|Sponsor:||Church, Law & Society in the Middle Ages (CLASMA) Research Network|
|Organiser:||Peter Petkoff, Balliol College, University of Oxford|
|Moderator/Chair:||Peter Petkoff, Balliol College, University of Oxford|
|Paper 1026-b||Authority and Freedom in the Canonical Commentaries of Theodore Balsamon|
Index terms: Canon Law
|Paper 1026-c||Systematization and Rationalization in the Byzantine Canonical Collections: Some Patterns, Principles, and Problems|
Theodore Balsamon (XII c) the greatest canonist of Byzantium and an author of authoritative commentaries of the Nomocanon of XIV Titles and the Chronological Collection is often referred to as the ‘Emperor’s man’ whose canonical commentaries contributed to the strengthening of Imperial authority in Byzantium. The present paper explores the ways concepts such as freedom and authority emerge in his commentaries in a far more complex way, highlight patterns of legal reasoning as well as more ‘constitutional’ concepts of interrelation between the exercise of political and ecclesiastical authority in Byzantium.
The way in which the Byzantines collected, ordered and presented their canonical tradition is deeply revealing of the Byzantine canonical-legal Vorstellungswelt. An analysis of the basic developments in Byzantine practices of systematization can shed considerable light on fundamental problems of Byzantine canonical-legal culture, including the nature of legal reasoning and rationality, the role of the legal professional, and the general conceptualization of law and its sources.