Bartolus de Saxoferrato

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bartolus de Saxoferrato.

Bartolus de Saxoferrato , Italian Bartolo da Sassoferrato (* probably late 1313 in the village of Venatura near - today part of - Sassoferrato , Marche region ; † July 13, 1357 in Perugia ) was one of the most important law teachers of the Middle Ages . He belonged to the direction of commentators . The sentence nemo bonus iurista nisi bartolista is characteristic of its reputation among the later jurists of the ius commune . - Nobody is a good lawyer if he is not a Bartolist (follower of Bartolus).

life and work

Bartolus began his studies in Perugia , then moved to Bologna , where he received his doctorate in 1334. From 1339 he taught himself, first in Pisa, then in Perugia. There he was made an honorary citizen in 1348. Emperor Charles IV appointed him to his council in 1355. Bartolus was probably very friendly to the emperor: He also wrote a glossary on the laws of Emperor Henry VII , Karl's grandfather. In 1313 Heinrich had enacted laws against crimes against majesty ( crimen laesae maiestatis ) and had these included as extravagants in the Corpus Iuris Civilis - the last laws to be inserted into the corpus of late antiquity . In Perugia Baldus de Ubaldis and his brothers Angelus and Peter became his students. Bartolus died at the age of 43, who already enjoyed a great reputation during his lifetime.

Despite his short life, Bartolus left a very extensive work that not only includes commentaries on all parts of the Corpus Iuris Civilis except the institutions , but also many treatises on individual issues (including a famous treatise on river law: De fluminibus seu Tyberiadis ) and over 300 Expert opinions (consultations). He developed many new legal ideas, such as the retroactive effect of the condition and approaches to international private and criminal law. In doing so, it was no longer as closely attached to the given text as the Glossator Accursius , but methodically freed itself to that extent.

He has also dealt with questions of constitutional law. His work De regimine civitatis in particular belongs to the history of political theories and popular sovereignty . It also stands for the first merger of Northern Italian city rights with Roman law to form a unit, so that modern approaches of legal practical relevance emerged.

It is unclear whether the well-known work Quaestio inter Virginem Mariam et diabolum is a real script by Bartolus.


“It was not something completely different what he did compared to his predecessors, but he did it better than most of them” ( Lit .: Savigny, p. 157). Bartolus did not invent a new method of jurisprudence, but he gained great fame for the quality of his commentaries, which tied on the work of the southern French jurists and his teacher Cino da Pistoia , and became the head of the school of commentators and the “prince of jurists” ( principe de 'giureconsulti ).

His fame is not only by the aforementioned saying nemo bonus iurista nisi bartol ista occupies, but also by the fact that in Spain 1427 / 1433 and 1499 and in Portugal in 1446 laws were enacted, according to which no works could be cited by lawyers in court after Bartolus had lived and - if there was no legal provision - the concept of Bartolus should have the force of law.

The fact that Bartolus was at times regarded as the greatest lawyer par excellence is also shown by the fact that in the Italian theater the name Bartolo became common for the type of (stiff and pedantic) lawyer (figure of the dottore in the Commedia dell'arte ). In Figaro's wedding of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and in Gioachino Rossini's opera The Barber of Seville there is the figure of such a Dr. Bartolo.

The reference to Bartolus and mos italicus was corrupted as "where the Bartel gets the must".


Opera omnia , 1581 (Milano, Fondazione Mansutti )


  • Friedrich Carl von Savigny : History of Roman Law in the Middle Ages. Vol. 6. 1850. Reprint Bad Homburg 1961. pp. 137-184.
  • Maria Ada Benedetto: Bartolo da Sassoferrato . In: Novissimo Digesto Italiano. Vol. 2. Torino 1958, ISBN 88-02-01797-2 . Pp. 279-280.
  • Bartolo da Sassoferrato. Studi e Documenti per il VI centenario . 2 vols. Milano 1962.
  • Manlio Bellomo: History of a Man: Bartolus of Sassoferrato and Modern European Jurisprudence. In: Yearbook of the Historical College 1995, pp. 31–44 ( digitized version ).
  • Axel Krauss: Bartolus de Saxoferrato . In: Gerd Kleinheyer, Jan Schröder (ed.): German and European lawyers from nine centuries . 4th edition. Heidelberg 1996, ISBN 3-8252-0578-9 . Pp. 43-47.
  • Susanne Lepsius : Bartolus de Sassoferrato. in: Compendium auctorum Latinorum Medii Aevi II, 1, ed. v. Società internazionale per lo studio del Medioevo Latino (SISMEL). Florence: Edizioni del Galluzzo 2004, pp. 101–156.
  • Susanne Lepsius: Bartolus von Sassoferrato. in: Concise Dictionary of German Legal History, 2nd ed., Vol. 1, 2nd edition, Sp. 450–453.
  • Susanne Lepsius: The judge and the witnesses: an investigation based on the Tractatus testimoniorum of Bartolus von Sassoferrato; with edition , (at the same time: University, dissertation, Frankfurt am Main 2000), Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 2003, ISBN 3-465-03240-3 .
  • Sebastian Krafzik: The appointment of rulers from the point of view of Bartolus von Sassoferrato . In: Journal on European History of Law. No. 1/2, 2010, pp. 39-43, ISSN  2042-6402 .

Web links

Commons : Bartolus de Saxoferrato  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. a b 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 . Pp. 317-320 (319 f.).
  2. Ulrich Meier: Man and Citizen: the city in the thinking of late medieval theologians, philosophers and lawyers. Munich 1994, p. 200 ; John Watts: The Making of Polities: Europe, 1300-1500. Cambridge 2009, pp. 257 f ; Francesco Maiolo: Medieval Sovereignty: Marsilius of Padua and Bartolus of Saxoferrato. Delft 2007, p. 2