition of c.28.  I am currently working on an “edition” of the canons attributed to Pope Innocent II in all the early manuscripts which will be published this year.  The results to date have provided evidence that none of the canons may be attributed to Lateran II.

[13] Contrary to Winroth, Making of Gratian’s Drecretum 130-133:  “The first recension of the Decretum was not a living text.  It was a finished product which its author considered ready to be circulated .  .  . I know of no manuscript (beyond Aa) which contains a version of the Decretum that is longer than the first recension but shorter than the second and that could be an intermediate stage.”  However, as Melodie Harris Eichbauer has demonstrated if the canons added to Fd, Bc, and Aa were entered into the body of a new Decretum it would not equal a Vulgate text. 

[14] Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France nov. acq. lat. 1761 (P), fol. 83v,  Florence, Biblioteca nazionale centrale Conventi soppressi A.1.402 (Fd), fol. 18vb-19ra.  Fd added the omitted texts in a hand that is similar to the other marginalia and textual corrections in the manuscript.  The hand of the main text ended on fol. 18vb with the notation: “§ d.c.”, i.e. “distinctio centum”, which may indicate that the scribe knew that additional text would be made available.  The scribe left room for the additional text.  In P, the scribe left room after the last words of D.99 c.1. but the space would not have been sufficient for D.100 and 101.  Winroth, Making of Gratian’s Decretum 204, overlooked those omissions in his analysis.  In Bc the missing texts are added on a new folio.

[15] There was not enough room on folio 98r-98v for the entire text.  The scribe squeezed D.100 d.p.c.8 to D.101 c.1 into the left hand margin of 98v.  On the inserted leaves in Bc see Melodie H. Eichbauer, “ From the First to the Second Recension: The Progressive Evolution of the Decretum,” Bulletin of Medieval Canon Law 29 (2011-2012) 119-167 at 126-127.

[16] Admont also added D.99 c.4, 5, and  D.101 c.1 to the main text of the Decretum.

[17] Eichbauer, “ From the First to the Second Recension”  119-167 especially her conclusions 150-152.

[18] Ibid. 123 and n.12 and n. 9 above.

[19] Not taking the evidence of the Barcelona manuscript into account, which would not alter the picture substantially.

[20] Eichbauer, “ From the First to the Second Recension”  145.

[21] Gérard Fransen, “La date du Decret de Gratien,” Revue d’histoire écclésiastique 51 (1956) 521-531; Titus Lenherr, “Die Summarien zu den Texten des 2. Laterankonzils von 1139 in Gratians Dekret,” Archiv für katholisches Kirchenrecht 150 (1981) 528-551.

[22] D.90 c.11 and C.21 q.2 c.5, which is also omitted by Admont.

[23] D.63 c.35, Fd fol. 12va and fol. 113va.  I am completing an edition of the texts attributed to Lateran II in the pre-Vulgate and early Vulgate manuscripts.

[24] Canons 18, 19, 20 combined into one:  C.23 q.8 c.32: “De incendariis quoque Innocentius secundus in uniuersali concilio generaliter constituit dicens.”  Clm 13004, fol. 228rb and 28161, fol. 195ra have the same reading.  In the Biberach manuscript and Salzberg, Stiftsbibliothek a.xi.9 the canon is part of Gratian’s dictum and is not separated from it.  The edition of the canons (see note 12) has provided more evidence for evidence for the conclusion that Gratian took these canons of Pope Innocent II from non-Lateran II sources.

[25] Larson, “Early Stages of the Decretum” 27-34.

[26] In an email on January 14, 2014.

[27] Winroth, Making of Gratian’s Decretum 175-196.

[28] John T. Noonan, Jr. “Catholic Law School – A.D. 1150,”  The Catholic University Law Review 47 (1998)  1189- 1205 at 1201: <Gratian showed that> “The study of law was, at least in part, the study of hypotheticals, with the power of hypotheticals to select and isolate significant legal issues and the weakness of hypotheticals that they lack the rich concreteness, the true mind binding complexity, of real cases. The hypotheticals were the basis for questions that opened up substantial areas of law in a penetrating way. The questions also turned out to be convenient pegs on which to hang a variety of authorities.” 

[29] Melodie Harris Eicbauer’s careful study of the rubrics in the St. Gall manuscript demonstrate that they were not the work of an abbreviator and that additional causae were probably added over time to the book, see “St. Gall Stiftsbibliothek 673 and the Early Redactions of Gratian’s Decretum,” Bulletin of Medieval Canon Law, 27 (2007): 105–39.

[30] Pennington, “Big Bang” 63-66.  See also José Miguel Viejo-Ximénez, “Las Novellae de la tradición canónica occidential y del decreto de Graciano,” Novellae constitutiones: L’ultima legislazione di Giustiniano tra Oriente e Occidente, da Triboniano a Savigny: Atti del Convegno Internazionale, Teramo, 30–31 ottobre 2009, edd. Luca Loschiavo, Giovanna Mancini, Cristina Vano (Università Degli Studi Di Teramo, Collana della Facoltà di Giurisprudenza 20; Napoli: Edizioni Scientifische Italiane, 2011) 206–277.

[31] See the flawed edition, Rolandus <de Bologna> (Papst Alexander III. [Magister Rolandus, Orlando Bandinella male]),  Summa magistri Rolandi, mit Anhang incerti auctoris quaestiones, ed. Friedrich Thaner (Innsbruck: 1874, reprinted Aalen, Scientia Verlag, 1962); see Pennington, “The Decretists:  The Italian School,” The History of Canon Law in the Classical Period, 1140‑1234: From Gratian to the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX (History of Medieval Canon Law; Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2008) 131-135.

[32] Marina Bernasconi Reusser, “Considerazioni sulla datazione e attribuzione del Decretum Gratiani Cod. Sang. 673: Un manoscritto di origine italiana in terra nordalpina,” Schaukasten Stiftsbibliothek St. Galler: Abscheidsgabe für Stiftsbibliothekar Ernst Tremp, edd. Franziska Schnoor, Karl Schmuki and Silvia Frigg (St. Gallen: Verlag am Klosterhof St. Gallen, 2013) 142-147.

[33] Eichbauer, “Gratian’s Decretum” 1113-1114 summarizes the various arguments on both sides of the issue very well with detailed bibliographical references.

[34] St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek 673 p.28-29:  “Obtulit quidam filium suum cenobio qui exactione abbatis motus x. libras monasterio soluit.  Ipso tamen filio propter etatem hoc ignorante.  Creuit puer. De hinc ad sacerdotium conuolauit.  Suffragantibus meritis in ępiscopum est assumptus.  Tandem obsequio ac precibus paternis  intercedentibus pecuniam quoque  ex consiliariis archiępiscopi cuidam data consecratur electus, oblatę pecunię paterni obsequi penitus ignarus.  Ac per hoc tempore procedente quosdam gratis, non nullos etiam per pecuniam ordinauit; qui tandem accusatus et conuictus, contrariam  sibi sententiam reportauit.”

[35] Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France nov. acq. lat. 1761, fol. 83vb-84ra and Paris, Munich, Staatsbibliothek Clm 13004, fol. 97ra: “Quidam habens filium obtulit eum ditissimo cenobio exactus (ab add. Me) abbate et fratribus x. libras soluit ut filius susciperetur (reciperetur Me), ipso tamen beneficio ętatis hoc ignorante. Creuit puer et per incrementa temporum et officiorum ad virilem etatem et sacerdotii gradum peruenit.  Exinde suffragantibus meritis in episcopum eligitur,  interveniente  obsequio et paternis precibus data quoque pecunia cuidam ex consiliariis archiepiscopi consecratur iste in antistitem nescius paterni obsequii et oblate pecunie.  Procedente vero tempore nonnullos per pecuniam ordinauit, quibusdam uero gratis benedictionem sacerdotalem dedit, tandem apud metropolitanum suum accusatus et conuictus sententiam in se damnationis accepit.”  An edition of this version of Gratian’s Decretum is being prepared under the leadership of Anders Winroth.  Its progress can be followed at:

[36] St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek 673, p. 29: “Sexta: An illi qui ab eo iam symoniaco igoranter sunt ordinati abici debeant.”  The later versions add “aut non” to the end of the question.

[37] Robert Somerville, Pope Urban II’s Council of Piacenza: March 1-7, 1095 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011) prints an edition of the canons, pp. 91-92, and a discussion of the canons pp. 104-111, with information about the canonical collections that included these texts.

[38] St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek 673, p. 41b.  The text is slightly different from the pre-Vulgate and Vulgate, which are closer to the conciliar canons (C.1 q.1 c.108): Si qui, inquit, a symoniacis non symoniace ordinantur, siquidem probari potuerint se, cum ordinaretur, nescisse eos symoniacos esse, et tunc pro catholicis habebantur in ęcclesia, talium ordinationes misericorditer sustinemus, si tamen eos laudabilis uita commendat. [Qui uero scienter se a symoniacis consecrari immo execrari permiserint, eorum consecrationem omnino irritam esse decernimus.] Urban II, Council of Piacenza, c.3 and [c.4]: Collectio X partium, fol. 76r, where the chapters are separated.  Collectio 3 librorum 2.8.11 in medio.  9L 3.5.1.  The additional “inquit” is found in other Urban texts. It is one other small bit of textual evidence that Sg cannot be an abbreviation; for references to the pope in the third person, see Robert Somerville, Pope Urban II, The Collectio Britannica, and the Council of Melfi(1089)  (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996) CB 8, 11, 17, 28, 44.  Most importantly, Gratian included another canon attributed to Urban,  Duae sunt, that also uses “inquit” in its incipit, which I have discussed in  Gratian, Causa 19, and the Birth of Canonical Jurisprudence,” “Panta rei”: Studi dedicati a Manlio Bellomo, ed. Orazio Condorelli (Roma: Il Cigno, 2004) 4.339-355 at  344.

[39] C.1 d.a.c.1: “Hic primum queritur an sit peccatum emere spiritualia?”

[40] C.1 q.1 d.a.c.108: “Sed hoc intelligendum est de his qui ordinantur a simoniacis, quos ignorabant esse symoniacos.  Hos facit simoniacos non reatus criminis, sed ordinatio symoniaci. De quibus Urbanus papa ait.” 

[41]C.1 q.6 d.a.c.1,  Paris BNF nov. acq. lat. 1761, fol. 102va, Florence, B.N. Con. Sopp. A.1.402, fol. 25rb: “Quida uerob de his fieri debeat qui ignoranter a simoniacis ordinati suntc, quod sexto loco quesitum est suprad in capitulo uidelicet Vrbani quod sic incipit, Si quie a simoniacis non simoniace ordinati sunt requiratur.”

a Quodac Fd     b igiturac, autempc Fd     c nunc autem add. Fdac       d quod — supra om. Fdac       e quispc Fd

[42] St. Gall Stiftsbibliothek 673, p. 41,  C.1 q.6 d.a.c.1: “Quid autem de his fieri debeat qui ignoranter a symoniacis ordinati sunt, quod quidem sexto loco quesitum est supra  in capitulo Urbani dictum est quod, quia forte ibi quantum ad negotium pertinebat integre poni non fuit necessarium, in presenti ad evidentiam in medium adducamus.”

[43] See Anders Winroth,  “Recent Work on the Making of Gratian’s Decretum,” Bulletin of Medieval Canon Law 26 (2006): 1–29 at 20-21.

[44] Sg p.38, C.1 q.4 d.p.c.10: “Item si excusatur qui a symoniaco ordinatur ignoranter et utique iste excusari potest qui per ignorantiam symoniace ordinatur.”

[45] Gratian, C.1 q.4  d.p.c.10, P fol. 100va, Fd fol. 24v: “Item si excusatur qui ignoranter a simoniaco ordinatur, ut supra in capitulo Urbani legitur,  et iste excusandus est qui per ignorantiam symoniace ordinatur.”

[46] Causa 29 (Sg 26) has a particularly interesting set of textual variants that suggest that St. Gall is not an abbreviation; see José Miguel Viejo-Ximénez , “Non omnis error consensum euacuat: La C. 26 de los Exserpta de Sankt Gallen (Sg),”  Iustitia et iudicium: Studi di diritto matrimoniale e processuale canonico in onore di Antoni Stankiewicz, edd. Janusz Kowal and Joaquín Llobell (Città del Vaticano: Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, 2010) 617–641, especially his conclusion at 630-631.

[47] One of the texts is a canon of Pope Innocent II, commonly attributed to Lateran II.  If it is not a Lateran II canon, then it would be possible that St. Gall is Gratian’s work.

[48] See Pennington, “Big Bang” 64 and “Beginning of Roman Law Jurisprudence” 35-53.

[49] Anders Winroth, “Where Gratian Slept: The Life and Death of the Father of Canon Law,” Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonistische Abteilung  99 (2013) 105-128 at 110.


[50] Lateran II c.7 has been cited as the definitive statement on clerical marriage, but it repeats the prohibition that Innocent II promulgated at Pisa in 1135, c.4 or c.1; see Robert Somerville, “The Council of Pisa: A Re-Examination of the Evidence for the Canons,” Speculum 45 (1970) 98-114 at 103-106, the canon as it appears in different manuscripts.

[51] Pennington,  “Gratian, Causa 19” 351-353.

[52] Winroth’s latest conjecture is that Gratian may have taught for only one or two years, “Gratian Slept Here” 125-126.

[53] This is not to say that this earliest set of glosses was a coherent and uniform text.  The manuscripts prove that without a doubt.

[54] Noonan, “Gratian Slept Here” 172.

[55] Larson,  “Early Stages of the Decretum” 54-55

[56] Francesco Reali, “Magister Gratianus e le origini del diritto civile Europeo,” Graziano da Chiusi e la sua opera: Alle origini del diritto comune europeo, ed. F. Reali  (Pubblicazioni del Centro Studi Magister Gratianus, 1;  Chiusi: Edizioni Luì, 2009) 17-130, especially 98-101.

[57] Rudolf Weigand, “Frühe Kanonisten und ihre Karriere in der Kirche,” Zeitschrift der Savigny Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonistische Abteilung 76 (1990) 135-155 at 152-153.

[58] Winroth, “Gratian Slept Here” 115-116 wrote:   “Perhaps this means that this glossator wrote before the second recension with its three parts circulated, in which case it would be very early testimony, say from the 1140s, more or less contemporary with Gratian.”  He did not, however, take the passage as solid evidence because he mistakenly thought only one manuscript had the “duas” reading.  Further, because he believes that Pf is the only witness, he states that “One Parisian law professor” told his students that Gratian was a bishop.  From our discussion, it should be clear that the text is not the product of one French canonist.

[59] Eichbauer, “Gratian’s Decretum” 1112-1113.

[60] The other two manuscripts containing the earliest version of this gloss according to Weigand are Gent, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit 55 and Trier, Stadtbibliothek 906 (1141).

[61] fol. 15v:  Written in red ink, rubric style, “In nomine domini nostri Ihesu Christi.  Prima pars incipit de iure scripto et non scripto et quod cui preponatur et legum auctoritatibus et clericorum electione siue dispensatione.

Concordia discordantium canonum.  Ac primum de iure constitutionis et nature.

Concordantia discordantium canonum iuxta determinationem Gratiani episcopi que in duas partes divisa.  Prima pars constat centum et una distinctione, licet (Trier has 48) incompetens uideatur. Secunda uero causis ubi notandum est nonnulla esse intercisa capitula atque ita digesta prout diuersis causis uisum est expidiri (sic) que quidem cum alibi repperiris integra supplere his seu continuare tanquam id scriptoris uicio contigisset.  Similiter etiam cum alias grecorum conciliorum translationes inueneris, eas sufficere tibi credens de qua huic operi sunt sumpta congruentia capitula miscere uel uariare translationum seriem non presumas.”

Another early manuscript, Heiligenkreuz, Stiftsbibliothek 44, fol. 8v, began with the text “In nomine — siue dispensatione (in a slightly garbled form)” but omits the rest. 

[62] The Italicized text is in a rubricated style of capital letters and is a common rubric at the beginning of the early Decretum with small variations, e.g. Biberach, Spitalarchiv B.3515, fol. 10r, Köln, Dombibliothek 127, fol 9r, Mainz, Stadtbibliothek II.204, fol. 2r, Salzburg, Stiftsbibliothek a.xi.9, fol 11r.

[63] Shortening and editing canons and decretals, the omitted parts they called“ intercisiones” became standard editorial practices of the canonists from Gratian to Raymond de Peñafort.  See my essay, . “The French Recension of Compilatio tertia,”  Bulletin of Medieval Canon Law 5 (1975) 53-71 at 60-63 for examples.

[64] Die Glossen zum ‘Dekret’ Gratians: Studien zu den frühen Glossen und Glossenkompositionem (Studia Gratiana 26-27; Rome: Libreria Ateneo Salesiano, 1991) and a compact version of his magnum opus in English, “The Development of the Glossa ordinaria to Gratian’s Decretum,” The History of Canon Law in the Classical Period, 1140‑1234 55-97.

[65] All the early manuscripts of the Vulgate with glosses listed in note   above, contain Burchard and Lombarda citations.  The form of citation is .e.g. Pf, fol. 45v: B. xix. Si quis <clericus> uexatus (Burchard 19.93) in the margin opposite D.33 c.3.  In this case, the canon in Burchard dictated ten years penance for clerics who were possessed by demons.  If they were freed from demons, they could resume their clerical duties.  Gratian’s text stipulated one year freedom from demons.  Sometimes the scribes confused the B with D.  D.33 c.3 occurs only in the Vulgate Decretum.

[66] Cited as Lombar. or Lom. de decimis, l.iii. (Lombarda 3.3.3) in Pf fol. 195r in the margin opposite C12. q.2 c.26, which is only in the Vulgate Decretum.  The text in the Decretum instructs bishops how they should divide tithes;  the c.3 in the Lombarda is a general admonition to do so, which is followed by c.4 with more detailed instructions.  The Lombarda citations are primarily found in the causae.

[67] See Glosse preaccursiane alle Istituzioni: Strato Azzoniano Libro primo and Libro secondo, edd. Severino Caprioli, Victor Crescenzi, Giovanni Diurni, Paolo ari and Piergiorgio Peruzzi (2 vols. Fonti per la Storia d’Italia 107 and Antiquitates 14; Roma: Nella Sede dell’Istutito, 1984-2004) in which not a single gloss to the Lombarda is recorded; see also my The Beginning of Roman Law Jurisprudence and Teaching in the Twelfth Century:  The Authenticae, “ Rivista internazionale di diritto comune 22 (2012) 35-53 and my “The Constitutiones of King Roger II of Sicily in Vat. lat. 8782,” Rivista Internazionale di diritto comune 21 (2010) 35-54.

[68] Weigand, “Development of the Glossa ordinaria“  did not venture an opinion on the origins of these glosses.

[69] Winroth,  Making Gratian’s Decretum 32

[70] E.g. Clm 13004, fol. 30r:  “Hoc opus inscribitur de Concordia discordantium canonum quod a quodam Gratiano compositum in libros xxxvii. est distinctum.”  This particular manuscript has long been recognized as an early witness.  The author of this introduction did not know “De consecratione:”  “Primus liber continet divisiones , diffinitiones, necnon et differentias legum tam secularium quam ęcclesticarum et quomodo uel a quibus uel quando sint institutę de electione quoque seu ordinatione clericorum.  Secundus continet de scienter seu ignoranter a symoniacis ordinatis et de ordinationibus  quę per pecuniam fiunt.”  Admont, Stiftsbibliothek, fol. 8r has the same text.  Carlos Larrainzar has discussed and edited the complete text in “Notas sobre las introducciones In prima parte agitur y Hoc opus inscribitur,”  Medieval Church Law and the Origins of the Western Legal Tradition: A Tribute to Kenneth Pennington, edd. Wolfgang P. Müller and Mary E. Sommar (Washington DC: Catholic University Press of America, 2006) 134-153.  These two manuscripts cannot be dated later than 1145-1150.   If Gratian were unknown, it is puzzlingly how he might have been discovered to be the compiler of the Decretum.

[71] E.g. Johannes Faventinus’ rubric to his Summa ca. 1171, Klosterneuburg, Stiftsbibliothek fol. 1ra: “Incipit prefatio in Decreta magistri G<ratiani> a ,a magistri Jo<hannes> Faventino canonice ac dilucide edita ex duabus summis Ruffini et Stephani utili artificiosoque excepta” and fol. 1vb: “Circa liber autem quem  pre manibus gestamus hec attendenda sunt, scilicet que sit materia Gratiani in hoc opera, que ipsius intentio, que utilitas que causa operis, que distinctio libri, quis modus tractandi, quis titulus.”

[72] Reali, “Magister Gratianus” 96-97 and Winroth, “Gratian Slept Here” 115-124.

[73] Printed in Raccolta degli storici Italiani dal cinquecento al millecinquecento ordinata da L.A. Muratori, ed. Giosué Carducci, Vittorio Fiorini, and Pietro Fedele (Rerum Italicarum Scriptores vol. 15, part 6; Rome: 1931) 22.

[74] Winroth, “Gratian Slept Here” 124:  “The name is unusual enough, however, that we may conclude that it is likely.”

[75] Raccolta degli storici Italiani 17: “Obit presbyter Gratianus prius plebanus de Folliano et post canonicus Senensis honestus clericus et bene litteratus, anno Domini MCC.”  We will meet two more Gratians in the Venetian sources below.

[76] Gundula Grebner, “Lay Patronate in Bologna in the First Half of the 12th Century: Regular Canons, Notaries and the Decretum,”  Europa und seine Regionen: 2000 Jahre Rechtgeschichte, edd. Andreas Bauer and Karl H.L. Welker (Köln-Weimar-Wien:  Böhlau, 2007)  107-122.

[77] First printed by Flaminio Cornaro,  Ecclesiae Venetae antiquis monumentis numc etiam primum editis illustratae ac in decades disributae (Vol. 1.  Venice 1749) 378, August 31, 1143.

[78] A.D. 1150: “Gratianus Contarenus et Magister Lanfrancus de Brissia,” Codice diplomatico Padovano dall'anno 1101 alla pace di Costanza (25 giugno 1183), ed. Andrea Gloria, (2 vols. Monumenti storici della Reale Deputazione Veneta di storia patria, serie 1, vol. 4 and 6; Venice 1879-1881) 1.390 n.535; Gloria prints the 1143 case on p. 313, no. 419.

[79] Francesco Calasso, Medio evo del diritto, 1: Le fonti (Milano: Giuffrè Editore, 1954) 396  followed Ruffini and Brandelione in their conviction that Dante meant the internal and external forum in this passage.  Dante’s son, Pierto Alighieri,  thought his father meant the secular and ecclesiastical courts.  Gratian did not just deal with ecclesiastical courts in his Decretum.  I follow Pietro and thank Orazio Condorelli for this bibliographical information.