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Legal history: western Europe & Scandinavia: Legal scholarship

Legal scholarship & university teaching: glossators, commentators, jurists

Predominately concerned with Roman (civil) law (based on the Corpus iuris civilis) & canon (church) law

A shared curriculum and a common language for instruction (Latin), encouraged not just student but also academic mobility (peregrinatio academica). The pan-European academic community was another factor behind the first "ius commune."

mos italicus/scholasticism - terms used to describe the first tradition of (legal) scholarship in medieval universities.
The work concentrated on the elaboration of the Roman texts.

The first wave are often referred to as Glossators (because their thoughts have been preserved on the margins or between the lines of the source texts). This stage of scholarship reached a peak in the Glossa ordinaria compiled by Accursius. Postglossators is sometimes used scholars working after Accursius.

The Commentators - such as Bartolus of Saxoferrato (1313-1357) and Baldus degli Ubaldi (c1327-1400) - moved towards a slightly freer interpretation of the text, and towards application in contemporary situations.

Volumes in series called Corpus glossatorum juris civilis are at Roman 555 C822


The teaching of leading scholars contributed to the ius commune of received opinion and understanding. The first names were based in the established Italian centres of learning: Irnerius. the Quattuor doctores (Bulgarus, Martinus Gosia, Hugo de Porta Ravennate, Iacobus de Porta Ravennate),Accursius, Bartolus of Sassoferrato, Baldus de Ubaldis

The various entries in OIELH will help to start you off with bibliographies.

Subject searches to try in SOLO:
Law -- Study and teaching -- Europe -- History
Universities and colleges -- Europe -- History
Learning and scholarship -- History -- Medieval, 500-1500
Books and reading -- Europe -- History

General histories of the early European universities