Archbishop Wulfstan's Canon Collection

Patrick Wormald

Ed. Andrew Rabin

I. Introduction.


It has now been twelve years since the death of Patrick Wormald (1947–2004), and his influence on the study of Anglo-Saxon law and politics continues to be felt. His magnum opus, The Making of English Law: King Alfred to the Twelfth Century (Blackwell, 1999), remains the touchstone of early English legal studies, while his many other publications constitute a body of work rarely equaled in the ever-expanding library of modern Anglo-Saxon scholarship. Especially influential has been his research into the thought and career of Archbishop Wulfstan of York (d. 1023). Building on the work of the so-called "Wulfstan Revival" of the previous generation, Wormald firmly established the archbishop's status as the preeminent legal and political thinker of the later Anglo-Saxon period. Over a series of publications ranging from 1977's "Lex Scripta and Verbum Regis: Legislation and Germanic Kingship, from Euric to Cnut" to 2004's "Archbishop Wulfstan: Eleventh Century Statebuilder," Wormald argued that Wulfstan was "one of the half-dozen leading influences on the formation of Early English culture," not only because of the legislation he authored on behalf of Kings Æthelred and Cnut but also because of the far-reaching "vision of a Holy Society" that suffused both his legal and his homiletic writings.1

The text edited below is a study of what had been referred to as the Excerptiones Ecgberti, a collection of excerpts from canon law preserved in five manuscripts: Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 190; Cambridge Corpus Christi College 265; London, British Library, Cotton Nero A.i; Oxford, Bodleian Library, Barlow 37 (S.C. 6464); and Rouen, Bibliothèque Municipale 1382 (U. 109). Wormald here demonstrates that the collection was compiled at Worcester, almost certainly by Wulfstan as part of his attempt to adapt Carolingian episcopal practices for the administration of the English Church. Although this essay was completed in early 1996, Wormald chose not to publish it, likely because many of its conclusions echoed those reached independently by J.E. Cross and Andrew Hamer in their then-forthcoming edition of the Excerptiones, published in 1999 as Wulfstan's Canon Law Collection.2 While the essay was never published in its present form, Wormald did build on its arguments in his later work, most notably in The Making of English Law and his article "Archbishop Wulfstan and the Holiness of Society."3 Twenty years on, Wormald's essay bears reading for several reasons: first, it furnishes the earliest iteration of arguments that would become central to his later scholarship on Wulfstan's career; second, and perhaps more importantly, it supplies a detailed account of CCCC 265 that both sheds light on its compilation and offers insight into the organizational logic of the manuscript anthologies referred to collectively as Wulfstan's "Commonplace Books"; and finally, it provides Wormald's most detailed discussion of the ways in which Wulfstan selectively drew upon the works of his Carolingian predecessors in creating an archive of sources to be used in his own writings.

In preparing the essay for publication, the only alterations to Wormald's original text were the correction of a very few obvious typographical errors. Wormald's in-text citations have been retained, and the editor has added a bibliography at the end for ease of reference. The tables following the essay have been reproduced exactly.

Thanks are due to a number of people for their assistance in bringing this essay to publication. First, I am very grateful to Mary P. Richards, to whom Wormald initially sent this piece, and to Lisi Oliver, who shared it with me. Many thanks also to Stephen Harris and Eddie Christie for their willingness to include the essay in this issue of OEN. Stephen Baxter was kind enough to help in contacting the Wormald family, for which I am very grateful. Finally, and most importantly, I wish to express my deepest thanks to Jenny, Luke, and Tom Wormald. Their generosity in allowing this essay to be published means that the broader community of Anglo-Saxonists will once again be able to benefit from Patrick Wormald's scholarship.


II. Text.

Archbishop Wulfstan's Canon Collection

This important canon collection, the later Old English church's major repository of ecclesiastical law, has in effect escaped attention, owing to two terminological deviations. Much of it is familiar as the "Excerptiones Ecgberhti." Students of Wulfstan's works know parts of it as "Archbishop Wulfstan's Commonplace Book" (Bethurum 1942). The first label does no justice to the collection's Protean form. The second undervalues the thoroughness with which it was assembled and repeatedly reassembled.

The collection's characterization as "Excerptiones Ecgberhti" has come about through a chapter of textual and editorial accidents that verges on the ludicrous (the best, though needlessly splenetic, rehearsal of the saga is Hohler 1975, especially n. 47 on pp. 223-4). Bodleian MS Bodley 718 is a later-tenth-century English copy of a presumably continental manuscript of (among other things) the arguably genuine Penitential of Archbishop Ecgberht. Inserted between the penitential's preface and main text is the "first capitulary" of Ghaerbald of Liège (though without that, or any other, designation). The effect, understandably, was to persuade an Anglo-Saxon audience that an admired eighth-century archbishop of York had legislated for the priests of his diocese. Ghaerbald's capitulary therefore accompanied the preface to Ecgberht's penitential in three Anglo-Saxon pontificals of s. x2 and s. xi1. In BL Cotton MS Nero A.i, f. 127v, and probably also in the exemplar of Corpus Christi College Cambridge MS 190 (where the relevant quire is lost, and we are dependent for our knowledge of it on a chapter-list at the front of the volume), Bishop Ghaerbald's capitulary is placed at the head of some hundred and fifty excerpts from Church law laid down by early Christian councils, popes, and fathers. A marginal rubric in the Nero MS opposite the capitulary's first chapter refers to the "Excerptiones Domini Ecgberhti de Sacerdotali Iure." There is no reason to think that this rubric addressed anything other than Ghaerbald's capitulary; in other words, the scribe meant to say what the scribes of the pontifical had been saying, that Ecgberht had issued norms for how diocesan priests ought to do their job. However, Henry Spelman, in his editio princeps of Anglo-Saxon ecclesiastical legislation, took the entire series of canons in the Nero manuscript as something he entitled "Excerptiones D. Egberti Eboracensis Archiepiscopi dictis et canonibus sanctorum patrum concinnatae." He claims to have consulted four manuscripts, only three of which can now be identified. But he undoubtedly took his text from Cotton MS Nero A i: he includes five canons which a twelfth-century scribe had slotted into two of its hitherto blank folios. Yet there is no trace in this manuscript or any other of the full "Excerptiones ... Ecgberti ..." title. All we have is the rubric, three-quarters of the way down the first relevant page, alleging that Ecgberht had written Ghaerbald's capitulary "De Sacerdotali Iure." It surely follows that Spelman's title for the full series of c. 150 excerpts was his own coinage. What Thorpe then published in 1840 was a slightly fuller and more accurate version of the same text from the same manuscript under the same title. Archbishop Ecgberht thus acquired a canon law collection which not even his medieval admirers had claimed for him.

It is crucial that what Thorpe familiarized as "Excerptiones Ecgberhti" is merely a reflection of how he read one manuscript. His decision to end the collection at f. 154r (some sixteen canons later than Spelman did) was probably influenced by the fact that the first chapter which he did not include was one that he had already printed as section two of the "Penitential of (Pseudo-)Theodore" (Thorpe 1840, p. 278). He will also have seen that the closely related set of canons in Corpus MS 190 breaks off at much the same point (p. 138), and that the series of penitential excerpts which follows in the Nero MS occurs much later in the Corpus 190 collection (Fehr 1914, pp. 243-55). The fact remains that neither Nero nor Corpus scribes do anything else to suggest that their collections were meant to end respectively at f. 154r or p. 138. The excerpts in the Nero MS had begun (two canons before the marginal reference to Ecgberht) with the rubric, "Incipit de Canonibus." The next "Incipit" in this manuscript, for what the point is worth, is on f. 155r; in Corpus MS 190, it is on p. 143.

Dr. Robin Aronstam's unpublished edition of the Excerptiones (1974), though once again based on the Nero MS, established the important point that a different recension of the same material is in Corpus Christi College Cambridge MS 265, the manuscript exhaustively analyzed by Mary Bateson in a celebrated paper (1895). Aronstam also showed that a second copy of this recension was in Rouen Bibliothèque Municipale, MS 1382 (U 109), ff. 173r-198v. What she regrettably did not make clear was (i) that the Rouen manuscript is a fragment of what could well have once been as expansive a collection as Corpus 265's (Cross 1992); or (ii) that a third copy, which is almost as expansive as Corpus 265's, exists in Bodleian, MS Barlow 37, ff. 1r-(?)45v (Sauer 1980). Aronstam was prepared to accept that canons which appeared in Corpus MS 265, but not in Nero MS A i or Corpus MS 190, were Excerptiones for the purposes of her edition, so long as they also appeared in the Rouen manuscript. The logic of her argument is that texts which feature in MSS Corpus 265 and Barlow 37, and which may only be missing from the Rouen MS because of its fragmentary state, should also count as "Excerptiones." To give an example: the Nero/Corpus 190 collection sums up its exhaustive review of sexual issues with a chapter, "De coniugo antiquo," which occupies over four pages in the first MS (ff. 149v-51v), and nearly three in the second (pp. 125-8). Ensconced among Corpus 265's block of excerpts on marriage are three "sermones de coniugo," one anonymous, one "by St. Paul," and one attributed to Augustine (pp. 62-5). They together take up the same sort of space as "De coniugo antiquo"; they cover much the same ground; they cite many of the same views. What qualifies "De coniugo antiquo" but not "sermones de coniugo" for membership in the "Excerptiones"? Again, on the immediately preceding pages of Corpus MS 265 (pp. 61-2) come a canon of Arles (314) and an extract from "Hermas." Like two of the other four texts cited here, "Hermas" is from Collectio Canonum Hibernensis, as Mary Bateson recognized (p. 720); so is the Arles canon, as she did not (Wasserschleben 1885, sections xlvi.14-17). There seems no reason whatever why the first four passages should count as "Excerptiones" 113-14, 127, and 123, when, merely because they do not appear in the Nero collection printed by Spelman and Thorpe, the Arles and "Hermas" canons do not.

The effect of this line of argument is of course greatly to enlarge our appreciation of what the collection once upon a time characterized as the "Excerptiones Ecgberhti" may have been. But the argument can and should be taken beyond that. The object of setting out below a diagrammatic schema of the contents of Corpus 265, pp. 3-208, is to show that the whole of this part of the book consists of excerpts from what can broadly be called canon law. On p. 22 of the manuscript stands the rubric, "Incipit Excerptiones de Libris Canonicis." It means exactly what it says. Excerpts from canonical books are precisely what follow, for the next ninety pages. At the very least, the rubric provides us with a considerably more accurate title than "Excerptiones ... Egberti ... dictis et canonibus sanctorum partum concinnatae." It may be possible to go further than this. A comparison between the structure of Corpus MS 265 on the one hand and the Barlow and Rouen MSS on the other suggests that the Corpus arrangement is the more logical. The admonitions on pastoral duty, including letters by Alcuin to the archbishops of Canterbury and York, come very much later in the Barlow MS (Sauer 1980, pp. 353, 364-5). They make an excellent choice as an introduction to a bishop's lawbook. It seems reasonable to think that it was by scribal/editorial choice that they have been given their place on the first pages of the Corpus 265 collection. Similarly, both the Barlow and Rouen MSS retain Ghaerbald's capitulary in the anomalous position after the preface to Ecgberht's penitential that gave rise to the very idea of "Excerptiones Ecgberhti" in the first place. In Corpus 265, as in Nero A.i, the capitulary appears at the start of the "Excerptiones" proper. But in Corpus 265, there is no marginal rubric attributing the capitulary to Ecgberht. And in Corpus 265, Ghaerbald's set of "sacerdotal iura" is fronted by another short collection (taken from the so-called "Statuta Ecclesiae Antiqua") addressed to the role of bishops. It does not seem likely that this arrangement is fortuitous. If not, Corpus 265 should be granted the same credit (if not accreditation) as the misguided initiative of Spelman gave to Cotton Nero MS A.i. It is an attempt at a systematic organization of the Church's law.

That is not to say that the collection is perfectly formed. Although there is sense of a kind in making Ecgberht's Penitential the centerpiece of its section on penance (pp. 35-60), this is the only item in the first hundred and twenty pages of the manuscript which is not an "excerpt" but as near as makes no difference to a complete text. (It is also, incidentally, the only thing between page 22 and page 91 that is introduced by the word "Incipit"; perhaps Ecgberht's prestige as an early insular expert on canon law—erroneously predicated as this was on his supposed authorship of Ghaerbald's capitulary for priests—guaranteed him special respect.) There is clearly some sort of hiatus at p. 72 line 6. A change to red ink for the best part of sixteen lines introduces "Directions for the use of Confessor," which soon becomes the only vernacular text until the manuscript's style and content alter markedly at p. 209. These "Directions" in turn inaugurate another wholly penitentially orientated section on clerical-lay relations, especially crimes against the former, though most of these topics were already covered by earlier "Excerptiones." The nature of the collection changes again after p. 113. There is now a regular tendency to reproduce whole texts rather than "excerpts." Thus, where the "second capitulary" of Theodulf of Orleans had been selectively cited for broadly penitential purposes on pp. 51-8, the whole of his "first capitulary" appears on pp. 121-42. When excerpts are given, as from the capitulary of Radulf of Bourges (pp. 113-21) or from the Dionysiana at the end of this part of the manuscript, it is no longer the subject-matter that determines the arrangement of texts, as it so consistently does before p. 113. Lists of chapters are even provided for Radulf, Theodulf and the Dionysiana.

In the end, though, it is not the presentational irregularities of Corpus 265 which catch the eye. Something is happening that is at least roughly comparable with the canon collections of Regino of Prüm and Burchard of Wurms (as Aronstam observes, pp. 152-5); the latest work on Burchard even makes it possible to see that his Decretum was assembled in much the same piecemeal way. The major differences between the English and the continentals are that the compilers of the Nero and Corpus manuscripts could not draw on nearly so much of the rich Carolingian conciliar tradition; and that the English collections are not so structured as to make their system clear. Still, a system of sorts there is. That is why it was not completely helpful to describe these collections as a "commonplace-book." Bateson's exact words, in her formative discussion (p. 712) were that "the purpose of the writer in copying out a quantity of excerpts taken from various sources, seems to have been to make a kind of theological commonplace-book specially intended for a bishop's use." But little of the content in any of these manuscripts is in any real sense theological. They give even less sense of the sort of random jotting down of pearls of wisdom whereby Victorian persons of culture (and bishops?) compiled their commonplace-books. Whoever put these books together was not picking up edifying thoughts as they went along. They were trying, with something less than total success, to assemble a collection of the law of the Latin Church, and of the principles that underlay it.

When Dorothy Bethurum (1942) and Dorothy Whitelock (1942) picked up Bateson's message nearly fifty years later, they at once established something that Bateson had already hinted at (1895, pp. 727-8, nn. 61, 63). There is a highly suggestive connection between the contents of these manuscripts and the homilies and law-codes written by Archbishop Wulfstan. It now seems as certain as such things can be that Cotton Nero MS A.i came from somewhere along Wulfstan's York/Worcester axis. It contains a series of entries, several in the "Excerptiones" section of the book, in what it is becoming perverse to deny is the archbishop's own script (Ker 1971, pp. 321-4; Morrish Tunberg 1993, pp. 45-9). The relevant section of Corpus 190 has recently been traced to Worcester in the first half of the eleventh century (Dumville 1993, pp. 52, 55, and cf. Pl. III). Corpus 265 itself has long been known to be a Worcester book of the mid-eleventh century. In addition, Bodleian MS Hatton 42, a book which may never in fact have had its putative connection with Dunstan, and which very probably came to Oxford from Worcester (Barker-Benfield 1993), contains (ff. 189r-204r) a copy of the first book of the Carolingian capitulary collection of Ansegisus; it has been annotated in the Wulfstan hand, almost demonstrably with reference to the Corpus 265 text of Charlemagne's Admonitio Generalis (789). A significant proportion of the works in these manuscripts, to repeat the Bethurum/Whitelock point, had a known or very probable influence on things Wulfstan wrote. It seems hyper-critical to doubt that he was involved in their compilation and/or that of their exemplars.

A final point for now concerns this collection's sources. It can be said at once that the strongest influences seem to have been the Bodleian manuscripts, Bodley MS 718 and MS Hatton 42, the very books whose part in the collection's history has been adumbrated above. That is to say that a high proportion of citations are from Book IV of the Quadripartitus, the ninth-century Carolingian canon law summary usually known as the "De Vita Sacerdotum" of Halitgar of Cambrai (Kerff, seminally, 1982); this makes up most of the rest of Bodley 718 after Ecgberht's Penitential; and it can at least be argued that the Bodleian manuscript itself was demonstrably the source used by the Worcester compilers. The other set of influential authorities for the Worcester collection were apparently the "B" text of the Collectio Canonum Hibernensis, the Dionysio-Hadriana, and Book I of Ansegisus. Together, these texts constitute the bulk of Hatton 42. It follows that the Worcester canon collection did not draw on something called the "Excerptiones Ecgberti." What came to be known as the "Excerptiones" were one of a series of excerpts made at Worcester from manuscripts of which the most important are still extant. The Corpus MS which has been the focus of my discussion was another; and, I would maintain, a systematically superior version.

There was never, therefore, any such thing as can usefully be called "Excerptiones ... Egberti ... dictis et canonibus sanctorum partum concinnatae." As was always implied by Mary Bateson's exhaustive account of a set of fairly lengthy anuscripts, we have something bigger and ultimately more stirring. Not, however, a "common-place book" either. What the Nero and Corpus manuscripts represent is a canon law collection, of the type that a number of tenth- and eleventh-century western Europeans were seeking to put together—usually, it must be confessed, with rather more success. It is more than distinctly probable that this collection was put together at Worcester. It is highly likely that a large part in its assemblage was played by a prelate who was irresistibly inclined to lay down law.


The Worcester Canon Collection (CCCC 265)


The numbering of canons in the tables that follow is, inevitably, Thorpe's. The numeration of Aronstam's unpublished edition is given in square brackets, both when she in effect reduplicates Thorpe's text, and when she introduces items from Corpus 265/Rouen that Thorpe ignored. The table adopts the ordering of Corpus 265, inasmuch as this collection is fully entitled to the attention that Spelman/Thorpe/Aronstam have given Nero A i; and because it is a tenable view that Corpus 265 is a clumsy version of what was intended to be The Fair Copy. "Excerptiones" which are not in Corpus 265, and which therefore appear only in Thorpe's edition, are listed and summarily analyzed in an Appendix.

  • a) pp. 3-19, preliminary admonitions on pastoral duties (inc. Alcuin, Ep. 17, 114; Isidore, Sententiae iii.36-8);
  • b) pp. 19-20, duties of bishops: Statuta Ecclesiae Antiqua;
  • c) pp. 20-2, duties of priests: Ghaerbald of Liège, capitulary I;
  • d) pp. 22-37, "Excerptiones de libris canonicis" (i.e. "Excerptiones Ecgberhti")
    1. - Use of canons, appeals: Pr. [B], 49 [30], [i], [ii];
    2. - Episcopal conduct: 29 [8], 34 [13], [xxvii];
    3. - Easter: 37 [18];
    4. - Sacraments of Baptism and Ordination (inc. Simony), veiling: 40 [21], 44 [25], 98-9 [81-3], 97 [80], [iii], 92 [75] (pt.);
    5. - Episcopal activities: [iv], 45-8 [26-9], 50-1 [31-2], 52 (pt.) [34] — 53 [35], 56 [38], [14-15], 57-9 [39-41], 61 [43];
    6. - Monks and Abbots: 63-73 [46-56]
    7. - Sacrilege and sanctuary: 75-6 [58-9], 78 [61], [v-vii], 80-1 [63-4];
    8. - Special clerical status: 83-9 [66-72];
    9. - Marriage as affecting clergy (inc. veiling and infant profession): 90-91 [73-4], 112 [96], 92-5 [75-8];
    10. - Sunday observance: 106-7 [90-1];
    11. - Tithes: 101 [85] (pt.), 104-5 [88-9];
    12. - Pagan rites: 149 [128], [viii];
    13. - Clerical appearance (inc. dress): 152 [131] (pt.), 153 [132] (pt.);
    14. - Change of status, i.e. clerical violence, transvestitism: 155 [134] (pt.), 154 [133] (pt.);
    15. - Excommunication: [ix], 157 [136], [x-xii];
    16. - Sins of clergy, esp. sexual: 33 [12], 31 [10];
    17. - Marriage and sexual purity, inc. remarriage and taking of communion: 129 [113], 32 [11], 118 [102], [xiii], 38 [19], 122 [106], [xiv-xvi];
    18. - Penance (inc. sexual relations of laity): [xvii], 39 [20], [xviii-xx], 115 [99], [xxi-xxii];
    19. - Homicide by or of clergy (penitential): 163 [142] (rephrased);
    20. - Penitential consequences of negligence (failure to baptize infants, causing death): [xxiii-xxiv];
  • e) pp. 37-50, penance: Penitential of Ecgberht (with preface);
    1. - pp. 50-1, those unfit to fast, etc.: Penitential of Pseudo-Theodore lii/li;
    2. - pp. 51-8, penitential provisions of Theodulf of Orleans, capitulary II: iii.1-2, ii.1-2, iv-x;
    3. - pp. 58-60, administration of penance: Penitential of Pseudo-Theodore ii, xlix;
  • f) pp. 60-71, marriage and sex, especially as regards the laity—more Excerptiones:
    1. - Seduction of virgins: 113-14 [97-8];
    2. - Concubines: 127 [111];
    3. - Divorce (for women's sexual misdemeanors): 123 [107], Collectio Canonum Hibernensis xlvi, 122 [106], 120 [104] (pt.), 'Sermones de coniugio' (cf. 121, 116-17, 119, 123, [105, 100-1, 103, 107]);
    4. - Spouse admitted to monastery: 120 [104]; wife walking out or taken captive, 124-5 [108-9];
    5. - Incestuous relationships (inc. spiritual kinship): 128 [112] (pt.), Penitential of Pseudo-Theodore xx 12, 11, 19 (pt.), 'De Gradibus Propinquis', 132 [116], 133 [117] with extra sentence, 131 [115], 121 [105] (pt.), 131 [115] (rephrased), 134 [118];
    6. - Rape and enforced marriage: penitential of Halitgar iv.16-18, [15];
    7. - Marriage of slaves: 126 [110];
  • g) p. 71, killing when deranged: [xxv];
  • h) pp. 71-2, upkeep of churches and priests: Ansegisus, Capitularium Collectio;
  • *********
  • i/j) pp. 72-83, penance: "Handbook for the use of a Confessor";
  • k) pp. 83-91, the Carolingian Decalogue, principles of justice, life of bishops and priests: chapters of the Admonitio Generalis:
    1. - pp. 91-3, ‘the Canonical Life' as summarized by the Council of Aachen, 816;
  • l) pp. 93-6, more penance; clerics and the secular lifestyle: "De Militia Seculari" (cf. Exc. Ecgb. 155); penitential extracts and adaptations about relations between secular and religious life: cf., e.g., Penitential of Pseudo-Theodore iv, Penitential of Pseudo-Ecgberht iv.26, Exc. Ecgb. 131, 134, Penitential of Theodore (genuine) I.xiv.28-9;
  • m) pp. 96-100, attacks on church and clergy: Exc. Ecgb. 74, 79, and cf. 62; "Three Irish Canons";
    1. - (homicidal) assaults in general: Penitential of Pseudo-Theodore iii.5-8, 1-4;
    2. - accusations and crimes against clergy: Dialogue of Archbishop Ecgberht i, xii
  • n) pp. 100-4, compensation and penance for injuries to dependents and/or clergy: Canones Wallici;
  • o/p) pp. 104-5, tonsures and clerical deportment: cf. Exc. Ecgb. 152-4;
  • q/r) pp. 105-10, compensations and penances in "Saxony," especially as regards clergy;
  • s) pp. 110-13, Wulfstan's penitential letter collection about heinous crimes;
  • *********
  • t) pp. 113-21, Radulf of Bourges, Capitulary (extracts);
  • u/v) pp. 121-42, Theodulf of Orleans, capitulary I (complete)
  • w) pp. 142-8, Abbo of Saint-Germain des PrÉs, penitential sermon;
  • x) pp. 148-50, Excerpts on kingship: Sedulius Scottus, De Rectoribus Christianis; Collectio Canonum Hibernensis xxv;
  • y) pp. 150-97, Duties and privileges of clergy: on pastors; on blasphemy; on "pressures against the Church" (Atto of Vercelli); Exc. Ecgb. 161 (pt.); "the Canonical Life," as summarized by the Council of Aachen, 816; Ælfric, Pastoral Letters 2, 3; Wulfstan, Homily VIIIa; "Officium Missae"; Ælfric, Digest of the Council of Aachen, 816, chapters ix, ii-viii, x-xi (cf. Fehr 1914, "Anhang V"; Cross 1993, pp. 15-16); Hrabanus Maurus, De Institutiones Clericorum ii.1-7;
  • z) pp. 199-208, Canon Law excerpts: Dionysiana, Pseudo-Angrilamn, IV Conc. Toledo.



"Excerptiones" in the Nero/Thorpe/Aronstam edition, but not in Corpus 265: numbering of "excerpts" is again Thorpe's, with Aronstam's following in square brackets:
  • - 22-8 [1-7], life and sustenance of priests, their relations with their bishops;
  • - 30 [9], the bishop's reputation;
  • - 35 [16], avoidance of distracting clutter in church buildings;
  • - 36 [17], Sabbath observance;
  • - 41-3 [22-4], sacramental ritual, especially as regards priests;
  • - 52 (pt.) [33], ordination procedure;
  • - 54-5 [36-7], conduct of mass
  • - 60 [42], clerics and monks conspiring against bishops;
  • - 62 (pt.) [44], assaults against anyone "iuxta episcopum";
  • - 62 (pt.) [45] injuries to clergy compensated according to status;
  • - 74 [57], thefts from churches;
  • - 77 [60], 79 [62], infringement of sanctuary by wounding or killing;
  • - 82 [65], legitimate punishment of killers and sacrilegious;
  • - 96 [79], age of criminal responsibility;
  • - 100 [84], priests to procure adequate elements for celebration of mass;
  • - 102-3 [86-7], tithes and gleaning;
  • - 108-11 [92-5], fasting and abstinence (including sexual);
  • - (116-17 [100-1], 119 [103], 121 [105], though these are rephrased at Corpus 265, pp. 62-5), marriage and sexual fidelity;
  • - 130 [114], sexual relations with a brother's widow;
  • - 135-40 {119-24] prohibited degrees of sexual liaison;
  • - 146-8 [125], "De Coniugio Antiquo";
  • - 147-8 [126-7], 150-1 [129-30], judaizing and pagan practices;
  • - 156 [135], clerics not to be judges in condemnation;
  • - 158-9 [137-8], priests not to be absent from post; clerics to learn both crafts and letters, if capable of doing so;
  • - (160-3 [139-42], though cf. Corpus 265, pp. 157-8), varieties of clergy, unacceptability of clerical violence;
  • - Aronstam, excerpt xxvi (the only one to appear nowhere else but in Corpus 190: pp. 124-5), Leo the Great to Bishop Rusticus of Narbonne on marriage and concubinage.




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Barker-Benfield, B.C. "Not St. Dunstan's Book?". Notes and Queries 40, no. 4 (1993): 431-3.

Bateson, Mary. "A Worcester Cathedral Book of Ecclesiastical Collections Made About 1000 A.D.". English Historical Review 10 (1895): 712-31.

Bethurum, Dorothy. "Archbishop Wulfstan's Commonplace Book." PMLA 57, no. 4 (1942): 916-29.

Cross, J.E. "A Newly-Identified Manuscript of Wulfstan's 'Commonplace Book', Rouen, Bibliothèque Municipale, Ms. 1382 [U.109], Fols 173r–198v." Journal of Medieval Latin 2 (1992): 63-83.

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1. The quoted phrases come from Patrick Wormald, "Archbishop Wulfstan and the Holiness of Society," in Legal Culture in the Early Medieval West: Law as Text, Image, and Experience (London: The Hambledon Press, 1999), 225, 244. Wormald's other major discussions of Wulfstan and his influence can be found in "Lex Scripta and Verbum Regis: Legislation and Germanic Kingship, from Euric to Cnut," in Early Medieval Kingship, ed. P. H. Sawyer and I.N. Wood (Leeds: Leeds University Press, 1977), 105-38; "Aethelred the Lawmaker," in Ethelred the Unready, ed. David Hill, B.A.R. British Series (Oxford, England: B.A.R., 1978), 47-80; The Making of English Law: King Alfred to the Twelfth Century (Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 1999); "Archbishop Wulfstan: Eleventh-Century Statebuilder," in Wulfstan, Archbishop of York: The Proceedings of the Second Alcuin Conference, ed. Matthew Townend (Turnhout: Brepols, 2004), 9-27.

2. J.E. Cross and Andrew Hamer, eds., Wulfstan's Canon Law Collection, Anglo-Saxon Texts (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1999). In their acknowledgements, Cross and Hamer write, "When our edition was substantially complete, we heard with pleasure a paper by Mr. Patrick Wormald, of Christ Church, Oxford, in which he reached some of the same conclusions as ourselves. We wish here to record our gratitude to Mr. Wormald for sending us a text of his paper." (p. vii)

3. See Wormald, Making 211-19; "Holiness of Society," 233-38.