Capitulary

A name applied to legislative decrees issued by the Merovingian or Carolingian kings of France or by the Lombard kings of Italy, covering varied aspects of administration, including ecclesiastical regulations and moral prescriptions along with more general political and economic edicts. The acts, composed in Latin, were often long and discursive, so were divided into capitula, or chapters, and were of various types. Some were confirmed by local assemblies or by church councils, while others took effect without such confirmation. Some were effective for a limited time or in a specific area, others were binding and permanent throughout the entire realm. None survives in its original form, but many are available in collections, beginning with that of the Abbot Ansegisus in 827.