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14 - Gelasius I

from Part II

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 June 2019

Philip L. Reynolds
Affiliation:
Emory University, Atlanta
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Summary

Gelasius I, bishop of Rome from 492 to 496, stands at the peak of fifth-century bids for Roman primacy against the three largest churches of the Byzantine empire: those of Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria. Gelasius’s epistolary decretals reveal the ways in which Christianity shaped law generally, even secular (civil) law, and the ways in which law was constitutive of Christian communities and guided Christian practices. Put simply, the authority of the bishop of Rome was paramount in Gelasius’s view of how society was ordered by God, with the secular rulers and their laws coming a close second, but never before it. This chapter includes a survey of Gelasius’s views on the secular and ecclesiastical realms and on the complex relationship between the two, expressed through his letters and other works, and of their importance for the development of a theology of law. It places his decretals in the context of Roman and Gothic interests in the canons and civil law during the fifth and sixth centuries. It concludes with the reception of Gelasius’s works in the medieval West, especially the lasting influence of his “two powers” theory and its significance for later ages.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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References

Other Sources for Papal Letters

Connell, Martin F. Church and Worship in Fifth-Century Rome: The Letter of Innocent I to Decentius of Gubbio; Text with Introduction, Translation and Notes. Joint Liturgical Studies 52. Cambridge: Grove Books, 2002.Google Scholar
Demacopoulos, George E., with Matt Briel. The Invention of Peter: Apostolic Discourse and Papal Authority in Late Antiquity. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013. [See pp. 173–80 for Gelasius, Letter 12, and pp. 181–89 for Against Andromachus.]CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dobschütz, Ernst von (ed.). Das decretum Gelasianum de libris recipiendis et non recipiendis. In kritischem Text hrsg. und untersucht von Ernst von Dobschütz. Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen literatur 38.4. Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1912.Google Scholar
Gassó, M. and Batlle, Columba M. (eds.), Pelagii I Papae epistulae quae supersunt (556–561). Scripta et Documenta 8. Montserrat: Abatia Montisserrati, 1956.Google Scholar
Gelasius I, Epistula de duabus naturis:Ronzani, Rocco (ed. and trans.), Gelasio I, Lettera sulle due nature. Biblioteca patristica 48. Bologna: EDB, 2012.Google Scholar
Innocent I, Letter 25 to Decentius of Gubbio: PL 20:551–61.Google Scholar
Pomarès, Gilbert (ed. and trans.). Gélase Ier. Lettre contre les Lupercales et dix-huit Messes du Sacramentaire Léonien. SC 65 (1959).Google Scholar

Further Reading

Charanis, Peter. Church and State in the Later Roman Empire: The Religious Policy of Anastasius the First, 491–518. 2nd edition. Thessalonikē: Kentron Vyzantinōn Ereunōn, 1974.Google Scholar
Dunn, Geoffrey D. (ed.). The Bishop of Rome in Late Antiquity. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2015.Google Scholar
Gallagher, Clarence. Church Law and Church Order in Rome and Byzantium: A Comprehensive Study. Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Monographs 8. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2002.Google Scholar
Hoeflich, M. H.Gelasius I and Roman Law: One Further Word.” JTS 26.1 (1975): 114–19.Google Scholar
Jasper, Detlev, and Fuhrmann, Horst. Papal Letters in the Early Middle Ages. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2001.Google Scholar
Kolb, Robert. “Two-Kingdoms Doctrine.” The Encyclopedia of Christianity, ed. Fahlbusch, Erwin et al., vol. 5 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, and Leiden: Brill, 2008), 569–75.Google Scholar
Moorhead, John. The Popes and the Church of Rome in Late Antiquity. London: Routledge, 2015.Google Scholar
Morrison, Karl F. The Two Kingdoms: Ecclesiology in Carolingian Political Thought. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1964.Google Scholar
Neil, Bronwen. “The Decretals of Gelasius I: Making Canon Law in Late Antiquity.” In Lex et Religio in età tardoantica. XL incontro de studiosi dell’Antichità Cristiana, Studium Ephemerides Augustinianum 135 (Rome: Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, 2013), 657–68.Google Scholar
Taylor, Justin. “The Early Papacy at Work: Gelasius I (492–6).” Journal of Religious History 8.4 (1975): 317–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ullmann, Walter. The Growth οf Papal Government in the Middle Ages. 2nd edition. London: Methuen, 1962.Google Scholar
Watt, J. A., “Spiritual and Temporal Powers.” In Burns, J. H. (ed.), The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought c.350 – c.1450 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 367423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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  • Gelasius I
  • Edited by Philip L. Reynolds, Emory University, Atlanta
  • Book: Great Christian Jurists and Legal Collections in the First Millennium
  • Online publication: 21 June 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108559133.014
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  • Gelasius I
  • Edited by Philip L. Reynolds, Emory University, Atlanta
  • Book: Great Christian Jurists and Legal Collections in the First Millennium
  • Online publication: 21 June 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108559133.014
Available formats
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Gelasius I
  • Edited by Philip L. Reynolds, Emory University, Atlanta
  • Book: Great Christian Jurists and Legal Collections in the First Millennium
  • Online publication: 21 June 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108559133.014
Available formats
×