Kormczai Kniga, the Russian "corpus juris canonici," or canonical law, is supposed to have become the possession of the Russians in the days of Vladimir the Great. The oldest Codex of the Kormczai Kniga dates from 1280, and was found in the cathedral at Novgorod; its style of language has led to the supposition that it was translated by a southern Russian. The Greek original has never yet been found. The Codex was first printed Nov. 7, 1650, at Moscow; in a somewhat modified form, it was printed by the Ras- Kolniki (q.v.), a Russian sect at Warsaw, in 1786. Since that date several editions have been published.
The Codex, in its treatment of ecclesiastical law. is divided into seventy chapters, of which forty-one, making part i, contain the canons of the apostles, the councils, and the canonical letters; the remaining chapters, making part ii, contain the laws of the Byzantine emperors, and different treatises on ecclesiastical law. The work also contains historical contributions on the Greek and Russian Church, the Nomocanon of Photius, a notice of the name and edition of the work, the edict and gift of Constantine to Sylvester (q.v.), and a polemical treatise against the Latins. See Schlosser, Morgenl. orthodoxe Kirche Russlands (Heidelb. 1845); Strahl, Beitridge z. russischen Kirchengesch. (Halle, 1827), p. 14; Aschbach, Kirchen-Lexicon, 3:918. SEE PHOTIUS; SEE RUSSIAN CHURCH. (J. H. W.)