Introductory Notes

On the Edition page, I assemble .pdf files of the ongoing edition-in-progress of the False Decretals from Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vat. lat. 630. A full edition of the Pseudo-Isidorian decretal forgeries is many years away. In the meantime, this preliminary effort from a single, important codex aims to provide a serviceable and coherent text, as a basis to investigate the problem of Pseudo-Isidore’s sources and the intertextual relationships that exist among the forgeries

Each .pdf, created with the Classical Text Editor, provides Latin text as transcribed from Vat. lat. 630. Beneath the edited text, a brief apparatus criticus tracks corrections and variant readings in the manuscript. Occasionally, particularly in the case of serious omissions or other defects that make its text unreadable, I provide corrections from elsewhere in the Pseudo-Isidorian manuscript tradition.

Below the apparatus criticus is an apparatus fontium, or an accounting of Pseudo-Isidore’s material sources (with occasional formal source indications in parentheses). All words in the edited text that Pseudo-Isidore has from his sources are printed in italics; Roman type is reserved for Pseudo-Isidore’s own words. Sources are cited by abbreviated title, internal book and chapter divisions, and then by page and line number in their respective editions. Abbreviated titles are resolved here, where I also provide full references to the modern editions and what I know about Pseudo-Isidore’s specific access to the sources at issue.

A final apparatus tracks parallel passages among other Pseudo-Isidorian forgeries, including, especially, the False Capitularies of Benedictus Levita, as well as the other decretal forgeries. The guiding theory of this apparatus is that the False Capitularies and various other excerpt repositories, such as the Collectio Angilramni and the Chalcedon Excerpts,  predate, in essence if not in every detail, the False Decretals. This will surely prove controversial, for many modern scholars prefer to see the False Decretals as the earlier–perhaps the earliest–Pseudo-Isidorian forgery. I have assembled a great deal of evidence that shows they are wrong, and I will present this evidence in due course.

No controversy surrounds the relative chronology of another item in the Pseudo-Isidorian forgery complex, that is to say the interpolated Hispana, or the Hispana Gallica Corbeiensis. It surely predates both the decretal and the capitulary forgeries. At the same time, the vast majority of material in the HGC is completely authentic. The apparatus of parallel forgeries only tracks appropriations from the Hispana Gallica Corbeiensis in those rare cases where the passage in question involves a Pseudo-Isidorian interpolation or falsification. Otherwise, the Hispana is accounted for only in the apparatus fontium, in parentheses, along with all other formal source indications.

For each parallel noted, the apparatus of parallels indicates my judgment as to the nature of the intertextual relationship:

[s]: For “source.” The parallel passage represents the immediate source of the passage in the decretal forgery.

[r]: For “reception.” The parallel passage represents a reception of the passage in the decretal forgery.

[p]: For “parallel.” Both the decretal forgery and the parallel descend from some common intermediary source, or their relationship cannot be more closely determined.

The decretal forger’s use of intermediate sources–those passages marked in the apparatus of parallels with an [s]–is of particular interest. Whereas italics in the edited text track Pseudo-Isidore’s use of sources, small caps track those passages that I am reasonably confident Pseudo-Isidore has from elsewhere in his own library.