Isidore of Seville, the earliest version was compiled by an anonymous canonist in the first half of the seventh century (mostly likely between 633 and 636). It circulated widely in Europe but especially in France and northern Italy. After the Arab invasion of 711 the collection was even translated into Arabic and remained important for the Iberian church in various recensions. It remained a significant collection until the twelfth century, surviving in many manuscript copies. The Collectio Hispana influenced canonical collections in the Carolin-gian realm. It was based on the scholarship ofearlier authors, such as the small collection prepared by Archbishop Martin of Braga (d. 580). He compiled a collection of canons that drew on the canons of Eastern councils and was divided into two subject areas: canons that dealt with the clergy and those that covered the laity.32

In Gaul, the bishops of Arles and others in southern Gaul also held many church councils. Arles became the most important Roman city in southern Gaul: during 395, the emperors moved the seat of the praetorian prefect from Trier to Arles and, in the first quarter of the fifth century, Arles developed into the administrative capital of Gaul.33 A series of able bishops transformed the city into a powerful ecclesiastical centre.34 The canons of these Gallic councils were collected and augmented by other councils and decretals. The most important of the Gallican collections was the Collectio vetus Gallica.35 It was compiled in the early seventh century, probably in the vicinity of Lyon. Although the authorship is uncertain, the collection may be the work of Etherius, bishop of Lyon. Like Cresconius' Concordia canonum conciliorum, this collection was topically arranged, but, even though it was copied and used in lands north ofthe Alps, it circulated far less widely than the Dionysiana or Cresconius' Concordia canonum conciliorum. Etherius' chief concerns were the holding of synods, clerical discipline, the rights of metropolitan bishops, and the protection of ecclesiastical property.

After the sixth century the compilers of canonical collections began to include local synods in their collections. The significance of this development was that the canons of obscure synods eventually found their way into Gratian's Decretum and other standard collections ofthe high middle ages. The canonists became accustomed to using a wide range of sources when dealing with canonical problems.

32 SeeFerme, Introduzione, 96 andC. W Barlow, ed., Martini episcopiBracarensis opera omnia.

33 W. E. Klingshirn, Caesarius ofArles, 53-4.

34 The evidence for Arles's importance as a centre for canon law is discussed by Jasper and Furhmann, Papal letters 32-3.

35 Hubert Mordek, Kirchenrecht und Reform.

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