A Dominican, Leandro Alberti (Descrizione d'Italia, 1550), states that they were originally nine in number, and an independent authority, Antonio Concioli (Statuta civitatis Eugubii, 1673), states that two of the nine were taken to Venice in 1540 and never reappeared.
See Statuta Ecclesiae Scoticanae (Bannatyne Club, Edinburgh, 1866).
The Statuta Ecclesiae Antigua (falsely called the Canons of the Fourth Council of Carthage in 397), a Gallican collection, originating in the province of Arles at the beginning of the 6th century, mentions the acolyte, but does not give, as in the case of the other orders, any form for the ordination.
The duties of the acolyte, as given in the Roman Pontifical, are identical with those mentioned in the Statuta Ecclesiae Antigua of Arles: "It is the duty of acolytes to carry the candlesticks, to light the lamps of the church, to administer wine and water for the Eucharist."
The Spanish collection divides the African canons among seven councils of Carthage and one of Mileve; but in many cases it ascribes them to the wrong source; for example, it gives under the title of the fourth council of Carthage, the Statuta Ecclesiae antiqua, an Arlesian compilation of Saint Caesarius, which has led to a number of incorrect references.
It would be impossible to enumerate here all the Gallic councils which contributed towards the canon law of that country; we will mention only the following: - Arles (314), of great importance; a number of councils in the district of Arles, completed by the Statuta Ecclesiae antiqua of St Caesarius; 2 the councils of the province of Tours; the assemblies of the episcopate of the three kingdoms of the Visigoths at Agde (506), of the Franks at Orleans (511), and of the Burgundians at Epaone (517); several councils of the kingdoms of the Franks, chiefly at Orleans; and finally, the synods of the middle of the 8th century, under the influence of St Boniface.
Two curious tracts, the "De moribus pueri ad mensam" (printed by Wynkyn de Worde) and the "Statuta familiae Roberti Grosseteste" (printed by J.