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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 347



XIII.] IRISH CANONS. 341 canons themselves. From Ireland likewise proceeded a great collection of canons—the famous Collatio Hibernica, which, beginning with the edicts of S. Patrick, went on to embody the results of ecclesiastical legislation in West and East, and, by the time of Dunstan, whose copy of it we possess in the Bodleian, had added by successive accretions all that was thought worth preserving even in the capitularies of the Frank kings. The Anglo-Saxon Church possessed no such comprehensive collection of its own; but abroad the codification of church law proceeded rapidly. I have seen in the National Library at Paris some invaluable MS. collections earlier than the date of the forged decretals ; and the forged decretals themselves were probably not the work of one man or one generation. Not however to tread again this welltrodden path, pass on to the collectors of genuine or less suspected canons : of whom the most important is Burchard of Worms. He, at the beginning of the eleventh century, got together and arranged systematically all the materials he could find: borrowing authoritative determinations from the penitentials, the canons of councils, articles of the civil law as known to him by the Theodosian code, and the capitularies of the emperors. A century later, bishop Ivo of Chartres produced the Pannormià, a similar collection, improved on that of Burchard by the use of the Digest and Code of Justinian. Ivo was a contemporary of Henry I of England, and his date carries us past the Norman Conquest and the Hildebrandine period. We must revert to the third element of church law, the religious laws of the kings. Of these the history in England is straightforward enough. The Anglo-Saxon sovereigns, acting in the closest union with their bishops, made ecclesiastical laws which clothed the spiritual enactments with coercive authority, and sometimes seemed to ignore the lines which separate the two legislatures; such sacred laws of


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