Nomocanon

Last updated

A nomocanon (Greek : Νομοκανών, Nomokanōn; from the Greek nomos - law and kanon - a rule) is a collection of ecclesiastical law, consisting of the elements from both the Civil law and the Canon law. Nomocanons form part of the canon law of the Eastern Catholic Churches (through the Eastern Catholic canon law) and of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Byzantine nomocanons

Nomocanon of John Scholasticus

The first nomocanon, in the sixth century, is ascribed, though without certainty, to John Scholasticus, whose canons it utilizes and completes. He had drawn up (about 550) a purely canonical compilation in 50 titles, and later composed an extract from the Justinian's Novellae in 87 chapters [1] that relate the ecclesiastical matters. To each of the 50 titles was added the texts of the imperial laws on the same subject, with 21 additional chapters, nearly all borrowed from John's 87 chapters. [2] Thus the Nomocanon of John Scholasticus was made.

Nomocanon in 14 titles

The second nomocanon dates from the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (610–641), at which time Latin was replaced by Greek as the official language of the imperial laws. It was made by fusion of Collectio tripartita (collection of Justinian's imperial law) and Canonic syntagma (ecclesiastical canons). Afterwards, this collection would be known as Nomocanon in 14 titles.

Nomocanon of Photios

The Nomocanon in 14 titles nomocanon was long held in esteem and passed into the Russian Church, but it was by degrees supplanted by the Nomocanon of Photios in 883.

The great systematic compiler of the Eastern Church, who occupies a similar position to that of Gratian in the West, was Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople in the 9th century. His collection in two parts—a chronologically ordered compilation of synodical canons and a revision of the Nomocanon—formed and still forms the classic source of ancient Church Law for the Greek Church. [3]

Basically it was the Nomocanon in 14 titles with the addition of 102 canons of Trullan Council, 17 canons of the Council of Constantinople of 861, [4] and three canons substituted by Photios for those of the Council of Constantinople of 869. The Nomocanon in 14 titles was completed with the more recent imperial laws.

This whole collection was commentated about 1170 by Theodore Balsamon, [5] Greek Patriarch of Antioch residing at Constantinople. The Nomocanon of Photios was supplemented the Pedalion (Greek : Πηδάλιον - rudder), a sort of Corpus Juris of the Eastern Orthodox Church, printed in 1800 by Patriarch Neophytos VII.

The Nomocanon of Photios retained in the law of the Eastern Orthodox Church and it was included in the Syntagma, published by Rallis and Potlis (Athens, 1852–1859). [6]

St. Sava's Nomocanon

First page of St. Sava's Nomocanon, manuscript, 1262 Savino Zakonopravilo - Ilovichki prepis, 1262.jpg
First page of St. Sava's Nomocanon, manuscript, 1262

The Nomocanonof Saint Sava , or in Serbian Zakonopravilo (Savino Zakonopravilo), was the first Serbian constitution and the highest code in the Serbian Orthodox Church; it was finished in 1219. This legal act was well developed. St. Sava's Nomocanon was the compilation of Civil law, based on Roman Law [7] [8] and Canon law, based on Ecumenical Councils. Its basic purpose was to organize functioning of the young Serbian kingdom and the Serbian church.

During the Nemanjić dynasty (1166-1371) Serbian medieval state was flourishing in the spheres of politics, religion and culture. As the state developed, also the industry developed, so the law had to regulate various number of relations. Therefore, with the development of economy, Roman Law was taken. In that time Serbia was not a tsarish empire, so its ruler could not create code of laws, which would regulate the relations in the state and church. Serbian rulers reigned with single legal acts and decrees. In order to overcome this problem and organize legal system, after acquiring religious independence, Saint Sava finished his Zakonopravilo in 1219.

The Zakonopravilo was accepted in Bulgaria, Romania and Russia. It was printed in Moscow in the 17th century. So, Roman-Byzantine law was transplanting among East Europe through the Zakonopravilo. In Serbia, it was considered as the code of the divine law and it was implemented into the Dušan's code (Serbian : Dušanov zakonik).

During the Serbian Revolution (1804) priest Mateja Nenadović established the Nomocanon of Saint Sava as the code of the liberated Serbia. It was also implemented in Serbian civil code (1844). The Zakonopravilo is still used in the Serbian Orthodox Church as the highest church code.

East Syriac tradition

Nomocanons of the Church of the East by author are:

See also

Related Research Articles

Canon law is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of a Christian organization or church and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law, or operational policy, governing the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the individual national churches within the Anglican Communion. The way that such church law is legislated, interpreted and at times adjudicated varies widely among these four bodies of churches. In all three traditions, a canon was originally a rule adopted by a church council; these canons formed the foundation of canon law.

Photios I of Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople

Photios I, also spelled Photius, was the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople from 858 to 867 and from 877 to 886. He is recognized in the Eastern Orthodox Church as Saint Photios the Great.

Patriarch Highest-ranking bishop in Christianity

The highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Catholic Church, and the Church of the East are termed patriarchs.

Patriarchate is an ecclesiological term in Christianity, designating the office and jurisdiction of an ecclesiastical patriarch.

John Scholasticus was the 32nd patriarch of Constantinople from April 12, 565 until his death in 577. He is also regarded as a Saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Holy Synod

In several of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches and Eastern Catholic Churches, the patriarch or head bishop is elected by a group of bishops called the Holy Synod. For instance, the Holy Synod is a ruling body of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

John IV of Constantinople

John IV, also known as John Nesteutes, was the 33rd bishop or Patriarch of Constantinople. He was the first to assume the title Ecumenical Patriarch. He is regarded as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church which holds a feast on September 2.

The Apostolic Canons or Ecclesiastical Canons of the Same Holy Apostles or Canons of the Holy Apostles is a 4th-century Syrian Christian text. It is an Ancient Church Order, a collection of ancient ecclesiastical decrees concerning the government and discipline of the Early Christian Church, allegedly written by the Apostles first found as the last chapter of the eighth book of the Apostolic Constitutions. Like the other Ancient Church Orders, the Apostolic Canons use a pseudepigraphic form.

Byzantine law

Byzantine law was essentially a continuation of Roman law with increased Christian influence. Most sources define Byzantine law as the Roman legal traditions starting after the reign of Justinian I in the 6th century and ending with the Fall of Constantinople in the 15th century.

The canon law of the Catholic Church is the system of laws and legal principles made and enforced by the hierarchical authorities of the Catholic Church to regulate its external organization and government and to order and direct the activities of Catholics toward the mission of the Church. It was the first modern Western legal system and is the oldest continuously functioning legal system in the West, while the unique traditions of Oriental canon law govern the 23 Eastern Catholic particular churches sui iuris.

Theodore Balsamon was a canonist of the Eastern Orthodox Church and 12th-century Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch.

A protopope, or protopresbyter, is a priest of higher rank in the Eastern Orthodox and the Byzantine Catholic Churches, generally corresponding to Western Christianity's archpriest or the Latin Church's dean.

<i>Syntagma Canonum</i>

Syntagma Canonum is a canonical collection made in 1335 by Matthew Blastares, a Greek monk about whose life nothing certain is known. The collector aimed at reducing canon law to a handier and more accessible form than it appeared in the Nomocanon of Photius, and to give a more comprehensive presentation than the epitomes and synopses of earlier writers such as Stephen, Aristenus (1160), Arsenius (1255), et al. The author arranged his matter in alphabetical order. He made 24 general divisions, each marked off by a letter of the Greek alphabet. These sections he subdivided into 303 titles, themselves distinguished by letters; for example, the third section contains such topics as: peri gamou, peri gynaikon, etc. The titles ordinarily treat of the civil law, as well as ecclesiastical law. Some titles however are purely ecclesiastical, others purely civil. The church ordinances are quoted from previous collections, especially from the Nomocanon (883), while the extracts from the civil law are for the most part transcribed without any reference to their origin. The compilation soon came into general use among the clergy, and preserved its authority even under Ottoman rule. A translation into Serbian followed close upon its first publication. It even worked its way into the political life of the Serbian people through an abridgment which Serbian Emperor Dušan appended to his code of laws (1349). From this the purely ecclesiastical enactments were excluded, but the civil law contained in the Syntagma was reproduced whenever adaptable to the social condition of the people. In the sixteenth century the Syntagma Canonum was translated into Bulgarian; in the seventeenth century into Russian.

Nikodim Milaš

Nikodim Milaš was a Serbian Orthodox Church bishop in Dalmatia. He was a writer and arguably the greatest Serbian expert on Orthodox church law and the Slavic world. As a canon lawyer in Dalmatia, he defended the Serbian Orthodox Church against the State. He was a polyglot, fluent in German, Italian, Latin, Russian, Greek, and Old Slavonic, and an author of numerous books.

<i>Zakonopravilo</i>

The Nomocanon of Saint Sava, known in Serbian as Zakonopravilo (Законоправило) or Krmčija (Крмчија), was the highest code in the Serbian Orthodox Church, finished in 1219. This legal act was written in simple folk language and its basic purpose was to organize continuation and functioning of the Serbian kingdom and the Serbian church. It was originally printed under the name „Rules of Speech“ in the language of Raška, in two issues, one for Vlaška and another one for Erdelja in 1640.

Ecclesiastical differences between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church Catholic–Orthodox ecclesiastical differences

Catholic–Orthodox ecclesiastical differences are differences between the organizational structure and governance of the Eastern Orthodox Church and that of the Catholic Church. These are distinguished from theological differences which are differences in dogma and doctrine. A number of disagreements over matters of Ecclesiology developed slowly between the Western and Eastern wings of the State church of the Roman Empire centred upon the cities of Rome and New Rome/Constantinople respectively. The disputes were a major factor in the formal East-West Schism between Pope Leo IX and Patriarch Michael I in 1054 and are largely still unresolved between the churches today.

Jus antiquum is a period in the legal history of the Catholic Church, spanning from the beginning of the church to the Decretum of Gratian, i.e. from A.D. 33 to around 1150. In the first 10 centuries of the church, there was a great proliferation of canonical collections, mostly assembled by private individuals and not by church authority as such.

The Law of Serbia comprises many levels of codified and uncodified forms of law, of which the most important is the Serbian Constitution.

Kormchaia

Kórmchaia Book or Books of the Pilot or Pidalion or Nomocanon are collections of church and secular law, which constituted guide books for the management of the church and for the church court of Orthodox Slavic countries and are transmission of several old texts. It were written in Old Church Slavonic and Old Russian.

The Eastern Catholic canon law is the law of the 23 Catholic sui juris (autonomous) particular churches of the Eastern Catholic tradition. Eastern Catholic canon law includes both the common tradition among all Eastern Catholic Churches, now chiefly contained in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, as well as the particular law proper to each individual sui juris particular Eastern Catholic Church. Oriental canon law is distinguished from Latin canon law, which developed along a separate line in the remnants of the Western Roman Empire, and is now chiefly codified in the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

References

  1. For the canonical collection see Voellus and Henri Justel, "Bibliotheca juris canonici", Paris, 1661, II, 449 sqq.; for the 87 chapters, Pitra, "Juris ecclesiastici Græcorum historia et monumenta", Rome, 1864, II, 385)
  2. Voellus and Justellus, op. cit., II, 603.
  3. Fr. Justin Taylor, essay "Canon Law in the Age of the Fathers" (published in Jordan Hite, T.O.R., & Daniel J. Ward, O.S.B., "Readings, Cases, Materials in Canon Law: A Textbook for Ministerial Students, Revised Edition" (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1990), p. 61
  4. "Photian Synods of Constantinople (861, 867, 879)". The Catholic Encyclopedia. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1908. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  5. Nomocanon with Balsamon's commentary in Voellus and Justellus, II, 815; P. G., CIV, 441.
  6. P. G., loc. cit.; Beveridge, "Synodicon", Oxford, 1672.
  7. "S. P. Scott: The Civil Law" . Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2010-05-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Sources

Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Nomocanon". Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.