Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

Powicke, F. M., ed. and Cheney, C. R., ed., Councils & Synods with Other Documents Relating to the English Church, Vol. 2, part 1 1205-1265, part 2 1265-1313 (Oxford: Clarendon Press)

Text name(s): 

Number of pages of primary source text: 1393


    Dates: 1205 - 1313

    Archival Reference: 

    Original Language(s): 

    • Latin
    • Anglo-Norman


    • Original language included.

    Translation Comments: 

    Geopolitical Region(s): 

    • England


    Record Types: 

    • Councils - Church
    • Law - Canon Law
    • Chronicle, Annals
    • Letter

    Subject Headings: 

    • Clergy - Priests, Bishops, Canons
    • Government
    • Law - Canon
    • Monasticism
    • Papacy
    • Religion - Institutional Church
    • Theology - Ecclesiology


    • Index
    • Bibliography
    • Introduction


    In the early Christian church, communities met to discuss problems. These meetings became institutionalized as councils or synods, conducted by individual dioceses, with the pope claiming the right to approve of council acts. Councils & Synods contains collections of English synodal statutes and related documents. Though it was published first, this second volume (1205-1313) continues the collections in volume 1 (871-1204 — see alternate entries for Councils and Synods). The 31 collections of statutes in volume 2 were edited from all known versions of manuscripts. The collections indicate heavy borrowing among dioceses in framing their statutes. They also demonstrate papal influence on the English church, particularly as it bolstered the authority of bishops.

    Introduction Summary: 

    The general introduction to both volumes 1 and 2 of Councils & Synods appears in volume 1. This volume contains only a very brief preface (4 pages) stating the aims and methods of its editors. This volume, mainly edited by C. R. Cheney, is considered by scholars to have set the standard for compiling the corpus of ecclesiastical legislation.

    Cataloger: RJ