“The manuscript, copied in northern France during the early years of the 12th century, contains one of the earliest collections of canon law produced during the sweeping ecclesiastical reforms of the second half of the 11th century,” explained Somerville. “It is one of only six codices that transmit this text to us.”
The compilation probably originated in the church at Reims, and may have influenced Odo of Châtillon while he was in the cathedral school there. In 1088, Odo became Pope Urban II; he is regarded as one of the most influential Roman pontiffs of the Middle Ages.
Pope Urban’s roots in Reims offer the tantalizing possibility of linking our collection to one of the architects of the church’s elaborate system of scholastic canon law, a system that produced several official legal collections which remained valid in the Roman Catholic Church until 1917.
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