Quinque Compilationes Antiquae

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Between the Decretum Gratiani (c. 114041) and the Gregorian Decretales of 1234, canonical skill was devoted to two main tasks: the systematization of the latest Canon Law, expressed most commonly in decretal letters (see decretals, collections of) and literary commentary on the Decretum (see decretists). The five most important decretal collections from that period are the Quinque Compilationes Antiquae, named in sequence of composition as prima, tertia, secunda, quarta, and quinta.

It is established that Compilatio prima itself marked the culmination of a tradition of codification dating from the mid-1170s, and many manuscripts survive revealing the process by which the technical skill of this work was achieved. It is equally clear that other important collections were made contemporaneously with the five: by Gilbert, Alan, and rainerius of pomposa, bernard of compostella the elder, and so forth. Here it is significant that hostiensis in his Aurea Summa listed eight collections of the period, including these five, when discussing Gregory IX's plan to abrogate the antique compilations, and to reduce what was useful and necessary into a single volume. Nevertheless, the Quinque Compilationes acquired a preeminent reputation, were used as a basis of canonical study at Bologna and provided a standard of reference for commentators on decretals before the promulgation of the Gregorian collection. All five were the subject of important glosses, while the tertia and quinta were promulgated in papal bulls. Compilatio prima (118791), or Breviarium extravagantium, of Bernard of Pavia, was composed mainly of post-Gratian decretals and included the canons of the Lateran Council of 1179; it was arranged in five books entitled iudex, iudicium, clerus, connubium, and crimen, dealing respectively with ecclesiastical jurisdiction, canonical civil procedure, the state and rights of the clergy, marriage and related questions, and criminal procedure and penalties. This scheme was later adopted by the other four and taken over in the Decretales. Compilatio tertia, composed by Peter of Benevento for Innocent III, comprised decretals from the first 12 years of Innocent's pontificate; it was promulgated in the bull Devotioni vestrae, Dec. 28, 1210, and sent to Bologna, and its use enjoined "tam in iudiciis quam in scholis." It is thus the first official collection in canonical history. Compilatio secunda was composed by john of wales (121015); though third in sequence, it is named secunda, or decretales mediae seu intermediae, since it includes decretals issued between those of Compilationes prima and tertia, as well as earlier items omitted in the prima. It drew on the works of Gilbert and Alan. The authorship of Compilatio quarta is uncertain, but may perhaps be attributed to joannes teutonicus or to Alan; it contains decretals of the later years of Innocent III and the canons of the Lateran Council of 1215. Though not certainly promulgated, it was promptly used in courts and schools. Compilatio quinta was made at the request of Honorius III from decretals of his own pontificate (from 1216), and promulgated in the bull Novae causarum, May 2, 1226; its authorship is uncertain also, but may possibly be attributed to tancred.

The principal permanent significance of these collections lies in their formative influence on the Decretales of Gregory IX, whose author, raymond of peÑafort, accepted Bernard of Pavia's plan and incorporated 1,771 of the 1,971 chapters of the five collections.

Bibliography: Quinque compilationes antiquae nec non Collectio canonum lipsiensis, ed. e. friedberg (Graz 1956). j. f. von schulte, Die Geschichte der Quellen und der Literatur des kanonischen Rechts (Graz 1956) 1:7690. s. kuttner, Repertorium der Kanonistik (Rome 1937) 322385. a. van hove, Commentarium Lovaniense in Codicem iuris canonici 1 (1945) 1:355361. a. villien, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique et al. (Paris 190350) 4.1:206212. r. naz, Dictionnaire de droit canonique (Paris 193565) 3:123941.

[c. duggan]

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Quinque Compilationes Antiquae

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