Editions for medieval canon law

For a long time only a relatively small number of critical editions for medieval canon law existed, but during the last decades a number of important editions has appeared. Many edition were rather old. In the Patrologia Latina published by J.P. Migne canon law texts have been reprinted from old editions, but these are often not critical text editions. The situation is more positive for conciliar acts and decrees and the libri paenitentiales, the penitentials. Because of their sheer number references to them have been kept fairly general. The Decretum Gratiani (around 1140) forms the watershed between early and classical canon law. Literature on the decretal collections of the twelfth century is mentioned here, too. For all kinds of sources editions are being prepared. Some of them are in an advanced stage, among others at the Institute of Medieval Canon Law in Munich. I mention some reprints of old editions, because one cannot always consult manuscripts. Clearly these old editions are to be used with caution.

The texts in Migne’s Patrologia Latina can be searched online within the Corpus Corporum (Universität Zürich), the original volumes are accessible online in the Hathi Trust Digital Library. The Virtual Medieval Canon Law Library tries to build a single virtual location for digital resources concerning medieval canon law. It is worthwhile to search also among the manuscripts and editions digitized by the Münchener Digitalisierungszentrum. For searching patristic texts in Latin you can also benefit from the Patrologia Latina database of the ARTFL, Chicago, the Patristic Text Archive (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften), and the Clavis Clavium. Translations of a number of patristic and later works into German, French or English are available online in the Bibliothek der Kirchenväter (Université de Fribourg).


For the councils of the early Church new editions have appeared in the Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina (published by Brepols). There is a subseries Corpus Christianorum: Conciliorum Oecumenicorum Generaliumque Decreta (4 volumes published since 2007, more will appear (II, V, VI and VII)). For early councils an index exists by A. Weckwerth, Clavis conciliorum occidentalium septem prioribus saeculis celebratorum (Turnhout 2013). Editions of the Carolingian councils are prepared by the Monumenta Germaniae Historica at Munich and published in their series MGH Concilia, available online at their platform dMGH. The following older editions of ecumenical councils are still important:

  • Conciliorum omnium generalium et provincialium collectio regia (37 vol., Paris 1644) – councils until 1640; online, Universitätsbibliothek Paderborn
  • Labbe, Ph., and G. Cossart (eds.), Sacrosancta concilia ad regiam editionem exacta (17 vol., Paris 1671-1672) – online, Hathi Trust Digital Library – supplement by Etienne Baluze, Collectio nova conciliorum I (Paris 1683; online, Internet Archive)
  • Hardouin, J. (ed.), Acta conciliorum et epistolae decretales ac constitutiones Summorum Pontificum (12 vol., Paris 1714-1715) – online, Bayerische Staatsbiblothek, Munich, also online, Hathi Trust Digital Library
  • Coleti, N. (ed.), Sacrosancta concilia ad regiam editionem exactam (23 vol., Venice 1728-1833) – online, Hathi Trust Digital Library / Universidad Complutense, Madrid (alas no link for the set); there is also a set at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
  • Mansi, J.D. (ed.), Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio (31 vol., Florence-Venice 1759-1798) – until 1439; this collection is the one most often used, reprinted and extended (53 vol., Paris 1901-1927; Graz 1960-1962); several online versions exist, for example the volumes 1-31 in Vienna, at FSCIRE; an overview of them is offered at Patristica.net

Mansi is certainly the best known, but other old editions of sources on ecclesiastical law are important. They contain not just conciliar acts and decrees, but also sermons and orations during councils

  • D’Achery, Luc (ed.), Spicilegium sive collectio veterum aliquot scriptorum (3 vols., Paris 1732-1735) – online, Hathi Trust Digital Library.
  • Martène, E., and U. Durand (eds.), Thesaurus novus anecdotorum (5 vols., Paris 1717) – online, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich.
  • Martène, E., and U. Durand (eds.), Veterum scriptorum et monumentorum historicorum dogmaticorum et moralium amplissima collectio (9 vols., Paris 1724-1733) – online, Hathi Trust Digital Library.
  • Würdtwein, Stephan Alexander (ed.), Subsidia diplomatica ad selecta juris ecclesiastici Germaniae… (14 vols., Heidelberg, etc., 1772-1780); online, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna – see also his Nova subsidia… (14 vols., Heidelberg 1781-1792), also online in Vienna.

An introduction and a useful overview, in particular of private collections and provincial synods, is offered by Joseph Avril, ‘Les décisions des conciles et synodes’, in: Jacques Berlioz et alii (ed.), Identifier sources et citations (Turnhout 1994) 177-189. Both editions in German of Carl Joseph von Hefele, Conciliengeschichte (5 vol., 1855-1864; 9 vol., Freiburg im Breisgau, 1873-1890) have been digitized by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, the French translation Histoire des conciles d’après les documents originaux (12 vol., Paris 1869-1878) is online in the Hathi Trust Digital Library.

For the following (general) councils separate editions exist outside the great series mentioned above:

  • Concilios Visigóticos e Hispano-Romanos, J. Vives (ed.) (Barcelona-Madrid 1963).
  • The early councils of pope Pascal II, 1100-1110, Uta-Renate Blumenthal (ed.) (Toronto 1978).
  • Constitutiones concilii quarti Lateranensis una cum commentariis glossatorum, Antonio García y García (ed.) (Città del Vaticano 1981) – includes the commentaries (“apparatus”) by Vincentius Hispanus and Johannes Teutonicus.
  • Acta concilii Constantientis, H. Finke (ed.) (4 vols., Münster 1896-1928) – online, Internet Archive.
  • Monumenta conciliorum generalium saeculi decimi quinti, F. Palacky et alii (ed.) (4 vols., Vienna 1857-1935); online, Gallica.
  • Concilium Florentinum. Documenta et scriptores (11 vol., Rome 1940-1976).
  • Concilium Basiliense. Studien und Quellen zur Geschichte des Konzils von Basel, J. Haller (ed.) (8 vols., Basel 1896-1936) – online, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich.
  • Die Concordia canonum des Cresconius : Studien und Edition, Klaus Zechiel-Eckes (ed.) (2 vol., Frankfurt am Main 1992).
  • Die Konzilsordines des Früh- und Hochmittelalters, Heribert Schneider (ed.) (Hannover 1996; MGH, Ordines de celebrando concilio).
  • Synodicon Hispanum, A. García y García et alii (eds.) (14 vol., Madrid 1981-2020).

Two CD-ROMs enhance access to early medieval canonical collections:

  • Ausgewählte Kanonessammlungen zwischen 1000 und 1400 außerhalb Italiens. Eine Aufarbeitung mittels EDV (A Selection of Canon Law Collections Compiled outside Italy between 1000 and 1400. Access with data processing), L. Fowler-Magerl (ed.) (Piesenkofen 1998; CD-Rom KANONES 1.0).
  • Clavis Canonum. Selected Canon Law Collections before 1140, L. Fowler-Magerl (ed.) (Munich 2005; MGH Hilfsmittel 21) – with a separate book length introduction; the database is now also available online and even updated with new collections.

Among early medieval canonical collection the Collectio Vetus Gallica (around 600) stands out. Its has been edited and explored in depth by Hubert Mordek, Kirchenrecht und Reform in Frankenreich : die Collectio Vetus Gallica, die älteste systematische Kanonessammlung der fränkischen Gallien. Studien und Edition (Berlin-New York 1975). Lotte Kéry, Canonical Collections of the Early Middle Ages (ca. 400-1140): A Bibliographical Guide to the Manuscripts and Literature (Washington, D.C., 1999) is the indispensable guide for the collections before Gratian.

For the wide variety of sources around the Council of Basle (1431-1438) a very useful bibliographical notice by Markus Wesche (2010) is available online at Geschichtsquellen des deutschen Mittelalters, as is an overview of primary sources at this portal, and you can benefit from A companion to the Council of Basel, Michiel Decaluwe, Thomas Izbicki and Gerald Christianson (eds.) (Leiden 2017). For the Council of Constance (1414-1418), too, a very useful online bibliographical guide exists at Geschichtsquellen, and you can benefit also from A Bibliographical Register of the Sermons & Other Orations Delivered at the Council of Constance (1414-1418) by Chris Nighman and Philipp Stump.

For synods between 1215 and 1500 you can benefit from the bibliography, repertory and digital repository of the Corpus Synodalium. Local ecclesiastical legislation in medieval Europe created by Rowan Dorin and his team at Stanford, see also the project blog. Late medieval and Early Modern Iberian councils and synods, also for Spanish America, can be traced using Max Deardorff, Synods and Councils of the Hispanic World, 1300-1700 (2022; online).

The libri paenitentiales

The penitentials occupy a special place between purely theological and juridical works. However, their transmission is closely connected with them, and that is why the most important editions are given below in chronological order. Penitentials in Old English are now available online at The Anglo-Saxon Penitentials of Allen J. Frantzen:

  • Regino von Prüm, De synodalibus causis et disciplinis ecclesiasticis libri duo, F.G.A. Wasserschleben (ed.) (Leipzig 1840) – reprinted with a German translation by Wilfried Hartmann: Das Sendbuch des Regino von Prüm (Darmstadt 2004).
  • Regino von Prüm, Sendhandbuch, Wilfried Hartmann (ed. and transl.) (Wiesbaden 2023; MGH Collectiones canonum, 1).
  • Wasserschleben, F.H.W., Die Bussordnungen der abendländischen Kirche (Halle 1851; reprint Graz 1958).
  • Collectio canonum Hibernensis, H. Wasserschleben (ed.) (Giessen 1874; 2nd ed., Leipzig 1885).
  • Schmitz, H.J., Die Bussbücher und die Bussdiscipline der Kirche (2 vols., Mainz 1883).
  • Hrabanus Maurus, De institutione clericorum, A. Knoepfler (ed.) (Munich 1900) – new edition : Hrabanus Maurus, De institutione clericorum libri tres. Studien und Edition, Detlev Zimpel (ed.) (Frankfurt am Main, etc., 1996)..
  • Finsterwalder, P.W. (ed.), Die Canones Theodori Cantaruensis und ihre Überlieferungsformen (Weimar 1929).
  • Morey, A., Bartholomew of Exeter, bishop and canonist (Cambridge 1937) – with an edition of a penitential summa.
  • Petrus Manducator, ‘De penitentia’, in: Spicilegium Sacrum Lovaniense XVII, R. Martin (ed.) (Louvain 1937).
  • Laporte, J. (ed.), Le Pénitentiel de Saint Colomban (Tournai 1958).
  • Bieler, Ludwig (ed.), The Irish Penitentials (Dublin 1963).
  • Alanus de Insula, Liber poenitentialis, J. Longère (ed.) (2 vols., Louvain-Lille 1965).
  • Thomas de Chobham, Summa confessorum, F. Broomfield (ed.) (Louvain-Paris 1968).
  • Robert of Flamesbury, Liber Poenitentialis: A critical edition with introduction and notes, J.J. Firth (ed.) (Toronto 1971).
  • Petrus Pictaviensis, Summa de confessione. Compilatio praesens, J. Longère (ed.) (Turnhout 1980).
  • Die Bussbücher Halitgars von Cambrai und des Hrabanus Maurus, Raymund Kottje (ed.) (Berlin 1980)
  • Kerff, Franz, Der Quadripartitus – ein Handbuch der karolingischen Kirchenreform (Sigmaringen 1982).
  • Renard, J. (ed.), Trois sommes de pénitence de la première moitié du xiiie siècle: La ‘Summula Magistri Conradi’; les sommes ‘Quia non pigris’ et ‘Decime dande sunt’ (2 vols., Louvain 1989).
  • Paenitentialia Franciae, Italiae et Hispaniae seculi XIII-IX , I: Paenitentialia minora Franciae et Italiae seculi XIII-IX, Raymund Kottje (ed.) (Turnhout 1994); II: Paenitentialia Hispaniae, Francis Bezier (ed.) (1998); III: Paenitentiale Pseudo-Theodori, Carine van Rhijn (ed.) (2009); VI: Paenitentialia italiae saeculi XI-XII, Adriaan Gaastra (ed.) (2016).
  • Meens, Rob, Het tripartite boeteboek. Overlevering en betekenis van vroegmiddeleeuwse biechtvoorschriften (met editie en vertaling van vier ‘tripartita’) (Hilversum 1994) – on so-called tripartite penitentials, with an edition of four texts.

Some penitential treatises have been (partially) translated into English: John T. McNeill and Helena M. Gamer (eds.), Medieval handbooks of penance: a translation of the principal libri poenitentiales and selections from related documents (2nd ed., New York 1990). See on penitentials the following recent studies:

  • Ludger Körntgen, Studien zu den Quellen der frühmittelalterlichen Bußbücher (Sigmaringen 1993).
  • Cyrille Vogel, Les “libri paenitentiales” (Turnhout 1978; Typologie, 27) – supplement by A.J. Frantzen, 1985.
  • Sarah Hamilton, The practice of penance : 900-1050 (Woolbridge 2001).
  • Rob Meens, Penance in medieval Europe, 600-1200 (Cambridge, etc., 2014).
  • Stefan Jurasinski, The Old-English Penitentials and Anglo Saxon Law (Cambridge, etc., 2015).

The following penitentials stem from the late medieval period:

  • Die Summa Confessorum des Johannes von Erfurt, Norbert Brieskorn (ed.) (3 vol., Frankfurt am Main 1980-1981).
  • Die “Rechtssumme” Bruder Bertholds, M. Hamm and H. Ulmschwermler (ed.) (4 vol., Tübingen 1987-1991).
  • San Bernardino da Siena, Operette volgari di San Bernardino, D. Pacetti (ed.) (Florence 1938) – with a confessionale in Italian.
  • Jacobus Pasavante o.p., Lo specchio della vera penitenza, M. Lenardon (ed.) (Florence 1925).

Normative sources from the twelfth century onwards

  • Decretum Gratiani [“Concordantia discordantium canonum”], in: Corpus Iuris Canonici I, Emil Friedberg (ed.) (Leipzig 1879; reprint Graz 1956) – searchable online at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich; digitized volumes of Friedberg’s Coprus Iuris Canonici only, Hathi Trust
  • Wortkonkordanz zum Decretum Gratiani, Timothy Reuter and Gabriel Silagi (eds.) (5 vol., München 1990).
  • Decretales Gregorii IX [Liber Extra], in: Corpus Iuris Canonici II, Emil Friedberg (ed.) (Leipzig 1881; reprint Graz 1956) – available online at the Bibliotheca Augustana of Ulrich Harsch, Augsburg, but without annotation, as is also the case for the version at The Latin Library; easily searchable, but also without annotation, at the IntraText Library; also a PDF in the online version, Columbia University, with the other collections in this volume (Liber Sextrus, Clementinae, and Extravagantes communes)
  • YperLiberExtra, Università di Catania – Friedberg’s edition of the Liber Extra as a searchable database (access after registration): one can save and print pages using PDF, and even add comments
  • Decretales Bonifatii VIII [Liber Sextus], in: Corpus Iuris Canonici II.
  • Clementinae, in: Corpus Iuris Canonici II.
  • Extravagantes communes, in: Corpus Iuris Canonici II.
  • Extravagantes Johannis XXII, Jacqueline Tarrant (ed.) (Città del Vaticano 1983) – earlier on in: Corpus Iuris Canonici II.

The texts of the Decretum Gratiani, the Liber Extra and the Liber Sextus of pope Boniface VIII at are also available at the website of the Scholastic Commentaries and Texts Archive (SCTA). More collections and commentaries for medieval canon law are already announced at SCTA. For a concordance between the “tituli” (sections) of the different collections see Stephan Kuttner, Index titulorum decretalium ex collectionibus tam privatis quam publicis conscriptis (Milan 1977; Ius Romanum Medii Aevi, Subsidia, 2). A very useful online tool to find individual canons and decretals is offered by Denis Muzerelle in his Repertorium utriusque iuris.

  • Quinque compilationes antiquae necnon collectio canonum Lipsiensis, Emil Friedberg (ed.) (Leipzig 1882; reprint 1958 – online, Internet Archive) – Friedberg refers to his Corpus Iuris Canonici for many decretals printed there
  • Die Dekretalensammlung des Bernardus Compostellanus Antiquus, H. Singer (ed.) (Vienna 1914; online, Internet Archive) – compiled in the early thirteenth century
  • Ivo of Chartres (ca. 1040-1115), Panormia, edited by Bruce Brasington and Martin Brett – Ivo’s collection of canons was used by Gratian; this “provisional edition” shows also acutely the difficulties of editing an d maintaining such collections – see now the new version of the projects at Github
  • Ivo of Chartres, Collectio Tripartita, a preliminary edition (PDF) by Martin Brett
  • Ivo of Chartres, Decretum – a preliminary edition (PDF) by Martin Brett
  • Lettres d’Yves de Chartres, Geneviève Giordanengo and IRHT – a digital edition and French translation with nearly 300 letters – see also the materials presented by Brasington and Brett, with an overview of the manuscripts by Christof Rolker
  • Gregory of San Grisogono, Polycarp – an online edition by Horst Fuhrmann, Uwe Horst and Michael Klein of this early twelfth century canonical collection, now with concordances
  • Collezioni canoniche milanesi del secolo XII, Giorgio Picasso (ed.) (Milan 1969).
  • Bonizo de Sutri, Bonizonis Liber de vita christiana, E. Perels (ed.) (Berlin 1930) – compiled 1089-1095.
  • Die Kanonessammlung des Kardinals Deusdedit, V.W. von Glanvell (ed.) (Paderborn 1905, reprint Aalen 1967; online, Munich) – cardinal Deusdedit died in 1098 or 1099.
  • Collectio canonum Regesto Farfensi inserta, Theo Kölzer (ed.) (Città del Vaticano 1982) – Collectio Farfensis, from Farfa, compiled in and just after 1100
  • Collectio canonum trium librorum, I: Liber I-II, Joseph Motta and Giorgio Picasso ed. (Città del Vaticano 2005); II: Pars altera (Liber III et Appendix), Joseph Motta (ed.) Città del Vaticano 2008).
  • Algerus Leodiensis (ca. 1060-ca. 1131), Alger von Lüttichs Traktat ‘De misericordia et iustitia’: ein kanonistischer Konkordanzversuch aus der Zeit des Investiturstreits: Untersuchungen und Edition, R. Kretschmar (ed.), (Sigmaringen 1985).

A team of scholars led by Anders Winroth prepares an edition of the first recension of the Decretum Gratiani; the first results can be consulted online on a preliminary site, and there is already a more official address. The volume with essays Creating and shaping legal knowledge in the twelfth century. Sankt Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, 673 and its context, Stephan Dusil and Andreas Thier (eds.) (Leiden-Boston 2023; available in open access) guide you to many questions surrounding the Decretum Gratiani.

The papal decretals of the twelfth century

The collections of decretals from the twelfth century form a special subject in the study of medieval canon law. Decretals, papal judgments by delegated judges in letter form on cases of ecclesiastical law, have an intricate and complicated transmission before one finds them collected into the great papal collections such as the Liber Extra of Gregory IX in 1234 and the Liber Sextus of Boniface VIII in 1298. The early decretal collections, made by individuals, form a difficult but rewarding field of research, for which the Institute of Medieval Canon Law founded by Stephan is a very important research institute. A preliminary edition of the ninth century collection of Pseudo-Isidorian decretals, a famous conglomerate of forged texts, is available online, as are the collections created around Benedictus Levita. Eric Knibbs (MGH) tells you about current research and progress with the edition of Pseudo-Isidore. Klaus Zechiel-Eckes wrote anout the earliest decretal letters, Die erste Dekretale. Der Brief Papst Siricius’ an Bischof Himerius von Tarragona vom Jahr 385 (JK 255), Detlev Jasper (ed.) (Munich 2013; MGH Studien und Texte, 55). The Institute of Medieval Canon Law has created a database with the card files of Walther Holtzmann concerning the origin of twelfth-century decretals and their presence in canonical collections.

Literature on twelfth-century decretal collections

  • Duggan, Charles, Twelfth-century decretal collections and their importance in English history (London, 1963) – review: Peter Landau, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonistische Abteilung (ZRG KA) 51 (1965) 362-375.
  • Duggan, Charles, Canon law in medieval England (London 1982) – reprints of his articles.
  • Duggan, Charles, and Stanley Chodorow (eds.), Decretales ineditae saeculi XII. From the papers of the late Walther Holtzmann (Città del Vaticano, 1982) – reviews: Rudolf Weigand, AKKR 151 (1982) 631-634; Peter Landau, ZRG KA 72 (1986) 411-414.
  • Holtzmann, Walther, Studies in the collections of twelfth-century decretals, Mary G. Cheney and Christopher R. Cheney (edd., rev., transl.) (Città del Vaticano, 1979).
  • Kuttner, Stephan, Repertorium der Kanonistik (1140-1234). Prodromus corporis glossarum I (Città del Vaticano, 1937; Studi e Testi 71; several reprints).
  • Landau, Peter, ‘Die Entstehung der systematischen Dekretalensammlungen und die europäische Kanonistik des 12. Jahrhunderts’, ZRG KA 65 (1979) 120-148 – online, MGH (PDF).
  • Landau, Peter, ‘Dekretalensammlungen des 12. und beginnenden 13. Jahrhunderts’, ZRG KA 68 (1982) 453-461.
  • Landau, Peter, ‘Vorgratianische Kanonessammlungen bei Dekretisten und in frühen Dekretalensammlungen’, Proceedings of the Eight International Congress of Medieval Canon Law, Stanley Chodorow ed. (Città del Vaticano, 1992) 93-116.
  • Landau, Peter, Kanones und Dekretalen (Goldbach, 1997) – reprints of articles with additions.
  • Landau, Peter, ‘Rechtsfortbildung im Dekretalenrecht. Typen und Funktionen der Dekretalen des 12. Jahrhunderts’, ZRG KA 117 (2000) 86-131.
  • Landau, Peter, ‘Typen von Dekretalensammlungen’, in: Juristische Buchproduktion im Mittelalter, Vincenzo Colli (ed.) (Frankfurt am Main 2002) 269-282.
  • Die Collectio Francofurtana – eine französische Dekretalensammlung, Analyse beruhend auf den Vorarbeiten von Walther Holtzmann, edd. Peter Landau and Gisela Drossbach (Città del Vaticano 2007).
  • Rennie, Kriston (ed.), The Collectio Burdegalensis: a study and register of an eleventh-century canon law collection (Toronto 2013) – although older than other major decretal collections, this text edition is most welcome
  • Gisela Drossbach (ed.), Die Collectio Cheltenhamensis: eine englische Decretalensammlung. Analyse beruhend auf Vorarbeiten von Walther Holtzmann † (Città del Vaticano 2014).

The Database of the letters of pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) of Christian Schwaderer (Tübingen) is a research tool for the textual transmission of these eleventh-century letters.

Works of canonists after Gratian’s Decretum

  • Bernardus Papiensis: Bernardi Papiensis Faventini episcopi Summa Decretalium, E.A.Th. Laspeyres (ed.) (Regensburg 1860; reprint Graz 1956) – online, Munich
  • Die Summa magistri Rolandi nachmals Papstes Alexander III., Friedrich Thaner (ed.) (Innsbruck 1874) – not by Rolandus Baldinelli, the future pope Alexander III – online, ÖNB
  • Die Sentenzen Rolandus nachmals Papstes Alexander III., Ambrosius M. Gietl (ed.) (Freiburg im Breisgau 1891; reprint Amsterdam 1969) – no longer ascribed to Rolandus Bandinelli.
  • [Vacarius?],’ Magistri Vacarii Summa de matrimonio’, Frederic William Maitland (ed.), Law Quarterly Review 13 (1887) 133-143, 270-287.
  • Paucapalea: Die Summa des Paucapalea, F. von Schulte (ed.) (Giessen 1890; reprint Aalen 1965) – online, Gallica
  • Rufinus, Summa decretorum, Heinrich Singer (ed.) (Paderborn 1902; reprint Aalen 1963) – online, Münster
  • Magistri Gandulphi Bononiensis Sententiarum Libri Quatuor, Joannes de Walter (ed.) (Vienna-Bratislava 1924).
  • Raymundus de Pennaforte, Summa iuris canonici, X. Ochoa and A. Diez (eds.) (Rome 1975) – 1218-1221, incomplete summa – the value of this edition has been severely criticized.
  • The Summa Parisiensis on the Decretum Gratiani, Terence P. McLaughlin (ed.) (Toronto 1952).
  • Summa “Elegantius in iure diuino” seu Coloniensis, Stephan Kuttner and Gérard Fransen (eds.) (4 vols., New York-Città del Vaticano 1969-1990).
  • Stephanus Tornacensis (1128-1203), Die Summa des Stephanus Tornacensis über das Decretum Gratiani, Johann Friedrich von Schulte (ed.) (Giessen 1891; reprint Aalen 1965) – edition of a part of this summa.
  • Johannes Teutonicus (Johannes von Halberstadt), Johannis Teutonici Apparatus glossarum in Compilationem Tertiam, I (libri 1-3), Kenneth Pennington (ed.) (Città del Vaticano 1981) – the libri 3-5 have been published already at Pennington’s website.
  • Brendan McManus, The Ecclesiology of Laurentius Hispanus and his contribution to the Romanization of canon law jurisprudence, with an Edition of Laurentius’s Apparatus glossarum in Compilationem tertiam (Ph.D. diss., Syracuse University 1991) Part II.
  • Die Glossen zum Dekret Gratians : Studien zu den frühen Glossen und Glossenkompositionen, Rudolf Weigand (ed.) (2 vols., Rome 1991; Studia Gratiana 25-26).
  • Distinctiones Monacenses, Rosalba Sorice (ed.) (Città del Vaticano 2002) – a few years earlier A.J. de Groot published also an edition: Distinctiones “Si mulier eadem hora” seu Monacenses (Nijmegen 1996).
  • Animal est substantia (Summa Bambergensis) – early thirteenth century; edition in PDF-form by E.C. Coppens, Nijmegen.
  • Simon van Bisignano, Summa , part I and II – edition by Pier Aimone Braida, Fribourg – now also in print: Summa in Decretum Simonis Bisinianensis (Città del Vaticano 2014).
  • Vincentius Hispanus, Apparatus ad Lateranum IV – with the edition of Lateran IV [García y García 1981].
  • Johannes Teutonicus, Apparatus ad Lateranum IV – with the edition of Lateran IV [García y García 1981].
  • Magistri Honorii Summa ‘De iure canonico tractaturus’, Rudolf Weigand (+), Peter Landau, Waltraud Kozur, et alii (eds.) (3 vol., Città del Vaticano 2004-2010) – written around 1188.
  • Kersten A. Jacobi, Der Ehetraktat des Magisters Rolandus von Bologna : Redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung und Edition (Studienausgabe) (diss. Bremen 2003; Hamburg 2004).
  • Huguccio Pisanus Summa Decretorum, Tom. I, Dist. 1-20, edd. Oldrich Prerovský et alii (Città del Vaticano 2006) – around 1180-1190.
  • Summa ‘Omnis qui iuste iudicat’ sive Lipsiensis, Tom. 1, edd. Rudolf Weigand (+), Peter Landau, Waltraud Kozur; adll. Stephan Haering, Karin Miethaner-Vent, Martin Petzolt (3 vol., Città del Vaticano 2007-2014); Tom. II, edd. Peter Landau, Waltraud Kozur, adlaborantibus Stephan Haering, Heribert Hallermann, Karin Miethaner-Vent, Martin Petzolt (Città del Vaticano 2012) ; Tom. III, edd. Peter Landau et alii (2014), t. IV and V, edd. Waltraud Kozur, Peter Landau and Karin Miethaner-Vent (2018) – composed in 1186.
  • Reverentia sacrorum canonum – an early decretist commentary; online edition by John. C. Wei, now also in print, Summa Reverentia sacrorum canonum (Città del Vaticano 2018)
  • Summa theologica Halensis : De legibus et praeceptis. Lateinischer Text mit Übersetzung und Kommentar, Michael Basse (ed.) (3 vol., Berlin 2018; online, OAPEN) – a legal treatise by the theologian Alexander of Hales (ca. 1185-1245).

Other sources

Of course other sources touching the field of medieval canon law exist. The Online Medieval Sources Bibliography is one of the online resources to find other relevant source editions available in print and/or online. It is difficult to give here a sensible selection of relevant resources. For example, a very restrictive list of texts about papal elections would at least contain the following modern text editions:

  • Anton, Hans Hubert (ed.), Der sogenannte Traktat “De ordinando pontifice” : ein Rechtsgutachten in Zusammenhang mit der Synode von Sutri (1046) (Bonn 1982).
  • Jasper, Detlev, Das Papstwahldekret von 1059 : Überlieferung und Textgestalt (Sigmaringen 1986).


  • Antonius de Butrio, Commentaria…decretalium (4 vol., Venetiis, 1578) and Commentaria in Sextum (Venetiis 1575) – reprint Turin 1967 – also online (Ames Foundation)
  • Baldus de Ubaldis, Ad tres priores libros decretalium commentaria (Lugduni 1585; reprint Aalen 1970) – also edition Venetiis: Iunta, 1595 (reprint Turin 1971).
  • Goffredus de Trani, Summa super titulis Decretalium (Lugduni: Moylim, 1519) – reprint Aalen 1968, 1992.
  • Hostiensis (Henricus de Segusio), Summa aurea (Lugduni: Paganum, 1537) – reprint Aalen 1962.
  • Hostiensis, Summa aurea (Venetiis 1574) – reprint Turin 1975.
  • Hostiensis, Lectura (Venetiis 1581) – reprint Turin 1965; a commentary on the Liber Extra.
  • Innocentius IV, Commentaria in V. libris decretalium (Francofurti ad Moenam 1570) – reprint Frankfurt am Main 1968.
  • Johannes Andreae, Novella super sexto Decretalium (Venetiis: Pincius, 1499) – reprint Graz 1963.
  • Johannes Andreae, In I.[-V.] Decretalium Novella… commentaria (Venetiis: Franciscus, 1581) – reprint 4 vols., Turin 1966 – also available online (Ames Foundation)
  • Johannes Monachus (Jean le Moine), Glosa aurea… super VI. libro decretalium (Parisiis 1535) – reprint Aalen 1968.
  • Abbas Antiquus [Bernardus de Montemirato], Lectura aurea domini Abbatis antiqui super quinque libris decretalium (Straatsburg: Schott 1510) – reprint Frankfurt am Main 2008).
  • Guido de Baisio [Archidiaconus], Rosarium sive enarratione super decreto (Lugduni: Hugo à Porta, 1559) – reprint Frankfurt am Main 2008.

Digitized old editions

You can find digitized editions of canon law works using the usual gateways, with the Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog as the best example. Sometimes editions have been digitized separately:

  • The Editio Romana of the Corpus Iuris Canonici (1582) – a digital version of the edition by the Correctores Romani, created by the UCLA University Library; there is also a sixteenth-century index on the decretals, called Margarita, and an index on the glossa ordinaria, called Materiae Singulares
  • Panormitanus [Nicolaus de Tudeschis], Commentaria in Decretales (4 vol., Venetiis 1570-1571); Ames Foundation, copy Houghton Library, Harvard University – with also the Consilia et quaestiones
  • Hostiensis, Commentaria (4 vol. Venetiis 1581), Ames Foundation, copy Houghton Library, Harvard University – the famous 13th-century commentary
  • Tractatus universi iuris (22 vol. in 29 parts, Venetiis 1584-1586); copy Harvard Law School, Harvard University Library – the largest collection of legal treatises published in the sixteenth century, alas now only accessible through licensed libraries, with an overview per volume of the authors and treatises
  • Magnum Bullarium Romanum (…) (19 vol., Luxemburgi [=Geneva], 1727-1758), University Libraries, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC – the volumes I-VIII contain papal bulls already earlier published as the Bullarium Romanum