Manuscripta juridica

[Principal Investigator: G. R. Dolezalek]






Vaticano, BAV, Vat. lat. 14094


Century: XV in. usque ad XVI.1, et XIX

Number of folios: I et 543

Material: chart.

Height: 300

Width: 230

Region and Place of Production: Italia (Roma, Toscana)

Scribe(s) / Possessor(s):

  • Jacobus de Fulchis (fol. 337-339) (Scribe)
  • Marcellus Crescentius, auditor Rotae Romanae (mortuus a.1552)(?), see fol. 117 (Possessor)
  • Camillus Balleoneus (Perusinus), auditor Rotae Romanae 1518 ss. (mortuus a.1532)(?), see fol. 486v (Possessor)
  • Johannes Staphilaeus (Dalmatinus), auditor Rotae Romanae 1510 vel ante (mortuus a.1528)(?) see fol. 406 and 417 (Possessor)
  • Giuseppe and Lodovico Lancellotti donated this MS to the Vatican Library in 1937 (Possessor)
  • Antonius Trivultius (Mediolanensis), auditor Rotae Romanae 1505 vel 1507 ss. (mortuus a.1522)(?), see fol. 140, 480 (Possessor)

Cover: Binding sXVI in parchment.</p> <p> This is almost entirely a collection of court papers: Consilia, informationes iuris, and contingent materials - very often with clear indications that a pertinent law case pended before the Rota Romana, in the early decades of the 16th century.</p> <p> The bookbinding makes it difficult to trace which leaves belong to which other leaves. I shall explain this. Most items were in origin penned on loose bifolia, maximally measuring 30 by 23 cm. Thus if one bifolium is laid open, it is a single sheet of maximally 46 x 30 cm, with a fold in the middle. The bookbinder merged such sheets into fascicles of four or five or more bifolia. For instance, if the bookbinder took four bifolia from four different law cases and formed from them a fascicle of eight leaves, this interrupted each item’s text as follows: item 1 (first half), item 2 (first half), item 3 (first half), item 4 (first half), then the bookbinder’s middle thread, thereafter item 4 (other half), item 3 (other half), item 2 (other half), item 1 (other half). This can easily confuse readers.</p> <p> FOLIATION: current numbering in pencil, 1-543, on lower right corner. Obsolete old numbering in ink, 1-518, on upper right corner. Old number 1 corresponds to current number 9, and old 518 corresponds to current 540.</p> <p> I came to know MS Vat. lat. 14094 in 1974 in Berkeley when I worked there with microfilms in Stephan Kuttner's project to catalogue juridical MSS of the Vatican Library. I took notes of conspicuous items in this MS and told other persons about them, but only in 2011 could I see the original MS in the Vatican Library – and I was even conceded the special privilege to cautiously peruse this MS despite its bad state of conservation. Later, in 2014, two magnetic tapes of 1990 from Stephan Kuttner’s halted project became available to me. So I could in addition see and use the description of Vat. lat. 14094 which other members of the one-time Berkeley team had found out on this MS after I had left.</p> <p> EXTRANEOUS COMPONENT n. 1</p> <p> Folios 331-403 are older than the other parts of the MS. They came from a previously separate volume, containing materials of law suits from the year 1382 onward to the mid of the fifteenth century, probably collected in Florence or not far from there. The folios bear watermarks from paper mills in Tuscany, among which are Briquet nos. 6088, 6443, 5377 (variant), 8347, 8928, 5363, and 3165.</p> <p> The old volume had in origin had 211 folios, at least. This can be seen from an index on fol. 330r. It still refers to the old volume’s foliation 1-211 and provides short abstracts of their contents. Not all the folios from the old volume were taken over into Vat. lat. 14094. The first hundred folios went elsewhere. They had contained the ‘Allegationes’ by Lapus de Castiglione (senior). Furthermore, while many items mentioned in the index to the old volume can be found back in present MS Vat. lat. 14094, these have not always maintained their original sequence of arrangement.</p> <p> EXTRANEOUS COMPONENT n. 2</p> <p> Next I want to present here the section f. 291-307. It contains seven Informationes iuris, submitted in cases before an arbiter, here styled as 'Consultor'. The last item ends with a clause which states the arbiter's name: Philippus de Corsinis – a renowned jurist from Florence.</p> <p> EXTRANEOUS COMPONENT n. 3</p> <p> Folios 260 and 272 contain pleadings by a trial lawyer who defends a client suspect of having abetted a rebellious plot in the castle of Scorcola, in Trieste.</p> <p> EXTRANEOUS COMPONENT n. 4.</p> <p> Folios 248r-254v transmit a criticising commentary to a Sanctio pragmatica on church prebends and bishops’ appointments in Spain, enacted in 1542 by Emperor Charles V, here acting in his function as King of Spain. This item was in the 19th century translated into Italian, on fol. 5r-6r.</p> <p> MAIN COMPONENT OF THE MS.: LITIGATION « IN ROTA »</p> <p> The remainder of ms. Vat. lat. 14094 consists of papers submitted in law cases before the Rota Romana in the early 16th century: namely 26 Consilia and circa 60 Informationes iuris. These materials must be welcomed as a valuable source for legal historians, and also for historians in general, because they cover a span of time which is not sufficiently covered by the Rota Archive in the Archivio Segreto Vaticano. There the submissions from advocates and proctors fill the two series 'Informationes' and 'Positiones'. The earliest documents among 'Informationes' date from 1626 onward, and those among 'Positiones' date earliest from 1627 onward.</p> <p> The ms. does not show which person(s) brought the collection of papers together. It shows, however, that the only interest of the collector(s) lay in juridical argumentation – thus the view point of jurists. They did not bother to collect representations of facts of a case, nor protocols of witness hearings, nor copies of documentary evidence submitted. All that would be a concern for 'procuratores' (proctors) and would be left to the individual case. The collector(s), in contrast, collected juridical debates, to use them as a sort of quarry from where to pick quotations of legal literature which could be useful in future cases of the kind.</p> <p> At least the last collector(s) must have been Auditor(s) [= judge(s)] of the Rota Romana, since many items have annotations which must have been penned by a judge. This shows that the papers were thus gathered in a study of a judge – and not in a bureau of an advocate.</p> <p> While it is clear that the papers in ms. Vat. lat. 14094 were gathered by a Rota judge (or several Rota judges), it is not possible to specify any particular judge(s). Some Informationes iuris bear an address: to Antonius Trivultius, or Johannes Staphileus, or Camillus Balleoneus, or Marcellus Crescentius. However, submissions « in Rota » were not made to only one judge. All 'Informationes iuris' were submitted in several copies, because several judges would partake in deliberations on the case. Although each incoming case was commissioned to one specific Auditor (who thus became the 'Auditor ponens' of the case, so that all submissions were addressed to him), this Auditor ponens was held to consult colleagues for advice before he rendered any judgment. The judges thus formed deliberation groups, called 'turnus'. Thus, when ms. Vat. lat. contains an Informatio iuris addressed to the Auditor Trivultius, for instance, and this paper has annotations from the hand of a judge, this does not prove that judge Trivultius in person penned this annotation. It could even well have been penned by a colleague who sat in the same turnus which debated the cases pending before judge Trivultius.</p> <p> Usually an Auditor ponens submitted his cases to four colleagues (called the "corresponsales”), to deliberate thus in a turnus of five. Only the vote of the corresponsales counted. If they voted two against two, then two more judges would joined them, to deliberate in a group of seven. If in this larger group the corresponsales would vote three against three, the matter went to the full round of all twelve judges. When a particularly important juridical point needed to be debated, the Dean could even from the outset convoke all twelve judges for that debate.</p> <p>

Catalogue(s): Bignami Odier / Ruysschaert, Bibliothèque 278 n.74; Kristeller, Iter II 349;

Literature quoting this MS: Dolezalek, 1974, and original seen in 2011; Thomas Brix, Ein unbekanntes Rechtsgutachten von Felinus Sandeus über die Auslegung des Testaments des Juristen Johannes de Lignano (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Vat. lat. 14094, fol. 88r-95v). Berlin: Duncker und Humblot 2016

Analyzed by: Dolezalek*; Berkeley workgroup 'Juridical MSS in the Vatican Library'

Microfilm(s): MsF Frankfurt MPI 1861; Univ. München LWI (Prof. Lepsius); Berkeley, Robbins Collection;