Baldus de Ubaldis

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Baldus de Ubaldis

Baldus de Ubaldis it. Baldo degli Ubaldi (* probably October 2, 1327 in Perugia , † April 28, 1400 in Pavia ) was an Italian legal scholar and, after Bartolus de Saxoferrato, the most important representative of the commentary school .


Baldus de Ubaldis as a university teacher, illustration from the title page of the edition of Baldus' Commentary on the Digestum vetus, Lyon 1549.

Baldus came from a noble family in Perugia. His two brothers Angelus and Petrus were also lawyers. It is probably due to a confusion with the brother Petrus de Ubaldis when Baldus is sometimes incorrectly referred to as Petrus Baldus de Ubaldis . He called himself Baldus de Perusio .

There is uncertainty about his date of birth, but the year 1327 is usually assumed (see, for example, FC von Savigny, Geschichte des Röm. Rechts, vol. 6, pp. 208 ff.). Little is known about his studies and the beginning of his academic career. In any case, the famous Bartolus de Saxoferrato was one of his teachers. From 1347 at the latest, Baldus taught as a professor at the universities of Pisa, Perugia, Padua and Pavia. In addition to his teaching activities, Baldus was also practically active. He wrote expert opinions (consultations) on specific legal questions, worked as a lawyer, as a judge and as an ambassador to his hometown of Perugia.

Baldus died in 1400 - allegedly of rabies , which he is said to have contracted from a bite from his lap dog.

Among the pupils of Baldus were Paulus de Castro (Paulus Castrensis; † 1436 or 1441) and Petrus Belforte, who later became Pope Gregory XI.


Consiliorum, siue responsorum , 1575
In usus feudorum commentaria , 1580

Baldus no longer “stuck” as much as the glossators did to the literal translations of the Justinian legal texts, but wrote comments. This applies to all parts of the Corpus Iuris Civilis . He was not only concerned with Roman law , but also commented on texts of canon law and feudal law . A commentary on the first three books of Liber Extra has come down to us. The commentary on the Libri Feudorum , a collection of Lombard feudal law, is one of Baldus' most successful works.

In addition, Baldus wrote over 3000 expert opinions, of which over 2500 are contained in a printed collection. There are also numerous treatises on individual questions.

  • De syndicatu officialium
  • De duobus fratribus
  • De significatione verborum
  • De pace Constantiae
  • De feudis
  • Summula respiciens facta mercatorum .
  • Commentaria in digestum vetus , 1549.
  • Consiliorum sive responsorum , 1575.
  • In usus feudorum commentaria ( la ) 1580.


The philosophical education of Baldus and his inclination to theoretical considerations are always emphasized. However, this peculiarity earned him not only the praise that he was the "philosophical head of the medieval jurists", but also the rather reproachful mention of his "somewhat speculative disposition".

Baldus made significant contributions to the most varied areas of law, in particular commercial law, but also criminal law and public law issues. More recently, legal historians have also taken the point of view that the focus of the development on the prohibition of retroactive effects is to be found in the area of ​​medieval canon law , especially in Baldus. Its influence on the development of the ius commune is considerable. Baldus' works were widely printed and used well into the 19th century.

His portrait was later featured on all diploma certificates from the University of Perugia.



  1. Uwe Wesel : History of the law. From the early forms to the present . 3rd revised and expanded edition. Beck, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-406-47543-4 . Marg. 216.
  2. Lit .: Lange, p. 31
  3. Lit .: Weimar, Col. 286
  4. Harald Siems : Comments on the development of retroactive bans in: Römische Jurisprudenz - Dogmatik, Tradition, Reception / Festschrift for Detlef Liebs on his 75th birthday, ed. by Karlheinz Muscheler , Duncker & Humblot, Berlin (= Freiburger Rechtsgeschichtliche Abhandlungen. New series, volume 63), pp. 591–622 (here: 592).

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