The Bishop's Law Book: The Creation and Use of a Canon Law Codex in the Tenth Century

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2013

Project Description/Abstract

The CARS summer grant permitted me to travel to Belgium to analyze a medieval manuscript at the Royal Library in Brussels. The codex in question (KBR 495-505) contains multiple layers of canon law materials from different periods. The legal collection that forms its core comes from the late ninth century. Further texts were added throughout the tenth century, and a few leaves contain writing from the early twelfth century.

A codicological examination of the manuscript determined that these materials were not bound together at some later date, but were instead added piecemeal to the main collection. This means that we have a working codex of church law to which materials of contemporary importance and utility were added. Localizing these additions in time and space reveals the particular concerns of the bishops (especially those of the tenth century) who were in possession of the book.

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