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Anselmo Dedicata, Collectio


Toward the end of the 9th century in Milan, a canonical collection came to light, which the unknown author had dedicated to Anselm, Archbishop of Milan (II, 882896), and which was to have considerable importance both in Italy and in Germany.

The scheme of this collection was new, since it was aimed at the distribution of a large number of matters, primarily but not exclusively of canonical origin, into a systematic form. However, this was done by using a method different from that which appeared in previous worksperhaps unknown to the author himselfsuch as the dacheriana collectio.

The subject matter was divided into 12 books of different lengths, containing three sections: works strictly canonical (canons and pontifical decretals); works derived from the letters of St. Gregory the Great; and works of Roman sources, from which came also the "Lex romana canonice compta" and the "Regulae ecclesiasticae" (called also "Excerpta bobiensia").

The contents of the work are as follows: book 1: high ecclesiastical hierarchy (pope, patriarchs, and metropolitans); book 2: bishops; book 3: councils; book 4: priests and deacons; book 5: minor clergy; book 6: regulars and widows; book 7: the laity; book 8: the practice of virtues; book 9: Baptism; book 10: worship, ecclesiastical benefices; book 11: feasts; and book 12: heretics, schismatics, and non-Catholics.

A plan so formulated was suitable for placing at hand, in an organic form, a number of works that were not easy to consult otherwise. This explains the great diffusion of the work and its direct or indirect influence on all the canonical collections until the time of Gregory VII. The sources the author used included the false decretals, in the so-called A2 edition. The part dealing with the conciliar canons and the post-Damasian authentic decretals was taken from the hadriana collectio. Many norms were taken also from the Collection of the manuscript of Novara (an edition of the Hadriana Collectio with many additions) and from other minor works of various origin.

Because of the form and scope of the Anselmo Dedicata, the texts are not always reproduced in their entirety but are split into several chapters and which are inserted into their proper places. Consequently, some texts are repeated more than once.

The diffusion of this collection was quite extensive for more than a century, and one may say that it governed the Italian as well as German canonical life until the publication of the Decretum of burchard of worms. Indeed, some manuscripts in Germany prove that a certain influence was exercised by the collection until the first quarter of the 11th century, while in Italy its effects were felt until the time of anselm ii of lucca.

Bibliography: p. fournier and g. lebras, Histoire des collections canoniques en occident depuis les fausses décrétales jusqu'au Décret de Gratien, 2 v. (Paris 13132) 1:235243. c. g. mor, "Diritto romano e diritto canonico nell'età pregrazianea," in v. 1 of L'Europa e il diritto romano: Studi in memoria di Paolo Koschaker, 2 v. (Milan 1954). a. amanieu, Dictionnaire de droit canonique, ed. r. naz, 7 v. (Paris 19355) 1:578583.

[c. g. mor]

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