Book 1: A Study and Edition
Widely recognized as the single most important source for the history of the church in early medieval Ireland, the Hibernensis is also our best index for knowing what books were available in Ireland at the time of its compilation: it consists of excerpted material from the Bible, Church Fathers and doctors, hagiography, church histories, chronicles, wisdom texts, and insular normative material unattested elsewhere. This in addition to the staple sources of canonical collections, comprising the acta of church councils and papal letters. Altogether there are forty-two cited authors and 135 cited texts. But unlike previous canonical collections, the contents of the Hibernensis are not simply derivative: they have been modified and systematically organised, offering an important insight into the manner in which contemporary clerical scholars attempted to define, interpret, and codify law for the use of a growing Christian society.
About the Author
"This much anticipated critical edition, translation, and study by Roy Flechner is an outstanding piece of scholarship on a collection whose complicated textual tradition, notably its two distinct versions, A and B, has obscured a full understanding of the collection's compilation and historical context. Combining for the first time an edition of both versions, Flechner untangles the collection's complicated textual history and offers a critical edition which makes an outstanding contribution to the field and to future researchers for understanding the Hibernensis and its intellectual world as well as the transmission and reception of that learning across Western Europe."—Kathleen G. Cushing, President, International Society of Medieval Canon Law
"These volumes make a massive contribution to understanding of both early Irish society and canon law. They provide a critical edition—also the first edition of one key recension—and the first translation of a central source. A lost world becomes accessible even to undergraduates by this ground-breaking work of scholarship."—David D'Avray, University College London
"A praiseworthy volume that provides a great service."—Deutsches Archiv fürErforschung des Mittelalters
"The Hibernensis demonstrates a keen awareness of the inconsistencies and contradictions in the ecclesiastical tradition and proposes ways to deal with them. The present edition, with the accompanying excellent translation, provides scholars with the opportunity to delve deeper into this fascinating and still rather enigmatic text."—Journal of Ecclesiastical History
"This is a monumental product of great care and labour... a far superior representation of the Hibernensis than has heretofore been available. Coupled with a translation that permits students to taste medieval canon law for themselves, it will be immensely useful in both the classroom and the study. On Flechner's much securer basis, scholars of canon law, Irish culture, ecclesiastical history, and the western intellectual tradition are now equipped to gain new insights and make new advances."—Early Medieval Europe