The opening rubric ('Incipit institutio canonum') of the Collectio 91 capitulorum in Vesoul, Bibliothèque municipal, MS 79 (73)

Normative texts need to be authoritative to be effective in communicating norms and rules. Recent scholarship has shown a renewed interest in the authoritative status of the texts within early medieval works of canon law and the ways in which authority is reflected in the practice of attribution, promulgation, or organization. A small canonical collection known as the Collectio 91 capitulorum appears to flout the received knowledge. My recent article in Early Medieval Europe presents this modest collection. It explores the relationship between ‘authority’ and canon law in general, and examines the negotiation of authority within this collection in particular.