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Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Medieval and Early Modern Jurists

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Report No. r404

Laurentius de Ridolfis

1362–63 – 1443

 

Alternative Names

Ridolfi; Lorenzo (LC); Laurentius de Rudolphis; Lorenzo Ridolfi

 

Biography/Description

Born 1362 or 1363 to a patrician Florentine family, Laurentius studied canon law in Bologna under Laurentius de Pinu and Johannes de Fantutiis. Admitted doctor of canon law in September 1387, he lectured in Bologna for a year before returning to Florence in 1388, where he was appointed ordinarius of canon law in the university. He was among the most active members of the College of Doctors of Law, the body responsible for presenting and examining doctoral candidates, sponsoring some fifteen candidates for the doctorate in canon law between 1392 and 1438. Among the most influential figures in Florentine politics in the early fifteenth century, he was drawn Standard-Bearer of Justice, the Republic’s highest office, four times and regularly held other public offices. Often employed as a diplomat, he participated in embassies to various popes, the kings of Naples, the emperor Robert of Bavaria (who awarded him the title of Count Palatine), and other Italian city-states, such as Perugia, Milan, Venice and Genoa. In 1409, he represented the Republic at the Council of Pisa and as ambassador to Alexander V. Laurentius is best known for his treatise on usury (Tractatus de usuris). Completed in February 1404, it was the most influential study of usury and interest in the later Middle Ages. It also represented a decisive contribution to the controversies over usury and interest on government debt funds, and for this reason has attracted the attention of several modern historians. A leading Florentine jurist, Laurentius managed a busy law practice, and several hundred of his consilia for private clients, law courts and public agencies survive. Laurentius died in 1443 as governor of Pistoia.

This entry and bibliography was written by Lawrin Armstrong.

 

Text(s)

 
No. 1

Tractatus de usuris.

 
No. 2

Consilia.

 
No. 3

Repertorium iuris.

 
No. 4

Zibaldone.

 
No. 5

Oratio. An oratio for an embassy to Boniface IX in 1392.

 

Text(s) – Manuscripts

No. 1

Tractatus de usuris.

 
Manuscript

Augsburg, Staats- u. Stadtbibl. 20 Cod. Aug. 388, fol. 6r–87r.

 
 

Città del Vaticano, BAV Ottob. lat. 3335, fol. i–iv, 1r–120v

 
 

Città del Vaticano, BAV Pal. lat. 788, fol. 61r–115r

 
 

Città del Vaticano, BAV Ross. 685, fol. 272r–315v (Incomplete. Lacks Part 3.)

 
 

Città del Vaticano, BAV Ross. 1038, fol. 308r–368r

 
 

Firenze, BN Fondo principale II.III.366, fol. 1r–101v (An autograph, formerly Magliab. XXIX. 184.)

 
 

Firenze, BN Conv. Soppr. 1721, fol. 1r–102v

 
 

Firenze, Bibl. Laurenz. Conv. Soppr. 264, fol. 56r–118v

 
 

Lucca, Bibl. Cap. Felin. 311, fol. 193r–249v

 
 

München, BSB Clm 7580, fol. 216r–293r (Incomplete. Lacks Part 3, Question 5, Questio montis)

 
 

München, BSB Clm 26669, fol. 1r–84v (Incomplete. Lacks Part 3, Question 5, Questio montis)

 
 

Padova, Bibl. Civica C.M. 391

 
 

Paris, BN nouv.acq. lat. 1802, fol. 1r–88r

 
 

Venezia, Bibl. dei Redentoristi 13, fol. 1r–96v

 
 

Wien, ÖNB 4139, fol. 71r–172r

 
No. 2

Consilia.

 
Manuscript

Firenze, BN Fondo principale II.III.370 (Formerly Magliab. XXIX.185. Vol. III of consilia.)

 
 

Firenze, BN Magliab. XXIX.172 (Several consilia)

 
 

Firenze, BN Panciatichiano 138 (Two consilia)

 
 

Firenze, Arch. Stato Arte dei Giudice 670 (Sixteen consilia)

 
 

Firenze, Arch. Stato Pareri dei Savi 2 (Seven consilia)

 
 

Firenze, Arch. Stato Pareri dei Savi 3 (Three consilia)

 
 

Messina, Univ. Messina, Bibl. Fac. Giur. A.1 (Consilia 1388–1398)

 
No. 3

Repertorium iuris.

 
Manuscript

Firenze, BN Magliab. XXIX.171

 
No. 4

Zibaldone.

 
Manuscript

Firenze, BN Panciatichiano 147

 
No. 5

Oratio.

 
Manuscript

Firenze, BN Magliab. VI.134, fol. 10v–13v

 

Text(s) – Early Printed Editions

No. 1

Tractatus de usuris.

 
Early Printed Editions

Tractatus de usuris. Venezia, 1472.

 
 

Tractatus de usuris. Pavia, 1490. (Hain 13958) Incomplete, lacks Part III.

 
 

Tractatus de usuris. Pescia, 1490. (Hain 13959)

 
 

Tractatus universi iuris. Venezia: F. Ziletti, 1584, 7.15r-50r.

 
 

Tractatus universi iuris: De usuris. Venezia: F. Ziletti, 1584, 7.15ra.

 

Text(s) – Modern Editions

No. 1

Tractatus de usuris.

 
Modern Editions

Edited in , ed. L. Armstrong Usury and Public Debt in Early Renaissance Florence: Lorenzo Ridolfi on the monte comune (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Studies and texts 144; Toronto 2003) (Edits Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Fondo principale II, III, 366, fols. 5r–23r, 73r–87v, 101v.)

 
No. 2

Consilia.

 
Modern Editions

Ed. F. Martino in ‘Un consilium inedito in materia di usura di Lorenzo Ridolfi,’, Il diritto ecclesiastico, 80 (1969) 339–52 (Prints consilium n.95 (de usuris), Messina, Università di Messina, Biblioteca della Facoltà di giurisprudenza, A.1, fols. 257r–260v.)

 

Literature

S. Szuromi, ‘Ecclesiastical Conception on Interest and Usury in the Canon Law Sources and Literature up to the 13th Century’, RIDC, 24 (2013) 327–46.

L. Armstrong, ‘La politica dell’usura nella Firenze del primo Rinascimento’, Politiche del Credito: Investimento, Consumo, Solidarietà, G. Boschiero and B. Molina, ed. (Collana del Centro Studi sui Lombardi no. 5; Asti 2004) 68–83.

L. Armstrong, Usury and Public Debt in Early Renaissance Florence: Lorenzo Ridolfi on the ‘Monte Comune’ (Texts and Studies 144; Toronto 2003).

G. Ceccarelli, ‘Risky Business: Theological and Canonical Thought on Insurance from the Thirteenth to the Seventeenth century’, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 31 (2001) 608–658.

J. Davies, Florence and its University During the Early Renaissance (Education and Society in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, 8; Leiden 1998).

L. Armstrong, ‘The Tractatus de materia montis of Lorenzo Ridolfi’, Recent Doctoral Research in Economic History: D–Session Proceedings, Twelfth International Economic History Congress, C. Núñez, ed. (Madrid 1998) 15–23.

V. Colli, ‘I libri consiliorum: Note sulla formazione e diffusione delle raccolte di consilia dei giuristi dei secoli XIV–XV’, Consilia im späten Mittelalter: Zum historischen Aussagewert einer Quellengattung, I. Baumgärtner, ed. (Sigmaringen 1995) 225–35.

U. Santarelli, ‘“Maxima fuit Florentiae altercatio”: l’usura e i montes’, Banchi pubblici, banchi privati e monti di pietà nell’Europa preindustriale: Amministrazione, tecniche operative e ruoli economici (Atti della società ligure di storia patria, n.s. 31, f. 1; Genova 1991) 81–94.

F. Martino, ‘Umanisti, giuristi, uomini di stato a Firenze fra Trecento e Quattrocento: Lorenzo d’Antonio Ridolfii’, Studi in memoria di Mario Condorelli (Milano 1988) 3.179–200.

J. Kirshner, ‘Reading Bernardino’s Sermon on the Public Debt’, Atti del simposio internazionale caterinianobernardiniano: Siena, 17–20 aprile 1980, D. Maffei and P. Nardi, ed. (Siena 1982) 547–622.

E. Conti, Le ‘Consulte’ e ‘Pratiche’ della Repubblica fiorentina nel Quattrocento (Università degli studi di Firenze, Fonti di storia medievale e umanistica 115; Firenze 1981) 1.1401.

W. Trusen, ‘Die Anfänge öffentlicher Banken und das Zinsproblem: Kontroversen im Spätmittelalter’, Recht und Wirtschaft in Geschichte und Gegenwart: Festschrift für Johannes Bärmann zum 70. Geburtstag, M. Lutter, H. Kolhosser, and W. Trusen, ed. (München 1979) 113–31. Reprinted in: idem, Gelehrtes Recht im Mittelalter und in der frühen Neuzeit (Goldbach 1997) 509–30.

G. Brucker, The Civic World of Early Renaissance Florence (Princeton 1977).

V. da Bisticci and A. Greco, Le vite (Firenze 1976) 2.131–137.

A. Spicciani, ‘Un dibattito teologico sulle “prestanze” nella Firenze del XIV secolo,’, 49 (1975) 157–165. Reprinted in: idem, Capitale e interesse tra mercatura e povertà nei teologi e canonisti dei secoli XIII–XV (Rome 1990).

F. Martino, Un consilium inedito in materia di usura di Lorenzo Ridolfi,’A, 80 (1969) 335–52.

Thomas Diplovatatius, Liber de claris iuris consultis, F. Schulz, H. Kantorowicz, and G. Rabotti, ed. (SG 10; 1968) 342–43.

L. Martines, Lawyers and Statecraft in Renaissance Florence (Princeton 1968).

J. Noonan, The Scholastic Analysis of Usury (Cambridge, MA 1957).

G. Carocci, La Famiglia dei Ridolfi di Piazza: Notizie storiche e genealogiche (Firenze 1889).

J. von Schulte, QL 2.393–94.

C. Guasti, Commissioni di Rinaldo degli Albizzi per il comune di Firenze (Firenze 1867–1873).