Liber Sextus

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The Liber Sextus ("the sixth book") of 1298 was the third part of the Corpus Iuris Canonici , a medieval collection of Roman Catholic canon law . The legal collection ceased to be in force with the decree of the Codex Iuris Canonici from 1917, which is no longer valid .

History of origin

The University of Bologna asked the Pope to issue a new authentic collection of decretals. One was no longer certain about the validity of canonical provisions.

The commission was instructed to sift through the norms that had been in force since the promulgation of the Liber Extra (1234), to remove ambiguities and ambiguities from various decretals, and to cleanse the material by removing superfluous points, resolving contradictions, abbreviations and changes and approving it for use improve. Decretals that were deemed superfluous or contradictory were eliminated and those that were included were reshaped according to their objectives. The legal provisions have been generalized and abstracted. So it is partly a new editorial team.

The Liber Sextus was written at the instigation of Pope Boniface VIII (1294–1303) by a tripartite commission, by Wilhelm de Mandagoto (death 1321), Bishop Béranger Frédol the Elder (around 1250–1323) and Richard Petronius of Siena (death 1314) . Their work took place in the years 1296 to 1298. The Liber Sextus was promulgated with the Bull Sacrosanctae on March 3, 1298 by sending it to the University of Bologna by Boniface VIII (all parts at the same time).

The Liber Sextus received the name from Boniface VIII, who understood the new collection as the 6th book in the continuation of the Gregorian collection (5 books) (it should only form a complete appendix to the Liber Extra). The number “6” is also symbolically the concept of perfection ( perfectio ) and that is what Boniface VIII wanted to symbolize with the title.


Penaforte's principles of classification were retained. The collection contains 108 decretals from the pontificate of Gregory IX. until Nicholas III. (1227–1280) and the canons of the 1st Council of Lyon (1254) and 2nd Council of Lyon (1274) as well as 251 chapters from the legislative work of Boniface VIII. (Two thirds of the decretals come from him).

Attached is a collection of 88 legal rules ( regulae iuris ), which Bonifatius VIII put together on the basis of Roman civil law . It consists of 5 books, the Liber Sextus is better worked than the Gregorian collection of decrees.

How to quote

The citation follows the Liber Extra. The source is identified by switching on “in Sexto” (in sixth) or “in VI” (high o) or “VI”. c. 1. VI, lI, 7 (capitula 1 in libro Sexto, liber I titulus 7), also VI.I.7.1


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