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  • A Note on the Authorship of the Collectio Seguntina
  • Kyle C. Lincoln*

The history of Sigüenza's manuscript, Archivo Catedralicio 10, is, mostly, a mystery. Since it was brought to international scholarly attention by Gérard Fransen and studied by Walther Holtzmann, scholarly consensus has usually mentioned the text only as another in a long list of local appendices to the Quinque compilationes antiquae, in this case the Compilatio prima, noting that the text appears to have several decretals copied from the now-lost registers of Clement III or Celestine III.1 To date, however, the compiler of the 121 entries that comprise the Collectio Seguntina has yet to be identified. This study proposes that Rodrigo de Finojosa, bishop of Sigüenza from 1192-1218, should be identified as the most likely compiler of the collection, based both on the historical context of the compilation and on the contents of the Seguntina itself. In doing so, it also adds the name of yet another bishop to the roll call of prelates whose canon law literacy was on the rise near the end of the long twelfth century, further underscoring the importance of canon law to the history of the medieval church.

The connection between Rodrigo de Finojosa and the Collectio Seguntina is primarily supported by the decretal letters copied into the collection. Of the 116 items enumerated by Holtzmann, nine [End Page 137] are addressed to Castilian prelates (nos. 1, 3-6, 9, 27, 29, and 65) and one to Sigüenza itself (no. 9). Those figures increase if the additions to the collection, numbers 117-121, are included, given that two of these (Nos. 117 and 118) are addressed to Sigüenza.2 Comparatively, the contents of the Compilatio prima contain 943 chapters, only five of which were addressed to Castilian clerics, and even then, only to the archbishop of Toledo.3 These facts suggest that the owner of the manuscript needed, in addition to texts from the whole of Christendom, Castilian precedents for usage, and the prevalence of Seguntine privileges suggests that the owner of the text was most likely from Sigüenza. The copy of the Compilatio prima that comprises the first half of Sigüenza, Archivo Catedralicio 10 is a copy in a late twelfth- or early thirteenth-century hand, and the Collectio Seguntina can be given a firm 'terminus post quem' of 1197, given that the latest text appended to the codex is a letter from Celestine III, dated 7 June, 1197.4 This dating range places the manuscript directly within the years of Rodrigo's episcopate. An inventory, in an early thirteenth-century hand, of Rodrigo's books, preserved as a pastedown in Sigüenza, Archivo Catedralicio 38, noted that a certain Bishop Rodrigo possessed, among other texts, 'Decretales'.5 Of the 176 folios that comprise manuscript 10, the copy of the Compilatio prima spans 1v-135v, with the Seguntina occupying 137r-177v; the division of quires suggests that the texts were composed at roughly the same time, and the hand appears consistent across both texts.6 Further, a 1242 inventory notes that [End Page 138] a copy of the 'Primus et secundus decretalium' were present in the cathedral archive; a simple error—conflating the Seguntina with a copy of the Compilatio secunda—in the compiler of the inventory would explain the misidentification of the Seguntina and place the Seguntina at Sigüenza in the context of the generation after Rodrigo de Finojosa's episcopate.7 Thus, the Collectio Seguntina most likely belonged to Rodrigo de Finojosa, since no other bishop Rodrigo served at Sigüenza until the late fourteenth century.8

Since the manuscript likely belonged to Rodrigo de Finojosa, the pertinent corollary question seems to be whether he compiled the Seguntina. In this regard, an examination of the contents of the collection makes clear that Rodrigo's hand was clearly behind the selection of the texts in the compilation, even if his was not the scribal hand that copied the letters from Clement's and Celestine's registers. Two examples demonstrate that the hand of the bishop was behind the selection of the texts, a conflict with the clergy of Medinaceli...


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