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Benedict the Levite

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.

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