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Decretum Gelasianum

(Decretum de libris recipiendis et non recipiendis). A document purportedly from the pontificate of Gelasius (492-96), although copies exist claiming provenance from the reigns of Damasus (366-84) and Hormisdas (514- 23). The five divisions of the text as it stands are: Christ and the Holy Spirit; the books of the biblical canon, including those now placed in the Apocrypha; a statement of the bases of the claims to supremacy of the Roman see; a list of writings from the Fathers and the Councils approved by the Roman Church; and a list of noncanonical biblical and patristic books (from which the Decretum takes its customary title), the first appearance of any Index of Forbidden Books. Many copies of the text omit one or more parts. On the bases of both internal and external evidence compiled by E. von Dobschütz, who edited the published text, the Gelasian origin of the document is generally rejected, as is its claim to be an official document of the Roman see. The opening section and the list of the books of the Bible are attributed to a Roman synod of 382 under Damasus, and the rest of the text to an unknown private person, a native of Italy or Gaul, writing in the sixth century.