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January 25, 2021

Monaco Graziano

Monaco Graziano, belonged to the Camaldolese monastic order at the Badia di San Niccolò al Monte Orvietano (abbatiae Montis Orbetani diocesis Urbevetanae), a fortified abbey located in the valley of the Chiani river in the Municipality of Ficulle.

He is universally considered the inspiring jurist and founder of canon law, author of the Concordia discordantium canonum, also known as Decretum Gratiani.

The work is a grouping of canons and decrees chosen with hermeneutic techniques with which one puts order in over a millennium of discordant canons of Church history. With it we move from canon law as a system of legislative sources, to canon law understood as a new and autonomous science, where with the introduction of comments that illuminate and explain the norm, aporias and contradictions are eliminated.

The Decretum had an extraordinary success and had a rigorous application throughout Christian Europe both for the purpose of teaching in liberal arts schools (as a didactic-doctrinal work), and for practical-forensic purposes in ecclesiastical courts, which in the Middle Ages sometimes also had civil jurisdiction.

With this code, applied both in ecclesiastical courts and in civil jurisdiction, thus begins the unstoppable process that will lead to the total separation between law and theology in the western world.

The Decretum is still a central document and object of study, believed to be the basis of today’s European Common Law, thus leading to celebrate its author, the Monaco Graziano, as a figure of capital importance for the study and development of the whole legal science.