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The Making of Gratian's Decretum

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series

  • Date Published: October 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521044653

$ 62.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book offers new perspectives on the legal and intellectual developments of the twelfth century. Gratian's collection of church law, the Decretum, was a key text in these developments and remained a fundamental work throughout and beyond the Middle Ages. Until now, the many mysteries surrounding the creation of the Decretum have remained unsolved. Professor Winroth has now discovered the original version of the Decretum in a version about half as long as the final text, and that invites a reconsideration of the resurgence of law in the twelfth century.

    • Provides a solution to the mysteries surrounding the creation of Gratian's Decretum, arguably 'the' key text of medieval ecclesiastical law
    • Draws out perspectives on the legal and institutional transformation of the twelfth century
    • Includes an interpretation of the foundation of the university of Bologna, which supposedly dates from the end of the eleventh century
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    • Winner of the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication 2003

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Winroth has brought excitement and vigor to the study of Gratian. This book will be read and studied by every legal historian for years to come." Historian

    "Winroth's contribution...will endure permanently as a work of great significance and importance...This book is a triumph..." Speculum

    "The style is clear and the argumentation gripping." Augustine Thompson, Theological Studies

    "Mr. Winroth's finding is a breakthrough...because it 'pinpoints the reception of Roman law, and in so doing tells you a lot about universities, the rise of reason, the rise of scholasticism.'" The Chronicle of Higher Education

    "An important contribution to medieval studies." Catholic Library World

    "Anders Winroth's hypothesis, presented here in full for the first time, is elegant and attractive... Winroth's discovery...may well liberate canon law scholarship from the slavery of awaiting the critical edition. It will give us the means to speak with some assurance (that is, with evidence, rather than hypothesis) about the shape of the Decretum, its sources, and its earliest development in the schools." Canadian Journal of History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521044653
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of tables
    List of abbreviations and Conspectus siglorum
    1. Gratian and the Decretum
    2. Heresy and excommunication: Causa 24
    3. Obedience or contempt: Causa 11, Questio 3
    4. The two recensions of the Decretum
    5. Gratian and Roman law
    6. The men behind the Decretum
    Conclusion: medieval law and the Decretum
    Appendix: the contents of the first recension of Gratian's Decretum
    Index of cited passages in Gratian's Decretum
    Index of papal letters
    General index.

  • Author

    Anders Winroth, Yale University, Connecticut


    • Winner of the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication 2003

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