An Insular Tradition of Ecclesiastical Law: Fifth to Eighth Century

Roy Flechner

in Anglo-Saxon/Irish Relations before the Vikings

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780197264508
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734120 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

An Insular Tradition of Ecclesiastical Law: Fifth to Eighth Century

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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This chapter examines the immediate background of the emergence of the highly influential insular canonical collections and investigates the way they relate to the earliest canonical texts compiled in Ireland and Anglo-Saxon England. It discusses the Irish collection of canons Collectio Canonum Hibernensis and the Canons of Theodore, and explores how the compilers of canonical literature approached an age-old problem inherent to medieval canon law. The chapter also outlines the governing principles which characterised insular canonical thinking and shows that the Collectio Canonum Hibernensis was firmly grounded in an insular canonical tradition.

Keywords: insular canonical collections; Ireland; Anglo-Saxon England; Collectio Canonum Hibernensis; Canons of Theodore; canonical literature; medieval canon law

Chapter.  11447 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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