Untitled Document
Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Medieval and Early Modern Jurists

Ames Projects

Click on image for more information

 

 

Report No. c015

Johannes Bassianus

2nd half of 12th c.

 

Alternative Names

Giovanni Bassiano; Jean Bassien; Giovanni Bosiano; Giovanni Boxiano

 

Biography/Description

One of the greatest Bolognese jurists of the late twelfth century. Cremona native who studied in Bologna under Bulgarus. Taught first in Mantua and then in Bologna; teacher of several well-known students, including Azo, Karolus de Tocco, and Nicolaus Furiosus. His work is often difficult to detect because of the various forms of his name and sigla and their close relationship to those of the canonist Bazianus. A. Belloni argued that the two men were in fact the same, but most scholars maintain a distinction between the two. A gloss by Accursius would suggest that Bassianus spent some time in England, if Bassianus is intended by ‘Io(hannes) Cremonensis’.

Johannes Bassianus was not as original or stylistic as Placentinus, but he was renowned for his knowledge and analysis. He was especially gifted at analyzing the body of Roman law as a whole and relating different parts to one another. He was also recognized for his ability and knowledge in the liberal arts, perhaps, as Cortese suggests, because he spent many formative years in a city (Mantua) other than in Bologna. His work survived better among later jurists. Only Azo was cited more in Accursius’ Glossa ordinaria. He is known for a rather strict interpretation of the law, but he often expressed the need to consider the intention of the law, or the mens legis, above the mere words of the law, the verba legis. His glosses bear the siglum ‘Jo.’, ‘Jo. B.’, ‘Joh.’, or ‘Jo. cre.’

 

Text(s)

 
No. 01

Glossae ad Corpus iuris ciuilis.

 
No. 02

Lecturae.

 
No. 03

Summa ad Authenticas. Survives only in a version revised by Accursius, so it is difficult to distinguish J.’s work from Accursius’s. The introduction, a Materia Authentici, in contrast appears to be J.’s alone.

 
No. 04

Summa ‘Quicunque uult’. Short, unique piece written to a patron on formalizing legal suits in writing.

 
No. 05

Arbor actionum. Lists almost every kind of legal suit, divided into two categories: civil and praetorian, in the form of a table; possibly formulated early in G.’s career in Mantua.

 
No. 06

Libellus de ordine iudiciorum, c.1167–81. Intended to be a complete treatment of legal procedure, but left incomplete. Includes discussion not only of texts of civil law but also of papal decretals, all by Alexander III. Possibly composed in Mantua. Also known as the Summa de iudiciis.

 
No. 07

Summa de accusationibus, 1185. Also known as the Summula accusationis. Written at someone’s request; deals with the question of under what circumstances a bishop can be accused but does so on the basis of Roman, not canon, law.

 
No. 08

Apparatus de regulis iuris. On Dig. 50.17; built from Bulgarus’s work but independent of the additions to the same work made by Placentinus.

 
No. 09

Distinctiones. His complete collection does not survive, but many individual pieces do.

 
No. 10

Questiones. The quaestio had already been developed among glossators by Bulgarus, but J. took them in a new direction, composing glosses in the form of questions and providing his students with a small collection of them, a practice that Pillius would later imitate. He was the first to create a monographic Summa quaestionum.

 
No. 11

Casus codicis. Not extant but known by the witness of Odofredus; additions to Wilhelmus de Cabriano’s work.

 
No. 12

Consilia.

 
No. 13

Summula ‘Qualiter quis ab appellatione repellatur’, c.1180s. Unconfirmed as J.’s, but two of the three manuscripts attribute the work to a ‘G’.

 
No. 14

Summa Codicis. Mentioned by Odofredus but never found; d’Ablaing believed much of Azo’s Summa derived from a work by J., but recent scholarship has instead affirmed that Azo’s work was predominantly his own. Lange leaves open the possibility that Azo worked from lectures or fragments of a Summa by J., and Cortese finds such a scenario quite likely.

 
No. 15

Summa Institutionum. No summa survives, but many scholars, including Cortese, have supposed that J. must have written one on the Inst. or written significant sections of such a summa, which then lay behind his student Azo’s work.

 
No. 16

Exordium Digestorum. While no complete summa on the Dig. by J. survives (although the one printed with Azo’s works has been ascribed to various authors, including J.), Weimar has affirmed that the introductory material is by J..

 

Text(s) – Manuscripts

No. 01

Glossae ad Corpus iuris ciuilis.

 
Manuscript

c015Txt01c015Txt1Ms1

 

Text(s) – Modern Editions

No. 01

Glossae ad Corpus iuris ciuilis.

 
Modern Editions

Ed. F. von Savigny in Geschichte 4.546–48 (select glosses only).

 
No. 02

Lecturae.

 
Modern Editions

La norma giuridica: spunti teorici nel diritto comune classico, ed. E. Cortese (Milano 1964) 2.404–15 (on select titles only).

 
 

Ed. E. Meijers in ‘Sommes, Lectures et Commentaires (1100 à 1250)’, Atti del Congresso internazionale di diritto Romano: Bologna e Roma 1933 (Pavia 1934) Bologna, 1.247–57 (select pieces on Cod. 1–5 and 6–8 as well as on the Digestum Vetus.).

 
 

Ed. V. Colli in ‘Una lectura di Giovanni Bassiano’, Ius commune, 11 (1984) 50–53 (on Dig. 34.5.13).

 
 

Ed. M. Piccialuti in ‘Lectura del titolo 41,2 attribuite a Giovanni Bassiano’, ASD, 8 (1964) 291–348 (on Dig. 41.2).

 
 

Ed. T. Wallinga in ‘The actio vi bonorum raptorum in the Early Reception of Roman Law’, Ius Romanum-Ius Commune-Ius Hodiernum: Studies in Honor of Eltjo J.H. Schrage, H. Dondorp, ed. (Amsterdam 2010) 412–15 (a single lectura on the Inst.).

 
No. 04

Summa ‘Quicunque uult’.

 
Modern Editions

Ed. F. von Savigny in Geschichte 4.549–55.

 
 

Ed. N. Tamassia and G. Palmieri in ‘Summa ‘Quicunque uult’’, Bibliotheca iuridica medii aevi, II (Bologna 1914) 223–25.

 
 

Quellen zur Geschichte des römisch–kanonischen Prozesses im Mittelalter, ed. L. Wahrmund, 4.2 (Innsbruck 1925; repr. Aalen 1962).

 
No. 05

Arbor actionum.

 
Modern Editions

Arbor actionum pro loco in senatu academico rite obtinendo, ed. A. Brinz (Erlangen 1954) (illustration by Brinz reprinted in Lange, Römisches Recht im Mittelalter, 220–21).

 
No. 06

Libellus de ordine iudiciorum.

 
Modern Editions

Ed. N. Tamassia and G. Palmieri in Libellus de ordine iudiciorumBibliotheca iuridica medii aevi, II (Bologna 1914) 213–48.

 
 

Quellen zur Geschichte des römisch–kanonischen Prozesses im Mittelalter, ed. L. Wahrmund, 4.2 (Innsbruck 1925; repr. Aalen 1962).

 
No. 07

Summa de accusationibus.

 
Modern Editions

Ed. N. Tamassia and G. Palmieri in Summa de accusationibusBibliotheca iuridica medii aevi, II (Bologna 1914) 225–29 (erroneously included as part of J. Bassianus’s Libellus de ordine iudiciorum).

 
No. 08

Apparatus de regulis iuris.

 
Modern Editions

Ed. S. Caprioli in ‘Quem Cuiacius Johanni tribuerat’, ASD, 7 (1963) 131–248.

 
 

De regulis iuris, ed. S. Caprioli and F. Treggiari (Pubblicazioni della Facoltà di giurisprudenza di Perugia 29; Rimini 1983).

 
No. 09

Distinctiones.

 
Modern Editions

Ed. E. Seckel in ‘Die Quaestiones Vindobonenses des Johannes Bassianus’, ZRG Rom. Abt., 55 (1935) 338–44.

 
No. 10

Questiones.

 
Modern Editions

Le questioni civilistiche del secolo XII: Da Bulgaro a Pillio da Medicina e Azzone, ed. A. Belloni (Ius commune Sonderheft 43; Frankfurt a.M. 1989) 82–88.

 
No. 12

Consilia.

 
Modern Editions

Ed. E. Meijers in ‘Les glossateurs et le droit féodal’, TRG, 13 (1934) 129–49. Reprinted in: in Meijers, Études d’histoire du droit (Leiden 1966) 3.261–77, edition at 271–77.

 
 

Ed. M. Piccialuti in ‘Lectura del titolo 41,2 attribuite a Giovanni Bassiano’, ASD, 8 (1964) 295–97 (on whether vassals have possessio civilis or possessio naturalis).

 
 

Ed. E. Cortese in ‘Summa de rescriptis’, La norma giuridica: spunti teorici nel diritto comune classico (Milano 1964) 399–403 (on the legal force of rescripts).

 
 

Ed. A. Belloni in ‘Giovanni Bassiano Consulente,’, Ius commune, 21 (1994) 78–148.

 

Literature

A. Bettetini, ‘Juan Basiano’, in Juristas universales 1.358–9.

E. Cortese, ‘Bassiano (Bosiano, Boxiano), Giovanni’, in DGI (2013) 1.191–93.

T. Wallinga, ‘The actio vi bonorum raptorum in the Early Reception of Roman Law’, in Ius Romanum–Ius Commune–Ius Hodiernum: Studies in Honor of Eltjo J.H. Schrage on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday, H. Dondorp, ed. (Amsterdam 2010) 412–15.

M. Bellomo, Quaestiones in iure civili disputatae: Didattica e prassi colta nel sisterna del diritto comune fra Duecento e Trecento (Fonti per la storia dell’Italia medievale, Antiquitates 31; Roma 2008) passim.

P. Landau, ‘“Cum essem Mantuae”: Notizen zur Rechtsschule von Mantua im 12. Jahrhundert’, in Iuris historia: Liber amicorum Gero Dolezalek, V. Colli and E. Conte, ed. (Berkeley 2008) 127–28.

C. Donahue, ‘Bassianus, that is to say Bazianus?’, RIDC, 14 (2003) 41–82.

E. Cortese, Le grandi linee della storia giuridica medievale (Roma 2000) passim.

H. Lange, Glossatoren 215–26.

A. Gouron, ‘Un juriste bolonais docteur in utroque au XIIe siècle?’, Ius commune, 22 (1995) 17–33. Reprinted in: idem, Juristes et droits savants: Bologne et la France médiévale (Aldershot 2000) no. XIX.

A. Errera, ‘Arbor actionum’: Genere letterario e forma di classificazione delle azioni nella dottrina dei glossatori (Archivio per la Storia del Diritto Medioevale e Moderno 1; Bologna 1995) 229–316.

A. Belloni, ‘Giovanni Bassiano Bononiensis ecclesie canonicus et iuris canonici magister dictus “giudice” e “arbiter”’, Ius commune, 21 (1994) 45–77.

L. Fowler-Magerl, Ordines Iudiciarii and Libelli de Ordine Iudiciorum (From the Middle of the Twelfth to the End of the Fifteenth Century) (Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental 63; Turnhout 1994) 40.

U. Gualazzini, ‘Martino, Giovanni Bassiano, Azzone nella cronaca di Giovanni prete da Cremona (XII)’, RSDI, 66 (1993) 5–50.

A. Gouron, ‘À la convergence des deux droits: Jean Bassien, Bacianus et maître, Jean’, TRG, 59 (1991) 319–32. Reprinted in: idem, Droit et coutume en France au XIIe et XIIIe siècles (Aldershot 1993) no. XVII.

P. Weimar, ‘Johannes Bassianus’, in LMA (1991) 5.556–57.

A. Belloni, ‘Baziano cioè Giovanni Bassiano, Legista e Canonista’, TRG, 57 (1989) 69–85.

A. Belloni, Le questioni civilistiche del secolo XII: da Bulgaro a Pillio da Medicina e Azzone (Studien zur Europäischen Rechtsgeschichte 43; Frankfurt a.M. 1989) 13–16, 225–30.

V. Colli, ‘Una lectura di Giovanni Bassiano: “Dialectica disputatio” ed esposizione didattica nella esegesi di un passo dell’Infortiatum’, Ius commune, 11 (1984) 37–53.

L. Fowler-Magerl, Ordo iudiciorum vel ordo iudiciarius: Begriff und Literaturgattung (Ius commune: Sonderhefte 19; Frankfurt a.M. 1984) 96–104, 108, 177, 244.

L. Mayali, ‘Johannes Bassianus – Nachfolger des Vacarius in Engand?’, ZRG Rom. Abt., 99 (1982) 317–25.

U. Gualazzini, ‘Bassiano’, in DBI (1964) 7.140–42.

M. Piccialuti, ‘Lecturae del titolo D.41.2 attribuite a Giovanni Bassiano’, ASD, 8 (1964) 289–348.

S. Caprioli, ‘Habemus et Johannem’, ASD, 5–6 (1962) 375–85.

A. Vetulani, ‘Libellus accusationis Johannis Bassiani de Cremona’, RHD, 4 (1950) 264–69.

H. Kantorowicz, Studies in the Glossators of the Roman Law: Newly Discovered Writings of the Twelfth Century (Cambridge 1938; repr. Aalen 1969) passim.

E. Meijers, ‘Sommes, lectures et commentaires (1100 à 1250)’, in Atti del Congresso internazionale di diritto romano (Pavia 1934) 237–39, 243–57.

E. Meijers, ‘Les glossateurs et le droit féodal’, TRG, 13 (1934) 261–63. Reprinted in: idem, Études d’histoire du droit, ed. R. Feenstra and H.F.W. Fischer (Leiden 1959) 3.261–63.

F. von Savigny, Geschichte 4.289–311.