Gratian’s Concord of Discordant Canons (commonly known as the Decretum), which appeared around 1140, marked the culmination of a stage in the renaissance of legal studies, canon and civil, which had begun in the eleventh century. During this preliminary period a whole procedure of comment and analysis was elaborated. Glosses, originally marginal notations, could be combined into an apparatus. For purposes of exposition, material was presented in the form of quaestiones, distinctiones. causes, etc. Although canon law was not found in one corpus or treatise, such as the Code or Digest—in fact, canon law in the early twelfth century was still in its “classical” period—most of the procedures of the civilians were taken over by the canonists. Much of the spirit of Roman jurisprudence is evident in canon law, and Roman jurists are often cited. In dealing with personal acts, for example, there is conscious effort to determine degrees of guilt by exploring motives for an act or conditions under which an act is committed.


Eleventh Century Preliminary Period Sacred Scripture Sacred Order Early Twelfth Century 
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© Marshall W. Baldwin 1970

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  • Marshall W. Baldwin

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