GRA'TIAN, the collector of the well-known body of canon law which is commonly cited under the title of decretum gratiani. It is singular, however, that although few authorities have been so frequently cited, or have obtained so wide and permanent acceptance as this celebrated collection, hardly anything is known of the collector's own personal history. The sum of our knowledge regarding him is, that he was a native of Chiusa in Tuscany, and that lie became, in later life, a Benedictine monk of the monastery of St. Felix in Bologna. The date commonly assigned to Gratian's collection is 1141 or 1151; its title, however, decretum, or eoncordia discordantita ft canon, is believed to be of later origin. How far the collection is the work of Gratian himself, or how far he was indebted for his materials, and even for their arrangement, to the labors of earlier collectors, it is difficult to determine. The work consists not only of the decrees of councils and popes down to Innocent II. (including the spurious IsinoinAN DECUE
TALS, q.v.), but also of passages from the Scripture, from the fathers, and even front the Roman law. It is divided into three parts. The first regards the hierarchical con stitution of the church, and chiefly relates to doctrinal and moral subjects. It is divided Into " distinctions." The second treats of external jurisdiction, under the head of " causes" and " questions." The third regards the inner life of the church—the liturgy and the sacraments. From what has been already said regarding his adoption of the Isidorian decretals, it will be inferred that in point of criticism Gratian's authority is of little value, and, in general, it may be added that no authority is given to any document beyond what it intrinsically possesses, from the fact of its being pldced in Gratian's collection. For the other collectors of the canon law, see CANON LAW. The date of Gratian's death is unknown.