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Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Medieval and Early Modern Jurists

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Report No. a560

Vacarius

c.1115/20–c.1200

 

Alternative Names

Vacarius (LC); Master Vacarius; Magister Vacarius; Vacario

 

Biography/Description

An Italian jurist and theologian, received his training as a civilian at Bologna during the early 1140s. He then went to England and served in the household of various ecclesiastical dignitaries, such as the archbishops of Canterbury (c.1145) and York (from c.1159). He was also active as papal judge-delegate in English affairs. His literary production, however, turned out to be most important and lasting. Through his Liber pauperum (c.1170), a textbook that epitomized the Digest and the Codex for the use of English students, he provided the basis for scientific legal studies in England. He later added an Apparatus of glosses to it, derived largely from the teachings of the four Bolognese doctors. Vacarius also produced several theological treatises, De assumpto homine and a Liber contra multiplices et varios errores, the latter of which betrays a curious disregard for recent canonistic doctrine. Vacarius instead preferred to draw his legal arguments from civilian sources. In a similar fashion, his Summa de matrimonio, which one would expect to be a topic of canon law, instead discusses marriage law mostly on the basis of Roman legal concepts. The only decretist work consulted by Vacarius seems to have been the Summa of Rufinus (c.1165).

 

Text(s)

 
No. 1

Summa de matrimonio.

 
No. 2

Liber pauperum.

 
No. 3

Liber contra multiplices et varios errores.

 
No. 4

De assumpto homine.

 

Text(s) – Modern Editions

No. 1

Summa de matrimonio.

 
Modern Editions

Ed. F. Maitland in ‘Magistri Vacarii Summa de matrimonio’, Law Quarterly Review, 13 (1897) 270–87.

 
No. 2

Liber pauperum.

 
Modern Editions

The Liber pauperum of Vacarius, ed. F. de Zulueta (London 1927).

 
No. 3

Liber contra multiplices et varios errores.

 
Modern Editions

L’eresia di Ugo Speroni nella confutazione del maestro Vacario, ed. I. da Milano (Studi e testi 115; Città del Vaticano 1945).

 
No. 4

De assumpto homine.

 
Modern Editions

Ed. N. Häring in ‘The tractatus de assumpto homine by magister Vacarius’, Mediaeval studies, 21 (1959) 147–75.

 

Literature

R. Domingo, ‘Vacario’, in Juristas universales 1.356–8.

L. Loschiavo, ‘Vacario’, in DGI (2013) 2.2001–2003.

J. Taliadoros, Law and Theology in Twelfth-Century England: The Works of Master Vacarius: 1115/20–c.1200) (Disputatio 10; Turnhout 2006).

M. Guareschi, ‘Gli incontri di un canonico legista: magister Vacarius teologo e polemista’, Rivista di storia e letteratura religiosa, 36 (2000) 381–414.

M. Guareschi, ‘Fra “canones” e “leges”: “Magister Vacarius” e il matrimonio’, MEFR, 111 (1999) 105–39.

H. Lange, Glossatoren 246–54.

P. Stein, ‘The Vacarian School’, Journal of Legal History, 13 (1992) 23–31.

P. Stein, The Teaching of Roman Law in England around 1200 (Selden Society Supplementary Series 8; London 1990).

L. Boyle, ‘Vacarius’, in DMA (1989) 12.343–44.

L. Boyle, ‘The Beginnings of Legal Studies at Oxford’, Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 14 (1983) 107–31.

S. Kuttner, ‘Retractiones VIII’, in Gratian and the Schools of Law (London 1983) 26–27.

L. Mayali, ‘Johannes Bassianus – Nachfolger des Vacarius in England?’, in ZRG Rom Abt. (1982) 99.317–25.

S. Kuttner, ‘Retractationes X’, in The History of Ideas and Doctrines of Canon Law in the Middle Ages (London 1980) 19.

R. Southern, ‘Master Vacarius and the Beginning of an English Academic Tradition’, in Essays Presented to R.W. Hunt (Oxford 1976) 257–86.

P. Stein, ‘Vacarius and the Civil Law’, in Church and Government in the Middle Ages: Essays for C.R. Cheney, C. Brooke, ed. (Cambridge 1976) 119–37.

R. Turner, ‘Roman Law in England Before the Time of Bracton’, Journal of British Studies, 15 (1975) 1–3.

J. Barton, Roman Law in England (Ius Romanum Medii Aevi 5.13a; Milano 1971).

J. Brundage, Medieval Canon Law and the Crusader (Madison WI 1969) 172.

E. Rathbone, ‘Roman Law in the Anglo–Norman Realm’, in Collectanea Stephan Kuttner (SG 11; Roma 1967) 253–55, 257–58.

S. Kuttner, ‘Anglo-Norman Canonists of the Twelfth Century’, Traditio, 7 (1949/51) 286–88.

W. Senior, ‘Roman Law Manuscripts in England’, Law Quarterly Review, 47 (1931) 337–44.

H. Kantorowicz, ‘Kritische Studien zur Quellen– und Literatur–geschichte des römisches Recht im Mittelalter’, ZRG Rom. Abt., 49 (1929) 51–53, 63–73.

H. Hazeltine, ‘Vacarius as Glossator and Teacher’, Law Quarterly Review, 44 (1928) 344–52.

F. von Savigny, Geschichte 4.411–43.