Skip to main content

Benedict the Levite


Also known as Deacon Benedict, the name of the unknown author of a collection of forged capitularies (1,319 specimens) belonging to the group of the false decre tals (Pseudo-Isidorian forgeries). The collection is appended as books five to seven to the four books of the genuine collection of Ansegis. The last of the additions may have been written at the time of the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, but all the rest must be dated earlier, about 850, and come probably from Le Mans. About one-fourth of them are genuine, as such, but forged in this text. The majority reproduce genuine, notably ecclesiastical, sources falsified into Frankish imperial laws and in the process subjected to repeated interpolations. Benedict sought to give the impression that the laws were the product of a collaboration between state and ecclesiastical authorities. The collection embraces almost all areas of Canon Law. It was calculated to remedy the sad state of the Frankish Church. Dominant principles are freedom of the Church and independence of its hierarchy.

Bibliography: Editions. f. h. knust, Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Leges (Berlin 1826) 2.2:17139. Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne, 217 v. (Paris 187890) 97:698912. Literature. e. seckel, "Studien zu B. L.," pts. 18.3 Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde 26 (1900) 3772; 29(1904) 275331; 31 (1905) 59139, 238239; 34 (1909) 319381; 35 (1910) 105191, 433539; 39 (1914) 327431; 40 (1915) 15130; 41 (1916) 157263; pts. 8.45, ed. j. juncker, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonistische Abteilung 23 (1934) 269377; 24 (1935) 1112; "B. L. decurtatus et excerptus" in Festschrift für Heinrich Brunner (Munich 1914) 377464. p. fournier and g. lebras, Histoire des collections canoniques en occident depuis les fausses décrétales jusqu'au Décret de Gratien, 2 v. (Paris 193132) 1:145171, 190192, 202209. f. baix, Dictionnaire de droit canonique, ed. r. naz, 7 v. (Paris 193565) 2:400406. s. williams, "The Pseudo-Isidorian Problem Today," Speculum. A Journal of Mediaeval Studies 29 (1954) 702707. r. grand, "Nouvelles remarques sur l'origine du Pseudo-Isidore source du Décret de Gratien," Studia Gratiana 3 (1955) 116. r. buchner, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 7 v. (3d ed. Tübingen 195765) 1:103233. g. may, "Die Infamie bei B. L.," Österreichisches Archiv Für Kirchenrecht 11 (1960) 1636. h. fuhrmann, "Die Fälschungen im Mittelalter," Historische Zeitschrift 197 (1963) 529554.

[g. may]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Benedict the Levite." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 23 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Benedict the Levite." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (March 23, 2019).

"Benedict the Levite." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved March 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.