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Bulgarus, De regulis iuris

Bulgarus, De regulis iuris

Beyond the very uncertain times of the mythical founder Irnerius, the school of Bologna enters in the history with the much more definite figure of Bulgarus, the leading figure of Italian legal scholarship between 1115-20 and 1166. As a glossator, he mainly composed glosses to the parts of Justinian’s compilation. Unlike apparatuses to Gratian’s Decretum, those glosses to Roman law book usually did not circulate separately from the very text of the legal books.

The commentary to the title of the Digest De regulis iuris (D. 50.17) represents an exception, because it forms part of a larger set of glosses to the whole of the Digestum Novum, but was also copied as independent work, carrying the text of the Digest followed by the comments by Bulgarus. To clearly distinguish the legal text from its commentary, the scribes often used different modules of writing.

All the manuscript witnesses of Bulgarus’ work are today preserved outside of Italy, with the exception of the three Vatican manuscripts, two of which are yet part of the Bibliotheca Palatina, originally in Heidelberg.

In general, it seems that this work of the great Italian lawyer was much more popular north of the Alps than in Italy. This may be the effect of the preservation of ancient texts, out of date for scholarship and practice, in the libraries of ecclesiastical institutions, where some Italian products arrived when the Italian market did not absorbed it any more. However, at least for a part of the manuscript tradition, the success of Bulgarus north of the Alps may also reflect the particular interest of the northern culture, which stayed more oriented to theology, for the particular content of the De regulis iuris of the Digest.


Time and place of composition

Bulgarus composed the commentary in Bologna. The age of composition is unknown. Some scholars guess that it was a relatively early work in the career of Bulgarus: 1140-50?


Manuscript tradition


To map the spread of this writing by Bulgarus in Europe we can exclude the following manuscripts that carry it as part of the apparatus of glosses to the Digestum novum:



F. Beckhaus (ed.), Bulgari ad Digestorum titulum de diversis regulis iuris antiqui commentarius et Placentini ad eum additiones sive exceptiones (Bonn 1856; repr. Frankfurt 1967).


Bertrandus Metensis, De regulis iuris


One of the major witness of the European spread of the writing of Bulgarus on the regulae iuris is the commentary to the same title of the Digest composed by Bertram of Metz, a canon in Cologne and since 1180 bishop of Metz, who took the text of Bulgarus as basis for his work.


Time and place of composition

Bertram was active in the school of Cologne since 1170 ca. Probably he wrote his commentary after this date.


Manuscript tradition



S. Caprioli (ed.), ‘Bertrandus Metensis de regulis iuris’, Annali di Storia del Diritto 8 (1964), 225-267 and 10-11 (1967), 479-526. Repr in one book: Perugia 1981.


Bulgarus, Stemma Bulgaricum

Bulgarus, Stemma Bulgaricum

The so-called Stemma Bulgaricum is the first preserved collection of civil law quaestiones disputatae. In the description of Hermann Kantorowicz, quaestiones were “the only practical complement to the purely theoretical lectures”. The scholarly discussion was held by students upon “a fictitious claims of two disputants litigating on a problem of law in a concrete case before the master, who presides over the disputation and decides over the claims”.

This very early collection consists of accounts of scholastic disputes held in the school of Bulgarus, the most important among the law professors at Bologna during the first half of the 12th century (Bulgarus died in 1166ca.).

The standard collection contains 67 questions, and is apparently preserved in three manuscripts, one of which (BAV, Ott. Lat. 1492) is fragmentary. Some of the questions were later included in larger collections, along with disputes held in the schools of other law professors.

For our experiment, we consider only the manuscripts carrying the original Stemma Bulgaricum.


Place and date of composition

The collection was composed in Bologna. The exact date is not known: ante 1166.


Manuscript tradition



F. Patetta (ed.), Quaestiones in schola Bulgari disputatae, in Bibliotheca Iuridica Medii Aevi, vol. 2 (Bologna 1892), pp. 195-209. Patetta edited the collection on the base of the incomplete Vatican Ottobonian manuscript, so that a complete edition is still needed.



A. Belloni, Le questioni civilistiche del secolo XII. Da Bulgaro a Pillio da Medicina e Azzone (Frankfurt am Main, 1989) [Studien zur europ. Rechtsgeschichte, 43].

H. Kantorowicz, ‘The Quaestiones Disputatae of the Glossators’, Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis 16 (1939), 1-67.


Geraudus, De natura actionum

Geraudus, De natura actionum

De natura actionum is a short tract on the Roman law actions that A. Gouron attributed to the Provençal lawyer Geraudus, the probable author of the Summa Trecensis. The tract has been edited by Fitting, who ascribed it to the age of Justinian, but change his mind to eventually attribute it to G(eminianus), a legendary professor who would have taught at Ravenna and even Rome, where he would have allegedly been the teacher of the great Irnerius. This unsubstantiated identification rests on the so-called Erlangen gloss to the Arbor actionum of Johannes Bassianus [Ed. Savigny, Gesch. Rom. Rechts, IV, p, 64]: ‘primo tractavit de natura actionum G.’

While Fitting’s positions have been heavily criticised by Kantorowicz (1938), A. Gouron (1993) proposed a credible solution to the enigma, proving on the basis of a number of textual and conceptual convergences that G. was the Provençal jurist Geraudus, the author of the Summa Trecensis. Therefore, the treatise was one of the early products of the law schools flourishing in the French Midi in the early twelfth century.


Time and place of composition

The exact place of production is difficult to determine, as Geraudus is known to have been active in many areas – mainly at Arles, Valence, and Montpellier. Convergences with the Summa Trecensis suggest that the treatise relied on a first and lost recension of the Summa, which was concluded, according to Gouron, at about 1135. De natura actionum, consequently, would have been concluded shortly after.


Manuscript tradition



On Geraudus

A. Gouron, Géraud maitre, in Dictionnaire historique des juristes français  (2015), 475.

On the treatise

A. Gouron, ‘Primo tractavit de natura actionum Geraudus’, now in Id., Droit et coutumes en France au XIIe et XIIIe siècle (Aldershot, 1993), no. I.

A. Gouron, ‘L’auteur et la patrie de la Summa Trecensis’, Ius commune 12 (1984), 1–38, reprinted in: Id., Études sur la diffusion des doctrines juridiques médiévales (London, 1987), no. III.

A. Gouron, ‘L’élaboration de la Summa Trecensis’, in Sodalitas. Scritti in onore di A. Guarino», vol. 3 (Napoli, 1985), 3681-3696 (1985), reprinted in Id., Études, no. IV.

H. Kantorowicz and W. W. Buckland, Studies in the Glossators of the Roman Law (Cambridge, 1938; re-edited by Peter Weimar, Aalen, 1969), 222-26.



H. Fitting, Juristische Schriften des fruheren Mittelalters (Halle, 1876), 117-27.


Geraudus, Summa Trecensis

Geraudus, Summa Trecensis

A summa to the Code of Justinian, which Fitting, in his edition, erroneously attributed to Irnerius. In 1938, Kantorowicz ascribed it to Rogerius, but eventually Gouron proved it to be a work by the Provençal author Geraudus.


Time and place of composition

According to Gouron, an early version of the ST was the source for lo Codi, while the latest known redaction dates to c.1159. The wandering activity of Geraudus – at St Gilles, St Ruf (Valence), Arles, Montpellier… –   and the fact that the Summa Trecensis was written in at least three redactions, from the 1130s onwards, make it difficult to identify one specific place of production: Arles, St. Ruf (Valence), Montpellier may all be places where the author wrote the Summa Trecensis, or part of it.


Manuscript tradition

Manuscripts transmitting the entire work:


Manuscripts transmitting the second part of the treatise to completion of Rogerius’ Summa Codicis [as in the so-called summa Tubigensis]:


Excerpts in:



A. Gouron, ‘Géraud, maitre’, Dictionnaire historique des juristes français. XIIe-XXe siècle (2013), 475.

A. Gouron, ‘L’auteur et la patrie de la Summa Trecensis’, Ius commune 12 (1984), 1–38, reprinted in: Id., Études sur la diffusion des doctrines juridiques médiévales (London, 1987), no. III.

A. Gouron, ‘L’élaboration de la Summa Trecensis’, in Sodalitas. Scritti in onore di A. Guarino», vol. 3 (Napoli, 1985), 3681-3696 (1985), reprinted in Id., Études, no. IV.

H. Kantorowicz and W. W. Buckland, Studies in the Glossators of the Roman Law (Cambridge, 1938; re-edited by Peter Weimar, Aalen, 1969), 145-180.



H. Fitting (ed.), Summa Codicis des Irnerius (Berlin, 1894).


Ioannes Bassianus, Summa Quicumque vult

Ioannes Bassianus, Summa Quicumque vult, or Tractatus de praeparatoriis litium (title given by Dolezalek)

This is a very short writing, written with polemical intent to affirm the need for a written introductory act (libellus) to begin every legitimate complaint in court. Ioannes Bassianus declares his position against the ideas expressed by Placentinus and Aldricus. In his summula Cum essem Mantue Placentinus maintained that a legal summon did not need a ritual formulation, being sufficient for the plaintiff to express the legal cause of his request. According to Ioannes Bassianus, Aldricus (a jurist often quoted by other glossators, but whose writings are not preserved) maintained that also the object of the complaint did not need to be precisely expressed.

For Ioannes, on the contrary, the libellus presented in court needs to explicitly express the name of the action and precisely define its object.


Time and place of composition

For Ennio Cortese (2012) this should be one of the earliest writings of Ioannes, composed when he taught in Mantua, around 1170. Fowler-Magerl and others think of a later date, around 1185, when Ioannes was teaching at Bologna.


Manuscript tradition



L. Fowler-Magerl, Ordines iudiciarii and Libelli de ordine iudiciorum (from the Middle of the Twelfth to the End of the Fifteenth Century) (Turnhout, 1994), 37-38 and 76-77.

L. Fowler Magerl, Ordo iudiciorum vel ordo iudiciarius. Begriff und Literaturgattung (Frankfurt a.M., 1984), 96-100.

M. A. Bethmann-Hollweg, Der civilprozess des gemeinen Rechts in geschichtlicher Entwicklung, vol. 6 (Bonn, 1874; reprinted Aalen, 1959), 28-30.

E. Seckel, ‘Über neuere Editionen juristischer Schriften aus dem Mittelalter’, ZSS RA 21 (1900), 212-338, 296-300.

H. Kantorowicz, ‘Kritische Studien (Zur Quellen- und Literaturgeschichte des römischen Rechts im Mittelalter)’, ZSS RA 49 (1929), 81-114, 93-95.

H. Lange, Römisches Recht im Mittelalter (München, 1997), 221.

E. Cortese, ‘Bassiano (Bosiano, Boxiano), Giovanni’, in DBGI (Bologna, 2012), vol. 1, 190-193.



L. Wahrmund, Die Summa “Quicumque vult” des Johannes Bassianius [Quellen zur Geschichte des Römisch-kanonischen Processes im Mittelalter, IV. Band, Heft II.] (Innsbruck, 1925). Based on mss. Padova, Biblioteca Universitaria, 1475; Paris, BnF, lat. 4609 e Wien, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 2221.


Former editions

F. C. von Savigny, Geschichte des Römischen Rechts im Mittelalter. IV. Das zwölfte Jahrhundert (Heidelberg, 1826), 451-456. Based on mss. Paris, BnF, lat. 4609 e Wien, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 2221.

G. Tamassia – Giovanni Battista Palmieri, in Scripta anecdota glossatorum [BIMAE, II] (Bononiae, 1892), 223a-225a, §§ 115-136. Based on ms. Padova, Biblioteca Universitaria, 1475.


Lo Codi

Lo Codi

The treatise is a summary and commentary of the first nine books of Justinian’s Code.


Time and place of composition

Lo Codi was originally written in Provençal (Occitan) between 1149 and 1162 – so hold Gouron based on arguments developed by Prawer and Ourliac, among others. The Occitan version was translated in at least three languages. The Latin translation was probably produced by the Tuscan lawyer Ricardus Pisanus c.1176; the Latin traditions are quite different from each other and on average they are older than any extant Occitan mss (perhaps except for Sorbonne 632).

In his edition of the Latin text, Fitting thought that the treatise was written in Arles; Ourliac then placed it in Montpellier. Gouron, based on sparse documentation but on thorough analysis of the text suggests it was written in St Gilles. More dubious seems to be Gouron’s argument in respect to its authorship, which he ascribes to Raoul de St Gilles, a chancellor of Raymond V count of Toulouse and a lawyer (causidicus and iudex) active from the mid-twelfth centuries to the 1180s.

The fact that the Provençal version clearly refers to a Latin text convinced historians (up to Ourliac) that the treatise was originally written in Latin and then translated to Provençal. Gouron proved that the Latin text was not the Codi but an early, lost version of the Summa Trecensis, and on this basis he established that the Provençal text, as transmitted by Sorbonne 632, is the original one.


Manuscript tradition


Occitan manuscripts:


Latin manuscripts:


Old French manuscripts:


Castilian manuscripts:



A. Gouron, ‘Du nouveau sur lo Codi’, Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis, 43 (1976), 271-277.

A. Gouron, ‘Le manuscrit 632 de la Sorbonne’, in Mélanges de la Bibliotheque de la Sorbonne, 6 (1986), 6-20.

A. Gouron, ‘Lo Codi, source de la Somme au Code de Rogerius’, in Satura Roberto Feenstra sexagesimum quintum annum aetatis complenti ab alumnis collegis amicis oblata (Fribourg, 1985), 301-316.

A. Gouron, ‘L’auteur du Codi’, Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis, 70 (2002), 1-20.

J.A. Arias Bonet, Lo codi y su repercusión en España: los manuscritos 6416 y 10816 de la Biblioteca Nacional (Madrid, 1982).

P. Ourliac, Sur deux feuillets du Codi, in Mélanges Roger Aubenas (Montpellier, 1975), 595-612.

R. Feenstra, ‘A propos d’un nouveau manuscrit de la version latine du Codi (ms. Lucques, Bibl. Feliniana 437)’, Studia Gratiana 13 (1967), reprinted in Id., Fata iuris romani. Études d’histoire du droit (Leiden, 1974).



Provençal: F. Derrer, Lo Codi: Eine Summa Codicis in provenzalischer Sprache aus dem XII. Jahrhundert. Die provenzalische Fassung der Handschrift A (Sorbonne 632) (Zurich, 1974).

Latin: H. Fitting, Lo Codi: Eine Summa Codicis in provenzalischer Sprache aus der Mitte des XII Jahrhunderts (Halle, 1906; reed. 1968).

Castilian: J.A. Arias Bonet, Lo codi en castellano, según los manuscritos 6416 y 10186 de la Biblioteca Nacional (Madrid, 1984).




The Perpendiculum is a collection of legal arguments, probably compiled by Anglo-Norman canonists. The text can be mainly divided into three different parts. The first part is a monographic tract on legal presumptions, in the form of brocards, that has been called Summula de presumptionibus; it is one of the oldest collections of brocards and was highly influential for the theory of legal presumptions. The second is a set of 26 procontra brocards, while the third is a miscellaneous and heterogeneous collection of arguments which varies greatly from one manuscript to another.


Time and place of composition

The Summula was written c. 1170-77; the second part, which seems to be a sort of appendix of the first, was probably composed shortly after. Part III is an alluvial continuation of an ensemble which was meant to be an open work composed of many texts according to the different compilers of its manuscripts, rather than being a closed work produced in a single school. The style, the textual references and the content of the work seem to point to an Anglo-Norman origin, at least for what concerns its core part.


Manuscript tradition

The Perpendiculum was known among the Italian jurists, however none of its manuscripts comes from Northern Italy. All of them seem to be produced and circulate in religious centres within areas strongly influenced by the Anglo-Norman legal culture (England, France, Sicily and the Crusader states). The largest group of manuscripts seems to originate from the German area, between the Rhine valley and Southern Germany.

The other contents with which the Perpendiculum is accompanied in the codices gives us an idea of the cultural environment in which the text circulated. Many of the manuscripts, in fact, are miscellaneous books containing a majority of texts from the Parisian or Anglo-Norman schools, alongside with a minor presence of Provençal or Bolognese works. These elements not only confirm the geographical origin of the Perpendiculum but reveal also the cultural influences and the interests of its readers, who seem to be much more in contact with the legal production of the Northern decretists rather than that of the Bolognese school.

The text can be found in the following manuscripts:



A. Fiori, ‘Praesumptio violenta o iuris et de iure? Qualche annotazione sul contributo canonistico alla teoria delle presunzioni’, in O. Condorelli and R. Franck (eds.), Einfluss Der Kanonistik Auf Die Europäische Rechtskultur, vol. 1, (Köln, 2009), 75-106.

A. Gouron, ‘Une école de canonistes anglais à Paris. Maître Walter et ses disciples (vers 1170)’, Journal des savants, 1 (2000), 47-72, now in Id., Pionniers du droit occidental au Moyen Âge (Ashgate, 2006), no. VI.

P. Landau, ‘Walter von Coutances und die Anfänge der anglo-normannischen Rechtswissenschaft’, in O. Condorelli (ed.), Panta Rei. Studi dedicati a Manlio Bellomo, vol. 3 (Roma, 2004), 183-204.

A. Lang, ‘Zur Entstehungsgeschichte der Brocardasammlungen’, ZRG Kan. Abt., 31 (1942), 106–41.

A. Lang, ‘Rhetorische Einflüsse auf die Behandlung des Prozesses in der Kanonistik des 12. Jahrhunderts’, in M. Grabmann (ed.), Festschrift Eduard Eichmann zum 70. Geburtstag dargebracht (Paderborn, 1940), 69–97.

R. Motzenbäcker, Die Rechtsvermutung im kanonischen Recht (München, 1958) 93–95.

S. Kuttner, ‘Réflexions sur les brocards des Glossateurs’, in Mélanges Joseph de Ghellinck (Gembloux, 1951), vol. 2, 771–76, 787–88.

S. Kuttner, Repertorium der Kanonistik (1140-1234). Prodromus corporis glossarum (Città del Vaticano, 1937), 241–42.



An edition of part I (Summula de presumptionibus) and a critical index of part II and III is intended to be published for the CLCLCL project, as an appendix to a doctoral thesis on ‘The development of legal texts in late twelfth-century England and Italy’. A transcription and a translation of part I are already available on this site.


Placentinus, De actionum varietatibus (‘Cum essem Mantuae’)

Placentinus, De actionum varietatibus (‘Cum essem Mantuae’)

De actionum varietatibus – alternatively known from its initial words Cum essem Mantuae – is a well-known twelfth-century treatise on legal actions by the Italian lawyer and professor Placentinus (Piacenza, c.1130 – Montpellier, c.1181/82). Placentinus was presumably trained at Bologna, and taught in Mantua, Montpellier, Bologna, and his hometown Piacenza.

Place of production.

In this early work, Placentinus shows already the intellectual and stylistic features that would characterise his activity – a taste for scholastic dialectical methods and the use of a very elegant prose. Considering the incipit of this treatise, several authors (Fitting, Wahrmund) have rightly suggested that Placentinus wrote a first version during his first teaching experience in Mantua. Others (Fowler-Magerl, Gouron) are more cautious on this point, proposing that a second version (if not the first) was concluded shortly after his first experience in the north Italian city – i.e. at Montpellier, where Placentinus moved about 1160. Gouron rests his argument on the heavy influence on this work of the Provençal law school – Geraudus – and the Italian professor Rogerius, active in Provence in the mid-twelfth century.

Date of composition.

All authors concur that the treatise is an early work in Placentinus’ career. There are few doubts that he started writing the treatise when he was a professor at Mantua, before 1160. The possible criteria for dating it are: (1) the time of his arrival in Montpellier; (2) the date of completion of his magnum opus, the Summa Codicis, concluded after De actionum varietatibus; (3) the treatise’s reliance on the Summa Trecensis and the Summa Codicis by Rogerius. Considering these criteria, most authors suggest a date about 1160, or 1165 at the latest.


Manuscript tradition



On Placentinus:

E. Cortese, ‘Piacentino’, in Dizionario biografico dei giuristi italiani, vol. II (Bologna, 2013), 1568-1571.

E. Conte, Piacentino, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, vol. 83 (2015).

On the treatise:

F. Savigny, Geschichte des romischen Rechts im Mittelalter (Heidelberg, 1834 et s.), vol. IV, 244ff.

H. Fitting, Juristische Schriften des fruheren Mittelalters (Halle 1876), 58ff.

H. Kantorowicz and W. W. Buckland, Studies in the Glossators of the Roman Law (Cambridge, 1938; re-edited by Peter Weimar, Aalen, 1969), 11-35.

L. Fowler-Magerl, Ordo iudiciorum vel ordo iudiciarius (Frankfurt, 1984), 172-74.

A. Gouron, ‘Placentin et la somme “cum essem Mantuae’, in Id., Droit et coutumes en France au XIIe et XIIIe siècle (Aldershot, 1993), no. II.



G. Pescatore, Placentini Summa “Cum essem Mantuae” sive de accionum varietatibus (Greifswald, 1897) [Beiträge zur mittelalterlichen Rechtsgeschichte. 5]

L. Wahrmund, Die summa “de actionum varietatibus” des Placentinus (Innsbruck 1925) [quellen zur Geschichte des romisch-kanonischen Prozesses im Mittelalter IV 3].


Pseudo-Ulpianus, De Edendo

Pseudo-Ulpianus, De Edendo

De edendo is a treatise organised into titles and based entirely on Roman law, with only one reference to the Decretum as part of its treatment of appeal. De edendo is a precise and thorough work, directed towards the legist familiar with Civil law and conversant, if not experienced, in the ecclesiastical courts. Ordines following De edendo added almost no additional Civil law content, focusing instead on the incorporation of Canon law texts.


Time and place of composition

De edendo was written between 1140-1170 and circulated from England to Normandy and then to northern Italy. The text was possibly written under the influence of the legist Vacarius and his circle at Oxford, as suggested by Charles Duggan and Peter Stein. There is less support now for this connection, although Vacarius likely had some effect on the work.[1] Peter Landau argued that De edendo should be dated to 1157-59 and that it was produced in Durham, and André Gouron argued for 1165 and Scotland, respectively.[2] Fowler-Magerl suggested that the single mention of the Decretum and description of appeal indicates that the ordo was written for clerics. Brasington has noted that based on the praise of advocates, one might think the author was a litigator and not a judge, and the treatise perhaps a response to the growing need for legal professionals trained in Civil and Canon law.[3] Brasington’s translation of the treatise also notes similarities with “Olim,” composed slightly later, although Gouron sees only slight structural similarities.[4] Martin Brett and Bruce O’Brien have both analysed an addition to De edendo found in two manuscripts, London BL Add. 49366, otherwise known as the Holkham Lawbook, and BL Harley 2355. The addition treats the distinction between civil and ecclesiastical procedure, a valuable extension to a treatise based heavily on Roman law and, as suggested by O’Brien, a particularly important point in the age of Thomas Becket.[5] The addition, taken from Justinian’s Code, states that stating that criminous clerks were to be stripped of their ecclesiastical rank, then handed over to the civil courts.[6] This likely dates this version, if not this witness, to before the time Becket’s murder in 1170.


Manuscript tradition:



B. Brasington, Order in the Court: Medieval Procedural Treatises in Translation (Leiden, 2016), 112-71.

E. Caillemer, Le droit civil dans les provinces anglo-normandes au xii siècle (Paris, 1883), 170-74.

M. Conrat, Geschichte der Quellen und Literatur des römischen Rechts im frühen Mittelalter (Leipzig, 1891; repr. Aalen, 1963), 615.

A. Duggan, ‘Roman, Canon and Common Law in Twelfth-Century England: The Council of Northampton (1164) Re-Examined’, Historical Research 83, no. 221 (May 19, 2009), 379–408.

G. Hänel (ed.), Incerti auctoris ordo iudiciorum (Leipzig, 1838).

L. Fowler-Magerl, Ordo iudiciorum vel ordo iudiciarius. Begriff und Literaturgattung (Frankfurt a.M., 1984), 65-73.

A. Gouron, ‘Usage de l’hypothese et resconstruction historique de la science civilistique au xii siècle’, Academia nazionale dei lincei. Atti de convegni Licei III (Roma, 1994), 91-106.

A. Gouron, ‘Testis Unus, Testis Nullus dans la doctrine juridique du xii siècle’, in Andries Welkenhuysen et al. (eds.), Medieval Antiquity (Louvain, 1995), 83-94.

A. Gouron, “Canon Law in Parisian Circles before Stephen of Tournai’s Summa,” Proccedings San Diego, 497-503.

A. Gouron, ‘L’auteur du “Brachylogus”: Un compagnon de Thomas Becket en exil?’ in Domenico Maffei et al. (eds.), A Ennio Cortese, vol. 2 (Roma, 2001), 163-73.

A. Gouron, ‘Un traité écossais du douzième siècle: L’ordo Ulpianus de Edendo’, Tijdschrift Voor Rechtsgeschiedenis 78 (2010), 1–14.

S. Kuttner and E. Rathbone. ‘Anglo-Norman Canonists of the Twelfth Century: An Introductory Study’, Traditio 7 (1949), 279–358.

P. Landau, ‘The Origin of Civil Procedure: Treatises in Durham during the Twelfth Century0, in Canon Law, Religion, and Politics: Liber Amicorum Robert Somerville (Washington D.C., 2012), 136–43.

P. Legendre, ‘Un noveau manuscript du Pseudo Ulpien de Edendo’, Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis 24 (1956), 61-67.

B. O’Brien, ‘An English Book of Laws from the Time of Glanvill’, in Jonathan Rose, Christopher Whittick, and Susanne Jenks (eds.), Laws, Lawyers and Texts: Studies in Medieval Legal History in Honour of Paul Brand (Medieval Law and Its Practice) (Leiden, 2012), 51–68.

P. Stein, ‘The Vacarian School’, Journal of Legal History 13, no. 1 (01 1992), 23–31.

L. A. Warköni, Ordo iudiciorum cum glossa sub finem Saeculi XIII e Codice Trevirensi (Ghent, 1833).


[1] Anne J. Duggan, “Roman, Canon and Common Law in Twelfth-Century England: The Council of Northampton (1164) Re-Examined,” Historical Research 83, no. 221 (May 19, 2009): 379–408; Stein, “The Vacarian School”; Bruce Brasington, Order in the Court (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 124, n. 73; Kuttner and Rathbone, “Anglo-Norman Canonists of the Twelfth Century,” 287; Francis De Zulueta and Selden Society, eds., The Liber Pauperum of Vacarius, Publications of the Selden Society, v. 44 (London: Quaritch, 1927), 65–73; Fowler-Magerl, “Ordines Iudiciarii” and “Libelli de Ordine Iudiciorum,” 30; 61; 94.

[2] Peter Landau, “The Origin of Civil Procedure: Treatises in Durham during the Twelfth Century,” in Canon Law, Religion, and Politics: Liber Amicorum Robert Somerville, 2012, 136–43; Andre Gouron, “Traite Ecossais Du Douzieme Siecle: L’ordo Ulpianus de Edendo,” Tijdschrift Voor Rechtsgeschiedenis, no. Issue 1 and 2 (2010): 1–14.

[3] Brasington, Order in the Court, 123–25.

[4] Brasington, 129. He also notes that Gilbert Foliot made use of this treatise in his correspondence.

André Gouron, “Qui a Écrit l’ordo ‘Olim Edebatur’?,” Initium 8 (2003): 73.

[5] Brasington, Order in the Court, 129, nn. 99–100.

[6] C. 1.3.33 and Nov. 83. For a very interesting discussion of De edendo in the Holkham Lawbook, see Bruce O’Brien, “An English Book of Laws from the Time of Glanvill,” in Laws, Lawyers and Texts: Studies in Medieval Legal History in Honour of Paul Brand, ed. Jonathan Rose, Christopher Whittick, and Susanne Jenks, Medieval Law and Its Practice (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 51–68.


Quaestiones de iuris subtilitatibus

Quaestiones de iuris subtilitatibus

The Quaestiones de iuris subtilitatibus are an extremely peculiar product of the twelfth-century legal culture. The work is a collection of quaestiones legitimae in form of dialogue. The text is characterised by a striking elegant use of the Latin language and by a strong rhetorical predilection for allegories and figures of speech. The work seems to be textually connected with the Summa Trecensis and the production of the Provençal jurists.


Time and place of composition

Initially attributed by Fitting to Irnerius, the paternity and origin of the Quaestiones has been long debated by historiography, and commonly believed to be written in Italy. In a study on this subject, André Gouron dated the Quaestiones c. 1159-1168 and attributed the work to the Anglo-Norman school, and more precisely to a certain Alberic de Monte: a master in dialectics active in Paris between 1145 and 1160.


Manuscript tradition


All the three surviving manuscripts of the Quaestiones derive from a common archetype and have a French origin, which testifies the transalpine circulation of this work.



H. Fitting, Die Quaestiones de juris subtilitatibus des Irnerius (Berlin, 1894).

G. Zanetti, Questiones de iuris subtilitatibus (Firenze, 1958).



E. Cortese, Il diritto nelle storia medievale (Roma, 1995), vol. 2, 111-116.

A. Gouron, ‘Les «Quaestiones de juris subtilitatibus»: une oeuvre du maître parisien Albéric’, Révue Historique 618 (2001), 343-362.

H. Kantorowicz and W. W. Buckland, Studies in the Glossators of the Roman Law (Cambridge, 1938; re-edited by Peter Weimar, Aalen, 1969), 182-205.

U. Nicolini, ‘Leggendo le Questiones de iuris subtilitatibus’, Ius 28 (1981), 27-119.

G. Zanetti, ‘La determinazione cronologica delle Questiones de iuris subtilitatibus’, Rivista di storia del diritto italiano 25 (1951), 71f.

G. Zanetti, ‘Ancora sulla patria e sulla paternità delle Questiones de iuris subtilitatibus’, Archivio Giuridico 40 (1951), 120-125.