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Some interests in legal history

Apart from the general information on legal history you might find it interesting to read something about my own interests in legal history. My research and activities concern the following subjects:

As a last item some of my own publications. To my other historical interests belong for instance the city and diocese of Utrecht, and the Dominican Order.

Nicolaus Everardi


Nicolaus Everardi (in Dutch Nicolaas Everaerts) (1462/1463-1532), a lawyer from Grypskerke near Middelburg in Zealand, presided the Court of Holland in The Hague (1510-1528) and the Great Council at Malines (1528-1532). Earlier he had been the ecclesiastical judge (official) for the bishop of Cambrai and a professor at Louvain University. In 1516 he published a manual on juridical argumentation, the "Topicorum sive de locis legalibus liber" (Louvain: Thierry Martens). This book run through many reprints until the mid-seventeenth century. In 1554 a collection of 247 of his consilia appeared under the title  "Responsa sive consilia Domini Nicolai Everardi de Middelburgo..." (Louvain: Sassen and Birckmann). Here an unedited consilium of him. Everardi presented more or less systematically the medieval doctrine on juridical argumentation, but he made it also useful for students and legal practicioners. 

Literature on Everardi

Everardi   Consilia   Decretal collections   Lawyers   My publications

Medieval juridical advice: the consilia genre


Medieval juridical advice, most times called consilia, have my great interest. As a historian they attract me: in them the medieval legal doctrine is put into actual use to solve legal problems that stem from questions in medieval society. Often they offer a fascinating and sometimes the only window on it. Elsewhere on this site there is a bit more on the background of consilia. For the Low Countries, too, these kind of consilia survive in the archives. 

Literature on medieval legal consilia (a selection)

Everardi   Consilia   Decretal collections   Lawyers   My publications

The decretal collections of the twelfth century


The collections of decretals from the twelfth century form a subject in the study of medieval canon law that holds also my attention. Decretals, papal judgments in letter form on cases of ecclesiastical law, have an intricate and complicated transmission before one finds them collected into the great papal collections such as the Liber Extra of Gregory IX in 1234 and the Liber Sextus of Boniface VIII in 1298. The early collections of individuals with such decretals form a difficult but rewarding field of research, for which the Institute of Medieval Canon Law, founded in 1954 by Stephan Kuttner, is a very important research institute. Elsewhere on my site there is an example of a decretal from such an early collection.

Literature on twelfth-century decretal collections

Everardi   Consilia   Decretal collections   Lawyers   My publications

Late medieval lawyers


Among the late medieval lawyers I concentrate on Ludovicus Pontanus de Roma (1409-1439) and Nicolaus de Tudeschis (1386-1445). Pontanus had a varied career in his short life, and he produced many works, among them hundreds of consilia, of which I give an example. My article on him provides a lot of information on him. De Tudeschis is understandably much more famous than Pontanus : both have teached at Siena and both were present at the Council of Basel. De Tudeschis was abbot of a Benedictine monastery in Sicily, and in the end archbishop of Palermo. I have also written about Giacomo Alvarotti and Baldus de Ubaldis.

Literature on Nicolaus de Tudeschis

See for Pontanus the massive study by Thomas Woelki, Lodovico Pontano (ca. 1409–1439). Eine Juristenkarriere an Universität, Fürstenhof, Kurie und Konzil (Leiden, etc., 2011).

Everardi   Consilia   Decretal collections   Lawyers   My publications

Some of my own publications

On my blog you will find more short articles and notices which I have written since December 2009.

Everardi   Consilia   Decretal collections   Lawyers   My publications


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