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Syntagma Canonum Antiochenum


An important chronological collection of canons representing one of the main documentary sources of Byzantine law. It comprises, in addition to the canons of the Council of Antioch (341) referred to in the Council of Chalcedon (451), the enactments of the first Council of Constantinople (381) as well as the canons of the Council of Chalcedon. In the 6th century the provisions adopted by the Council of Ephesus (431), by the African council (419), and by the Council of Sardica (343) were added to this collection.

Subsequently, the second Council of Trullo, or Quinisexta, summoned by Emperor Justinian II in 692 mainly because of lack of disciplinary decrees in the second (553) and third Councils of Constantinople (680), formulated no dogmatic doctrine, but merely drew up 102 disciplinary canons as a supplement to the two previous general councils. It also included 85 canons of the Apostles and the canons of nine councils: Nicaea, which was given first place because of its preeminence, Ancyra, Neo-Caesarea, Gangra, Antioch, Laodicea, Constantinople, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Sardica, and several African canons from the 17th Council of Carthage (419). Decisions taken from the Fathers of the Church were also added, as well as the legal provisions of a council of Constantinople celebrated in 394 under Patriarch Nectarius.

The second ecumenical Council of Nicaea (787) added 22 canons (in the first of which it recognized the binding force of the canons of the Apostles) to the laws of the ecumenical Councils of Nicaea I, Constantinople, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Second of Trullo (Quinisexta ); to the statutes approved by particular synods assembled for the purpose of promulgating the canons of said ecumenical councils; and to the canons of the Holy Fathers.

Bibliography: a. coussa, Epitome praelectionum de iure ecclesiastico orientali, 3 v. (Grottaferrata-Rome 194850; suppl. 1958).

[p. l. frattin/eds.]

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