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Boniface and the Irish Heresy of Clemens

  • Sven Meeder
Abstract

One of the few Irishmen active on the Continent in the eighth century of whom we have some information was a priest (or bishop) named Clemens. Together with the Gaul Aldebert, this peregrinus was the subject of an extensive correspondence between Boniface and the pope, which eventually led to the condemnation of both men at the Roman Council of 745. The accusations brought against Clemens by Boniface display parallels with known Irish teachings and practices, as well as other allegations leveled against individual traveling Irishmen and the Irish in general. This article closely examines the context of Boniface's charges and introduces an additional source to the framing of his arguments. It argues that the allegations must be viewed in the context of both contemporary practices and debates in Irish church and society, and the portrayal of these Irish peculiarities in texts written in and spread throughout the mid-eighth-century Continent and Anglo-Saxon England.

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1 Boniface's letters are edited by Michael Tangl, ed., Die Briefen des heiligen Bonifatius und Lullus (MGH Epp. sel. i, 1916). Subsequent references to the letters (hereafter ep./epp.) will be to this edition. The letters were translated by Emerton, Ephraim, trans., The letters of Saint Boniface, 2nd ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000). The translations in this article, however, are my own. The qualification scottus genere is found in ep. 59, 108–20, at 110 = Concilium Romanum (a. 745), MGH Conc. ii.1. 37–44, at 39.

2 See de Jong, Mayke, “Bonifatius: een Angelsaksische priester-monnik en het Frankische hof,” Millennium: tijdschrift voor middeleeuwse geschiedenis 19 (2005): 523, esp. 18–21.

3 Compare John Carey's approach to Boniface's descriptions of Virgilius of Salzburg's alleged beliefs in the existence of another world and other people below this earth, and the supposed parallels with the Irish belief in an Otherworld in Carey, John, “Ireland and the antipodes: the heterodoxy of Virgil of Salzburg,” Speculum 64 (1989): 110, repr. in Wooding, Jonathan M., ed., The Otherworld Voyage in Early Irish Literature: An Anthology of Criticism (Dublin: Four Courts, 2000), 133–42.

4 Clemens is also mentioned in a letter from Gregory III (ob. 741) to Boniface, whose genuineness is disputed. This letter is not taken up in the collection of Bonifatian letters assembled by Lul, but in the twelfth- or thirteenth-century life of St. Waltger. In the letter the pope enjoins Boniface to cut down the trees worshipped by the native population and to anathematise the followers of the heretics Aldebert and Clemens: Hortatur ut arbores ab incolis veneratas succidat atque Aldeberti et Clemensis haereticorum sequaces anathematizet: Vita sancti Waltgeri, ed. Carlies Maria Raddatz, Vita sancti Waltgeri, Leben des heiligen Waltger: Die Klostergründungsgeschichte der Reichsabtei Herford, Veröffentlichungen der Historischen Kommission für Westfalen xli, Fontes Minores 3 (Münster: Aschendorff, 1994), 64. Klemens Honselmann accepts the letter as genuine, see Honselmann, Klemens, “Der Brief Gregors III. an Bonifatius über die Sachsenmission,” Historisches Jahrbuch 76 (1957): 83106, repr. in Lammers, Walter, ed., Die Eingliederung der Sachsen in das Frankenreich (Darmstadt: Wissenchaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1970), 307–46. Franz Flaskamp, on the other hand, considers the letter a forgery, see Flaskamp, Franz, “Der Bonifatiusbrief von Herford,” Archiv für Kulturgeschichte 44 (1962): 315–34, repr. in Lammers, Die Eingliederung, 365–88. See also Raddatz, Vita sancti Waltgeri, 42. As the letter contains no new information about the alleged heretics, I disregard it in this article.

5 The letter is dated to 743 by Paul Speck, on the basis of the dating clause which mentions Emperor Artabasdos (and his son and co-emperor Nicephorus), whose reign came to an end in November 743: Data X. Kalendas Iulias, imperante domno piissimo augusto Artavasdo a Deo coronato magno imperatore anno III, post consulatum eius anno III, sed et Niciphoro magno imperatore anno III, indictione X: ep. 57, 102–5; see Speck, Paul, “Artabasdos, Bonifatius und die drei Pallia,” Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte 76 (1985): 179–95.

6 Retulisti etiam nobis, karissimae frater, quod duos pseudoprophetas in eadem Francorum provintia repperisses, quos non pseudoprophetas, sed magis pseudochristianos appellare debemus. Ex quibus unum quidem et novum Simonem iuxta tenorem tuarum syllabarum repperimus. Qui etiam sibi et sacerdotium vindicabat et a luxoria se minime continebat seducens populum et inania predicans non solum suam animam iuri diabolico tradens, sed et populorum corda in interitum demergens et seducens populum per falsitates, ita ut eum ab aecclesia Dei subtraheret et a christiana lege discordaret. Et cruces statuens in campis et oratoriola illic populum seducebat relinquens aecclesias publicas, concurrens ad illa signa, quae ab eo false fiebant. Et sanctitatis nomine se vocari censuit et in suo nomine aecclesias consecraret adfirmans se etiam angelorum nomina scire, quorum in tuis sillabis nobis conscripta direxisti; quae nomina nos non angelorum, sed magis demoniorum adfirmamus: ep. 57, 104–5.

7 Alium vero ita luxoriae deditum, ut concubinam habere et duo ex ea filios procrearet. Et tamen sacerdotium sibimet vindicabat adfirmans hoc iustum esse iuxta traditionem veteris testamenti, et defuncti fratris superstes frater ducat uxorem; et quia Christus resurgens ab inferis nullum ibi reliquisset, sed omnes inde abstraxisset: ep. 57, 105.

8 Bene enim tua sancta fraternitas iuxta aecclesiasticam regulam eos dampnavit et in custodiam misit et optime vocavit antichristi ministros et precursores: ep. 57, 105.

9 et ut heresis amplius in populo non resurgat, sicut invenimus in Adlaberto heresim, quem publiciter una voce condempnaverunt XXIII episcopi et alii multi sacerdotes cum consensu principis et populi; ita condempnaverunt ipsum Adlabertum, ut amplius populus per falsos sacerdotes deceptus no pereat: Concilium Suessionense (a. 744) c. 2, MGH Conc. ii.1. 33–36, at 34.

10 Zacharias seems to refer to this letter in his communication of October 31, 745 (ep. 60, 123–24).

11 Notum enim sit paternitati vestrae, quia, postquam indigno mihi mandastis in provincia Francorum, sicut et ipsi rogaverunt, sacerdotali concilio et sinodali conventui praeesse, multas iniurias et persecutiones passus sum, maxime semper a falsis sacerdotibus, ab adulteratis presbiteris seu diaconibus et fornicariis clericis. Maximus tamen mihi labor fuit contra duos hereticos pessimos et publicos et blasphemos contra Deum et contra catholicam fidem. Unus, qui dicitur Eldebert, natione generis Gallus est, alter, qui dicitur Clemens, genere Scottus est; specie erroris diversi, sed pondere peccatorum conpares: ep. 59, 108–20, at 110 = Concilium Romanum (a. 745), MGH Conc. ii.1. 37–44, at 39.

12 Propter istos enim persecutiones et inimicitias et maledictiones multorum populorum patior et aecclesia Christi impedimentum fidei et doctrinae recte sustinet. Dicunt enim de Aldebercto, quod eis sanctissimum apostolum abstulissem, patronum et oratorem et virtutum factorem et signorum ostensorem abstraxissem: ep. 59, at 111 = Concilium Romanum, at 39.

13 Et tunc demum per illam simulationem, sicut apostolus Paulus praedixit, penetravit multorum domos et captivas duxit post se mulierculas oneratas peccatis, quae ducebantur variis desideriis, et multitudinem rusticorum dicentium, quod ipse esset vir apostolicae sanctitatis et signa et prodigia multa fecisset. Deinde conduxit episcopos indoctos, qui se contra praecepta canonum absolute ordinarunt. Tum demum in tantam superbiam elatus est, ut se aequiperaret apostolis Christi. Et dedignabatur in alicuius honore apostolorum vel martyrum aecclesiam consecrare. Et interrogavit, quid voluissent homines visitando limina sanctorum apostolorum. Postea in proprio honore suo dedicavit oratoria vel, ut verius dicam, sordidavit. Fecit cruciculas et oratoriola in campis et ad fontes vel ubicumque sibi visum fuit et iussit ibi publicas orationes celebrare, donec multitudines populorum, spretis ceteris episcopis et dimissis antiquis aecclesiis, in talibus locis conventus celebrabant dicentes: “Merita sancti Aldeberti adiuvabunt nos.” Ungulas suas et capillos dedit ad honorificandum et portandum cum reliquiis sancti Petri principis apostolorum. Tum demum, quod maximum scelus et blasphemia contra Deum esse videbatur, fecit: venienti enim populo et prostrato ante pedes eius et cupienti confiteri peccata sua dixit: “Scio omnia peccata vestra, quia mihi cognita sunt occulta vestra. Non est opus confiteri; sed dimissa sunt vobis peccata vestra praeterita. Securi et absoluti revertimini ad domos vestras cum pace”: ep. 59, at 111–12 = Concilium Romanum, at 39–40.

14 Alter autem hereticus, qui dicitur Clemens, contra catholicam contendit aecclesiam, canones ecclesiarum Christi abnegat et refutat, tractatus et intellectus sanctorum patrum Hieronimi, Augustini, Gregorii recussat. Synodalia iura spernens proprio sensu adfirmat se post duos filios sibi in adulterio natos sub nomine episcopi esse posse legis christianae episcopum. Iudaismum inducens iustum esse iudicat christiano, ut, si voluerit, viduam fratris defuncti accipiat uxorem. Qui contra fidem sanctorum patrum contendit dicens, quod Christus filius Dei descendens ad inferos omnes, quos inferni carcer etinuit, inde liberasset, credulos et incredulos, laudatores Dei simul et cultores idulorum. Et multa alia horribilia de predistinatione Dei contraria fidei catholicae adfirmat: ep. 59, at 112 = Concilium Romanum, at 40.

15 Quapropter de hoc quoque heretico precor, ut per litteras vestras mandare curetis duci Carlomanno, ut mittatur in custodiam, ut semina satanae latius non seminet, ne forsitan una ovis morbida totum gregem polluat: ep. 59, at 112 = Concilium Romanum, at 40.

16 Sanctissimi episcopi et venerabiles presbiteri responderunt: “Audivimus certe per omnia non apostolos, sed ministros satanae et precursores antikristi. Quis enim aliquando apostolorum aut quilibet sanctorum ex capillis suis aut ungulis pro sanctualia populis tribuerunt, ut iste sacrilegus et perniciosus agere conatus est Aldebertus? Sed hoc scelus a vestro sancto apostolatu est resecandum, tam de illo quamque etiam de transgressore Clemente, qui sacros canones spernit atque expositionem sanctorum patrum Ambrosii, Augustini et ceterorum respuit dicta sanctorum”: ep. 59, 113 = Concilium Romanum, at 40.

17 per suam stultitiam sanctorum patrum statuta respuit vel omnia sinodalia acta, inferens etiam christianis iudaismum, dum praedicet fratris defuncti accipere uxorem, insuper et dominum Iesum Christum descendentem ad inferos omnes pios et inpios exinde praedicat abstraxisse: ep. 59, 118.

18 [Clemens] . . . ab omni sit sacerdotali officio nudatus et anathematis vinculo obligatus pariterque Dei iudicio condempnatus vel omnis, qui eius sacrilegis consenserit predicationibus: ep. 59, 118.

19 Sed et, quod vos non sperabatis, fieri suggessimus: ep. 62, 127–28, at 127.

20 epistola sanctissimae paternitatis vestrae, ubi de illo et de Clementis dementia suggessistis: ep. 62, 127.

21 Ep. 60, 120–25, at 124.

22 Et dum pro hac re fuerit aggregatum concilium, ad medium deducantur sacrilegi illi et contumaces Aldebertus et Godalsacius et Clemens exepiscopi, ut eorum denuo subtili indagatione cribretur causa: ep. 77, 159–61, at 160.

23 Quos si deviantes a rectitudinis tramite usquequaque reppereritis et convicti fuerint inclinati, ad viam converti rectitudinis, ut bonum atque placitum in oculis vestris paruerit, cum principe provinciae disponite secundum sacrorum canonum sancita. Sin autem in superbia perstiterint contumaciter proclamantes reos se non esse, tunc cum probatissimis atque prudentissimis sacerdotibus duobus vel tribus predictos ad nos dirigitis viros, ut profunda inquisitione coram sede apostolica eorum inquiratur causa et iuxta quod meruerint finem suscipiant: ep. 77, 160–61.

24 Würzburg, Universitätsbibliothek, MS Mp.th.q. 31.

25 The Collectio canonum Hibernensis is edited by Hermann Wasserschleben, ed., Die irische Kanonensammlung (Giessen, 1874; 2nd rev. ed. Leipzig 1885; repr. Aalen: Scientia, 1966). This outdated edition does not include evidence from the passages in the Würzburg manuscript. For the importance of this manuscript for the history of the Hibernensis, see Roy Flechner, “A Study and Edition of the Collectio Canonum Hibernensis,” (D.Phil. diss., University of Oxford, 2006), esp. 120–27.

26 On the date of the combination of the first and third elements with the second, see Nürnberger, “Über die Würzburger Handschrift,” 24; and Josef Hofmann in Bernhard Bischoff and Josef Hofmann, Libri Sancti Kyliani: Die Würzburger Schreibschule und die Dombibliothek im VIII. und IX. Jahrhundert, Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte des Bistums und Hochstifts Würzburg 6 (Würzburg: F. Schöningh, 1952), 108n178.

27 Lowe remarked that the irregularity of the handwriting may have been the result of attempts to imitate the exemplar, see CLA IX.1439; see also Nürnberger, August J., “Über die Würzburger Handschrift der irischen Canonensammlung,” Archiv für Katholisches Kirchenrecht 60 (1888): 184, at 3.

28 See Bischoff in Bischoff and Hofmann, Libri Sancti Kyliani, 9.

29 Nürnberger, “Über die Würzburger Handschrift,” 3; CLA IX.1439; see also Mordek, Hubert, Kirchenrecht und Reform im Frankenreich: die Collectio Vetus Gallica, die älteste systematische Kanonessammlung des Fränkischen Gallien, Beiträge zur Geschichte und Quellenkunde des Mittelalters 1 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1975), 258; and Reynolds, Roger E., “Unity and Diversity in Carolingian Canon Law Collections: The Case of the Collectio Hibernensis and Its Derivatives,” in Carolingian Essays: Andrew W. Mellon Lectures in Early Christian Studies, ed. Blumenthal, U.-R. (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1983), 99135, at 105.

30 See the table in Nürnberger, “Über die Würzburger Handschrift,” 78–84.

31 Glatthaar, Michael, Bonifatius und das Sakrileg: Zur politischen Dimension eines Rechtsbegriffs, Freiburger Beiträge zur Mittelalterlichen Geschichte 17 (Frankfurt am Main: P. Lang, 2004), 8485.

32 Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, MS Vat. lat. 4160, fos. 55r–56r; see Mordek, Hubert, Bibliotheca capitularium regum Francorum manuscripta: Überlieferung und Traditionszusammenhang der fränkischen Herrschererlasse, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Hilfsmittel 15 (München: Monumenta Germaniae Historica, 1995), 775. The text (Capitula de invasioribus ecclesiae) is edited by Glatthaar, Bonifatius, 105–10.

33 Ep. 73; see Nürnberger, “Über die Würzburger Handschrift,” 29–30; Glatthaar, Bonifatius, 113–17.

34 Cf. ep. 26, 28, 45; see Nürnberger, “Über die Würzburger Handschrift,” 25; and, even more exhaustive, Glatthaar, Bonifatius, 97–113.

35 Nürnberger subscribes to the then current thought that the author of this text was Prosper himself: Nürnberger, “Über die Würzburger Handschrift,” 27; almost all observations were repeated by Schüling, Hermann, “Die Handbibliothek des Bonifatius,” Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens 4 (1963): 285348, at 325–27

36 Würzburg Mp.th.q.31, fo. 54v (see fig. 1); see Nürnberger, “Über die Würzburger Handschrift,” 80. Nürnberger's transcriptions are often inaccurate. My transcription is included in the appendix. There is another block of rubrics without relevant text (cap. 48–54) on fo. 59r.

37 See also Nürnberger, “Über die Würzburger Handschrift,” 25–26; and, with respect to Clemens, Glatthaar, Bonifatius, 149–50.

38 Ep. 57, 104.

39 Deinde conduxit episcopos indoctos, qui se contra precepta canonum absolute ordinarunt: Ep. 59, 111 = Concilium Romanum, at 39.

40 Ep. 57, 104; and Ep. 59, 111 = Concilium Romanum, at 39.

41 et multitudinem rusticorum dicentium, quod ipse esset vir apostolicae sanctitatis et signa et prodigia multa fecisset: Ep. 59, 111 = Concilium Romanum, at 39.

42 Contra istos obsecro apostolicam auctoritatem vestram, quod meam mediocritatem defendere et adiuvare et per scripta vestra populum Francorum et Gallorum corrigere studeatis, ut hereticorum fabulas et vana prodigia et signa precursoris antikristi non sectantur, sed ad canonica iura et ad viam verae doctrinae convertantur et ut per verbum vestrum isti heretici duo mittantur in carcerem, si vobis iustum esse videatur, cum vitam et doctrinam illorum vobis intimavero: Ep. 59, 110 = Concilium Romanum, at 39.

43 Ep. 59, 112 = Concilium Romanum, at 40.

44 Ep. 59, at 112 = Concilium Romanum, at 40.

45 Ep. 59, at 112 = Concilium Romanum, at 40.

46 Ep. 59, at 113 = Concilium Romanum, at 40.

47 Cf. Nürnberger, “Über die Würzburger Handschrift,” 33; Schüling, “Die Handbibliothek des Bonifatius,” 325–27; see Roy Flechner, “A Study and Edition,” 160*–61*.

48 Epp. 54 and 62.

49 Ep. 33.

50 Epp. 76 and 91; see also Boniface's requests sent to Bishop Pechthelm of Whithorn (ep. 32), and his former pupil Duddus (ep. 34). On the giving of books in Boniface's letters, see Clay, John-Henry, “Gift-Giving and Books in the Letters of St. Boniface and Lul,” Journal of Medieval History 35 (2009), 313–25.

51 Schüling, “Die Handbibliothek des Bonifatius,” 325–26.

52 Glatthaar proposes the Council of Estinnes (743): Glatthaar, Bonifatius, 117–63, esp. 134–63.

53 An example of this association is the shared entry in the Lexikon des Mittelalters, Pasztor, E., “Clemens und Adalbertus (Aldebertus),” in Lexikon des Mittelalters (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch, 1983), 2:2149–50; see also Kenney, James F., The Sources for the Early History of Ireland: Ecclesiastical. An Introduction and Guide (New York: Columbia University Press, 1929; 2nd ed. by Ludwig Bieler, Dublin: Four Courts, 1966), 522 (no. 328).

54 Ep. 59, 110 = Concilium Romanum, 39.

55 Quapropter de hoc quoque heretico precor, ut per litteras vestras mandare curetis duci Carlomanno, ut mittatur in custodiam, ut semina satanae latius non seminet, ne forsitan una ovis morbida totum gregem polluat: ep. 59, 112 = Concilium Romanum, 40. For the division of the Frankish realms between Karloman and Pippin, which does not completely correspond with Austrasia and Neustria, see Schüssler, Heinz Joachim, “Die fränkische Reichsteilung von Vieux-Poitiers (742) und die Reform der Kirche in den Teilreichen Karlmanns und Pippins. Zu den Grenzen der Wirksamkeit des Bonifatius,” Francia 13 (1985): 47112.

56 Ep. 37, 104; see also Zacharias's letter of 745 (ep. 60), in which the term provincia Francorum occurs in the context of a synod held with the cooperation of both Pippin and Carloman (De synodo autem congregato apud Francorum provinciam mediantibus Pippino et Carlomanno); see Schüssler, “Die fränkische Reichsteilung,” 109–10; compare Zeddies, Nicole, “Bonifatius und zwei nützliche Rebellen: die Häretiker Aldebert und Clemens,” in Ordnung und Aufruhr im Mittelalter: Historische und juristische Studien zur Rebellion, Ius Commune, Sonderhefte lxx, ed. Fögen, Marie Theres (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1995), 217–63, at 234, who places both heretics in Neustria, apparently on the basis of the phrase in eadem Francorum provintia.

57 See ibid., 241.

58 See ibid., 250–51.

59 Ibid., 246–51, esp. 248.

60 Ibid., 251–63.

61 Ibid., 245.

62 For a recent article on the disproportionate interest of Bede in the Paschal controversy, see Hartz, Carolyn, “Bede and the Grammar of Time,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (2007): 625–40. On the receipt of works of Bede by Boniface, see ep. 91, 206–8, at 207; and Schüling, “Die Handbibliothek des Bonifatius,” 318.

63 Ep. 59, 112–13 = Concilium Romanum, at 39–40.

64 Ep. 59, at 112 = Concilium Romanum, at 40.

65 Ep. 59, at 112 = Concilium Romanum, at 40.

66 Columbanus, ep. 1, 3–4, ed. G. S. M. Walker, Sancti Columbani Opera, Scriptores Latini Hiberniae 2 (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1957), 1–12.

67 Columbanus, ep. 1, 4.

68 Stancliffe, Clare, “Columbanus and the Gallic bishops,” in Auctoritas: Mélanges offerts au professeur Olivier Guillot, Cultures et Civilisations Médiévales 33, ed. Constable, Giles and Rouche, Michel (Paris: Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2006), 205–15.

69 Hi sunt enim nostri canones, dominica et apostolica mandata, in his fides nostra est: Columbanus, ep. 2.6.

70 See Breatnach, Liam, Corráin, Donnchadh Ó, and Breen, Aidan, “The Laws of the Irish,” Peritia 3 (1984): 382438; Corráin, Donnchadh Ó, “Irish Vernacular Law and the Old Testament,” in Irland und die Christenheit / Ireland and Christendom. Bibelstudien und Mission / The Bible and the Missions, ed. Chatháin, Próinseas Ní and Richter, Michael (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1987), 284307; Meens, Rob, “The Uses of the Old Testament in Early Medieval Canon Law: The Collectio Vetus Gallica and the Collectio Hibernensis,” in The Uses of the Past in the Early Middle Ages, ed. Hen, Yitzhak and Innes, Matthew (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 6777; the Liber ex lege Moysi is edited in Meeder, Sven, ed., “The Liber ex lege Moysi: Notes and Text,” Journal of Medieval Latin 19 (2009): 173218.

71 Maurice Sheehy counted about thousand citations Sheehy, Maurice, “The Bible and the Collectio canonum Hibernensis,” in Irland und die Christenheit, ed. Chatháin, and Richter, , 277–83, at 281.

72 This is the case in the so-called Collectio 250 Capitulorum, and the so-called “Sangermanensis abridgement” in Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, MS lat. 12444, and possibly the exemplar of the florilegium in Würzburg, MS Mp.th.q. 31, fos. 1–41, see Reynolds, “Unity and diversity.”

73 Innocentius dicit de causis in quibus soluendi ligandique auctoritas est, XXII librorum ueteris testamenti, IIII quoque euangeliorum cum totis apostolorum scriptis, si non appareat: Collectio canonum Hibernensis, xix, ed. Wasserschleben, Die irische Kanonensammlung, 59–60. The source of this canon is unknown, despite its attribution to Pope Innocent.

74 Quod si his omnibus inspectis hujus questionis qualitas non lucide investigatur, seniores provincia congrega et eos interroga: ibid.

75 Scottos vero per Daganum episcopum in hanc, quam superius memoravimus, insulam, et Columbanum abbatem in Gallis venientem, nihil discrepare a Brittonibus in eorum conversatione didicimus: HE ii.4; on the context of this citation within the HE, see Flechner, Roy, “Dagán, Columbanus, and the Gregorian Mission,” Peritia 19 (2005): 6590, at 68–71.

76 On the Hibernensis version in the Würzburg manuscript, see Flechner, “Study and Edition,” 119*–27*. Interestingly, this version only includes the citations attributed to “canonical” authorities, namely Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Jerome, leaving out the more unfamiliar and obscure authorities, including texts that are not usually used in canon law collections (such as the Bible). This demonstrates that the compiler of the Würzburg version was not a great fan of the more inclusive view of canonicity employed by the Irish Hibernensis. On Boniface's familiarity with the Hibernensis, see also Rob Meens's “tantalising hypothesis” that Copenhagen, Kongelige Bibliotek, MS Kgl. S. 58 8◦, containing two small collections of canonistical material with parallels with the Hibernensis, was copied at Boniface's request: Meens, Rob, “The Oldest Manuscript Witness of the Collectio Canonum Hibernensis,” Peritia 14 (2000): 119, at 13–14.

77 See Brundage, James A., Law, Sex, and Christian Society in Medieval Europe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), 140–41, 150–51.

78 De eo quod dicunt adulteros episcopos uel presbyteros in gradum reuersos, “Concerning that they say that adulterous bishops or priests are restored to their grades” (cap. 24); De eo quod adulterum presbyterum ordinant episcopi, “Concerning that bishops ordain an adulterous priest” (cap. 25): Würzburg, Mp. th. q. 31, fo. 54v.

79 See Brundage, Law, Sex, and Christian Society, 79–80, 98–103.

80 Breatnach and others, “Laws of the Irish,” 400–405.

81 Lanfranc of Canterbury, Ep. 10, ed. and trans. Clover, Helen and Gibson, Margaret, The Letters of Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979), 7073; and also ep. 9, ibid., 66–69; see also Jaski, Bart, “Marriage Laws in Ireland and on the Continent in the Early Middle Ages,” in ‘The Fragility of Her Sex’?: Medieval Irishwomen in Their European Context, ed. Meek, Christine E. and Simms, M. Katharine (Dublin: Four Courts, 1996), 1642.

82 ne honesta iungant matrimonia, sed scottorum et aticottorum ritu ac de republica platonis promiscuas uxores, communes liberos habeant: Jerome, Epistulae, 69, ed. J. Divjak, CSEL 88 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1981), 684. See also Jerome's remarks in his letter against Jovinian, PL 23, cols. 221–352, at 308D–309A.

83 See for instance the Collectio Herovalliana, of the third quarter of the eighth century, printed in PL 99, 989–1086, at 1082A.

84 Direnar do cach a lanamnus a bescnu inse erenn: Ciapa lin ciapa nuaite. Ar ata forcosnam la cia de as techta in nilar comperta fa huathad ar robattar tuiccsi De in nilar lanamnusa conach airissa a caithiugud oldas a molad: Bretha Crólige, par. 57, ed. D. A. Binchy, “Bretha Crólige: Sick Maintenance in Irish Law,” Ériu 12 (1934): 1–77, at 45–46; and D. A. Binchy, Corpus Iuris Hibernici (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1978), 2301.35–8 (hereafter cited as CIH).

85 ‘Synodus II S. Patricii’, c. 25, ed. and trans. Ludwig Bieler, The Irish Penitentials (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advances Studies, 1963), 184–97; and (based on other manuscripts) Aidan Breen, “The Date, Provenance, and Authorship of the Pseudo-Patrician Canonical Materials,” Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonistische Abteilung 112:125 (1995): 83–129, at 112–21.

86 Collectio canonum Hibernensis, 46.35b.

87 Ne superstes frater torum defuncti fratris ascendat neue se quisque amise uxoris sorori audeat sociare, quid si enim hoc fecerit, ab aeclesiastica distinctione feriantur uel excommonicetur: Collectio canonum Hibernensis, 46:35a (B-recension reading in roman).

88 Passio Kiliani, c. 6–10, MGH SS rer. Merov. v: 711–28, at 724–26.

89 The local dimensions of Clemens's teachings on marriage are also noted by Innes, Matthew, “‘Immune from Heresy’: Defining the Boundaries of Carolingian Christianity,” in Frankland: The Franks and the World of Early Medieval Europe, ed. Ganz, D. and Fouracre, P. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2008), 101–25, at 110.

90 Ep. 57, at 105.

91 Ep. 59, at 112 = Concilium Romanum, at 40.

92 Alii sunt haeretici, qui dicunt Dominum in infernum descendisse, et omnibus post mortem etiam ibidem renuntiasse, ut confitentes ibidem salvarentur: Philastrius of Brescia, Liber de haeresibus, PL 12, cols 1111–1302A, at 1250–51.

93 Septuagesimam et nonam haeresim Adecerditae tenent, dicentes: Christo descendenti ad inferos omnis animarum multitudo occurrit, et credidit ei, et liberata est: Iunior, Arnobius, Praedestinatus, i.79, ed. Gori, F., CCSL 25B (Turnhout: Brepols, 2000), 856, at 46.

94 Augustine of Hippo, De haeresibus, c. 79, ed. Plaetse, R. Vander and Beukers, C., CCSL 46 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1969), 286345, at 336.

95 Vita Vulframni, x, MGH SS rer. Merov. v: 657–73, at 669; on the eighth-century Life of Wulfram of Sens, see Lebecq, Stéphane, “Vulfran, Willibrord et la mission de Frise: pour une relecture de la Vita Vulframni,” in L’évangélisation des régions entre Meuse et Moselle et la fondation de l'abbaye d'Echternach (Ve–IXe siècle), ed. Polfer, Michel (Luxemburg: Linden, 2000), 429–51; and Wood, Ian N., “Saint-Wandrille and Its Hagiography,” in Church and Chronicle in the Middle Ages, ed. Wood, Ian N. and Loud, G. A. (London: Hambledon, 1991), 114, at 3, 13–14.

96 See McCone, Kim, Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature, Maynooth Monographs 3 (Maynooth: An Sagart, 1990), 96.

97 [i.] bith menma na mbretheman omad(?) atginnti nad imraomathar fot rombatar hi reibh ecreitmhe condo urrort anfis bait slain ma derellsat asind recht aicnid dorat dia doibh: Cáin Fuithirbe, CIH 756.21–764.40, 766.36–777.5, 1553.26–1555.40, 1580.1–1581.5, at 773.5–8. Parts of the text are edited and translated by Breatnach, Liam, “The ecclesiastical element in Cáin Fuithirbe,” Peritia 5 (1986), 3652, for this passage see page 52; see also McCone, Pagan Past, 100; and Ó Corráin, “Irish Vernacular Law,” 291.

98 This is reiterated by the glossing of iar fenechus, ‘according to traditional law’, later in the text as .i. iarsin aicned dorat dia duin, “i.e., according to the (law of) nature that God had given to us”: CIH 773.21.

99 Et multa alia horribilia de predistinatione Dei contraria fidei catholicae adfirmat: ep. 59, at 112 = Concilium Romanum, at 40.

100 On Pelagius in general, see Rees, B. R., Pelagius, a Reluctant Heretic (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1988); and Rees, , The Letters of Pelagius and His Followers (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1991); on the Semi-Pelagian controversy of the centuries after his death, see Weaver, Rebecca Harden, Divine Grace and Human Agency: A Study of the Semi-Pelagian Controversy (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1996).

101 On good pagans, see also Charles-Edwards, Thomas, “Palladius, Prosper, and Leo the Great: Mission and Primatial Authority,” in Saint Patrick, A.D. 493–1993, ed. Dumville, David et al. (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1993), 112. On men who never sinned, see also Herren, Michael and Brown, Shirley Ann, Christ in Celtic Christianity: Britain and Ireland from the Fifth to the Tenth Century (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2002), 9497.

102 See in particular Herren and Brown, Christ in Celtic Christianity; and the review of this book by Gilbert Márkus, “Pelagianism and the ‘Common Celtic Church,’” review of Christ in Celtic Christianity, by Herren, Michael and Brown, Shirley Ann, The Innes Review 56 (2005), 165213, esp. 165–66 and the literature there cited.

103 See Thompson, E. A., Saint Germanus of Auxerre and the End of Roman Britain (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1984).

104 Prosper, Contra Collatorem xxi.2, PL li. 271B; and Prosper, Cronicum, s.a. 431; on Palladius, see Cróinín, Dáibhí Ó, “Who was Palladius, “First bishop of the Irish”?,” Peritia 15 (2001): 205–37.

105 Constantius of Lyon, Vita Germani ep. Autissiodorensis, c. 25, MGH SS rer. Merov. vii. 269; see also Thompson, E. A., “Zosimus and the End of Roman Britain,” Antiquity 30 (1956): 163–67, at 166.

106 Jerome, , In Hieremiam prophetam libri ui, prolog.4, iii.1, ed. Reiter, S., CCSL 74 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1960), 2, 120.

107 HE ii.19. According to Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, the Irish practice which prompted the letter in fact had nothing to do with Pelagius's ideas but arose out of a misunderstanding in Rome about the practice in the matter of Easter observance, see Cróinín, Dáibhí Ó, “‘New Heresy for Old’: Pelagianism in Ireland and the Papal Letter of 640,” Speculum 60 (1985): 505–16; see also Kelly, Joseph F., “Pelagius, Pelagianism and the Early Irish,” Medievalia 4 (1978): 99124; and Bonner, Gerald, “The Pelagian Controversy in Britain and Ireland,” Peritia 16 (2002): 144–55.

108 Axunge is the rich internal fat of the kidneys, used as axle grease, but also as a medicament, which may be the context of its reference here.

109 For nominari? Nürnberger emends the reading to nominant, see Nürnberger, “Über die Würzburger Handschrift,” 80.

110 pagato corr. pagano.

111 Overhead.

I am grateful to Prof. Mayke de Jong and Dr. Rob Meens for their very helpful suggestions and advice on earlier versions of this essay. The greater part of the research for this essay was undertaken at Trinity College, Cambridge, and I should like to thank the Master and Fellows of Trinity College for making my studies possible, in more ways than just financial.

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