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Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Medieval and Early Modern Jurists

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Report No. t158

Franciscus Casonus

c. 1500–1564

 

Alternative Names

Casoni, Francesco

 

Biography/Description

F. came from Oderzo (hence the toponym ‘Opiterginus’) in the Veneto. He earned a law degree in utroque at Padova in 1527, and after a brief period as an advocate, served in numerous places in the Veneto as an assesor or judge, particularly in criminal cases. His De indiciis et tormentis tractatus duo enjoyed some publishing success. The work, among other points, offers speculations about the prediction of criminality from physiognomy. F. also required much evidence before the judge could proceed to torture. His work attracted the attention of the Enlightenment and Romantic critics of the criminal process of the ius commune, particularly in their discussion of the Colonna Infame (1630) of Milano. At the end of his career, C. was the chief criminal officer in Brescia, where he published another work: De arte et ratione criminum . . . dialogus (1561).

Source: S. Parini, in DGI.

TUI database

 

Text(s)

 
No. 1

De indiciis et tormentis tractatus duo. Quibus accesserunt doctissima quaedam eiusdem [authoris] de accusationibus et inquisitionibus singularia, 1557.

 
No. 2

De arte, ac ratione in criminum causis disserendi, et de investigandis, et futuris, et tam publicis, quam privatis negotiis, dialogus, 1561.

 

Text(s) – Early Printed Editions

No. 1

De indiciis et tormentis tractatus duo. Quibus accesserunt doctissima quaedam eiusdem [authoris] de accusationibus et inquisitionibus singularia, 1557.

 
Early Printed Editions

Francisci Casoni De indicijs, et tormentis tractatus duo. Quibus accesserunt doctissima quaedam de accusationibus & inquisitionibus singularia. Omnia nunc primum in lucem edita. Venezia: Cominus de Tridino, 1557 (online). ‘al segno della Fontana’. Library catalogues that list this ed. as 1552 are mistaken.

 
 

Tractatus universi iuris: Tractatus maleficii premeditati secundum oratores, ius divinum et civile. Venezia: F. Ziletti, 1584, 11.1.281ra (online). This is the ‘De indiciis’ of the Tractatus duo.

 
 

Tractatus universi iuris: Tractatus de tormentis, secundum oratores, ius divinum et civile. Venezia: F. Ziletti, 1584, 11.1.311ra (online). This is the ‘De tormentis’ of the Tractatus duo.

 
 

Tractatus universi iuris: Singularia quaestionum crimi[nalium] sub proprios titulos, digesta, et redacta. Venezia: F. Ziletti, 1584, 11.1.455rb (online). This is the ‘De accusationibus et inquisitionibus’ of the Tractatus duo.

 
 

De indiciis et tormentis [etc.]. Köln: Ioannes de Wickede, 1594.

 
 

De indiciis et tormentis [etc.]. Köln: Balthasar Clipeus, 1604. This is the last printing of the entire work of which we are aware. Johann Eymerich Rosbach is said to have inserted the entire ‘De tormentis’ as title V of his Practica criminalis (Frankfurt 1610).

 
No. 2

De arte, ac ratione in criminum causis disserendi, et de investigandis, et futuris, et tam publicis, quam privatis negotiis, dialogus, 1561.

 
Early Printed Editions

De arte, ac ratione in criminum causis disserendi, et de inuestigandis, et futuris, et tam publicis, quam priuatis negotiis, dialogus. Brescia: Ludovicus Britannicus, 1561. Not in WorldCat. Italian edit16 lists only three local libraries that hold this item.

 

Literature

S. Parini, ‘Casoni, Francesco (Oderzo? – 1564)’, in DGI (2013) 1.477–8.

A. Pastore, ‘Suicidi, omicidi, veleni. Note di storia giudiziaria e medicina legale’, in Studi storici dedicati a Orazio Cancila, A. Giuffrida, F. D’Avenia, and D. Palermo, ed. (Palermo 2011) 874 n. 33 (online).

J. Martin, ‘Tortured Testimonies’, Acta Histriae, 19 (2011) 379 n. 7 (online).

L. Garlati Guigni, Inseguendo la verità: Processo penale giustizia nel ristretto della pratica criminale per lo Stato di Milano (Milano 1999) passim.

P. Fiorelli, La tortura giudiziaria nel diritto comune (Milano 1953) 1.152.

G. Liruti, Notizie delle vite ed opere scritte da letterati del Friuli (Venezia 1830) 4.240–1 (online). (The fourth volume of Liruti’s Notizie was not published until 50 years after his death, although the printer says that he did it from Liruti’s manuscript. Its account of Casoni is detailed and seemingly accurate; S. Perini seems to have relied on it. It cites a work of Giambattista Calligari, Antichità di Oderzo as if it were in manuscript, and we have been unable to find any printed edtion of it. Perini fills out the title, Compendio delle Antichità di Oderzo et sue ruine raccolta da diversi autori et da scritture pubce, as if she had seen the manuscript, but neither of her archival citations look as if they are to this work.)

A. Albrizzi, Memorie storiche di Oderzo (Venezia 1743; repr. Oderzo 2009) 10 (online). (Bibliographical references only.)

G. Cinelli, Biblioteca volante, ed. D. Sancassani, 2d ed. (Venezia 1735) 2.98–99 (online). (Bibliographical references only.)