The Seven Ecumenical Councils

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The Seven Ecumenical Councils

of the Undivided Church, Their Canons and Dogmatic Decrees,

Together with the Canons of All the Local Synods which have Received Ecumenical Acceptance.

Edited with Notes Gathered from the Writings of the Greatest Scholars

by Henry R. Percival, M.A., D.D.

Published in 1886 by Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.


The work intrusted to me of preparing this volume evidently can be divided into two separate parts. The first, the collecting of the material needed and the setting of it before the reader in the English tongue; the other, the preparation of suitable introductions and notes to the matter thus provided. Now in each of these departments two courses were open to the editor: the one, to be original; the other, to be a copyist. I need hardly say that of these the former offered many temptations. But I could not fail to recognize the fact that such a course would greatly take from the real value of the work, and therefore without any hesitation I have adopted the other alternative, and have endeavoured, so far as was at all possible, to keep myself out of the question altogether; and as a general rule even the translation of the text (as distinguished from the notes) is not mine but that of some scholar of well-established reputation.

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In the carrying out of this method of procedure I have availed myself of all the translations which I could find, and where, after comparing them with the original, I have thought them substantially accurate, I have adopted them and reproduced them. Where I have thought that the translation was misleading, I have amended it from some other translation, and, I think, in no case have I ventured a change of translation which rests upon my own judgment alone. A very considerable portion, however, of the matter found in this volume is now translated into English for the first time. For some of this I am indebted to my friends, who have most kindly given me every assistance in their power, but even here no translation has been made from the Greek without careful reference being had to the traditional understanding, as handed down in the Latin versions, and wherever the Latin and Greek texts differ on material points the difference has been noted. I have not thought it necessary nor desirable to specify the source of each particular translation, but I have provided for the use of the reader a list of all the translations which I have used. I should also add that I have not considered any one text sufficiently well established as to command any deference being paid to it, and that I have usually followed (for my own convenience rather than for any other reason) the text contained in Labbe and Cossart's Concilia. No doubt Hardouin and Mansi are in some respects superior, but old prejudices are very strong, and the reader will remember that these differing Concilia gave rise to a hard-fought battle in the history of the Gallican Church. I should add, however, that where more recent students of the subject have detected errors of importance in Labbe's text, I have corrected them, usually noting the variety of reading. With regard then to the text I entirely disclaim any responsibility, and the more so as on such a matter my opinion would be entirely valueless. And with regard to the translation my responsibility goes no further than the certifying the reader that, to all intents and purposes, the meaning of the original is presented to him in the English language and without interpretation being introduced under the specious guise of translation. Some portions are mere literal translations, and some are done into more idiomatic English, but all--so far as I am able to judge--are fair renderings of the original, its ambiguities being duly preserved. I have used as the foundation of the translation of the canons of the first four synods and of the five Provincial Synods that most convenient book, Index Canonum, by the Rev. John Fulton, D.D., D.C.L., in which united to a good translation is a Greek text, very well edited and clearly printed.

In preparing the other division of the book, that is to say, the Introduction and Notes, I have been guided by the same considerations. Here will be found no new and brilliant guesses of my own, but a collection of the most reliable conclusions of the most weighty critics and commentators. Where the notes are of any length I have traced the source and given the exact reference, but for the brief notes, where I have not thought this necessary, the reader may feel the greatest confidence that he is not reading any surmises of mine, but that in every particular what he reads rests upon the authority of the greatest names who have written on the subject. In the bibliographical table already referred to I have placed the authorities most frequently cited.

I think it necessary to make a few remarks upon the rule which I have laid down for myself with regard to my attitude on controverted questions bearing upon doctrine or ecclesiastical discipline. It seems to me that in such a work as the present any expression of the editor's views would be eminently out of place. I have therefore confined myself to a bare statement of what I conceive to be the facts of the case, and have left the reader to draw from them what conclusions he pleases. I hope that this volume may be equally acceptable to the Catholic and to the Protestant, to the Eastern and to the Western, and while I naturally think that the facts presented are clearly in accordance with my own views, I hope that those who draw from the same premises different conclusions will find these premises stated to their satisfaction in the following pages. And should such be the case this volume may well be a step toward "the union of all" and toward "the peace of all the holy churches of God," for which the unchanging East has so constantly prayed in her liturgy.

I wish to explain to the reader one other principle on which I have proceeded in preparing this volume. It professes to be a translation of the decrees and canons of certain ecclesiastical synods. It is not a history of those synods, nor is it a theological treatise upon the truth or otherwise of the doctrines set forth by those synods in their legislation. I have therefore carefully restricted my own historical introductions to a bare statement of such facts as seemed needed to render the meaning of the matter subsequently presented intelligible to the reader. And with regard to doctrine I have pursued the same course, merely explaining what the doctrine taught or condemned was, without entering into any consideration of its truth or falsity. For the history of the Church and its Councils the reader must consult the great historians; for a defence of the Church's faith he must read the works of her theologians.

I need hardly say that the overwhelming majority of the references found in this volume I have had no opportunity of verifying, no copy of many of the books being (so far as I know) to be found in America. I have, however, taken great pains to insure accuracy in reproducing the references as given in the books from which I have cited them; this, however, does not give me any feeling of confidence that they may be relied on, especially as in some cases where I have been able to look them up, I have found errors of the most serious kind.

It now only remains that I thank all those who have assisted me in this work, and especially I must mention his Excellency the High Procurator of the Holy Governing Synod of Russia, who directed the bibliographical table of Russian editions of the Canons, etc., which is found in this volume, to be prepared for me by Professor Glubokoffski of the Ecclesiastical Academy at St. Petersburgh. My special thanks are due to the learned professor just named for the very admirable manner in which he has performed the work, and to Mr. W. J. Birkbeck, who has added one more to his numerous labours for making the West better acquainted with the East by translating the Russian ms. into English. I cannot but pause here to remark how deep my regret is that my ignorance of the Russian and Slavic tongues has prevented me from laying before my readers the treasures of learning and the stores of tradition and local illustration which these volumes must contain. I am, however, extremely well pleased in being able to put those, who are more fortunate than myself in this respect, in the way of investigating the matter for themselves, by supplying them with the titles of the books on the subject. I desire also to offer my thanks to Professor Bolotoff for the valuable information he sent me as well as for a copy of his learned (and often most just) strictures upon Professor Lauchert's book, "Die Kanones der wichtigsten altkirchlichen Concilien nebst den Apostolischen Kanones." (Freiburg in B. und Leipzig, 1896.)

The Rev. Wm. McGarvey has helped me most kindly by translating parts of the Second Council of Nice, and one or more of the African Canons; and by looking over the translation of the entire African Code.

The Rev. F. A. Sanborn translated two of St. Cyril's letters, and the Rev. Leighton Hoskins the Sardican Canons. To these and many other of my friends, who in one way or another helped me, I wish to return my deep thanks; also to the Nashotah Theological Seminary and to the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, for having placed their libraries entirely at my disposal; nor can I end this list without mention of my sister, who has assisted me most materially through the entire progress of the work, and without whom I never could have undertaken it.

When I think of the great number of authors cited, of the rapidity with which most of the translation has had to be done, of the difficulty of getting access to the necessary books, and of the vast range of subjects touched upon (including almost every branch of ecclesiastical and theological learning), I feel I must throw myself and my work upon the reader's indulgence and beg him to take all this in consideration in making his estimate of the value of the work done. As for me, now that it is all finished, I feel like crying out with the reader, in deep shame at the recollection of the many blunders he has made in reading the lesson,--"Tu autem, Domine, miserere nobis!"

In conclusion I would add that nothing I have written must be interpreted as meaning that the editor personally has any doubt of the truth of the doctrines set forth by the Ecumenical Councils of the Christian Church, and I wish to declare in the most distinct manner that I accept all the doctrinal decrees of the Seven Ecumenical Synods as infallible and irreformable.

Henry R. Percival.

Pentecost, 1899.

General Introduction.

I. Method of Treatment.

It is absolutely necessary that a few words should be said on the general arrangement of the work. The reader will find given him in the English tongue, so far as they have come down to us, all the doctrinal definitions of the Seven Ecumenical Councils (councils which have always, and still do, receive the unqualified acceptance of both East and West), and all the canons, disciplinary and doctrinal, which were enacted by them. To these has been added a translation in full of all the canons of the local synods which received the approval and sanction of the aforesaid Ecumenical Councils. Besides this, as throwing light upon the subject, large extracts from the Acta have been given, in fact all that seemed to illustrate the decrees; and, that nothing might be lacking, in an appendix has been placed a collection of all the non-synodal canons which have received the sanction of the Ecumenical Synods, the "Canons of the Apostles" (so called) being given in full, and the others in a shortened form, for the most part in the words of the admirable and learned John Johnson.

This then is the text of the volume; but it is manifest that it stood in need of much comment to make its meaning clear to the reader, even if well informed on ordinary matters. To provide for this, to each synodal canon there has been added the Ancient Epitome.

Of this Epitome Bishop Beveridge treats with great learning in section xxvi. of his "Prolegomena" to his Synodicon, and shows that while some attributed this epitome to the Greek mediæval scholiast Aristenus, it cannot be his, as he has taken it for the text of his commentaries, and has in more than one instance pointed out that whoever he was who made it had, in his judgment, missed the sense. [1]

The Epitome must indeed be much older, for Nicholas Hydruntinus, who lived in the times of Alexis Angelus, when intending to quote one of the canons of Ephesus, actually quotes words which are not in that canon, but which are in the Epitome. "Wherefore," says Beveridge, "it is manifest that the Epitome is here cited, and that under the name of the whole canon." This being established we may justly look upon the Ancient Epitome as supplying us with a very ancient gloss upon the canons.

To this Epitome have been added Notes, taken from most of the great commentators, and Excursuses, largely made up from the writings of the greatest theologians, canonists, archæologists, etc., with regard to whom and their writings, all the information that seems necessary the reader will find in the Bibliographical Introduction.


[1] Vide Apostolic Canon LXXV., and Ancyr. Canon XIX.

II. Concerning Ecumenical Councils in General.

An Ecumenical Synod may be defined as a synod the decrees of which have found acceptance by the Church in the whole world. [2]It is not necessary to make a council ecumenical that the number of bishops present should be large, there were but 325 at Nice, and 150 at I. Constantinople; it is not necessary that it should be assembled with the intention of its being ecumenical, such was not the case with I. Constantinople; it is not necessary that all parts of the world should have been represented or even that the bishops of such parts should have been invited. All that is necessary is that its decrees find ecumenical acceptance afterwards, and its ecumenical character be universally recognized.

The reader will notice that in the foregoing I have not proceeded from the theological foundation of what an Ecumenical Synod should be (with this question the present volume has nothing to do), but from a consideration of the historical question as to what the Seven Councils have in common, which distinguishes them from the other councils of the Christian Church.

And here it is well to note that there have been many "General Councils" which have not been "Ecumenical." It is true that in ordinary parlance we often use the expressions as interchangeable, but such really is not the case. There are but seven universally recognized and undisputed "Ecumenical Councils"; on the other hand, the number of "General Councils" is very considerable, and as a matter of fact of these last several very large ones fell into heresy. It is only necessary to mention as examples the Latrocinium and the spurious "Seventh Council," held by the iconoclastic heretics. It is therefore the mere statement of an historical fact to say that General Councils have erred.

The Ecumenical Councils claimed for themselves an immunity from error in their doctrinal and moral teaching, resting such claim upon the promise of the presence and guidance of the Holy Ghost. The Council looked upon itself, not as revealing any new truth, but as setting forth the faith once for all delivered to the Saints, its decisions therefore were in themselves ecumenical, as being an expression of the mind of the whole body of the faithful both clerical and lay, the sensus communis of the Church. And by the then teaching of the Church that ecumenical consensus was considered free from the suspicion of error, guarded, (as was believed,) by the Lord's promise that the gates of hell should not prevail against his Church. This then is what Catholics mean when they affirm the infallibility of Ecumenical Councils. Whether this opinion is true or false is a question outside the scope of the present discussion. It was necessary, however, to state that these Councils looked upon themselves as divinely protected in their decisions from error in faith and morals, lest the reader should otherwise be at a loss to understand the anathematisms which follow the decrees, and which indeed would be singularly out of place, if the decrees which they thus emphatically affirm were supposed to rest only upon human wisdom and speculation, instead of upon divine authority.

Theologians consider that the decisions of Ecumenical Councils, like all juridical decrees, must be construed strictly, and that only the point at issue must be looked upon as decided. The obiter dicta of so august a body are no doubt of the greatest weight, but yet they have no claim to be possessed of that supreme authority which belongs to the definition of the particular point under consideration. [3]

The Seven Ecumenical Councils were all called together at the commandment and will of Princes; without any knowledge of the matter on the part of the Pope in one case at least (1st Constantinople) [4] ; without any consultation with him in the case of I. Nice, so far as we know [5] ; and contrary to his expressed desire in at least the case of Chalcedon, when he only gave a reluctant consent after the Emperor Marcian had already convoked the synod. From this it is historically evident that Ecumenical Councils can be summoned without either the knowledge or consent of the See of Rome.

In the history of the Christian Church, especially at a later period in connection with the Great Schism, much discussion has taken place among the learned as to the relative powers of a General Council and of the Pope. It will be remembered by everyone that the superior authority of the council was not only taught, but on one occasion acted on, by a council, but this is outside of the period covered by the Seven Ecumenical Synods, and I shall therefore only discuss the relations of these seven synods to the Roman See. And in the first place it is evident that no council has ever been received as ecumenical which has not been received and confirmed by the Roman Pontiff. But, after all, this is only saying that no council has been accepted as ecumenical which has not been ecumenically received, for it must be remembered that there was but one Patriarchate for the whole West, that of Rome; and this is true to all intents and purposes, whether or no certain sections had extrapatriarchal privileges, and were "auto-cephalous."

But it would be giving an entirely unfair impression of the matter to the reader were he left to suppose that this necessity for Rome's confirmation sprang necessarily from any idea of Rome's infallibility. So far as appears from any extant document, such an idea was as unknown in the whole world then as it is in four of the five patriarchates to-day. And it should be borne in mind that the confirmation by the Emperor was sought for and spoken of in quite as strong, if not stronger, terms. Before passing to a particular examination of what relation each of the Councils bore to the Roman See, it may be well to note that while as an historical fact each of the Seven Ecumenical Councils did eventually find acceptance at Rome, this fact does not prove that such acceptance is necessary in the nature of things. If we can imagine a time when Rome is not in communion with the greater part of the West, then it is quite possible to imagine that an Ecumenical Council could be held whose decrees would (for the time being) be rejected by the unworthy occupant of the Apostolic See. I am not asserting that such a state of affairs is possible from a theological standpoint, but merely stating an historical contingency which is perfectly within the range of imagination, even if cut off from any practical possibility by the faith of some.

We now come to a consideration of how, by its acts, each of the Seven Synods intimated its relation to the Roman See:

1. The First Council of Nice passed a canon in which some at least of the Roman rights are evidently looked upon as being exactly on the same plane as those of other metropolitans, declaring that they rest upon "custom."

It was the Emperor who originated this council and called it together, if we may believe his own words and those of the council; and while indeed it is possible that when the Emperor did not preside in person, Hosius of Cordova may have done so (even uniting the two Roman Presbyters who were the legates of the Roman See with him), yet there is no evidence that anything of the kind ever took place, and a pope, Felix III. (a.d. 483-492), in his Fifth Epistle (ad Imp. Zen.) declares that Eustathius, bishop of Antioch, presided at this council. [6]

The matter, however, is of little moment as no one would deny the right of the See of Rome to preside in a council of the whole Church.

2. The Second Ecumenical Council was called together by the Emperor without the knowledge of the Roman Pontiff. Nor was he invited to be present. Its first president was not in communion at the time of its session with the Roman Church. And, without any recourse to the first of all the patriarchs, it passed a canon changing the order of the patriarchates, and setting the new see of Constantinople in a higher place than the other ancient patriarchates, in fact immediately after Rome. Of course Protestants will consider this a matter of very minor importance, looking upon all patriarchal divisions and rank and priority (the Papacy included) as of a disciplinary character and as being jure ecclesiastico, and in no way affecting doctrine, but any fair reading of the third canon of this synod would seem plainly to assert that as the first rank of Rome rested upon the fact of its being the capital city, so the new capital city should have the second rank. If this interpretation is correct it affects very materially the Roman claim of jure divino primacy.

3. Before the third of the Ecumenical Synods was called to meet, Pope Celestine had already convicted Nestorius of heresy and deposed and excommunicated him. When subsequently the synod was assembled, and before the papal legates had arrived, the Council met, treated Nestorius as in good standing, entirely ignoring the sentence already given by Rome, and having examined the case (after summoning him three times to appear that he might be heard in his own defence), proceeded to sentence Nestorius, and immediately published the sentence. On the 10th of July (more than a fortnight later), the papal legates having arrived, a second session was held, at which they were told what had been done, all of which they were good enough to approve of. [7]

4. The Council of Chalcedon refused to consider the Eutychian matter as settled by Rome's decision or to accept Leo's Tome without examination as to whether it was orthodox. Moreover it passed a canon at a session which the Papal legates refused to attend, ratifying the order of the Patriarchates fixed at I. Constantinople, and declaring that "the Fathers had very properly given privileges to Old Rome as the imperial city, and that now they gave the same (ta isa presbeia) privileges" to Constantinople as the seat of the imperial government at that time.

5. The fifth of the Ecumenical Synods refused to receive any written doctrinal communication from the then pope (Vigilius), took his name from the diptychs, and refused him communion.

6. The Third Council of Constantinople, the sixth of the Ecumenical Synods, excommunicated Pope Honorius, who had been dead for years, for holding and teaching the Monothelite heresy.

7. It is certain that the Pope had nothing to do with the calling of the Seventh Synod, [8] and quite possible that it was presided over by Tarasius and not by the Papal legates.

Such is, in brief, the evidence which the Ecumenical Councils give on the subject of what, for lack of a better designation, may be called the Papal claims. Under these circumstances it may not be deemed strange that some extreme ultramontanists have arrived at the conclusion that much of the acts and decisions as we have them is spurious, or at least corrupted in an anti-papal direction. Vincenzi, who is the most learned of these writers, argues somewhat thus "if the members of the Ecumenical Synods believed as we do to-day with regard to the Papacy it is impossible that they should have acted and spoken as they did, but we know they must have believed as we do, ergo they did not so act or speak." The logic is admirable, but the truth of the conclusion depends upon the truth of the minor premise. The forgeries would have been very extensive, and who were they done by? Forgeries, as the false decretals, to advance papal claims we are unfortunately familiar with, but it is hard to imagine who could have forged in Greek and Latin the acts of the Ecumenical Synods. It is not necessary to pursue the matter any further, perhaps its very mention was uncalled for, but I wish to be absolutely fair, that no one may say that any evidence has been suppressed. [9]


[2] This was until the division of the East and West the definition accepted by all the whole Christian world. But since the Church has been divided, while the East has kept to the old definition and has not pretended to have held any Ecumenical Councils, the Roman Church has made a new definition of the old term and has then proceeded to hold a very considerable number of synods which she recognizes as Ecumenical. I say "a very considerable number," for even among Roman Catholic theologians there is much dispute as to the number of these "Ecumenical Synods," the decrees of which, like those of Trent and the Vatican, have never been received by about half of the Christian world, including four of the five patriarchates and of the fifth patriarchate all the Anglican communion. According to modern Roman writers the definition of these non-ecumenically received Ecumenical Synods is "Ecumenical councils are those to which the bishops and others entitled to vote are convoked from the whole world under the Presidency of the Pope or his legates, and the decrees of which, having received Papal confirmation, bind all Christians." Addis and Arnold, A Catholic Dictionary, s. v. Councils. The reader will notice that by this definition one at least (I. Constantinople), probably three, of the seven undisputed Ecumenical Synods cease to be such. [3] Vide Vasquez, P. III., Disp. 181, c. 9; Bellarmin., De Concil., Lib. II., cap. xvij.; Veron, Rule of the Cath. Faith, Chap. I., §§ 4, 5, and 6. [4] See Hefele's answer to Baronius's special pleading. Hist. Councils, Vol. I., pp. 9, 10. [5] It should be stated that at the Sixth Synod it was said that I. Nice was "summoned by the Emperor and Pope Sylvester," on what authority I know not. [6] Cf. Theod. H. E., Lib. I., e. 6. [7] Protestant Controversialists, as well as others, have curious ways of stating historical events without any regard to the facts of the case. A notable instance of this is found in Dr. Salmon's Infallibility of the Church (p. 426 of the 2d Edition) where we are told that "the only one of the great controversies in which the Pope really did his part in teaching Christians what to believe was the Eutychian controversy. Leo the Great, instead of waiting, as Popes usually do, till the question was settled, published his sentiments at the beginning, and his letter to Flavian was adopted by the Council of Chalcedon. This is what would have always happened if God had really made the Pope the guide to the Church. But this case is quite exceptional, resulting from the accident that Leo was a good theologian, besides being a man of great vigour of character. No similar influence was exercised either by his predecessors or successors." This sentence is not pleasant reading, for it is an awe-inspiring display of one of two things, neither of which should be in the author of such a book. We need only remind the reader that Celestine had condemned Nestorius and his teaching before the Council of Ephesus; that Honorius had written letters defining the question with regard to the will or wills of the Incarnate Son before the III. Council of Constantinople (which excommunicated him as a heretic for these very letters); that Pope Vigilius condemned the "Three Chapters" before the II. Council of Constantinople; and that Gregory II. condemned the iconoclastic heresy before the Seventh Synod, if the letters attributed to him be genuine (which is not quite certain, as will be shewn in its proper place). Thus the only two great questions not decided, one way or another, by the See of Rome before the meeting of a General Council were Arianism and Macedonianism, and some have held (though mistakenly as is generally thought) that Arius was condemned by a synod held at Rome before that of Nice. [8] See Michaud's brilliant answer to Hefele, Discussion sur les Sept Conciles OEcuméniques, p. 327. [9] The reader may easily satisfy himself on this matter by reading the somewhat extensive works of Aloysius Vincenzi, published in Rome in 1875 and thereabouts.

III. The Number of the Ecumenical Synods.

It may not be unjustly expected that some reasons should be assigned for limiting the number of the Ecumenical Synods to seven. There is no need here to enter into any proof that Nice, I. Constantinople, Ephesus and Chalcedon are Ecumenical, since so long ago as the time of St. Gregory the Great, that Saint and Doctor said of them: "I venerate the first four Ecumenical Councils equally with the Four Gospels (sicut quatuor Evangelia)," [10] and no one has been found to question that in so saying he gave expression to the mind of the Church of his day. Of the fifth and sixth synods there never was any real doubt, although there was trouble at first about the reception of the fifth in some places. The ecumenical character of the seventh is not disputed by East or West and has not been for near a thousand years, and full proof of its ecumenicity will be found in connection with that council. There is therefore no possible doubt that these seven must be included, but it may be asked why certain others are not here also.

The following is a list of those that might seem to have a claim: Sardica (343 circa), Quinisext (692), Constantinople (869), Lyons (1274), and Florence (1439).

The reasons for rejecting the claims of Sardica will be found in connection with the canons set forth by that council. The same is the case with regard to the claims of the Synod in Trullo. It is true that IV. Constantinople, holden in a.d. 869, was for a short while held as Ecumenical by both East and West, and continues to be held as such by the Latin Church down to this day, but it was soon rejected by the East and another synod of Constantinople (879), which undid much of its work, has for the Greeks taken its place. However the Easterns do not claim for this synod an ecumenical character, but confine the number to seven.

The Councils of Lyons and Florence both fail of ecumenicity for the same reason. At both the East was represented, and at each an agreement was arrived at, but neither agreement was subsequently accepted in the East, and the decrees therefore have failed, as yet, of receiving ecumenical acceptance.

We are left therefore with Seven Ecumenical Councils, neither more nor less, and these are fully treated of in the pages that follow.


[10] Epistle XXIV. of Lib. I.

Bibliographical Introduction.

To the student of the ancient synods of the Church of Christ, the name of William Beveridge must ever stand most illustrious; and his work on the canons of the undivided Church as received by the Greeks, published at Oxford in 1672, will remain a lasting glory to the Anglican Church, as the "Concilia" of Labbe and Cossart, which appeared in Paris about the same time, must ever redound to the glory of her sister, the Gallican Church.

Of the permanent value of Beveridge's work there can be no greater evidence than that to-day it is quoted all the world over, and not only are Anglicans proud of the bishop of St. Asaph, but Catholics and Protestants, Westerns and Easterns alike quote him as an authority. In illustration of this it will be sufficient to mention two examples, the most extensive and learned work on the councils of our own day, that by the Roman Catholic bishop Hefele, and the "Compendium of Canon Law," by the Metropolitan of the Orthodox Greek Hungarian Church, [11] in both of which the reader will find constant reference to Beveridge's "Synodicon."

This great work appeared in two volumes full folio, with the Greek text, beautifully printed, but of course with the ligatures so perplexing to the ordinary Greek reader of to-day. It should however be noted that the most learned and interesting Prolegomena in Sunodikon sive Pandectæ Canonum, as well as the Præfationem ad annotationes in Canones Apostolicos, is reprinted as an Appendix to Vol. XII. of "The Theological Works of William Beveridge, sometime lord bishop of St. Asaph," in the "Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology," (published at Oxford, 1848), which also contains a reprint of the "Codex Canonum Ecclesiæ Primitivæ vindicatus ac illustratus," of which last work I shall have something to say in connection with the Apostolical Canons in the Appendix to this volume.

Nothing could exceed the value of the Prolegomena and it is greatly to be wished that this most unique preface were more read by students. It contains a fund of out-of-the-way information which can be found nowhere else collected together, and while indeed later research has thrown some further light upon the subject, yet the main conclusions of Bishop Beveridge are still accepted by the learned with but few exceptions. I have endeavoured, as far as possible to incorporate into this volume the most important part of the learned bishop's notes and observations, but the real student must consult the work itself. The reader will be interested to know that the greatest English scholars of his day assisted Bishop Beveridge in his work, among whom was John Pearson, the defender of the Ignatian Epistles.

I think I cannot do better than set out in full the contents of the Synodicon so that the student may know just what he will find in its pages:

"Sunodikon sive Padectæ Canonum SS. Apostolorum, et Conciliorum ab Ecclesia Græca receptorum; necnon Canonicorum SS. Patrum Epistolarum: Unà cum Scholiis Antiquorum singulis eorum annexis, et scriptis aliis huc spectantibus; quorum plurima e Biblothecæ Bodleianæ aliarumque mss. codicibus nunc primum edita: reliqua cum iisdem mss. summâ fide et diligentiâ collata. Totum Opus in duos Tomos divisum, Guilielmus Beverigius, Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ Presbyter, Recensuit, Prolegomenis munivit, et Annotationibus auxit. Oxonii, E Theatro Sheldoniano. M.DC.LXXII."

Such is the title in full. I proceed to note the contents, premising that for all the Greek a Latin translation is given in a parallel column:

Volume I.

The Canons of the Holy Apostles, with the Ancient Epitome, and the scholia of Balsamon, Zonaras and Aristenus.

The Canons of the Council of Nice with notes ut supra and so throughout.

The Canons of the Council of Constantinople.

The Canons of the Council of Ephesus.

The Canons of the Council of Chalcedon.

The Canons of the Sixth Council in Trullo.

The Canons of the Seventh OEcumenical Council.

The Canons of the Council of Constantinople called the First-and-Second [in the time of Photius].

The Canons of the Council held in the Temple of Wisdom [which confirmed the Seventh OEcumenical Synod]. All these with notes as before.

The Canons of the Council of Carthage [over which St. Cyprian, the Martyr, presided] with the notes of Balsamon and Zonaras.

The Canons of the Council of Ancyra.

The Canons of the Council of Neocæsarea.

The Canons of the Council of Gangra.

The Canons of the Council of Antioch.

The Canons of the Council of Laodicea.

The Canons of the Council of Sardica. All these with full notes as before.

The Canons of the 217 blessed Fathers who met at Carthage, with the epitome, and scholia by Balsamon and Aristenus, and on the actual canons by Zonaras also. To these some epistles are added, likewise annotated.

Then, ending Volume I. is a version of Josephus Æyptius's Arabic Introduction and Paraphrase on the Canons of the first four General Councils, bearing the following title:

Josephi Ægyptii Proæmia et Paraphrasis Arabica in Quatuor Preorum Generalium Conciliorum Canones, interprete Guilielmo Beverigio, the Arabic being given in the left hand column.

Volume II.

Part I.

The Canons of Dionysius of Alexandria, with the scholia of Balsamon and Zonaras.

The Canons of Peter of Alexandria.

The Canons of Gregory Thaumaturgus.

The Canons of St. Athanasius. All these with scholia as above.

The Canons of St. Basil, with the Ancient Epitome and scholia of Balsamon, Zonaras, and Aristenus.

The Canons of St. Gregory Nyssen with scholia of Balsamon.

The Canonical Answer of Timothy, Bishop of Alexandria.

The Canons of Theophilus of Alexandria.

The Canonical Epistles of Cyril of Alexandria.

Extracts from the metrical poems of St. Gregory Theologus, concerning what books of the Old and New Testaments should be read.

Extracts from the iambics of St. Amphilochius the bishop to Seleucus on the same subject.

The Encyclical Letter of Gennadius, Patriarch of Constantinople.

The Epistle of Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople, to Adrian, Pope of Rome, concerning simony. All of these with Balsamon's scholia.

Part II.

The Synopsis by Alexius Aristenus of the letters called Canonical.

The questions of Certain Monks and the Answers sent by the Synod of Constantinople. With notes by Balsamon. [12]

The Alphabetical Syntagma of all that is contained in the Sacred and Divine Canons, by Mathew Blastares, the Monk. [13]

Concerning the Holy and OEcumenical Synod which restored Photius, the most holy Patriarch to the See of Constantinople, and dissolved the scandal of the two Churches of Old and New Rome; [Styled by some the "Eighth OEcumenical Synod."] to which is added the Letter of the Blessed John Pope of Rome to the most holy Photius, Archbishop of Constantinople.

An Index Rerum et Verborum of both volumes.

Beveridge's own Notes on the Canons of the Councils.

An Index Rerum et Verborum of the Notes.

Such are the contents of Bishop Beveridge's great work, and it is impossible to exaggerate its value. But it will be noticed that it only covers the disciplinary action of the Councils, and does not give the dogmatic decrees, these being excluded from the author's plan.

Before leaving the collections of the canons we must mention the great work of Justellus (the Preface and notes of which are found reprinted in Migne's Pat. Lat., Tom. LXVII.); Canonum Ecclesiæ Universæ Gr. et Lat. cum Præfatione Notisque Christoph. Justelli.

The author was counsellor and secretary to the King of France, was born in Paris 1580, and died in 1649. After his death there appeared at Paris in 1661 a work in 2 volumes folio, with the following title: Bibliotheca juris canonici vetus...ex antiquis codicibus mss. Bibliothecæ Christopheri Justelli....Opera et studio Gul. Voelli et Henrici Justelli.

The Church in Paris had the honour of having among its Cathedral clergy the first scholar who published a collection of the Acts of the councils. James Merlin was Canon and Grand Penitentiary of the Metropolitan Church, and the first edition of his work he put out in 1523 in one volume folio. This work passed through several editions within a few years, but soon gave place to fuller collections. [14]

In 1538, the Belgian Franciscan Peter Crabbe (Pierre Grable) issued at Cologne an enlarged collection in two volumes, and the second edition in 1551 was enlarged to three folio volumes. Besides these, there was Lawrence Surius's still more complete collection, published in 1557 (4 vols. folio), and the Venice collection compiled by Domenick Bollanus, O. P., and printed by Dominic Nicolini, 1585 (5 vols. folio).

But the renowned collection of Professor Severin Binius surpassed all its predecessors, and its historical and critical notes are quoted with respect even to-day. The first edition, in four volumes folio, was issued at Cologne in 1606, and later editions, better than the first, in 1618 and 1636. This last edition was published at Paris in nine volumes, and made use of the Roman collection.

To the learned Jesuit Sirmond belongs the chief glory of having compiled this Roman collection, and the "Introduction" is from his pen. The work was undertaken by the authority of Pope Paul V., and much of the Greek text, copied from mss. in the Vatican Library, was now for the first time given to the reading public. This collection contains only the Ecumenical Councils according to the Roman method of reckoning, and its compilation took from 1608 to 1612.

No collection appeared from this date until the "Collectio Regia," a magnificent series of thirty-seven volumes folio, at the royal press at Paris in 1644. But while it was superb in get up, it left much to be desired when looked at critically, for many faults of the Roman edition already pointed out by Sirmond were not corrected.

And now we have reached the time when the first really great Concilia appeared, which while only filling seventeen volumes in folio was yet far more complete --Hefele says twenty-five per cent. more complete--than the great Collectio Regia just described. This edition was the work of Philip Labbe (Labbeus in Latin), S. J., and was completed after his death in 1667, by Father Gabriel Cossart of the same Society--"Almost all the French savants quote from this edition of Labbe's with Baluze's supplement," [15] and I have followed their lead, availing myself of the corrections made by later editors. The title of the edition used in this work is: "Sacrasancta Concilia ad Regiam Editionem exacta. Studio Philip. Labbei et Gabr. Cossartii, Soc. Jesu Presbyterorum. Lutetiæ Parisiorum. MDCLXXI. Cum Privilegio Regis Christianissimi."

Anything more perfect than these precious volumes it would be hard to conceive of, and while of course they contain the errors of chronology et cetera of their age, yet their general accuracy and marvellous completeness leave them even to-day as the greatest of the great, although the later edition of Hardouin is more often used by English and American scholars, and is the one quoted by Pope Benedict XIV. in his famous work De Synodo Diæcesana. Hardouin's edition did certainly correct many of the faults of Labbe and Cossart, yet had itself many faults and defects which are pointed out by Salmon [16] in a long list, although he fully acknowledges the value of Hardouin's improvements and additions. Perhaps, not unnaturally, as a Professor at the Sorbonne, he preferred Labbe and Cossart. It may not be amiss to add that Hardouin was very anti-Gallican and ultramontane.

The Dominican Archbishop of Lucca, Mansi, in 1759, put out his "Concilia" in thirty-one volumes folio at Florence, styled on the title-page "the most ample" edition ever printed, and claiming to contain all the old and much new matter. It was never finished, only reaching to the XVth century, has no indices, and (says Hefele) "is very inferior to Hardouin in accuracy. The order of the subjects in the later volumes is sometimes not sufficiently methodical, and is at variance with the chronology." [17]

I shall now present the reader with some bibliographical notes which I extract verbatim from Hefele (Hefele, History of the Councils, Vol. I., p. 74).

Among the numerous works on the history of the councils, the most useful to consult are:

1. John Cabassutius, Notitia ecclesiastica historiarum conciliorum et canonum. Lyons 1680, folio. Very often reprinted.

2. Hermant, Histoire des Conciles, Rouen 1730, four volumes, 8vo.

3. Labbe, Synopsis historica Conciliorum, in vol. i. of his Collection of Councils.

4. Edm. Richer, Historia conciliorum generalium (Paris, 1680), three volumes, 4to. Reprinted in 8vo. at Cologne.

5. Charles Ludovic Richard, Analysis conciliorum generalium et particularium. Translated from French into Latin by Dalmasus. Four volumes, 8vo, Augsburg, 1778.

6. Christ. Wilh. Franz Walch, Entwurf einer vollständigen Historie der Kirchenversammlungen, Leipzig, 1759.

7. Fabricius, Bibliotheca Græca, edit. Harless. t. xii., p. 422 sqq., in which is contained an alphabetical table of all the councils, and an estimate of the value of the principal collections.

8. Alletz, Concilien-Lexikon, translated from French into German by Father Maurus Disch, a Benedictine and professor at Augsburg, 1843.

9. Dictionnaire universel et complet des Conciles, tant généraux que particuliers, etc., rédigé par M. l'abbé P----, prêtre du Diocese de Paris, published by the Abbé Migne (Paris, 1846), two volumes, 4to.

In the great works on ecclesiastical history--for example, in the Nouvelle Bibliothèque des Auteurs Ecclesiastiques, by El. Dupin, and the Historia Literaria of Cave, and particularly in the excellent Histoire des Auteurs Sacrés, by Remi Ceillier--we find matter relating to the history of the councils. Salmon, l. c., p. 387, and Walch in his Historie der Kirchenversammlungen, pp. 48-67, have pointed out a large number of works on the history of the councils. There are also very valuable dissertations on the same subject in--

1. Christian Lupus, Synodorum generalium ac provincialium decreta et canones, scholiis, notis ac historica actorum dissertatione illustrata, Louv., 1665; Brussels, 1673; five volumes, 4to.

2. Lud. Thomassin, Dissertationum in Concilia generalia et particularia, t. i., Paris, 1667; reprinted in Rocaberti, Bibl. pontificia, tr. XV.

3. Van Espen, Tractatus Historicus exhibens scholia in omnes canones conciliorum, etc., in his complete works.

4. Barth. Caranza has written a very complete and useful abstract of the acts of the councils in his Summa Conciliorum, which has often been re-edited.

5. George Daniel Fuchs, deacon of Stuttgart, has, in his Bibliothek der Kirchenversammlungen, four volumes, Leipsic, 1780-1784, given German translations and abstracts of the acts of the councils in the fourth and fifth centuries.

6. Francis Salmon, Doctor and Librarian of the Sorbonne, has published an Introduction to the Study of the Councils, in his Traité de l'Étude des Conciles et de leurs collections, Paris, 1724, in 4to, which has often been reprinted.

To these I would add the following:

1. Fleury, Histoire Ecclesiastique. This work in many volumes, part of which has been translated into English, is most useful and accurate, and contains a resumé of the separate canons and definitions as well as the history of the proceedings.

2. Denziger, Enchiridion Symbolorum et Definitionum quæ de rebus fidei et morum a Conciliis OEcumenicis et Summis Pontificibus emanarunt. A most useful handbook in the original.

3. Hefele, Conciliengeschicte. This, the most recent work upon the subject, is also in some respects the most satisfactory, and it is a matter of real regret that only the first part of the work, down to the end of the Seventh OEcumenical Council, has been translated into English. The last volume of the author's revised edition appeared in 1890. The first volume of the first edition was published in 1855, and the seventh and last in 1874. The entire book was translated into French some years ago (with full indices) by M. l'abbé Goschlerand and M. l'abbé Delarc (Paris, Adrien le Clere et Cie). It should in fairness, however, be remarked that Bishop Hefele was one of the minority who opposed the opportuneness of the definition of Papal infallibility at the Vatican Council, and while indeed afterwards he submitted to the final decree, yet he has been a somewhat suspected person since to those who held extreme views on this doctrine.

So far as I am aware no serious work has been done upon the councils by any writer using the English tongue in recent times, with the exception of the useful Notes on the Canons of the First Four General Councils, by Canon Wm. Bright.

The following is a list of the English translations which I have consulted or followed:

John Johnson, The Clergyman's Vade-mecum (London, 2d Ed., 1714).

Wm. A. Hammond, The Definitions of Faith and Canons of Discipline of the Six OEcumenical Councils, etc.

William Lambert, The Canons of the First Four General Councils of the Church and those of the Early Greek Synods (London, s.d. Preface dated 1868).

John Fulton, Index Canonum. [This work ends with the Council of Chalcedon.] (New York, 1872. 3d Ed., 1892.)

John Mendham, The Seventh General Council, the Second of Nice (London, s. d.).

H. R. Percival, The Decrees of the Seven Ecumenical Synods. Appendix I. to A Digest of Theology (London, Masters, 1893).

It only remains that I mention two other works.

Dr. Pusey's book, The Councils of the Church from the Council of Jerusalem a.d. 51 to the Council of Constantinople, 381 (1857) should not be omitted, and certainly the reader's attention should be called to that most accurate and valuable volume by Herm. Theod. Bruns, Canones Apostolorum et Conciliorum Veterum Selecti (Berolini, 1839), which has been constantly referred to in preparing this work.


[11] As one of the few books of the Eastern Church ever translated into a Western tongue, the reader may be glad to have its full title. Compendium des Kanonischen Rechtes der einen heiligen, allgemeinen und apostoliochen Kirche verfaszt von Andreas Freiherrn von Schaguna. Hermannstadt, Buchdruckerei des Josef Droklieff, 1868. [12] According to the Elenchus, in the beginning of this volume, both of these writings are found in the First Part and not in the Second Part of the volume. [13] Schoell says that the text is not accurately given. [14] I am indebted to Hefele, History of the Councils, Vol. I., p. 67 et seqq., for this account of Merlin's Collection, as also for most of the statements that follow. Hefele says (footnote to page 67): "The longest details on Merlin's edition are found in a work of Salmon, Doctor and Librarian of the Sorbonne, Traité de l'Etude des Conciles et de leurs Collections, etc. Paris, 1726." [15] Hefele, Hist. Councils, vol. I, p. 69. [16] Salmon, l. c., pp. 315-331, 786-831. [17] Hefele, Hist. Councils, vol. I, p. 72.

Appended Note on the Eastern Editions of Synodical Literature.

From the presses of the East, especially those at Athens, a number of editions more or less complete of the Greek text of the Canons of the Ecumenical and of the Local Councils have been issued, and the notes of Balsamon, Zonaras, and Aristenus have been added in some cases. Professor Bolotoff writes however that so far as Greek literature on the subject is concerned, with the exception of purely topographical researches in the environs of Constantinople, it is simply putting into Greek what was originally in German.

The Russian Church has done somewhat more and as will be seen from the following table, some attempts have been made at providing scholia, but when the scheme of this present work was shewn him, Professor Bolotoff said: "We have nothing analogous to this undertaking in Russia." The learned professor remarks that all the best Russian literature upon the subject is contained in magazine articles, especially those of Professor Zaozersky of the Moscow Theological Academy, and of Professor A. S. Pavloff, of the University of Moscow; he mentions also the latter's article in the Orthodox Review, and adds that "An Essay on a Course of Church Legislation," by Joann Smolensk (St. Petersburg, 1851) should be referred to.

Bibliograficeskij Ukazatel' Pecatnyh Izdanij Apostol'skih I Sobornyh Pravil Na Slavjanskom I Russkom Jazykah.

V pravoslavnoj Russkoj Cerkvi izdanija sobornyh pravil i opredelenij soversalis' tol'ko po neposredstvennomu rasporjazeniju i soizvoleniju vyssej cerknovnoj vlasti i fakticeski izjaty iz kompetencii castnoj ucenoj predpriimcivosti. Poetomu podrobnyja izdanija vypuskalis' v Rossii lis' po mere prakticeskoj potrebnosti.

(1) Pervoe po vremeni pecatnoe izdanie nazvannyh pravil bylo v slavjanskoj "Kormcej Knige" (=grec. Pedalion ), kotoraja nacata pecataniem pri Moskovskom patriarhe Iosife v Moskve 7go oktjabrja 1649 g. i okoncena 1go ijulja 1650 g., no patr. Nikon podverg ego sobornomu peresmotru, pri cem neskol'ko listov bylo perepecatano i vneseno vnov'. [18]Po semu ekzempljary etoj "Kormcej" byli razoslany po cerkvam dlja cerkovnago upotreblenija i postupili v obrascenie ne ranee 1653 g. Vtoroe izdanie "Kormcej"bylo v 1787 g. posle peresmotra eja mitropolitom Novgorodskim i S. Peterburgskim Gavriilom, [19] a zatem i drugija (napr., v 1804 g., 1816 g. i 1823 g.) bez osobyh peremen. Pozdnejsija izdanija otlicajutsja ot Nikonovskago v castnostjah, no eto ne kasaetsja cerkovnyh pravil, kotoryja pomescajutsja v pervoj casti "Kormcej"i soderzat 85 apostol'skih pravil, postanovlenija 16-i soborov (Nikejskago, Ankirskago, Neokesarijskago, Gangrskago, Antiohijskago, Laodikijskago, II-go, III-go, IV-go vselenskih, Sardikskago, Karfagenskago, Konstantinopol'skago, pri Nekoparge, Trull'skago 692 g., VII-go vselenskago, Dvukratnago i v cerkvi sv. Sofii) i pravila 13-ti sv. otcov.

(2) V pecatnoj "Kormcej" kanony izlozeny ne v polnom tekste, a v sokrascennom, inogda dajuscem lis' ves'ma nedostatocnoe predstavlenie o soderzanii podlinnika. Poetomu izdavna delalis' popytki celostnyh perevodov, [20] no poslednie ne pojavljalis' v pecati. Tol'ko uze v 1839 g. sv. Sinodom vypusceno bylo v S. Peterburge takoe izdanie: "Kniga pravil sv. apostol, sv. soborov vselenskih i pomestnyh i sv. otec", napecatannaja v bol'soj list v "carstvujuscem grade sv. Petra pervym tisneniem, v leto ot sozdanija mira 7347, ot Rozdestva ze po ploti Boga Slova 1839, indikta 12"; v nem 4 nenumerovannye lista i 455 numerovannyh strannic. Na kazdoj strannice dve kolonny dlja podlinnika i novago slavjanskago perevoda po polnomu tekstu, no bez tolkovanij vizantijskih kanonistov; redko na osnovanii Zonary ili Val'samona dajutsja primecanija, ne vsegda tocnyja isto-riceski (napr. k 10 pravilu Ankirsk., 3 Sard., 4 Karfag. i o dvukratnom sobore 861 g.), a po mestam i samyj tekst ne ispraven (napr., v 13-m prav. I-go vsel. sobora). Eta "Kniga"imela potom sledujuscija izdanija: (2) v Moskve v Sinodal'noj tipografii v 1862, in folio 8 ll.+672+74 numer. strn., s tekstom greceskim i slavjanskim (3) ibid. v 1866 g. in quarto, 3 ll.+ 373 strn.+1 l.+ 59 strn., s odnim slavjanskim tekstom; (4) ibid. v 1874 g., in octavo, 4 ll.+ 455 strn.+ 2 ll.+ 104 + 4 strn., toze s odnim slavjanskim tekstom; (5) ibid. v 1886 g., in folio, 3 ll.+395+42 strn.+1 l., opjat' v odnom slavjanskom tekste.

(3) "Kniga pravil" nicut' ne predstavljaet avtorizovannago textus receptus, i posle eja izdanija sam Sv. Sinod ne redko privodil v svoih ukazah pravila po slavjanskoj redakcii "Kormcej knigi," a potom rekomendoval Afinskoe izdanie "Sintagmy" dlja vseh duhovno-ucebnyh zavedenij. Eto otkryvalo mesto dlja novoj obrabotki, kotoraja s razresenija vyssej duhovnoj vlasti i byla predprinjata Moskovskim "Obscestvom ljubitelej duhovnago prosvescenija". Objavlenie ob etom bylo sdelano v N-re 3 "Moskovskih Eparhialnyh Cerkovnyh Vedomostej"za 1875 g., a v janvarskoj knizke togoze goda Moskovskago zurnala "Ctenija v Obscestve ljubitelej duhovnago prosvescenija"byla napecatana i samaja "programma"izdanija (strn. 79-90 v otdele bibliografii. Po povodu eja professor kanoniceskago prava v Novororossijskom Universitete (skoncavsijsja 16go avgusta 1898 g. professorom Moskovskago Universiteta) Aleksej Stepanovic Pavlov sdelal "Zamecanija na programmu izdanija, v russkom perevode, cerkovnyh pravil s tolkovanijami" v "Zapiskah Imperatorskago Novorossijskago Universiteta", t. XVI (Odessa 1875 g.) strn. 1-17 prilozenij (i v otdel'noj brosure), a posle perepecatal ih--s nekotorymi dopolnenijami--v Moskovskom zurnale "Pravoslavnoe Obozrenie"za aprel' 1876 g. (strn. 730-746) pod zaglaviem "O novom perevode tolkovanij na cerkovnyja pravila". Na eti vozrazenija otvecal professor cerkovnago prava v Moskovskoj Duhovnoj Akademii Aleksandr Feodorovic Lavrov v zurnale "Ctenija v Obscestve ljubitelej duhovnago prosvescenija" (c. II, strn. 158-194 za 1877 g.) "Pecatnym pis'mom k Alekseju Stepanovicu Pavlovu". Tak postepenno opredelilsja plan izdanija, kotoroe pecatalos' snacala v prilozenijah k zurnalu "Ctenija v Obscestve i pr.", a potom javilos' i otdel'no in octavo v sledujuscih vypuskah: (a) I-j "Pravila svjatih Apostol s tolkovanijami" v dvuh izdanijah--Moskva 1876 g. iz "Ctenij 1875 g., strn. 1-163) 4+12+175 strn., i ibid. 1887 g., 5+12+163 strn.; II-j "Pravila svjatyh vselennyh soborov s tolkovanijami"(iz "Ctenij" 1875 g., strn. 165-328; 1876 g., strn. 329-680; 1877 g., strn. 681-900) v dvuh castjah: 1-ja "pravila soborov 1-4" Moskva 1877 g., 260 strn., 2-ja "pravila soborov 5-7" ibid., 736 strn.; b) "Pravila svjatyh pomestnyh soborov s tolkovanijami" toze v dvuh vypuskah (iz "Ctenij" 1877 g., strn. 900-1066; 1878 g., strn. 1067-1306; 1879 g., strn. 1307-1410: 1-j (pravila soborov Ankirskago, Neokesarijskago, Gangrskago, Antiohijskago, Laodikijskago i Sardikijskago) Moskva 1880, strn. 359; 2-j (pravila soborov Karfagenskago [s poslanijami k pape Vonifatiju i pape Kelestinu], Konstantinopol'skago, Dvukratnago i vo hrame premudrosti slova Bozija) ibid. 1881, strn. 876; c) "Pravila svjatyh otec s tolkovanijami" ibid. 1884, strn. 626. Pri nih imeetsja otdel'nyj "Ukazatel' predmetov, soderzascihsja v izdanii pravil apostol'skih, sobornyh i svjatyh otcev s tolkovanijami", Moskva 1888, 58 strn. in octavo. Greceskij tekst pravil privoditsja po izdaniju Suntagma ton Theion kai hieron kanonon...hupo G. A. Ralle kai M. Potln, 'Athenesin 1852-1854, rjadom s nim pomescajetsja doslovnyj slavjanskij perevod tolkovanij vizantijskih kommentatorov (Zonary, Aristina, Val'samona), tekst i tolkovanija slavjanskoj Kormcej; vse eto soprovozdaetsja vydanijami i vsjakago roda pojasnenijami (istoriceskimi, filologiceskimi i t. p.). Izdanie eto specialistami spravedlivo scitaetsja ves'ma cennym v naucnom otnosenii. Glavnym redaktorom i dejatelem ego byl prof. A. F. Lavrov (v monasestve Aleksij, skoncavsijsja arhiepiskopom Litovskim i Vilenskim), no privlekalis' k ucastiju mnogija drugija lica i mezdu nimi prof. A. S. Pavlov.

(4) Russkij perevod pravil imeetsja tol'ko pri izdanijah Kazanskoj Duhovnoj Akademii:a) "Dejanija vselenskih soborov v perevode na russkij jazyk", t. I VII (7), Kazan' 1859-1878 (nekotorye tomy vo vtorom izdanii) i b) "Dejanija devjati pomestnyh soborov v perevode na russkij jazyk", odin tom, Kazan' 1878. Etot perevod sdelan po porucenii Sv. Sinoda, a pravila peredajutsja v nem po tekstu sobornyh dejanij.

Iz predstavlennago ocerka pecatnyh izdanij sobornyh pravil vidno, cto oni--v predelah svoej fakticeskoj primenimosti--pocitajutsja istocnikom dejstvujuscago prava v Russkoj pravoslavnoj cerkvi, pocemu dlja neja osobennuju vaznost' imejut lis' avtoritetnyja vizantijskija, tolkovanija, o kotoryh suscestvujut izsledovanija V. Demidova, harakter i znacenie tolkovanij na kanoniceskij kodeks greceskoj cerkvi--Aristina, Zonary i Val'samona--v "Pravoslavnom Obozrenii" t. II-j za 1888 g., Kazanskago prof. V. A. Narbskago, Tolkovanija Val'samona na nomokanon Fotija, Kazan' 1889, i Jur'evskago (=Derptskago) prof. M. E. Krasnozena, Tolkovateli kanoniceskago kodeksa vostocnoj cerkvi: Aristin, Zonara i Val'samon, Moskva 1892.

Otdel'nyh naucnyh tolkovanij vseh sobornyh pravil v russkoj literature net, no oni izlagajutsja i razjasnjajutsja v kursah cerkovnago prava (arhimandrit. [/-ep. Smolenskago] Ioanna, prof. N. S. Suvorova, I. S. Berdnikova, P. A. Laskareva, M. A. Ostroumova), v socinenijah po istorii vselenskih soborov (ep. Ioanna, prof. Alekseja Petrovica Lebedeva), v kanoniceskih i cerkovno-istoriceskih monografijah. Kasatel'no kriticeskago izdanija podlinnago teksta pravil est' ucenaja i poleznaja stat'ja (o knige Fr. Lauchert, Die Kanones usw., Freiburg i. Br. und Leipzig 1896) professora cerkovnnoj istorii v S. Peterburgskoj Duhovnoj Akademii Vasilija Vasilievica Bolotova v "Hristianskom Ctenii", vyp. IV-j za 1896 g., strn. 178-195.

Professor S.-Peterburgskoj Duhovnoj Akademii po kafedre Sv. Pisanija Novago Zaveta

Nikolaj Glubokovskij

S.-Peterburg, 1898, X, 11-voskresenie.


[18] Poetomu nekotorye bibliografy spravedlivo seitajut zdes' dva izdanija, iz koih 1653 g.--in folio--sostoit iz 37+1+60+1+16+679 listov i bylo perepecatano staroobrjadcami (raskol'nikami) v 1785 g. v Varsave. [19] Eto izdanie in folio v Moskve v dvuh castjah i knigah--v 1-j 2 nenum.+38+5+60+300+39 numerovannyh listov,--vo 2-j 1+2+235+16+37 listov. [20] Vo vtoroj polovine XVII v. perevodil kanony Epifanij Slavineckij, a v pervoj polovine XVIII v. pravila apostol'skija i sobornyja byli perevedeny Vasiliem Kozlovskim i Grigoriem Poletikoju po greceskomu tekstu "Synodicon" a Beveregii, s kakovago izdanija sdelan byl novyj perevod v 1782 g.

A Bibliographical Index of the Printed Editions of the Canons of the Apostles and of the Councils in the Slavonic and Russian Languages.

(Prepared by Nicolas Glubokoffski, Professor of the Chair of the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament in the Ecclesiastical Academy of St. Petersburgh.) [21]

In the orthodox Russian Church, editions of the Conciliar Canons and Decrees have only been issued under the immediate disposition and sanction of the supreme ecclesiastical authority, and, in fact, are amongst those things which it is not within the competence of private scholars to undertake. Such editions therefore have been published in Russia only in accordance with practical requirements.

1. The earliest printed edition of the afore-mentioned canons appeared in the Slavonic "Kormchaja Kniga" [22] (=Gk. pedalion), the printing of which was commenced at Moscow, on October 7th, 1649, under the Patriarch Joseph of Moscow, and was finished on July 1, 1650; but the Patriarch Nicon caused it to be submitted to a Council for revision, in consequence of which certain pages were reprinted and inserted afresh into it. [23]Thereupon copies of this "Kormchaja" were distributed for use amongst the churches, and came into general circulation not earlier than the year 1653. The second edition of the "Kormchaja" appeared in 1787, after a revision under the Metropolitan Gabriel of Novgorod and St. Petersburgh, [24] and was followed by others (e.g., those of 1804, 1816, and 1823) without any alterations of importance. The latest editions differ from that of Nicon in certain particulars, but these particulars do not concern the ecclesiastical Canons, which are placed in the first part of the "Kormchaja" and include the 85 Apostolic Canons, the decrees of the sixteen councils (of Nicæa, Ancyra, Neocæsarea, Gangra, Antioch, Laodicea, the 2d, 3d, and 4th Ecumenical, Sardica, Carthage, Constantinople under Nectarius, in Trullo, a.d. 692, the 7th Ecumenical, the First-and-Second [council of Constantinople] and that in the church of St. Sophia) and the Canons of the 13 Holy Fathers.

2. In the printed "Kormchaja" the canons are set forth, not in their full text, but in a shortened form which sometimes gives but a very insufficient representation of the contents of the original. On this account attempts at full translations were made many years back, but these never appeared in print. It was not until 1839 that such an edition as this was put forth by the Holy Synod at St. Petersburgh, under the title: "The Book of the Canons of the Holy Apostles, of the Holy Ecumenical and local Councils, and of the Holy Fathers," printed in large folio in "the Imperial city of St. Peter, the first impression in the 7347th year from the creation of the world, and the 1839th from the Birth in the flesh of God the Word, indict. 12." In this edition there are 4 unnumbered leaves and 455 numbered pages. On each page there are two columns, for the original text and the new translation of the whole text into the Slavonic respectively, but without the commentaries of the Byzantine Canonists; occasionally, but rarely, notes based upon Zonaras or Balsamon are given, which are not always historically accurate (for instance, that to the 10th Canon of Ancyra, the 3d of Sardica, the 4th of Carthage, and the one which deals with the First-and-Second Council of a.d. 861) while in some places the text itself is not correct (for instance, in the 13th Canon of the 1st Ecumenical Council). This "Book of the Canons" subsequently went through the following editions: the 2d, printed in Moscow at the Synodal Press in 1862, in folio 8 leaves + 672 + 74 numbered pages, with Greek and Slavonic texts; the 3d ibid. in 1866, in quarto, 3 leaves + 373 pages + 1 leaf + 59 pages, with the Slavonic text only; the 4th, ibid. in 1874, in octavo, 4 leaves 4 + 455 pages + 2 leaves + 104 + 4 pages, also with the Slavonic text only; the 5th, ibid. in 1886, in folio, 3 leaves + 395 + 42 pages + 1 leaf, again with Slavonic text only.

3. The "Book of Canons" by no means represents an authorized textus receptus, and after its publication, the Holy Synod itself not unfrequently introduced the Canons as given in the Slavonic edition of the "Kormchaja Kniga" into its edicts, and moreover recommended the Athenian Edition of the "Syntagma" for all the ecclesiastico-educational establishments. This opened the way for a new work, which, with the permission of the supreme ecclesiastical authority, was undertaken by the Moscow "Society of Amateurs of Spiritual Enlightenment." The announcement of this was made in No. 3 of the "Moscow Diocesan Church Gazette" of the year 1875, whilst in the same year in the January number of the Moscow Journal, "Lectures delivered in the Society of Amateurs of Spiritual Enlightenment," the "programe" of the edition itself was printed (pages 79-90 in the section devoted to bibliography). In criticism of it the Professor of Canonical Law in the University of Novorossiisk, Alexis Stepanovich Pavloff (who died on August 16, 1898, as Professor of the University of Moscow) wrote "Notes on the programme of an edition, in a Russian translation of the Canons of the Church with Commentaries" in the sixteenth volume of "Memoirs of the Imperial University of Novorossiisk" (Odessa, 1875), pages 1-17 of the Appendix (and in a separate pamphlet), which was afterwards reprinted with certain additions in the Moscow Journal, "Orthodox Review," of April, 1876 (pages 730-746), under the title: "A new translation of the Commentaries upon the canons of the church." To these criticisms the Professor of Ecclesiastical Law in the Moscow Ecclesiastical Academy, Alexander Theodorovich Lavroff, wrote a reply in "Lectures delivered in the Society of Amateurs of Spiritual Enlightenment" (for the year 1877, part 2, pages 158-194), entitled "A printed letter to Alexis Stepanovich Pavloff." Thus the plan of the edition gradually took shape. It was first printed in the Appendices to the Journal "Lectures in the Society, etc.," and subsequently was published separately in octavo in the following parts (A) I. "The Canons of the Holy Apostles with Commentaries" in two editions--Moscow, 1876, (from "Lectures," 1875, pages 1-163) 4 + 12 + 175 pages, and ibid., 1887, 5-12 + 163 pages; II. "Canons of the Holy Ecumenical Councils with Commentaries" (from "Lectures" 1875, pages 165-325; 1876, pages 329-680; 1877, pages 891-900), in two parts: 1st "The Canons of the Councils I.-IV.," Moscow, 1877, 260 pages; 2d. "The Canons of Councils V.-VII.," ibid., 736 pages; (B) "The Canons of the Holy Local Councils with Commentaries," also in two parts (from "Lectures" 1877, pages 900-1066; 1878, pages 1067-1306; 1879, pages 1307-1410): the 1st (The Canons of the Councils of Ancyra, Neocæsarea, Gangra, Antioch, Laodicea, and Sardica) Moscow, 1880, 359 pages; the 2d (The Canons of the Councils of Carthage [with the letters to Pope Boniface and to Pope Celestine], Constantinople, the First-and-Second, and that in the Temple of the Wisdom of the Word of God) ibid., 1881, 876 pages; (C) "The Canons of the Holy Fathers with Commentaries," ibid., 1884, 626 pages. Together with these is a separate "Index of subjects contained in the edition of the Canons of the Apostles, Councils and Holy Fathers with Commentaries," Moscow, 1888, 58 pages in octavo. The Greek text of the canons follows the edition Suntagma ton theion kai ieron kanonon...hupo G. A. Ralle kai M. Potle, Athenesin 1852-1854, and alongside of it is placed a literal Slavonic translation, after which follows a Russian translation of the Commentaries of the Byzantine Canonists (Zonaras, Aristenus, Balsamon), and the text and commentaries of the Slavonic "Kormchaja;" all this is accompanied by introductions and explanations of all sorts (historical, philological, etc.). This edition is rightly considered by specialists to be of very great value from a scientific point of view. Professor A. Th. Lavroff (who became a monk under the name Alexis, and died Archbishop of Lithuania and Vilna) was its chief editor and had most to do with it, but many others took part in the work, and amongst these Professor A. S. Pavloff.

4. The only Russian translation of the canons which exists is contained in the publications of the Ecclesiastical Academy of Kazan: (a) "The Acts of the Ecumenical Councils translated into Russian," 7 volumes. Kazan, 1859-1878 (some of these volumes have run into a second edition) and (b) "Acts of the nine local councils translated into Russian," 1 volume, Kazan, 1878. This translation was made under the direction of the Holy Synod, and the Canons are reproduced in it according to the text of the Acts of the Councils.

From the outline here presented of the printed editions of the Canons of the Councils, it will be seen that, within the limits of their practical applicability, they are reverenced as the source of the operative law in the Russian orthodox church, and therefore for her it is only the authoritative Byzantine commentaries which have any particular importance. There are works upon these by V. Demidoff, "The character and significance of the commentaries upon the Canonical Codex of the Greek Church--of Aristenus, Zonaras, and Balsamon," in the "Orthodox Review," vol. ii. of 1888, and of Professor V. A. Narbekoff, of Kazan, "The commentaries of Balsamon upon the Nomocanon of Photius," Kazan, 1889, and of Professor M. E. Krasnozhen, of Jurieff (Dorpat) "The Commentators of the Canonical Codex of the Eastern Church: Aristenus, Zonaras, and Balsamon." Moscow, 1892.

No separate scientific commentaries upon all the canons of the councils exist in Russian literature, but they are described, and explained in courses of Ecclesiastical law (of the Archimandrite John [who, when he died, was Bishop of Smolensk] of Professors N. S. Suvoroff, T. S. Berdnikoff, N. A. Lashkareff, M. A. Ostroümoff) in our works upon the history of the Ecumenical Councils (by Bishop John, and Professor Alexis Petrovich Lebedeff), and in monographs dealing with Canon Law and Church History. As far as a critical edition of the original text of the canons is concerned, there is a learned and useful article (upon a book by Fr. Lauchert, Die Kanones usw., Freiberg i. Br. und Leipsig, 1896), by Vasili Vasilievich Bolotoff, Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the St. Petersburgh Ecclesiastical Academy in the "Christian Reading," vol. iv. for 1896, pp. 178-195.


[21] Translated into English by W. J. Birkbeck, Esq., F.S.A. [22] Steering-Book. W.J.B. [23] Accordingly some bibliographers correctly reckon this as two editions, of which that of 1653 in folio consists of 37 + 1 + 60 + 1 + 16 + 679 pages, and was reprinted by the "Old Ritualists" (Rascolniki*), in 1785 at Warsaw. *Rascolniki, lit. Schismatics; i.e., the Russian Dissenting sects which in the 17th century left the Church rather than accept the service-books as corrected by the Patriarch Nicon.--W.J.B. [24] This edition was published at Moscow in folio in two parts and volumes, in the 1st there are 2 unnumbered + 38 + 5 - 60 + 300 + 39 numbered pages; in the 2d 1 + 2 + 235 + 16 + 37 pages.

Excursus on the History of the Roman Law and Its Relation to the Canon Law.

The foregoing bibliographical outline would be entirely incomplete did I not give the reader at least a sketch of how those canons adopted by the various councils gradually won admission to the law-code of the Empire, and how that code itself came into being. For those wishing to study the matter in detail I would name as the most recent authorities upon the Roman Law, Mr. Muirhead, who has published with additions and notes his article on the subject in the "Encyclopædia Britannica," and Mr. Bury's new edition of Gibbon's Rome just being issued with most learned notes.

But neither of these writers has put the matter exactly as I desire for this purpose, and I have therefore been forced to seek elsewhere the information I now lay before the reader.

The study of Jurisprudence did not form a separate department among the ancient Greeks, but among the Romans it was quite otherwise, and a very elaborate system was developed, so elaborate as to demand the care of a special class of men, who devoted themselves to this business alone and handed down to their successors a constantly increasing mass of legal matter.

When Greece fell under the Roman yoke the laws of the victor were imposed upon the vanquished, but even then the Greeks did not take to legal studies. In fact not until the seat of the Empire was removed to Constantinople did the East become a centre of jurisprudence or the residence of the chief legal experts. In the whole period before the fourth century of our era we know of but one barrister who wrote in Greek, and he came from the West, Herennius Modestinus. He was a disciple of Ulpian and preceptor to the Emperor Maximian the Younger.

From the time of Hadrian to that of Alexander Severus the influence of the legal schools of Rome had been paramount. The Emperors consulted them and asked them to decide difficult points. But after the death of Alexander this custom fell into entire disuse, and the Emperors themselves decided the matters formerly entrusted to the lawyers. After this time the Imperial Constitutions became the chief sources of Roman law. It is only in the time of Constantine the Great that we find once again the lawyers rising into prominence and a flourishing school at Beyroot in Syria. It was at this time that the Imperial Constitutions or Edicts were first collected, for until then they existed only in detached documents. This collection was made by two lawyers, Gregory or Gregorian, and Hermogenes. Gregory's collection contains the laws set forth from the time of Hadrian to Constantine, and Hermogenes wrote a supplement. Although this was but a private enterprise, yet it was cited in the courts of law, just as Lord Lyndwood's Provinciale is with us to-day.

It is interesting to note that it was about this same time that the first attempt was made to collect the ecclesiastical canons, and so the Civil Law and the Canon Law (as we know them in after times) had their rise about the same period.

The law of the Empire was not, however, to be left to private and unofficial action, but by the care of Theodosius the Younger its first official collection was made. This prince directed eight men learned in the law to gather into one body of laws all the Imperial Constitutions published since the last included in the collections of Gregory and Hermogenes. This is the "Theodosian Code," and contains the laws set forth by Constantine and his successors. It was promulgated in 438 in the East, and received by the then Emperor of the West, Valentinian III. To this were subsequently added such laws as each set forth, under the title of "New Constitutions."

The Emperor Justinian determined still further to simplify the attaining of judicial decisions. It is true that the making of the legal collections referred to had added greatly to the ease of determining the law in any given case, but there was a source of great confusion in the endless number of legal decisions which by custom had acquired the force of law, and which were by no means always consistent between themselves; these were the famous responsa jurisperitorum. To clear up this difficulty was no small task, but the Emperor went about it in the most determined fashion and appointed a commission, consisting of Tribonian and ten other experts, to make a new collection of all the imperial constitutions from Hadrian to his own day. This is the famous Justinian Code, which was promulgated in 529, and abrogated all previous collections. [25] This, however, was not sufficient to remove the difficulty, and Tribonian next, together with sixteen lawyers, spent three years in making extracts from the great mass of decisions of the ancient jurists, filling as they did nearly two thousand volumes. These they digested and did their best to clear away the contradictions. When the work was finished it appeared to the world as the "Pandects," because it was intended to contain all there was to be said upon the subject. It is also known as the "Digest." This work was set forth in 533 and from that time such of the former decisions as were not incorporated ceased to have any force.

It must however be remembered that, while this was the case, all the decisions contained in the Pandects did not obtain the force of law. The Pandects are not a code of laws, but a system of public jurisprudence composed by public authority. To the Pandects were added by the Emperor two ordinances, the first to forbid any copyist to write them in an abbreviated form; and the second forbidding commentators to treat them in anything but their literal sense.

While this work was in progress some points were so complicated and obscure that the Emperor had to be appealed to, and his writings in these particulars are the origin of the "Fifty Decisions."

At the same time was prepared the "Institutes," containing the elements of the whole Roman law. [26]

Later, new laws having been made, the Code had to be revised; the former edition was abrogated in 534, and a new one set forth with the title "Codex repetitæ prælectionis."

The last of Justinian's labours in the field of jurisprudence (if indeed they were not collected after his death) are his "Novels," a series of imperial constitutions issued between 535 and 559 (Nearai Diataxeis). There are one hundred and sixty-eight of these Novels, but the ancient glosses only know ninety-seven, and the rest have been added since, as they have been found.

Such is the origin of the Corpus Juris Civilis, and its history needed to be set forth in this place on account of its close connection with the Corpus Juris Canonici. In the foregoing I have followed M. Schoell in his admirable Histoire de la Littérature Grecque Profane, to which I am also chiefly indebted for the following notes upon the jurists of the sixth and ensuing centuries.

A work which is often looked upon as the origin of the Canon Law was composed by a lawyer of Antioch, somewhere near the middle of the sixth century. This jurist was John of Antioch, surnamed Scholasticus. He was representative or apocrisiarius of the Church of Antioch at Constantinople, and afterward was made Patriarch of that see, over which he ruled from 564 until his death in 578. While still a simple priest at Antioch he made his Collection of the Canons of the Councils.

"He was not the first who conceived the idea of such a work. Some writers, resting upon a passage in Socrates, have been of opinion that this honour belonged to Sabinus, bishop of Heraclea, in Thrace, at the beginning of the fifth century; but Socrates is not speaking of a collection of canons at all, but of the synodal acts, of the letters written by or addressed to the synods. If, however, Sabinus did not make a collection of canons, it is certain nevertheless that before John of Antioch there existed one, for he himself cites it many times, although he does not name the authors." [27]

"In gathering together thus the canons of the councils John of Antioch did not form a complete body of ecclesiastical law. By his Novel CXLI., Justinian had indeed given to the canons of the Church the force of law, but he himself published a great number of constitutions upon Church matters. Now it was necessary to harmonize these constitutions and canons, and to accomplish this feat was the object of a second work undertaken by John of Antioch, to which he gave the title of Nomocanon (Nomokanon ), [28] a word which from that time has served to designate any collection of this sort." [29]

Bury says, "In the troubles of the VIIth century the study of law, like many other things, declined, and in the practical administration of justice the prescriptions of the Code and Digest were often ignored or modified by the alien precepts of Christianity. The religion of the Empire had exerted but very slight influence--no fundamental influence, we may say--on the Justinian law. Leo III., the founder of the Syrian (vulgarly called Isaurian) dynasty, when he restored the Empire after a generation of anarchy, saw the necessity of legislation to meet the changed circumstances of the time. The settlements of foreigners--Slavs and Mardaites--in the provinces of the Empire created an agrarian question, which he dealt with in his Agrarian Code. The increase of Slavonic and Saracenic piracy demanded increased securities for maritime trade, and this was dealt with in a Navigation Code. But it was not only for special relations that Leo made laws; he legislated also, and in an entirely new way, for the general relations of life. He issued a law book (in a.d. 740 in the name of himself and his son Constantine), which changed and modified the Roman law, as it had been fixed by Justinian. The Ecloga, [30] as it is called, may be described as a Christian law book. It is a deliberate attempt to change the legal system of the Empire by an application of Christian principles. Examples, to illustrate its tendency, will be given below. The horror in which the iconoclasts were held on account of their heresy by the image-worshippers, cast discredit upon all their works. This feeling had something to do with the great reaction, which was inaugurated by Basil I., against their legal reforms. The Christian Code of Leo prevailed in the empire for less than a century and a half; and then, under the auspices of Basil, the Roman law of Justinian was (partially) restored. In legal activity the Basilian epoch faintly reflected the epoch of Justinian itself. A handbook of extracts from the Institutes, Digest, Code, and Novels, was published in a.d. 879, entitled the Prochiron, to diffuse a knowledge of the forgotten system. But the great achievement of the Basilian epoch is the `Basilica'--begun under Basil, completed under Leo VI.--a huge collection of all the laws of the Empire, not only those still valid, but those which had become obsolete. It seems that two commissions of experts were appointed to prepare the material for this work. One of these commissions compiled the Prochiron by the way, and planned out the Basilica in sixty Books. The other commission also prepared a handbook called the Epanagoge, which was never actually published (though a sketch of the work is extant), and planned out the Basilica in forty Books. The Basilica, as actually published, are arranged in sixty Books, compiled from the materials prepared by both commissions.

"The Basilian revival of Justinianean law was permanent; and it is outside our purpose to follow the history further, except to note the importance of the foundation of a school of law at Constantinople in the 11th century by the Emperor Constantine IX. The law enacting the institution of this school, under the direction of a salaried Nomophylax, is extant. John Xiphilin (see above) was the first director. This foundation may have possibly had some influence on the institution of the school at Bologna half a century later." [31]

I take from Schoell the following description of the "Basilica":

"The `Basilica' are a body of Roman law in the Greek language, extracted from the Institutes, the Pandects, the Codes and the Novels of Justinian as well as from the Imperial Constitutions posterior to that prince; also extracts from the interpretations of such jurists as had won a fixed authority in the courts, and the canons of the councils. Here is found together the civil and the ecclesiastical law of the Greeks, these two laws having been in an intimate union by reason of the authority which the Emperors exercised over the Church; on the other hand, in the West there was formed step by step a canon law separate from the civil law, and having a different source." [32]

Such, then, were the "Basilica," but what is most singular is that this collection was not given the force of law, neither by Leo VI. nor by Constantine VI., although it was prepared at their order, under their authority, and was written in the language which was spoken by their subjects. The Justinian code of law, although in Latin, still continued to be the only authority in the entire East. An anonymous writer prepared an Epitome of the Basilica, digested into Alphabetical order, and beginning with "Of the Orthodox faith of Christians."

In 883 Photius published a "Syntagma canonum" and a "Nomocanon" with the title Prokanon, because it was placed before the canons. This last work at the command of Constantine VI. was revised and soon took the place of the Nomocanon of John of Antioch, over which work it had the advantage of being more recent and of being digested in better order. In citing the canons, only the titles are given; but the text of the civil laws appears in full. "As in the Eastern Church the influence of the imperial authority increased at the expense of that of the councils, and as these princes made ecclesiastical affairs a principal part of their government, it came to pass that the Nomocanon of Photius became of more frequent and more necessary use than his Syntagma, [which contained the actual text of the canons of the councils down to 880]. Many commentators busied themselves with it, while the collection of the councils was neglected. Thus it has happened that the Nomocanon has become the true foundation of the ecclesiastical law of the East." [33]

But while this is true, yet there were not lacking commentators upon the Canon law, and of the three chiefest of these some notice must be taken in this place. As I have already pointed out it is to Bishop Beveridge that we owe the publication not only of Photius's Collection of Canons which are found in his "Sunodikon sive Pandectæ," but also of the scholia of all three of these great commentators, Zonaras, Aristenus, and Balsamon, and from his most learned Prolegomena to the same work I have chiefly drawn the following facts, referring the curious reader to the introduction [34] itself for further particulars.

John Zonaras was probably the same person who wrote the Byzantine History which bears his name. He flourished under Alexis Comnenus, and enjoyed the high office of Grand Drungarius Viglæ (Droungarios tes Bigles) and Chief of the Clerks. After some years of secular life he retired to a monastery and devoted himself to literary pursuits. While here, at the command of his superiors, and moved by the persuasion of his friends, he wrote that great book which has made his fame, which he entitled "An Exposition of the Sacred and Divine Canons, as well those of the holy and venerable Apostles, as also those of the sacred OEcumenical Synods, and those of the local or particular councils, and those of the rest of the Holy Fathers; by the labour of John Zonaras the monk, who was formerly Grand Drungarius Viglæ and Chief of the Clerks." [35]

One of the greatest peculiarities of this work, and one which distinguishes it very markedly from the later work of Balsamon upon the same subject, is that Zonaras confines himself strictly to the canon law and rarely makes any references to the civil law whatever; and in such canons as bear no relation to the civil law Balsamon often adopts Zonaras's notes without change or addition.

These commentaries were first brought to light by John Quintin, a professor of canon law at Paris, who published a Latin translation of the scholia upon the Apostolic Canons. This was in 1558. In 1618 Antonius Salmatia edited his commentaries on the canons of the Councils done into Latin. To this Latin version the Paris press added the Greek text from the ms. codex in the Royal Library and printed it in 1618. In 1622 the same press issued his commentaries upon the Epistles of the Holy Fathers, together with those of St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, Macarius of Egypt, and Basil. But Beveridge collected them in his Oxford Edition for the first time into one work; preparing a somewhat critical text by collation with some manuscripts he found at home.

The second of these great Greek scholiasts is Alexis Aristenus. As Beveridge points out, he must have flourished before or at the same time as Balsamon, for this latter speaks of him in high terms of commendation in his scholion on the Sixth of the Apostolic Canons, describing him as ton hupertimon. Aristenus was Nomophylax, Orphanotrophe and Protecdekas, or chief of the Syndics of the Communes, called Ecdics (,'Ekdikoi). He wrote the excellent series of notes upon the Epitomes of the Canons which are given the reader in Beveridge's Pradects. Schoell says that it is an error to attribute to him the "Extract of the Ancient Ecclesiastical Laws," "which is none of his." [36]Aristenus was Grand Economus of the Church of Constantinople and a man of great distinction; and his opinion was sought after and his decision followed even when in opposition to one of the Patriarchs, viz.: Nicephorus of Jerusalem.

Beveridge was the first to print Aristenus's Scholia, and he did so from four mss., in England, for a description of which I refer the reader to the bishop's prolegomena. [37]

Theodore Balsamon is the last of the three great Greek scholiasts. He flourished in the time of the Emperor Isaac Angelus and bore the title of Patriarch of Antioch, although at that time the city was in the hands of the Latins and had been so since 1100. He was looked upon as the greatest jurist of his times both in ecclesiastical and civil matters. Somewhere about the year 1150, he wrote by the order of Manuel Comnenus a series of "Scholia upon the Nomocanon of Photius," and another set styled "Scholia upon the Canons of the Apostles, of the Councils and of the Fathers of the Church;" he also prepared a "Collection of [imperial] Constitutions upon ecclesiastical matters," [38] in three books, which has been published (by Loewenklaw) at Frankfort, 1595, under the title "Paratitles." There remains also a great number of his opinions on cases presented to him, notably his "answers to sixty-four canonical questions by Mark, Patriarch of Alexandria."

These most learned writings were unknown and forgotten, at least in the West, until they were set forth in a Latin translation during the time the Council of Trent was sitting, in 1561, and not till 1620 did the Greek text appear in the Paris edition of that date. But this text was imperfect and corrupt, and Beveridge produced a pure text from an Oxford ms., with which he compared several others. Moreover in his Pandects he amended the Latin text as well in numberless particulars. For further, particulars of the bibliography of the matter see Beveridge. [39]

It may not be amiss to add that abundant proof of the high esteem in which Balsamon was held is found in contemporary authors, and no words can give an exaggerated idea of the weight of his opinion on all legal matters, religious and profane; his works were undertaken at the command of the Emperor and of the Patriarch, and were received with an unmixed admiration. [40]

In the thirteenth century a certain Chumnus who had been Nomophylax and was afterwards elevated to the Archiepiscopal chair of Thessalonica wrote a little book on the "Degrees of Relationship." [41]

In the fourteenth century we find Matthew Blastares writing "An Alphabetical Table" [42] of the contents of the canons of the councils, and of the laws of the Emperors.

And in the same century we find Constantine Harmenopulus, who was born in 1320. He was, when thirty years of age, a member of the first court of civil justice (Judex Dromi). Subsequently he was appointed Counsellor of the Emperor, John Cantacuzene, and finally Sebastos and Curopalatos under John Paleologus. In the year 1345 he published a "Manual of Jurisprudence." [43]This work is of great value to the student of Roman law as he completes the work of the Emperor Basil by adding the imperial constitutions since that time. But our chief concern with him is as the author of an "Epitome of the Divine and Sacred Canons." [44]

Constantine Harmenopulus was the last Greek jurist, and then Constantinople fell, to the everlasting disgrace of a divided Christendom, into the hands of the Infidel, and the law of the false Prophet supplanted the Roman Law, the Code of Civilization and Christianity.

I pass now to the history of the growth of the canon law in the West. No one reading even cursorily the canons contained in the present volume can fail to notice that, with the exception of those of the African code, they are primarily intended for the government of the East and of persons more immediately under the shadow of the imperial city. In fact in the canons of the Council in Trullo and in those of the Seventh Synod there are places which not even covertly are attacks, or at least reflections, upon the Western customs of the time. And it does not seem to be an unjust view of the matter to detect in the Council of Chalcedon and its canon on the position of the See of Rome, a beginning of that unhappy spirit which found its full expression in that most lamentable breaking off of communion between East and West.

While, then, as I have pointed out, in the East the Canon Law was developed and digested side by side and in consonance with the civil law, in the West the state of things was wholly different, and while in secular matters the secular power was supposed to be supreme, there grew up a great body of Ecclesiastical Law, often at variance with the secular decrees upon the subject. To trace this, step by step, is no part of my duty in this excursus, and I shall only give so brief an outline that the reader may be able to understand the references in the notes which accompany the Canons in the text.

Somewhere about the year 500 Dionysius Exiguus, who was Abbot of a Monastery in Rome, translated a collection of Greek Canons into Latin for Bishop Stephen of Salona. At the head of these he placed fifty of what we now know as the "Canons of the Apostles," but it must not be supposed that he was convinced of their Apostolic origin, for in the Preface to his translation he expressly styles them "Canons which are said to be by the Apostles," and adds "quibus plurimi consensum non proebuere facilem." [45]To these he added the canons of Chalcedon with those that council had accepted, viz., those of Sardica, and a large number passed by African Synods, and lastly the Papal Decretals from Siricius to Anastasius II.

The next collection is that of St. Isidore of Seville, or which is supposed to have been made by him, early in the seventh century.

About the middle of the ninth century there appeared a collection bearing the name of Isidore Mercator, and containing the "false decretals" which have been so fruitful a theme of controversial writing. This collection was made somewhere about the year 850, and possibly at Mayence. Many writers in treating of these decretals, which are undoubtedly spurious, seem to forget that they must have expressed the prevailing opinions of the day in which they were forged, of what those early Popes would have been likely to have said, and that therefore even forgeries as they certainly are, they have a great historical value which no sound scholar can properly neglect.

After the collection of St. Isidore we have no great collection till that of Gratian in 1151. Gratian was a Benedictine monk, and he styled his work "A Reconciling of contradictory canons" (Concordantia discordantium Canonum), which well sets forth what his chief object in view was, but his work had a great future before it, and all the world knows it as "Gratian's Decretum," and with it begins the "collections" of Canon law, if we consider it as a system in present force.

"This great work is divided into three parts. The first part, in 101 `Distinctions,' treats of ecclesiastical law, its origin, principles, and authority, and then of the different ranks and duties of the clergy. The second part, in thirty-six `Causes,' treats of ecclesiastical courts and their forms of procedure. The third part, usually called `De Consecratione,' treats of things and rites employed in the service of religion. From its first appearance the Decretum obtained a wide popularity, but it was soon discovered that it contained numerous errors, which were corrected under the directions of successive Popes down to Gregory XIII. Nor, although every subsequent generation has resorted to its pages, is the Decretum an authority to this day--that is, whatever canons or maxims of law are found in it possess only that degree of legality which they would possess if they existed separately; their being in the Decretum gives them no binding force. In the century after Gratian, several supplementary collections of Decretals appeared. These, with many of his own, were collected by the orders of Gregory IX., who employed in the work the extraordinary learning and acumen of St. Raymond of Pennafort, into five books, known as the Decretals of Gregory IX. These are in the fullest sense authoritative, having been deliberately ratified and published by that Pope (1234). The Sext, or sixth book of the Decretals, was added by Boniface VIII. (1298). The Clementines are named after Clement V., who compiled them out of the canons of the Council of Vienne (1316) and some of his own constitutions. The Extravagantes of John XXII., who succeeded Clement V., and the Extravagantes Communes, containing the decretals of twenty-five Popes, ending with Sixtus IV. (1484), complete the list. Of these five collections--namely the Decretals, the Sext, the Clementines, the Extravagants of John XXII. and the Extravagants Common--the `Corpus Juris Ecclesiastici' of the West is made up." [46]

Into this body of canon law of course many of the canons we shall have to treat of in the following pages have been incorporated and so far as possible I shall give the reader a reference which will help his research in this particular.


[25] It was written in Latin but, says Bury (Appendix to Vol. V. of Gibbon's Rome, p. 525), "was also immediately after its publication in Latin, issued (perhaps incompletely) in a Greek form (cf. Zacharia Von Lingenthal, Gr. Röm. Recht, p. 6). Most of the later Novels are Greek, and Novel vij. [15, ed. Zach.] expressly recognizes the necessity of using `the common Greek tongue.'" [26] The Pandects or Digest was translated into Greek by Dorotheus, and Theophilus prepared a Greek paraphrase of the Institutes. [27] Schoell, Hist. Litt. Grec., Tome vii., Lib. vi., chap. xcvij., p. 226. [28] The two collections of John are published with a translation in the Bibliotheca Juris Canonici Veteris of Voellus and Justellus, Vol. II. [29] Ibid ut supra, p. 227. [30] The "Ecloga" were edited in 1852 by Zacharia, and again in 1889 by Monferratus. [31] Appendix to Vol. V. of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, pp. 525 and 526. [32] Schoell, ut supra, p. 229. The best edition of the Basilica is by W. E. Heimbach in 6 vols. (1833-70). [33] Schoell, ut ante, p. 238. [34] Beveridge, Sunodikon sive Pandectæ, Tom. I. of the original ed. Reprinted in Lib. Anglo. Cath. Theol., appendix to Vol. XII. of Beveridge's Works, pp. xxi.-xxxix. [35] 'Exegesis ton hieron kai theion kanonon ton te hagion kai septon 'Apostalon, k.t.l. [36] Schoell, Hist. Lib. Grec., Tom. VII., p. 241. [37] Beveridge, Pandectæ. Prol. § XXX. [38] Ton ekklesiastikon diataxeon Sulloge. [39] Beveridge, Pandects, Prol. § XIX.-XXII. [40] Ibid., Prol. § XVI.-XIX. [41] Found in Leunclavius, Jur. Grec. Rom., Vol. ii. [42] Suntagma kata Stoicheon, found in Beveridge's Synodicon, but (says Schoell) "in a manner very little correct." [43] Procheiron ton nomon. Of this there have been many editions since the first, which was that of Paris, 1540, edited by Snallenberg, without any Latin translation and without notes. The first Latin version was published at Cologne in 1547, a second at Lyons in 1556, and a third at Lausanne in 1580. At last in 1587, at Geneva, there appeared an edition in Greek and Latin. [44] 'Epitome ton theion kai ieron kanonon. This work is found with a Latin version in the Collection of Loewenklaw. [45] Hefele points out that Dr. von Drey's contention that "plurimi" refers to the Greeks cannot be sustained if it is pushed so far as to exclude from the West an acquaintance with these canons in their Greek form, for, as he well points out, Greek was a perfectly well understood language at this time in the West, especially in Italy, where it was largely spoken. (A Hist. Christ. Councils, Vol. I. Appendix, p. 449.) [46] Addis and Arnold, A Catholic Dictionary, sub voce Canon Law.

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