The Photian schism. History and Legend

Francis Dvornik




Appendix I. New Edition of the Liber Diurnus (eleventh century) and the Number of Councils listed as Oecumenical  435

Appendix II. Popes’ Profession of Faith in Cod. Bibl. Vat. Lat. 7160 and the Profession of Boniface VIII  448

Appendix III. Unpublished anonymous Greek Treatises on the Councils  452



New Edition of the Liber Diurnus (eleventh century) and the Number of Councils listed as Oecumenical


The problems raised by the Popes’ profession of faith and contained in the Liber Diurnus call for a more thorough examination. Without attempting to trace the evolution of the Liber Diurnus or to quote the enormous bibliography bearing on the subject, I may refer to the study made by the late Pope Pius XI, [1] who as Librarian of the Milan Ambrosiana must have dealt with this document with exceptional care: indeed, of the three manuscripts that are known, one is preserved in Milan and was in course of publication under the supervision of Mgr Ratti. [2]


The Liber Diurnus in the edition of Th. E. von Sickel [3] is based on the Vatican manuscript and contains 99 formulas. Next to those regulating the composition of letters on various occasions, the presentation of the pallium and the granting of pontifical privileges, there are found seven formulas on the procedure to be followed at the election and the consecration of a new Pope (ff. 57-63); four other formulas deal with the announcement of the Pope’s election and the routine prescribed for the new Pope on taking possession of the throne (f. 82 decretum pontificis, f. 83 indiculum pontificis and formulas 84 and 85),



1. A. Ratti, ‘La Fine d’una Leggenda ed altere Spigolature intorno al Liber Diurnus Rom. Pont.’ (R. Istituto Lombardo di Science e Littere (Milano, 1913), ser. ii, vol. xlvi, pp. 238-52).


2. Only a facsimile edition was published in 1921: L. Gramatica, G. Galbiati, ‘Il Codice Ambrosiano del Liber Diurnus Roman. Pont.’ (Analecta Ambrosiana, vol. vii, Milan-Rome, 1921). See the more recent bibliography, ibid. pp. 7-8. Cf. also the exhaustive article written on this subject by H. Leclercq in his Dictionnaire d’Archéologie Chrétienne (Paris, 1930), vol. ix, 1, cols. 243-344.


The latest study on the Liber Diurnus was published by

·       L. Santifaller, ‘Die Verwendung des Liber Diurnus in den Privilegien der Päpste von den Anfängen bis zum Ende des 11 Jh.’ (Mitteilungen des Instit. f. Öster. Geschichtsf. (1935), vol. xlix, pp. 224-366, especially pp. 225-333).

·       Idem, ‘Neue Forschungen zur älteren Papstdiplomatik. Über den Liber Diurnus’, Forschungen und Fortschritte (1938), vol. XIV, p. 41.

·       Idem, ‘Zur Liber Diurnus-Forschung’, in Hist. Zeitschr. (1940), vol. clxi, pp. 532-8.


In the last study, Santifaller wrongly doubts the results of his own researches on the strength of some criticisms of Peitz’s recent publications. See supra, p. 318.


3. Liber Diurnus Romanorum Pontificum (Vindobonae, 1889). Cf. also Rozière’s ed., Liber Diurnus, ou Recueil des Formules Usitées par la Chancellerie Pontificale du Ve au XIe siècles (Paris, 1869), which is based on Garnière’s edition and reproduces the Clermont manuscript that was lost, but was recovered at the Dutch Abbey of Egmond-Binnen.





formula 83 containing the profession of faith which the Pope is expected to read out and sign. It enumerates every one of the six oecumenical councils. [1]


Sickel [2] had already proved that the Liber Diurnus, as we know it, was the result of a lengthy evolution, [3] the three versions (in the Vatican, Clermont and Milan) representing the stage of its development at the time of Hadrian I, from the end of the eighth century to the beginning of the following, possibly also the period of Leo III, with the pontificate of Gregory the Great to represent a very important period of its growth. [4]


The Jesuit W. M. Peitz [5] went further, too far even, by alleging that many letters of Gregory the Great had been composed after certain formulas of the Liber Diurnus, thus making this book the oldest witness of the procedure of the Pontifical Chancellery.


It would be interesting to know whether this important handbook of the Pontifical Chancellery was still in use after the ninth or at the beginning of the tenth century. The existing manuscripts bear witness to its utilization by the Chancellery at that period, but we find traces of it in the centuries that followed, and the question is raised whether the formula of the Pope’s profession of faith prior to his ascent to the throne was still used in the eleventh century. As we may reasonably assume that the handbook and its various formulas were subjected to such modifications as may have been dictated by changing practice at the Chancellery, new rules and regulations, and the modernization of pontifical office routine, it would be interesting to discover whether the formula of the Pope’s oath underwent corresponding alterations and whether the computation of Councils wras brought up to date.


The problem of later transformations of the Liber Diurnus has not yet been cleared up, but important progress has been made by scholars who have traced the use of some formulas in documents issued by the Pontifical



1. Sickel, loc. cit. p. 91. Six councils are also enumerated in formula 84 (loc. cit. pp. 93-103), which contains the draft of the first pastoral letter a newly elected Pope is expected to send to his bishops and the faithful. This document is of particular interest to students of the evolution of dogma in the Church, and illustrates what the Roman Church thought of the councils and their convocation. Many sentences remind one of the old Greek treatises on the Oecumenical Councils, which the reader will find discussed in Part II, Chapter VI, and Appendix III.


2. Sickel, loc. cit. pp. xvii seq.


3. See the excellent summary of all the problems raised by the growth of the Liber Diurnus, in H. Breslau’s Handbuch der Urkundenlehre für Deutschland und Italien (Berlin, 2nd ed. 1931), vol. II, pp. 241-7; and in E. Caspar, Geschichte des Papsttums (Tübingen, 1933), vol. II, pp. 782-5. Cf. also H. Steinacker, ‘Zum Liber Diurnus und zur Frage nach dem Ursprung der Frühminuskel’, in Studi e Testi, vol. XL (Miscellanea Francisco Ehrle, vol. iv, Rome, 1924), pp. 105-76.


4. Cf. Breslau, loc. cit. vol. II, p. 243.


5. ‘Liber Diurnus’, in Sitpungsber. der Akad. Wiss. Wien, Phil-Hist. Kl. (1918), vol. 185, pp. 55-93. See the critique by M. Tangi, ‘Gregor. Register und Liber Diurnus’, in Neues Archiv (1919), vol. xli, pp. 740-52.





Chancellery as far back as the reign of Gregory VII and Alexander V. A detailed study of the use of the Liber Diurnus formulas in the papal privileges till the end of the eleventh century made by L. Santifaller [1] has brought some significant facts to light: for instance, that the handbook used by the papal notaries was given a form substantially different from that of the Liber Diurnus as we know it. From the second half of the ninth century to the second half of the eleventh, the handbook used by the Pontifical Chancellery contained only nineteen formulas on papal privileges out of all the formulas contained in the Liber Diurnus. Besides these, the handbook offered other formulas which were either new or variants of the Liber Diurnus formulas. This is of special importance to our subject, since it establishes the fact that the Liber Diurnus, or at least some portions of it, was used by the Chancellery in the eleventh century, whilst the existence of another handbook would also appear to be confirmed.


Interesting, too, are the conclusions which L. Santifaller [2] draws from his own and his predecessor’s researches. According to him, the Liber Diurnus, as we know it from Sickel’s edition, was not the handbook used by the Pontifical Chancellery, but only a school textbook for the training of future pontifical notaries, which included many formulas copied from the official handbook, together with some documents issued by other Chancelleries and addressed to the Popes. It would, of course, be helpful to the candidates for the Pontifical Chancellery to get acquainted with the style and the formulas of other Chancelleries, but these could scarcely be assumed to have their place in an official handbook designed to supply forms and regulations for the dispatch of letters from the Papal Chancellery.


This textbook was given the same title as the official handbook—Liber Diurnus—since it was only a selection of documents mainly copied from it. As it is unlikely that an educational book would remain in use long after much of it had become out of date and as on the other hand the Pontifical Chancellery must have adopted from the second half of the ninth century a handbook differing substantially from the old edition that served as the original for the school-book, it seems reasonable to infer that the latter was



1. ’Über die Verwendung des Liber Diurnus in der päpstl. Kanzlei von der Mitte des 8. bis in die Mitte des 11. Jhs’, in Abhandlungen aus dem Gebiete der mittleren und neueren Geschichte und ihrer Hilfwissenschaften, Eine Festgabe zum 70. Geburtstag Prof. H. Finke gewidmet (Münster, 1925), pp. 23-35. Idem, ‘Die Verwendung des Liber Diurnus in den Privilegien der Päpste von den Anfängen bis zum Ende des 11. Jh.’, loc. cit. pp. 225-366. In this study, see on pp. 231 seq. a brief but comprehensive summary of different studies dealing with the subject. Cf. M. Tangl, ‘Die Fuldäer Privilegienfrage’, in Mitteil. d. Institut, f. Osterr. Geschichtsforsch. (1899), vol. XX, pp. 212 seq.; Breslau, loc. cit. vol. II, p. 245. It is to be regretted that death prevented Sickel from publishing the third part of his Prolegomena, where he intended to provide evidence for the use of the Liber Diurnus’ formulas.


2. Loc. cit. (1935), pp. 289 seq.





dispensed with by the tenth century: only up to the end of the ninth century, or the beginning of the tenth, would it have remained of any use.


It is admitted that the Pontifical Chancellery had been using special handbooks ever since the end of the sixth century, and that they were constantly being altered, new formulas being added and old ones suppressed, as the need arose. It was the oldest handbook that received the name of Liber Diurnus and, judging from the school-book bearing the same name and preserved in three MSS., it mainly contained important regulations on the appointment of bishops, papal elections and some diplomatic formulas. Thus it is quite possible that while the title Liber Diurnus was reserved for the oldest part of the handbook and the new formulary in circulation at the Chancellery was regarded as a separate handbook, the Liber Diurnus was treated with veneration as a valuable document of canon law.


This explanation, at the present stage of research, seems to be the most acceptable, and confirmation can be found in Deusdedit's collection of canon law; for as we have seen, the Cardinal often quotes from the Liber Diurnus, which he himself used at the Chancellery, and he always gives the correct title of his sources. In only one instance does he quote formula 115 of the Liber Diurnus as found in the MS. of Milan, [1] but in quoting it he does not give the Liber Diurnus as his reference, but the Regesta of Honorius I and Gregory II. As the formula was current at the Chancellery in the second half of the eleventh century, and, judging from Deusdedit's Collection, was not included in the copy of the Liber Diurnus he used, it seems fair to conclude that it came from another formulary in use at the Chancellery, but different from the old Collection of the Liber Diurnus (a reference-book now differentiated from the new Kanzleibuch).


Cardinal Deusdedit’s Collection also provides other information of the greatest value on the ultimate fate of the Liber Diurnus. From it we learn not only that the original Liber Diurnus was doing service during the eleventh century, but that before the Cardinal's time it had been subjected to radical revision. As already mentioned, Deusdedit copied ten formulas out of the Liber Diurnus, [2] but used a version substantially different from those that survived in the three manuscripts. The alterations made in the old version of the Liber Diurnus are very thorough, several formulas of the old edition being welded into one, [3] besides numerous revisions in the text itself, [4]



1. Lib. iii, cap. 118, 119, Wolf v. Glanvell, loc. cit. p. 327.


2. Wolf v. Glanvell, loc. cit., Lib. ii, 109 = Sickel, f. 82; Lib. ii, 110 = Sickel, f. 83; Lib. ii, 111 = Sickel, f. 74; Lib. ii, 112 = Sickel, f. 75; Lib. ii, 146 = Sickel, f. 52; Lib. iii, 147 = Sickel, f. 53; Lib. iii, 148 = Sickel, f. 54; Lib. in, 149 = Sickel, f. 56; Lib. iii, 150 = Sickel, f. 10; Lib. iv, 427 = Sickel, f. 76.


3. Lib. ii, 109 = Sickel, ff. 61-82-60; Lib. ii, 111 = Sickel, ff. 83-73-4; Lib. iii, 148 = Sickel, ff. 54-5.


4. See detailed analysis of all these alterations in Peitz, ‘Liber Diurnus', loc. cit. pp. 30-53.





though the older formulas, which even in the school Liber Diurnus that survives in the three MSS. have an antique flavour, were more substantially altered.


These alterations cannot, however, be credited to the ninth-century editors. There are unmistakable signs that this new edition was brought out in the eleventh century: first, the invocation ‘in nomine sanctae et individuae Trinitatis’, which in pontifical documents prevailed only at this period; [1] secondly, the dating is not after the indictions, but after the computation of years since the Lord’s Incarnation, a practice, as is well known, which the Pontifical Chancellery did not adopt till the eleventh century. [2] Several formulas, instead of ‘anno ill. . .’ simply put ‘anno milesimo ill. . It is a well-known fact that the Cardinal was exceptionally meticulous in copying the texts he used for his collection, [3] faithfully quoting his sources, taking good care not to supply dates where the originals gave none and finally pointing out all the lacunae in the documents he utilized. We must therefore suppose that here also the Cardinal altered nothing, but scrupulously copied out the formulas as he found them in the new edition of the Liber Diurnus. [4]


It is difficult to assign any exact date to this edition, though everything points to the date of its issue as prior to 1059. As a matter of fact, that same year Nicholas II issued his famous rules on pontifical elections, investing Cardinal-bishops with preponderant influence in the elections, a privilege to which, as is well known, Cardinal-priests and deacons never assented, and as a result of their opposition, the Pope’s decree was never enforced. [5] It was probably to this decree that Cardinal Deusdedit referred in his preface in justification of his extracts from the Liber Diurnus. [6]



1. Buschbell, ‘Professiones Fidei der Päpste’, in Rom. Quartalschrift (1896), vol. X, pp. 280 seq.


2. Cf. A. L. Poole, Studies in Chronology and History (Oxford, 1934), p. 179·


3. He says so himself in the preface of his work, Glanvell edition, p. 4: ‘et omnimodis opera impendi, ut essent plenissima auctoritate quae hic congessi, quoniam sicut aliquos, quibus haec placerent, ita non defuturos quosdam, qui his inviderent, non ignoravi.’


4. Cf. Sickel, loc. cit. pp. Hi, liii. After noting that these changes could not have taken place till the eleventh century, he concludes: ‘Negaverim vero hoc ipsum cardinalem Deusdedit novasse; aliis enim operis sui locis eam temporis significandi rationem quam eius exemplar propositum exhibuit, retinuit.’ Peitz, ‘Liber Diurnus’, loc. cit. pp. 30-2, is still more explicit on the point.


5. P. Scheffer-Boichorst, Die Neuordnung der Papstwahl durch Nikolaus II (Strassburg, 1879), pp. 14-18; I. B. Sägmüller, Die Tätigkeit und Stellung der Kardinale bis Papst Bonifaz VIII (Freiburg i. B. 1896), pp. 128 seq.


6. Glanvell, loc. cit. pp. 4-5 : ‘ Praeterea antiquum ordinem electionis seu consecrationis Romani Pontificis et cleri eius huic operi inserere libuit. Nam quidam olim in Dei et sanctorum sanctionibus contemptum et ad sui scilicet ostentationem et adscribendam sibi ventosam auctoritatem, quae nullis canonicis legibus stare potest, scripserunt sibi novam ordinationem eiusdem Romani pontificis, in qua quam nefanda quam Deo inimica statuerunt, horreo scribere; qui legit intelligat.’ In my hypothesis Deusdedit makes the Cardinal-bishops responsible for this prescription. Cf. Fournier-Le Bras, Histoire des Collections Canoniques, loc. cit. vol. II, p. 47.





It all suggests the name of Leo IX, who displayed such remarkable activity in the reorganization of the Pontifical Chancellery. [1]


Having said thus much, let us examine the profession of faith as prescribed for the Sovereign Pontiff in the new edition of the Liber Diurnus. Though even this formula (Deusdedit, lib. n, no) bears palpable traces of recent recasting, it is satisfactory to note that the new editor of the Liber Diurnus does not expect the Pope to acknowledge the Eighth Council, for the new Pontiff must swear, among other things, that he admits seven oecumenical councils : [2]


Sancta quoque VII universalia concilia, id est Nicenum, Constantinopolitanum, Ephesinum primum, Chalcedonense, V quoque et VI idem Constantinopolitanum et VII item Nicenum usque ad unum apicem inmutabilia servare et pari honore et veneratione digna habere et quae predicaverunt et statuerunt, omnimodis sequi et praedicare, quaeque condemnaverunt, ore et corde condemno.



The words are very plain and leave no room for doubt; and yet Buschbell, who specially dealt with the Popes’ professions of faith, is reluctant to admit the significance of the fact, declaring that this profession of faith must have been drawn up in the first half of the ninth century; otherwise, he maintains, the Eighth Council would have been mentioned. In his opinion, this formula of the Liber Diurnus ceased to be used after 787. [3] But the same writer, curiously enough, demonstrates in his book, with full array of arguments, that this formula underwent a thorough transformation in the eleventh century, and makes Deusdedit responsible for it.


Buschbell’s opinion on the use of the formula has been indirectly invalidated by the researches of other experts, proving that many formulas of the Liber Diurnus remained in use at least till the pontificate of Gregory VII. [4]



1. Cf. Peitz, loc. cit. p. 33. The learned Jesuit would also attribute to Leo IX a new edition of the Ordo Romanus, on the strength of one passage in the Ordo which makes a reference to Pope Leo. Mabillon and Germain, Musei Italici tom. II, Complectens antiquos libros rituales S.R.E. (Paris, 1724), pp. 89 seq.; P.L. vol. 78, cols. 1003 seq. On the activities of Leo IX in the reorganization of the Pontifical Chancellery see Poole, loc. cit. pp. 179, 181.


2. Ed. V. Glanvell, loc. cit. vol. II, pp. 110, 236. The reader will find at the end of the appendix, pp. 445-7, the Professio Fidei of the Liber Diurnus as edited by Th. E. von Sickel and preserved in Deusdedit’s Collection.


3. Buschbell, loc. cit. p. 279.


4. R. Zoepffel, Die Papstwahlen und die mit ihnen im nächsten Zusammenhang stehenden Ceremonien in ihrer Entwicklung vom 11. bis qum 14. Jh. (Göttingen, 1871), p. 228, cites some indications to the effect that the formula on the Pope’s election was still in use in the eleventh century. Cf. chiefly Santifaller’s study (in Abhandlungen...).





In that case, why should the papal profession alone make exception? Why should it alone clash with the time? For if Deusdedit altered it to bring it into line with certain usages in force at the Pontifical Chancellery of his day, why then did he leave untouched the old version about the seven councils? [1] For if he really meant thereby to lend the formula an archaic flavour in order to support his view of the exclusive rights of Cardinal-deacons and priests in the election of new Pontiffs, why did he not leave other archaic phrases untouched, instead of modernizing them? If, in order to emasculate the decision taken in 1059 by Nicholas II on the rights of Cardinal-bishops, he wished to quote here ‘the ancient work regulating the election and consecration of the Roman pontiff and of his clergy’, as he himself puts it, [2] he surely should give the correct text of it; for the slightest variation on his part would have been detected and denounced by the Cardinal-bishops, who also had access to official documents and could verify their colleague’s quotations.


Unfortunately, Buschbell examined this document on its own merits, without the least regard to other extracts borrowed by the Cardinal from the same source ; a detailed comparison of all the extracts with the edition of the Liber Diurnus of the eighth and ninth centuries would certainly have made him more cautious in his speculations. He had but to read the formula (Lib. ii, iii) that follows. This formula, which bears the title Cautio Episcopi, was radically reversed. The new version is made after formulas 83, 73 and 74 of the old recension of the Liber Diurnus as published by Sickel, and it is precisely the beginning of the formula that has been completely revised: [3]


In nomine Domini Dei et Salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi, anno incarnationis eius ill. mense ill. die ill. indictione ill. Promitto ego ili’ episcopus sanctae Ecclesiae ili’ vobis domino meo beatissimo ilF summo pontifici et universali papae et per vos beatis apostolis Petro et Paulo et sanctae catholicae, apostolicae Ecclesiae Romanae devota mentis integritate et pura conscientia, illam fidem et religionem semper tenere et predicare atque defendere, quam ab apostolis traditam habemus et ab eorum successoribus custoditam. Sancta quoque VII universalia concilia immutilata servare et pari honore et veneratione habere, et quaeque predicaverunt et statuer

unt sequi et predicare. . . .



Later, the bishop promises to invite the clergy to common life and to see that sub-deacons, deacons and priests shall keep chastity. He promises also to attend the synods that are summoned and to receive with honour the legates of the Holy See. There is also found in this profession a reference to simony, which the bishop promises to eschew. Now most of these passages were missing in the old version of the formulas, [4] which suggests that they were inserted in the eleventh century,



1. Even H. Breslau, loc. cit. vol. II, p. 246, rem. 2, is very sceptical about Buschbell’s deductions.


2. Glanvell, loc. cit. p. 4. See p. 439.


3. Glanvell, loc. cit. pp. 237-9; cf. Sickel, loc. cit. pp. 74-8.


4. The formula 73 (Sickel, loc. cit. pp. 69 seq.) begins with these words : ’Promissio fidei episcopi. In nomine domini et cetera.—Promitto ill. ego tal. episcopus sanctae ecclesiae ill. vobis domino meo sanctissimo et ter beatissimo ill. summo pontifici seu universali papae et per vos sanctae vestrae catholicae ecclesiae et apostolicae sedis devota mentis integritate et pura conscientia (et iureiurando corporali ut.) oportet proposito, quae pro firmamento sive rectitudine catholicae fidei et orthodoxae religioni conveniunt, me profiteri. Et ideo promitto atque spondeo vobis cui supra beatissimo domino meo papae et per vos beato Petro principi apostolorum eiusque sanctae ecclesiae illam fidem tenere predicare atque defendere quam ab apostolis traditam habemus et successores eorum custoditam, reverendam Nicenam sinodum trecentorum decem et octo patrum, sancto spiritu sibi revelante, suscipiens redegit in symbolum. . . .’ The profession then enumerates all the six councils and their principal decisions in matters of faith.


Formula 74 (loc. cit. p.74) begins with the words: ‘In nomine domini dei salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi, imperante et cetera.—Inter cetera salubris instituta doctrinae quibus me ill. episcopum domine ille beatissime atque apostolice papa, ad accipiendum regendumque episcopatum ecclesiae ill. perducere atque informare dignatus es, hoc me quoque ammonuistis ut sacerdotium nullo premio concedi, excepto officiis quibus antiqua consuetudine dari solet, quia dignum est ut quod gratis accepi, gratis debeam, deo adiuvante, conferre. . . .’





when notions of ecclesiastical reform had definitely prevailed at the pontifical court. One detects there at the first glance the reforming ideas that inspired the reign of Leo IX, who also extended the practice of sending pontifical legates to various dioceses to help in the reform of the clergy.


Now if Deusdedit were responsible for all these changes, it would be impossible to understand why he introduced the passage on the seven councils; for, having been completely modernized, the formula was in no way archaic, and it was the passage about the seven oecumenical councils that was most ruthlessly altered. The statement on the seven councils not being in the old formula, which only mentioned six, was therefore introduced in the eleventh century. Then why did the editor not proceed to add the Eighth Council?


But a more thorough examination of this profession of faith shows that the number of councils in the formula had been frequently altered, councils being added as they happened to be officially recognized by the Church of Rome. The Jesuit Peitz [1] claims to have discovered in this profession the key to the evolution of Catholic dogma from apostolic times, a theory which is perhaps too beautiful to be true. But those who refuse to follow him so far must at least admit that no more than four councils were mentioned in the original profession, others being added later, one after another, as their oecumenicity was admitted by the Holy See. [2] Moreover, the addition was not always made immediately after recognition ; and it is understood that the original handbook Liber Diurnus was not always copied out at the advent of every new Pope: it could remain in use even after several formulas had grown out of date, a new edition being issued only when the number of antiquated formulas was considerable.



1. Loc. cit. p. 120. Cf. M. Tangl’s critique, loc. cit. p. 752.


2. Cf. H. Steinacker, loc. cit. pp. 116 seq.





On those occasions, the number of councils was brought up to date in the formulary.


We note, however, a curious point which at first would seem to contradict our contention: the Ambrosian manuscript of the Liber Diurnus, representing probably the more recent version of the formulary and dating from the second half of the ninth century, mentions only six oecumenical councils in the formula of the elected Pope’s profession of faith. This sounds paradoxical, as the oecumenicity of the second Council of Nicaea seems to have been admitted in the Roman Church long before the new transcription of that formulary.


This is easily explained, if we remember what has been said about the origin and the nature of the Liber Diurnus. If the collection of formulas which has survived in three manuscripts and goes by the name of Liber Diurnus was only a school textbook for the use of would-be notaries, it is probable that since a school-book had not the official character of a handbook for the use of the Chancellery, the copyist, writing in the ninth century, contented himself with copying the old formula as he found it in his source. This would explain why the Ambrosian MS., though it dates from the end of the ninth century, enumerates only six councils in the professio fidei.


But such an explanation is not really necessary. Strange to say, even this version of the Liber Diurnus perfectly reflects the tradition of the Roman Church concerning the oecumenicity of the Seventh Council, which was not officially added to the other universal synods before 880. Here are the proofs.


In 863, Pope Nicholas I, together with the Fathers of the Roman Council, condemned Photius in the name of the six Councils, [1] and the Acts of the synod were appended to Nicholas’ letters addressed to the Church of Constantinople and to the oriental Patriarchs, [2] and written in 866. [3] Hadrian II, his successor, still followed the same tradition in 872, as is shown in his letter to Charles the Bald. [4]


In June 880, ten years after the meeting of the Eighth Council and some



1. Mansi, vol. xv, cols. 180, 661. Cf. Hergenröther, Photius, vol. 1, p. 520, footnote 51. Cf. Hefele-Leclercq, Histoire des Conciles, vol. iv, p. 32%. Cf. Baronius, Annales, ad ann. 863, ed. Pagi, vol. xiv, p. 581. Note the curious conjecture by J. F. Damberger, Synchronistische Geschichte, vol. iii : Kritikheft (Regensburg, 1850-63), pp. 206 seq., on the interpolation of this passage by Photius to enable him to accuse the Romans of refusing to acknowledge the Seventh Council.


2. M.G.H. Ep. vi, pp. 520, 558.


3. Cf. also the letter of Nicholas I to Ado of Vienne, in which the Pope asks the bishop to recognize the six Councils, though the authenticity of the letter is doubtful (M.G.H. Ep. vi, p. 669). Cf. C. A. Kneller, ‘Papst und Konzil im ersten Jahrtausend’, in Zeitschrift für Kath. Theologie (1904), vol. xxviii, p. 702.


4. M.G.H. Ep. vi, p. 743: ‘Sed de his nihil audemus iudicare quod possit Niceno concilio et quinque ceterorum conciliorum regulis vel decretis nostrorum antecessorum obviare.’





months after the Council of Photius, John VIII, in his letter to Svatopluk, the Moravian prince, approved the orthodoxy of St Methodius by assuring the prince that the Moravian archbishop’s teaching was conformable to the doctrine of the six oecumenical councils; [1] which makes it plain that Photius’ complaint about the recognition of the oecumenicity of the Seventh Council was well founded.


As far as the Church of Rome was concerned, it is certain that the Frankish Church’s opposition to this Council did delay official and universal recognition of the oecumenicity of the Seventh Nicaean Council and a similar case might be quoted in connection with the Filioque, when to spare the feelings of the Greeks, Leo III energetically prohibited the addition of this formula to the Symbol, though the Roman Church did in practice profess the doctrine of the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son. [2]


The Seventh Council was therefore not officially added to the profession of faith till after 880. The new translation of the Acts of this Council, made by Anastasius the Librarian by order of John VIII, was at that time sufficiently known in the West to dissipate the last misgivings about the Council, whilst the complete reconciliation of John VIII with Photius and his Church certainly accelerated its acceptance. Thus there was nothing to prevent the demand formulated by Photius concerning that Council being met.


It was then, very probably, that the Seventh Council was added to the preceding ones, even in the newly elected Pontiffs’ profession of faith. The new edition of the Liber Diurnus of the end of the ninth century, whose existence seems to have been established by Santifaller’s research, probably included the list of the seven councils.


From the end of the ninth century to the middle of the eleventh, there were various opportunities for the completion of the list. Is it then not strange that the third edition of this valuable handbook of the Pontifical Chancellery, issued towards the middle of the eleventh century, should have listed no more than seven oecumenical councils?


But this is not so. No plausible explanation of the anomaly will ever be forthcoming unless it be frankly admitted that the Papacy did not, until the time of Deusdedit, number the Eighth Council among the oecumenical synods. And this was perfectly consistent, since the Pontifical Chancellery did nothing more than comply with the decision of John VIII, who annulled the anti-Photian Council.



1. M.G.H. Ep. VII, p. 223. The author of the Vita Methodii, which was written at the end of the ninth century, probably in Moravia, follows this tradition, too, though he may have been influenced by the official tradition of the Western Church. See my translation of the Vita in my book, Les Légendes de Constantin et de Méthode, p. 384.


2. A similar attitude is also found in John VIII, though on a less solemn occasion, one less ‘official’, he also speaks of ‘sancta synodus octava’ in his letter to the Neapolitans, Salernitans and Amalfitans (M.G.H. Ep. vii, p. 307). Note that this letter was written in 875, i.e. at the time when the Eighth Council was still considered valid by the two Churches.





By enumerating only seven oecumenical councils, Popes Marinus II and Leo IX only followed the tradition of the Church they ruled. For purposes of comparison, we may quote here the text of the profession of faith recorded in the Liber Diurnus, Sickel, loc. cit. pp. 90-3, formula 83:



Indiculum Pontificis.—In nomine domini dei salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi et cetera, indictione ill. mense ill. die ill.—111. misericordia dei diaconus et electus, futurusque per dei gratiam huius apostolicae sedis antistes tibi profiteor, beate Petre apostolorum princeps, cui claves regni coelorum ad ligandum atque solvendum in coelo et in terra creator atque redemptor omnium dominus Iesus Christus tradidit, inquiens : quaecumque (ligaveris) super terram, erunt // ligata et in coelo, et quaecumque solveris super terram, erunt soluta et in coelis, SANCTAEQUE TUAE ECCLESIAE QUAM HODIE tuo praesidio regendum suscepi, quod vere fidei rectitudine, Christo auctore tradente, per successores tuos atque discipulos usque ad exiguitatem meam perlatam in tua sancta ecclesia repperi, totis conatibus meis usque ad animam et sanguinem custodire temporum difficultate cum tuo adiutorio tolleranter sufferre; tam de sanctae et individuae trinitatis misterio quae unus est deus, quamque de dispensatione quae secundum carnem facta est, unigeniti filii dei domini nostri Iesu Christi et de ceteris ecclesiae dei dogmatibus, sicut universalibus conciliis et constitutis apostolicorum pontificum probatissimorumque doctorum ecclesiae scriptis sunt // commendata, id est queque ad rectitudinem vestrae nostraeque orthodoxe fidei a te traditae respiciunt, conservare; sancta quoque universalia concilia: Nicenum, Constantinopolitanum, Efesenum primum, Calcedonense et secundum Constantinopolitanum quod Iustiniani piae memoriae principis temporibus celebratum est, usque ad unum apicem inmutilata servare, et unam cum eis pari honore et veneratione sanctum sextum concilium quod nuper sub Constantino piae memoriae principe et Agathone apostolico praedecessore meo convenit, medullitus et plenius conservare, quaeque vero praedicaverunt, praedicare, queque condemnaverunt, ore et // corde condemnare; diligentius autem et vivacius omnia decreta predecessorum apostolicorum nostrorum pontificum, queque vel synodaliter vel specialiter statuerunt et probata sunt, confirmare et indiminute servare, et sicut ab eis statuta sunt, in sua vigoris stabilitate custodire, quaeque vel quosque condemnaverunt vel abdicaverunt, simili auctoritatis sententia condemnare; disciplinam et ritum ecclesiae, sicut inveni et a sanctis praedecessoribus meis traditum repperi, inlibatum custodire, et indiminutas res ecclesiae conservare et ut indiminute custodiantur operam dare; nihil de traditione quae a probatissimis predecessoribus meis // servatum repperi, diminuere vel mutare aut aliquam novitatem admittere, sed ferventer, ut vere eorum discipulus et sequipeda, totis (mentis) meae conatibus quae tradita comperio, conservare ac venerare; si qua vero emerserint contra disciplinam canonicam, emendare sacrosque canones et constituta pontificum nostrorum ut divina et celestia mandata custodire, utpote tibi redditurum me sciens de omnibus quae profiteor districtam in divino iudicio rationem, cuius locum divina dignatione perago et vicem intercessionibus tuis adiutus impleo, si prêter haec aliquod agere presumpsero vel ut presumatur permisero, eris autem mihi in illa terribili die divini iudicii de//propitius. haec conanti et diligenter servare curanti adiutorium quoque ut prebeas obsecro in hac vita corruptibili constituto, ut inreprehensibilis appaream ante conspectum iudicis omnium domini nostri Iesu Christi, dum terribiliter de





commissis advenerit iudicare, ut faciat me dextre partis compotem et inter fideles discipulos ac successores esse consortem, quam professionem meam, ut supra continet, per ill. notarium et scriniarium me mandante conscriptam propria manu subscripsi et tibi, beate Petre apostole et apostolorum omnium princeps, pura mente et conscientia devota corporali iureiurando sinceriter optuli.—Ego qui supra ill. indignus // diaconus et dei gratia electus huius apostolicae sedis Romanae ecclesiae hanc professionem meam, sicut supra continet, faciens et iusiurandum corporaliter offerens tibi, beate Petre apostolorum princeps, pura mente et conscientia optuli.



V. Wolf von Glanvell, Die Kanonensammlung, loc. cit., pp. 235 seq. (l. ii, cap. 110): Ex Libro Diurno. Professio futuri pontificis, antequam consecretur. [1]


In nomine sanctae et individuae trinitatis. Anno dominicae incarnationis ill. die ili. mensis ill. indictione ill. ego ili. sanctae Romanae ecclesiae presbiter et electus, ut fiam per dei gratiam humilis huius sanctae apostolicae sedis antistes, profiteor tibi beate Petre apostolorum principi, cui claves regni coelorum ad ligandum atque solvendum in coelo et in terra creator atque redemptor omnium dominus noster Ihesus Christus tradidit inquiens : “ quaecumque ligaveris sjuper] tjerram] erunt ligata et i[n] c[oelo], et quaecumque solveris sjuper] tjerram], erunt soluta et in coelis” sanctaeque tuae ecclesiae, quam hodie tuo praesidio regendam suscipio, quod verae fidei rectitudinem, quam Christo auctore tradente per te et beatissimum coapostolum tuum Paulum, per quem discipulos et successores vestros usque ad exiguitatem meam perlatam, in tua sancta ecclesia repperi, totis conatibus meis usque ad animam et sanguinem custodire tam de sanctae et individuae trinitatis misterio, quae unus est deus, quamque de dispensatione, quae secundum carnem facta est, unigeniti filii dei unigeniti domini nostri Ihesu Christi et de coeteris ecclesiae dei dogmatibus, sicut universalibus conciliis et constitutis apostolicorum pontificum probatissimorumque doctorum ecclesiae scriptis commendata. Idest, quaeque ad rectitudinem vestrae nostraeque orthodoxae fidei a te traditae respiciunt, conservare. Sancta quoque VII universalia concilia, idest Nicenum, Constantinopolitanum, Ephesinum primum, Chalcedonense V quoque et VI item Constantinopolitanum et VII item Nicenum usque ad unum apicem immutilata servare et pari honore et veneratione digna habere et quae praedicaverunt et statuerunt, omnimodis sequi et predicare, quaeque condemnaverunt, ore et corde condempnare. Diligentius autem et vivacius omnia decreta canonica precessorum apostolicorum nostrorum pontificum, quaeque vel sinodaliter statuerunt et probata sunt, confirmare et indiminuta servare et sicut ab eis statuta sunt, in sui vigoris stabilitate custodire; quaeque vel quosque condemnaverunt vel abdicaverunt, simili sententia condemnare et abdicare. Disciplinam et ritum ecclesiae, sicut inveni et a sanctis predecessoribus meis canonice traditum repperi, illibatum custodire et indiminutas res ecclesiae conservare et indiminute, ut custodiantur, operam dare. Nihil de traditione, quam a probatissimis predecessoribus meis traditam et servatam repperi, diminuere vel mutare aut aliquam novitatem admittere: sed ferventer, ut eorum vere discipulus et sequipeda, totis mentis meae conatibus, quae tradita canonice comperio, conservare et venerari. Si qua vero



1. Changes in, and additions to, the profession of faith as published by Th. E. von Sickel are printed in italics.





emerserint contra canonicam disciplinam, filiorum meorum consilio emendare aut patienter, excepta fidei aut christianae religionis gravi offensione, tua et beatissimi coapostoli tui P[auli] patrocinante intercessione tolerare sacrosque canones et canonica constituta pontificum ut divina et celestia mandata, deo auxiliante, custodire, utpote deo et tibi redditurum me sciens de omnibus, quae profiteor districtam in divino iudicio rationem, cuius sanctissimae sedi divina dignatione te patrocinante presideo et vicem intercessionibus tuis adimpleo. Eris autem mihi in illa terribili divini iudicii die propitius haec conanti et diligenter servare curanti. Adiutorium quoque, ut prebeas, obsecro in hac corruptibili vita constituto, ut irreprehensibilis appaream ante conspectum iudicis omnium domini nostri Ihesu Christi, dum terribiliter de commissis advenerit iudicare, ut faciat me dextrae partis participem et inter fideles discipulos ac successores tuos esse consortem. Hanc autem professionem meam per ill. notarium et scriniarium S[anctae] R[omanae] ecclesiae, me iubente conscriptam propria manu conscripsi et tibi beate apostole P[etre] et apostolorum omnium princeps pura mente et devota conscientia super sanctum corpus et altare tuum sinceriter offero.


Actum Romae anno, mense die et indictione quibus supra.







Popes’ Profession of Faith in Cod. Bibl. Vat. Lat. 7160 and the Profession of Boniface VIII


A manuscript of the Vatican Library (Cod. Bibl. Vat., Lat. 7160) has rescued a profession of faith of the sovereign Pontiffs which differs in many respects from all the versions we have so far studied in this book. Comparing this formula with that of Deusdedit, we note the following discrepancies: at the beginning, we read after the words [1] ‘ego diaconus vel presbyter’: ‘vel episcopus cardinalis.’ After the clause ‘quam hodie tuo praesidio suscipio ’, the new formula adds : ‘ quod quamdiu in hac misera vita constitutus fuero, ipsam non deseram, non relinquam, non abnegabo, non abdicabo aliquatenus, nec ex quacumque causa, cuiuscumque metus, vel periculi occasione dimittam, nec me segregabo ab ipsa, sed verae fidei. . . . ’


The number of councils listed is naturally the same as in the Britannica, and on two occasions emphasis is placed on the fact that the Pope may never abandon his See: after ‘diligentius et vivacius’ is added ‘quamdiu vixero’, and after ‘traditum’, ‘quamdiu mihi vita in istis comes fuerit’. After the words ‘res ecclesiae conservare’, a new insertion is made: ‘neque alienare seu in feudum, censum, vel emphyteusim dare quomodolibet ex quacumque causa, et ut indiminute.’ Instead of ‘filiorum meorum consilio emendare’, we read: ‘ex communicatione filiorum meorum S. R. E. Cardinalium, cum quorum consilio, directione et rememoratione ministerium meum geram et peragam, emendare. . . . ’ Between ‘ quae profiteor. . . districtam ’ is inserted ‘et quamdiu vixero, egero, vel obliviscar’.


This profession, such as we find it in the Vatican MS. no. 7160, was published by Antonius Augustinus in his Iuris Pontificii Epitome, [2] and reprinted by Baronius in his Annals. [3] How is this formula to be dated?


It could not have been composed before either 1159 or 1160, [4] for it was not until this period that the controversy between the Cardinal-deacons and priests on the one hand, and the Cardinal-bishops on the other, on their respective rights in the papal elections was definitely settled, and not until then that the word ‘episcopus’ cardinalis was added to the words ‘Cardinaldeacons and priests’ at the opening of the formula.



1. Fol. 380. Cf. G. Buschbell, ‘Die Römische Überlieferung der Professiones fidei der Päpste’, in Röm. Quartalschrift (1900), vol. xiv, pp. 131-6.


2. (Tarragona, 1587), pars 1, lib. v, tit. x, cap. liv, pp. 288, 289.


3. Annales, ad ann. 869 (Pagi ed.), p. 181. Cf. Rozière, Liber Diurnus (loc. cit. cap. IV, form. 118, p. 265).


4. See J. B. Sägmüller, Die Tätigkeit und Stellung der Kardinäle bis Papst Bonifiaz VIII (Freiburg i. B. 1896), pp. 123-37.





But this new version of the profession could not in any event have been composed in Rome; one single argument, provided by William de Nogaret and his jurists in their Rationes quibus probatur quod Bonifacius legitime ingredi non potuit Celes tino vivente, is decisive. This bitter opponent of Boniface VIII had collected and presented to his successor Clement V all the possible arguments calculated to prove that Celestinus could not abdicate and that the election of Boniface VIII was null and void.


To prove his contention that a Pope once elected is elected for life and that he may not abdicate Nogaret quotes, among other arguments, the elected Pope’s profession of faith. How eagerly he would have quoted the solemn promise made by the Pope never to abdicate if the passage had been found in the profession that was in his collaborators’ hands. Yet instead of quoting the passage as it stands Nogaret loses himself in general considerations, endeavouring to prove that the Pope’s profession is comparable with a vow, tacitly made and binding. [1]


As Nogaret’s plaidoyer was presented in 1303 the statement which so boldly precludes the possibility of a Pope’s abdication could only have been forged after that date. Even the words ‘quamdiu vivet’ quoted by Nogaret must have been interpolated, since they were not in the profession which Nogaret had before him when his plea was written. It was but a slight exaggeration, a very natural one, and not the only one in his piece of writing. One might even explain the words ‘ totis conatibus meis usque ad animam et sanguinem custodire’, found in Deusdedit’s profession, in the sense of ‘quamdiu vivet’ as read in Nogaret’s interpretation.



1. P. Dupuy, Histoire du Différend. . . (Paris, 1655), Preuves, p. 459: ‘Vigesimo quarto, quia annexa est statui Papatus professio, quae habetur in libro Diurno, cuius etiam professionis pars habetur in Canone, et in illa professione habetur expresse quod profitetur et promittit Deo et Principi Apostolorum Petro, quod quamdiu vivet curam gerit gregis Dominici sibi commissi, et gubernabit Ecclesiam secundum decreta et canones sanctorum conciliorum, et Patrum, et de consilio Cardinalium sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae: ergo obligatus est ad curam gerendam quamdiu vivit ex voto et professione astrictus. Illud autem notorie constat, quod votis et professionibus, et iis ad quae quis voto et obligatione obligatur, secundum omnes, nemine contradicente renunciari non potest, et sic nec Papa renuntiare potest, obligatus quamdiu vivit ex voto et professione astrictus. Et sic dicatur quod ita profitebantur antiquitus Romani Pontifices, sed hodie non profitentur de facto verbaliter: responsio manifestissime patet, quia recipientes nunc Papatum tacite vovent et profitentur haec omnia : nam statui professio est annexa, et secundum omnes votum interpretativum ita obligat, sicut expresse emissum: quod est videre in sacris ordinibus, Subdiaconatu, Diaconatu, et Sacerdotio, ex quorum susceptione perinde interpretative in Occidentali Ecclesia obligantur, sicut si profitentur expresse castitatem : sic dicendum est hic in voto et professione summi pontificatus. Et sic patet manifestissime quod renundare non potest. Vigesimo quinto, quia iis per quae quis Deo et homini, voto, professione, vel promissione, contractu vel quasi, obligatur secundum veritatem notoriam, quae per nullum negatur, renuntiare non potest.’





His discretion at this particular place proves precisely that in the profession whose original he consulted the impossibility of a Pope’s abdication was not expressly mentioned, otherwise Nogaret would have adopted a more confident and truculent tone. Hence it is quite unnecessary to assume the existence of a new edition of the profession, dating from the twelfth century, differing from Deusdedit’s and from that of the Latin MS. no. 7160 of the Vatican Library and forbidding Popes to abdicate.


In this profession the clause on the Cardinals needs closer examination. Any interference by Cardinals in the administration of the Church, such as the profession assumes, would have been unthinkable in the Roman Church, at any rate before the twelfth century; but it would accord better with the mentality that prevailed in the Church in the fourteenth century. [1]


This new edition of the famous profession was therefore undoubtedly forged after 1303. Furthermore, it has survived only in one MS., where it is followed by the notorious profession of Boniface VIII, [2] with which it is nearly identical, and the profession of faith attributed to Boniface VIII is generally regarded as apocryphal: [3] this will be evident if we take into consideration what has been said about the interpolations found there. [4]


This consideration may have proved useful in the solution of some problems that have puzzled these scholars who have dealt with Boniface VIII’s alleged profession.



1. Souchon, Die Papstwahlen von Bonifaz VIII bis Urban VI (Braunschweig, 1888), p. 204, goes still further, asserting that such pretensions on the part of the cardinals in the administration of ecclesiastical affairs admit of no explanation before 1352.


2. Fol. 385 of the MS.


3. Cf. chiefly Buschbell, ‘Professiones fidei der Päpste’, in Röm. Quartalschr. vol. x, pp. 421 seq.; M. Souchon, loc. cit. pp. 192-205; H. Finke, Aus den Tagen des Bonifaz VIII (Münster i. W. 1902), pp. 54-65.


4. One more detail may be quoted in support of this statement. Boniface’s alleged profession adds after the word ‘consilio’ the phrase ‘et consensu’ (cardinalium, etc.). This claim by the Cardinals, so evidently limiting the Pope’s supreme power in the Church, could never have been sanctioned by the Chancellery of the Holy See. Moreover, the interpolation could apparently not have been introduced into Boniface VIII’s profession before 1303. In fact the Colonnas, who towards 1303 addressed a letter to Philip the Fair to complain about Boniface’s persecution, seem to know nothing about such a privilege, though they try hard to define the Cardinals’ rights and to give them as wide a connotation as possible. This is what they say (Dupuy, Histoire du Différend..., loc. cit., Preuves, p. 226): ‘Cardinales instituti sunt ad assistendum Romanum Pontificem propter stilum veritatis. Item, cardinales positi sunt ad resistendum in faciem Romano Pontifici, cum reprehensibilis. Item, cardinales sunt coniudices Romani Pontificis et sunt membra, non tantum corporis Ecclesiae sed capitis.’ Speaking of the Cardinals, whose advice the Pope promises in his profession to follow, Nogaret simply interprets—and very correctly, too—the words ‘consilio filiorum meorum’ as found in Deusdedit’s profession. Cf. L. Möhler, ‘Die Kardinäle Jakob und Peter Colonna’ (Paderborn, 1914), in Quellen und Forschungen aus dem Gebiete der Geschichte (Görres-Gesellschaft, vol. xvii), especially pp. 125 seq.





It seems evident, first, that this forgery was not the work of William de Nogaret, as has been so far assumed too readily. [1] Then again we can better explain how Nogaret’s fellow-workers came by a copy of the Pope’s profession, without making it necessary to assume that they had found a copy of the Liber Diurnus, a very difficult proposition, considering the nature of this valuable document. I noted that this profession had been copied by several canonists after the edition preserved in Deusdedit’s Collection, and we have only to remember the source of Ivo of Chartres and of the Britannica. As there was no difficulty in getting hold of a copy of this profession in the fourteenth century the appearance of this document in William de Nogaret’s rejoinder should raise no serious difficulty.


One thing seems quite certain: Boniface’s alleged profession was not forged before 1303; it was rather the mention of this notorious profession of the Popes made in Nogaret’s rejoinder that suggested the idea to an anonymous enemy of Boniface VIII of interpolating it in the sense as we know it, for the purpose of discrediting the unfortunate Pope. This may have been done between 1303 and 1360. The profession contained in the Vatican Latin MS. no. 7160 is therefore only another version, nearly identical to the one falsely attributed to Boniface VIII, both versions being apocryphal.



1. After re-examining the arguments of his pupil Buschbell, fathering the forgery on Nogaret, Finke, loc. cit. pp. 59 seq., already declared: Tch muss freilich zugeben, dass eine vollständig überzeugende positive Beweisführung für die Fälschung Nogaret nicht zu geben ist.’







Unpublished Anonymous Greek Treatises on the Councils


For the purpose of tracing the official tradition of the Eastern Church on the number of oecumenical councils and its attitude with regard to the Council of Photius, I have made some researches on a special class of Byzantine theological literature—the Greek treatises on councils. These treatises are many and scattered about all the great libraries of Europe. Besides embodying the tradition on councils they also afford a clear illustration of the Orthodox doctrine on the infallibility of the Church, which makes one regret that they should have remained a closed field to theologians and historians. So far only one of the anonymous treatises has been published, edited by C. Justel. [1] It was my first intention to publish the best of them, but recent events interfered with my plans and I have only been able to study the MSS. of the National Libraries of Paris, London and Brussels with a few of the Vienna Library. These were, however, sufficient for my limited purpose—the Eastern tradition on the Photian Council—and a comparison of the catalogues of Greek MSS. in the possession of the leading libraries of Paris, the Vatican, Moscow, Mount Athos and Vienna satisfied me that the Paris MSS. are exceptionally complete and cover the Eastern tradition in this matter.


cannot give here the results, however useful, of my researches in full, as they are not strictly relevant to the subject under discussion and the prospect of pursuing these studies in the near future is but slight. I therefore limit myself to the enumeration of the MSS. I have studied and to a few summary indications on their most important bearings.






1. MS. no. 11, fols. 320-7, twelfth century (written in 1186).

2. MS. no. 425, fols. 1—7, fifteenth to sixteenth centuries.

3. MS. no. 922, fols. 241-8 a, eleventh century.

4. MS. no. 947, fols. 110-15, written in 1574.

5. MS. no. 968, fols. 392-5, fifteenth century.

6. MS. no. 1084, fols. 199-205, eleventh century.

7. MS. no. 1123, fols. 166a—72, fifteenth century.

8. MS. no. 1234, fol. 261, thirteenth century.

9. MS. no. 1259a, fols. 25a-8, fourteenth century.



1. Ch. Justellus, Nomocanon Photii. . . Accessere ejusdem Photii, Nili Metropolitae Rhodi et Anonymi Tractatus de Synodis Oecumenicis ex Bibliotheca Sedanensi (Lutetiae Parisiorum, 1615).





10. MS. no. 1295, fols. 2850-9, fifteenth to sixteenth century.

11. MS. no. 1302, fols. 21-4, thirteenth century.

12. MS. no. 1303, fol. 80, fourteenth century.

13. MS. no. 1319, fols. 1-90, thirteenth century.

14. MS. no. 1323, fols. 365-70, copied in 1598.

15. MS. no. 1335, fols. 120-140, fourteenth century.

16. MS. no. 1336, fols. 5-80, eleventh century.

17. MS. no. 1369, fols. 1-10, fourteenth century.

18. MS. no. 1370, fols. 1230-250, written in 1297.

19. MS. no. 1371, fols. 240-330, thirteenth century.

20. MS. no. 1373, fol. 10, copied in 1525.

21. MS. no. 1375, fols. 9, 100, copied in 1540.

22. MS. no. 13810, fols. 113 0-14, fourteenth century.

23. MS. no. 1555a, fols. 1520-4, fourteenth century.

24. MS. no. 1605, fols. 285-60, twelfth century.

25. MS. no. 1630, fols. 64-9, fourteenth century.

26. MS. no. 1712, fols. 4-50, fourteenth century.

27. MS. no. 1788, fols. 1990-200, written in 1440.

28. MS. no. 2403, fols. 1720-3, thirteenth century.

29. MS. no. 2600, fols. 2450, 246, fifteenth century.

30. MS. no. 2662, fols. 76-8, fourteenth century.

31. MS. no. 3041, fols. 131-20, fifteenth to sixteenth centuries.

32. MS. Coislin 34, fols. 230-60, twelfth century.

33. MS. Coislin 36, fols. 1-8, fourteenth century.

34. MS. Coislin 120, fols. 28-31, tenth century.

35. MS. Coislin 363, fols. 154-9, twelfth century.

36. MS. Coislin 364, fols. 204, 2040, written in 1295.

37. MS. Coislin 374, fols. 3150-200, eleventh century.

38. MS. Supplément 78, fols. 2350, 236, seventeenth century.

39. MS. Supplément 482, fols. 111-200, written in 1105.

40. MS. Supplément 483, fols. 1660-71, fourteenth century.

41. MS. Supplément 690, fols. 2420-4, twelfth century.

42. MS. Supplément 1086, fols. 64-6, eleventh century.

43. MS. Supplément 1089, fols. 26-7, sixteenth century.




44. Codex Theologicus Graecus xix, fols. 321, 3210, written in 1097.

45. Cod. Theol. Graec. cccvii, fols. 940-60, fourteenth century.

46. Cod. Theol. Graec. cccxxv, fols. 163, 1640, fifteenth century; fols. 228-350 (profession of faith).

47. Cod. Historicus Graec. vii, fols. 184-70; fols. 1930-4; fols. 1940-6, eleventh century (?).

48. Cod. Theol. Graec. ccliv, fols. 7600-70, fourteenth century.

49. Cod. Juridicus Graec. xiii, fols. 38-710, fifteenth century.

50. Cod. Hist. Graec. xxxiv, fols. 3590-610, fifteenth century.

51. Cod. Graec. Hist. Eccl. et Prof, lxx, fols. 83-60, eleventh century (?).







52. MS. no. 11376, fols. 170a-3a, thirteenth century.

53. MSS. no. II, 4836, fols. 72a-6, thirteenth century.




54. Additional MS. 34060, fols. 218-81 (Canons of Greek Councils), fifteenth century.



It appears that treatises on Councils have been written since the fifth or sixth century, new Councils being simply added by later copyists. This can be inferred from some short summaries which list only five Councils, as for instance in the case of MS. no. 47, two of whose summaries (fols. 193 a, 194 and 194 0-6) mention only five Councils : the copyist relied on an old summary without taking the trouble of adding the other Councils. A longer treatise of the four first Councils is found in the MS. which I class as no. 27, though the MS. possibly contains only the first part of a treatise on six or more Councils.


What seems to be the oldest and most interesting treatise is found in MSS. nos. 3, 9 and 34 of our list, where the anonymous writer counts only six oecumenical councils and gives a summary of the local synods of Ancyra, Caesarea, Gangrae, Antioch, Laodicea and Carthage. By his definition no Council can be called oecumenical unless it be summoned by the Emperor, who must invite all the bishops of the Empire, and unless some dogmatic decision be arrived at. The Popes are placed at the head of the Patriarchs in the account of the first four Councils.


The treatise that seems to have had the widest circulation is the one published by Justellus. It originally contained, as far as I can see, only the summary of six councils, the seventh being added later, at least in some MSS. of the treatise. Justellus knew only the one MS., that was in the possession of the Sedan Library in his days; but the same treatise is found in the following MSS., several of which embody a more interesting tradition with many variants: MSS. nos. 6, 16 of my list (both mention only six councils), 11, 13 (the Popes’ names are mentioned for each synod after the Emperor’s name), 19, 28, 51, 52, 53.


MSS. nos. 2, 15 and 44, though very similar to Justellus’ treatise, differ from it in many respects. For instance, the Popes are always named immediately after the Emperors and before the Patriarchs.


The Popes are also named first after the Emperors and accurate historical data are found in a treatise represented by the following MSS. of my list: nos. 1, 7, 32 (an abridged version) and 37.


An entirely different treatise is preserved in MSS. nos. 14 and 33. Again the Popes are placed after the Emperors and before the other Patriarchs as in other MSS. affiliated to this treatise (nos. 23 and 39).





Some similarities with Jus tellus’ treatise are found in the following short works, which, however, are all of a different character: MSS. no. 4 (Popes presiding over the first and the fourth Councils, the Patriarch of Alexandria over the second and third, the Patriarchs of Antioch and Constantinople over the sixth, Tarasius over the seventh) ; no. 24 (Patriarchs of Constantinople are always named before the Popes) ; no. 45 (shorter than Jus tellus’ treatise) ; no. 46.


Besides longer treatises on the Councils there exists a large number of short summaries and memoranda on the seven Councils, written probably for teaching purposes. Those I list here differ from each other in minor details and follow a common pattern: MSS. no. 9 (only six councils mentioned); no. 18 (the Popes are stated to have directed the first five councils; for the seventh the Pope is named before Tarasius); no. 20 (gives only the names of the Emperors and the Popes for each Council); nos. 21, 22, 28 (the Pope always named before the other Patriarchs); no. 29 (the Photian Councils of 859, 861, 879-80 are numbered among the local synods, but the so-called Eighth Oecumenical Council is omitted); nos. 36, 38 (analytical table of the seven Councils; the Popes come immediately after the Emperors); no. 47 (three summaries, one of them—fols. 193a, 194—published by P. Lambecius in his Commentarii de August. Bibl. Caesarea Vindobonensi (2nd ed., A. Kollar, Vienna, 1782), vol. viii, p. 930); no. 48.


The summary in MS. no. 31 of my list is of some interest for the way it mentions Popes and Patriarchs. It names the Popes first only in the case of the First and the Seventh Councils but, strange to say, it states that the First Council of Nicaea took place under Popes Sylvester and Julius, the Fifth under Mennas and Eutyches. It will be remembered that Photius, in his letter to Boris-Michael of Bulgaria, also writes that the Nicaean Council took place under the Popes Sylvester and Julius, [1] which has puzzled many; and I have pointed out that [2] the Synodicon Vetus—an Ignatian treatise on Councils—followed the same tradition. This new evidence makes it clear that the tradition must have been common in Constantinople and that it was not invented by Photius.


Some of the treatises must have been re-copied as professions of faith, as is the case with MS. no. 4 which is based on Justellus’ treatise and contains such a profession.


Interesting also is the list of canons voted by the oecumenical and local synods acknowledged by the Eastern Church and preserved in MS. no. 54 of my list. The Ignatian Council of 869-70 is omitted, though it voted canons that became very popular in the West. But the canons voted by the Photian synods of 861 and of 879-80 are duly recorded.



1. P.G. vol. 102, col. 632.


2. See supra, p. 127. Also note that in the Juridicus Graecus Viennensis XIII (15th c., parchment, 347 fols.), fols. 38-710: is found a version different from the Synodicon Vetus published by Pappe in the work mentioned, pp. 360 seq.





I may add in conclusion that MS. no. 46 contains in addition (fols. 228-35 a) a profession of faith addressed to an Emperor and drawn up in accordance with the decisions of the seven councils. Another profession of faith is found in MS. 47 (fols. 231, 231α) and is the same as the Patriarch Photius used to tender to all candidates to the episcopacy, who naturally had to subscribe to seven councils. [1]


It goes without saying that what I have said here about the writings of this class is very incomplete; but I feel that what little I have been able to find on this matter amply confirms my contention that from the eighth to the seventeenth century the Greek Church officially knew only seven Oecumenical Councils. [2]



Euthymii Patriarchae Libellus de Definitionibus Fidei per Concilia Septem Oecumenica. British Museum Arundel 528 (15 th c.). Extract on the Photian Council, fols. n6seq., compared with the anonymous treatise of Parisinus Graecus 968 (fols. 392-5, 15th c.) and with the treatise of Neilos of Rhodes. [3]


I found in Vienna another Greek MS. containing an anonymous treatise,



1. Ἔκδοσή Φωτίου τοῦ ἁγιωτάτου Πατριάρχου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως. Σύμβολον πίστεως πρὸς τοὺς μέλλοντας χειροτονεῖσθαι ἐπισκόπους. Πιστεύω εἰς ἕνα Θεόν. . . . Reference to the synods: τὰς ἁγίας καὶ οἰκουμενικὰς ἑπτὰ συνόδους ὑποδεχόμενος, ἅπαντα τὰ ὑπ᾿ αὐτῶν. . . .


2. It would also be of great advantage to publish a new edition of the Greek treatises on the schism, and it is known that the first attempt of this kind is attributed to Nicetas of Nicaea. Three short works of this class have been published by Hergenröther, Monumenta Graeca ad Photium. . . pertinentia (Ratisbonnae, 1869), pp. 154 seq. In the Paris National Library I found several MSS. on the same topic and akin to the treatises that have been published, but offering a considerable number of interesting variants; for instance, the Paris. Graec. 1278 (15th c., on paper, 172 fols.), fols. 2-6 corresponds to Nicetas’ treatise, but differs in many respects from the text so far known. The treatises of Paris. Graec. 1191 (15th c., on paper, 141 fols.), fols. 73, 80, 81, bear resemblance to treatises I and II published by the Cardinal, but with some curious variants. The treatises copied in the Paris. Graec. 1286 (16th c., on paper, 318 fols.), fols. 251-4 and Paris. Graec. 1295 (15th c.-16th c., on paper, 342 fols.), fols. 98-101 a (not listed in the Omont Catalogue) also show affinity to treatises I and II of Hergenröther (ibid. fols. 26 seq., the treatise written by John of Jerusalem). But I have cautioned the reader against these later handbooks, as they often diverge widely from their common pattern, Nicetas’ treatise, though they do give a good picture of fifteenth-century Byzantine mentality with regard to Rome. Note that Neilos Damylas (Paris. Graec. 1295, fols. 600-85) volunteers explanations as nebulous as the treatises themselves. In the Cod. Theol. Graec. Viennensis clxviii (15th c., fol. 381), which contains anti-Latin writings, I found on fols. 375-6 a short treatise which seems to be identically the same as the first treatise published by Hergenröther, loc. cit. pp. 154-63 (Πῶς καὶ τίνα τρόπον ἐχωρίσθησαν ἡμῶν οἱ Λατῖνοι. . . ἦν ἐν τῇ ἑβδομῃ συνόδῳ Ἀδριανὸς πάπας Ῥώμης). Circumstances prevented me from photographing the treatise and making a closer comparison.


3. Ch. Justellus, Nomocanon Photii. . . Accessere ejusdem Photii, Nili Metropolitae Rhodi et Anonymi Tractatus, loc. cit. pp. 175-9.





all but identical to the treatise on the Paris MS. no. 968, in Historicus Graecus Viennensis xxxiv (chartaceus, 15th c., in folio, fol. 392), fols. 3590-61 a. Unfortunately I have not been able to make a comparative study of the MS. and recent events have prevented me obtaining a photograph of it.


This is what Euthymios’ treatise has to say about the Photian Council:



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