Gratian or Gratianus

Gratian Or Gratianus an Italian Benedictine I and distinguished canonist, was born towards the plose of the 11th century. He appears to have first entered the convent of Classe, near Ravenna. from whence he removed to that of St. Felix de Bologna, where he wrote his Decretum. According to his contemporary, Robert of Mont St. Michel, he became subsequently bishop of Chiusi, which fact is also asserted by an Italian biographer in the 14th century. The latter adds that Gratian, having sent his Decretum to the pope by a priest, the latter claimed to be the author of it, but the fraud having been detected, the pope indemnified Gratian by creating him bishop of Chiusi. Many others, before Gratian, had attempted to make a comprehensive collection of the casnons issued by the popes eand councils. SEE CANONS AND DECRETALS, COLLECTIONS OF. Making special use of the works of Burchard of Worms and of Anselm of Lucca, Gratian classified the canons and commented on them. He called his works Discordantia concordantia Canonusn, but his contemporaries, and especially Alexander III, called it Decreta, which was afterwards changed into Decretum. The Decretum is composed of three parts, called in Gratian's time De Ministeriis, De Negotis, and De Sacramentis, and subsequently Distinctiones, Cause, and De Consecratione. The first part was divided into 1101 distinctiones by Paucapalea, disciple of Gratian. The first 20 treat on the subjects and authority of law, the remaining 71 on the details of canonical legislation as regards the appointment, ordination, etc., of the clergy. The second part, divided by Gratian himself into 36 cause, treats of the practical application of the law, and is the distinguishing feature of the Decretum. In the Causae, Gratian was the first to apply the scholastic method to canon law. The third part, treating chiefly an some points of liturgy, was divided into five distinctiones by Paucapalea. Gratian's plan, as can be seen, was very inferior; yet the Decretum was vastly superior to the collections which preceded it. "Fleury, in his Tsoisieme Discours sur l'Hist. Ecclesiastique, says that Gratianus, besides so consolidating the authority of the false decretals that for three centuries after no other canons were referred to but those of his collection, went even further in extending the authority of the pope by maintaining that he was not himself subject to the canons; an arbitrary assertion destitute of evidence, but which contributed to establish in the Latin, or Western Church, a confused notion that the authority of the pope was without bounds. Gratianus also maintained, upon apocryphal or mutilated authority, that clergymen are not subject to secular jurisdiction. This principle is illustrated in a celebrated answer of Innocent III to the Eastern emperor, in which that pope, contends that the temporal sovereign has the jurisdiction of the sword over those who bear a sword that is to say, over laymen only, as noone can be the judge of the servants of another. The grosser errors and the apocrypha of the Decretus were corrected and expurgated in. the improved edition executed by order of Gregory XIII, 1582; but till many assertions favorable to the absolute supremacy, as well as to the temporal authority of the popes, were allowed to remain in it, as being sanctioned by ages, though contrary to the ancient discipline of the Church. These are what are styled in France, and other countries north of the Alps, the ultramontane doctrines of the Roman Curia." The true reason of its success was its adoption by the school of Bologna as the most comprehensive and systematic collection, and its subsequent adoption in allthe schools. This was but right, for Gratian is the real author of the science of canon law, which before him was only incidentally taught in the theological schools. The Decretum soon found hosts of commentators. Towards the end of thee Middle Ages there were as many glosses sand commentaries on the Decretum as an the Pandects, yet no one had ever thought of verifying the text of Gratian in the original sources from whence they were taken until Pius IV instituted the Correctores Romani for that purpose. The work was completed in 1580, under Gregory XIII,and two years after the corrected Decretum was published at Rome (fol.) as the first part of the Corpus Juris canonici. It is to be found in the editions of the latter, and has also been often printed separately, sometimes with glosses and sometimes without. The first edit. is Strasburg, 1471, fol. There have been seventy-six others in the space of a century and a half. The best text is in Richter's Corpus Juris canonici (Lpz. 1833-39, 4to). Among the commentaries we remark those of Joan a Turrecremata, Commastarii super toto Decreto (Lyons, 1519 and 1520, 3 volumes, fol.; Venice, 1578, 4 volumes, fol.); Bellemera, Remissarius, seu commentarii Gratiani Decretum (Lyons, 1550, 3 volumes, fol.); Berardus, Gratiani Canones genuini ab apocryphis discreti, corrupti, ad emendatiorem codicum idem exacti, difficiliores commoda interpretatione illustrati (Turin, 1752, 4 volumes, 4to). See Sarti, De claris Archigymnasii Boniensis Professoribus, 1:247; J.A. Riegger, De Gratiano auctore Decreti (Riegger's Opuscula academics) and De Gratiani Collectione Canonum illiusque methodo ac mendis; Florens, Dissertatio de methodo atque auctoritate Collectionis Gratiani; J.B. Bohemer, De varia Decreti Gratinai fortune (Bohmer's Corpus Juris canon.); Spittler, Beitrage Z. Geschichte Gratians (Magazin f. Kirchenrecht, Lpz. 1778); Ant. Augustinus, De emendatione Gratiani Dialogorum libri duo; Le Plat, De spurii ins Gratiano canonibus, A.L. Richter, Beitrage z. Kenntniss d. Quelles d. canonischen Rechts; A. Theiner, Disquisitiones criticae in praecipuas canonum et decretalium collectiones; Philipps, Le Droit

canoniquae dans ses sources. — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 21:724 sq. SEE CANONS.

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