Four out of six

I should have noted in the earlier message that these were not just any six references, but included three or four of the most problematic in the book, which I’d not left to last through choice or neglect, but because of various reasons to do with specific editions of texts, etc.

I was able to locate Innocent IV’s 1245 letter to Friedrich II fairly easily, once I found a work that included his correspondence (the Acta imperii inedita has it). This is the place where he suggests that the Roman Emperor Constantine exercised his power illegitimately until he donated the Western Empire to the Church. Of course, the ‘Donation’ is a forged document, but Innocent IV probably didn’t know that, and at the time both emperors and popes acted as if it was legitimate. I also eventually found Innocent’s claim that “lordship, dominium, and jurisdiction [domino… dominium & iurisdictionem]” can legitimately exist among infidels, even as he justifies the crusades. It is buried deep in his Super Libros Quinque Decretalium. I was also able to find Boethius’ outline of the aspirations of his translation project, and the claim that when it was complete Aristotle and Plato could be reconciled without contradiction – it is in his commentary on Aristotle’s Peri Hermeneias. I also tracked down a quote from Remigio Dei Girolami, “De Bono Communi” that I’d forgotten still needed sourcing. There is an Italian book on him that includes the Latin text in an appendix.

Other things proved more difficult. I did eventually find Baldus’s commentary on Codex I, 2, 12 in his Iurisconsulti Omnium suae tempestatis celeberrimi.  The very peculiar numeration and the lack of page numbers in the standard reference style made this a little challenging. About a year ago when I made 99% of the references to this work I knew my way round this, but I’d largely forgotten the tricks.

But after that my run of luck ran out. I know that the Hostiensis text I am looking for is in his commentary on Gregory IX’s Decretales, and I’ve found the passage in the Decretales that he is commenting on. But I can’t find the specific passage in his commentary – the Summa. I know it’s a commentary on Book III, Chapter xxx, section 26 of the Decretales, but this is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I tried in Seattle and again today in London. The edition I’m looking at today has 302 folios (i.e. 604 pages of roughly A3 size), but no section numeration. There are no paragraph breaks in the sections. I’ve only seen the passage quoted in English, so I’m having to hazard a guess of what it would be in Latin, and then locate it in a book that is 450 years old – very fragile pages and an archaic script, in perhaps the equivalent of an 8 point size font. I may have to admit defeat here.

Finally I’m trying to locate a specific consilia (a legal opinion) by Bartolus of Sassoferrato. It is discussed by Peter Riesenberg in his “Civism and Roman Law in Fourteenth-Century Italian Society”, in Explorations in Economic History, Vol 7, No 1-2, 1969, pp. 237-254, p. 243. He gives a reference to Consilia, Venice, 1576, Vol II, cons. 29. But the volume of the Consilia that I have been using, in the 1588-89 Basel edition of the Bartolus Opera quae nunc extant omnia, has different numbering. (I was hoping to check that yet again today but the BL can’t find the correct volume.) I can’t find a library that has the 1576 Venice edition, and this may even be a mistake. There is a 1575 Venice edition of his works, but  the Consilia, Quaestiones et Tractatus is in Volume 10 of that, and not in two or more volumes, and has only 182 pages. The nearest library that has that edition is the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris. I’d go if I thought it would actually be the right edition to find the consilia I’m looking for. I’ve tried other editions of the consilia, but no luck (it’s not simply that there is different arrangement and ordering between editions, but not all consilia are in all editions). Riesenberg describes the case as concerning “the assault by a foreigner from Arezzo named Azolus upon one who claimed Florentine citizenship, a certain Petrus”. Bartolus is interested less in the facts of the case but which law applies, a question of jurisdiction. I may simply have to reference Riesenberg and take his word for the issue at stake.

So, four out of six – or five out of seven, including the one I’d forgotten. I thought that two would be my limit for the day, so I’ve achieved more than expected. But instead of the last two being ones that I thought I could discover with more work, I’ve pretty much run them into dead-ends. Given that there are currently over 3000 endnotes to the manuscript, to have two that are cited from other works rather than located in the source is a pretty good percentage. But it’s so frustratingly close to being 100%.

This entry was posted in Baldus de Ubaldis, Bartolus of Sassoferrato, The Birth of Territory. Bookmark the permalink.

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