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

Ames Projects

Click on image for more information

 

 

Report No. t221

Matthaeus de Afflictis

1447 X 1450 – 1529

 

Alternative Names

Matteo D’Afflitto

 

Biography/Description

M. was the son of Marino of a well-known family originally from Scala (prov. Salerno) on the Amalfi coast. The branch to which M. belonged had been in Napoli since the early 15th century and produced a series of high magistrates and officers of the crown, including Leonardo who was the grand chancellor of King Ladislao. M. studied law under Antonio d’Alessandro. In 1468, he received his doctorate in civil law and, somewhat after, that in canon law. M. attracted the attention of the Aragonese monarchy early in his career. Although he never held a professorship, he lectured in civil, royal, and feudal law, for over twenty years, for which he received a royal stipend. In 1488, while M. was simply a practicing lawyer, the future King Alfonso [II] invited him to offer his opinion on a case before the Regio Consiglio. In 1489 he was appointed judge of the Gran Corte della Vicaria, and in 1491 he became president of the Gran Camera della Sommaria. During the French occupation in 1495, M. remained in the Sommaria, faithful to the house of Aragon. He was named to the Regio Consiglio when Ferdinando II was restored to power in that year. During the reign of Louis XII of France, M. was removed from the Consiglio and the Sommaria in 1501. In this year or the next, he managed to obtain the noble Seggio di Nido (Sedile di Nilo).

When the Spanish displaced the French in the Regno in 1504, M. was restored to his positions on the Consiglio and the Sommaria. But in 1506, Ferdinand the Catholic dismissed him from his judicial offices and also expelled him from the Seggio di Nido, for reasons that remain obscure. He was appointed to a magistracy in Vicaria in 1512. He probably served on the Sommaria during at least some of the last years of life, but he was never restored to the Consiglio, and he seems to have devoted most of his time to giving consilia and to writing. His death date is unclear; he was certainly dead by April of 1529.

M’s scholarly production was large, and not all of his known works, notably his consilia, have yet been found, and some survive only in manuscript. Between 1475 and 1480, he wrote a commentary on the feudal law while he was lecturing on that topic. His work addressed the Aragonese monarchy's need to distinguish between feudal and royal jurisdiction, between fiefdom and office, because the monarchy was focused on the latter. The commentary reflects the monarchy's anti-feudal ideology. M. is known to have revised the work around 1505. The first known printing, though not necessarily the first printing, is that of Venezia, 1543–1547.

M’s Tractatus de jure prothomiseos (TUI 1584, t. 17) probably dates from the same period. The term, derived from Greek ‘protimesis’ describes an institution similar to the French retrait lignagier or the German Einstandrecht. The work is an extended commentary on a constitution of Frederick II on the topic. It was published in Venezia in 1499 along with the treatise on the same topic by Baldus, which follows it in TUI 1584. The work was reprinted a number of times in the 16th century.

While M. was on the Consiglio, he compiled a well-known collection of its Decisiones (1st ed. 1509), which was published with the help of his cousin Michele, another high magistrate, and many times reprinted, frequently with decisions of the same court by other reporters.

M. began a commentary to the Liber Augustalis of Frederick II in 1510 and completed it in 1514. The first-known edition was printed in Trino (prov. Vercelli) in 1517. This writing linked M. inextricably to Frederick II and was intended to supplant previous commentaries on the Liber augustalis. Vallone quotes a description of it as ‘the last great voice of the Guelph regalism of the Angevin tradition and the Aragonese connection’. M. embedded his commentary in the editio princeps of the Liber augustalis of 1475, or, perhaps, the second edition of 1506, collating it with manuscripts. Almost all the printed editions of the Liber augustalis after his time use M’s summaries of the titles of the work.

M’s most important work that remains in manuscript is the repetitio, Super c. unico de natura successionis feudi (L.F. 2.50), dated 1520, which is preserved in Palermo, BM 2 Qq.A.10.)

(There are a few more biographical details in the TUI 1584 database. We list M’s published works in chronological order from Vallone’s article in DBI and refer the reader to his arguments there for the chronology. The bibliography is confined to works published since 1900, and we refer the reader to the extensive bibliographies in DBI and DGI of works that antedate 1900.)

Source: G. Vallone, in DGI; G. Vallone in DBI (vol. 31 [1985]).

TUI database

 

Text(s)

 
No. 01

Commentaria super tribus libris feudorum, 1475 X 1480, rev. ca. 1505. First known ed. (Venezia 1543–47).

 
No. 02

Tractatus de iure prothomiseos sive de iure congrui, 1475 X 1477. First known ed. (Venezia 1496).

 
No. 03

Decisiones Sacri Regii Consilii Neapolitani, 1509. First known ed. (Napoli 1509). 35 known editions until that of (Napoli 1719), many with decisions by others than M.

 
No. 04

In utriusque Siciliae Neapolisque Sanctiones et Constitutiones novissima Praelectio, 1510 X 1513. Introduction to the Liber Augustalis. First known ed. (Trini 1517).

 
No. 05

Brevis enumeratio eorum privilegiorum quae sibi Fiscus sumit. A elaboration, based on M’s commentary on the LF, first published in G. Omfalio, De officio et potestate Principis (Basel 1550) 113–119.

 
No. 06

Annotationes alle Consuetudines napoletane. Brief notes, citing the Decisiones, not published until D. A. De Marinis, Iuris allegationes insignium iurisconsultorum (Venezia 1731) 586–589 (1st ed. probably 1675).

 
No. 07

Arbitral award. Given while M. was on the Consiglio, published in S. Rovito, Luculenta commentaria in singulas . . . pragmaticas (Napoli 1718) 401 s.

 

Text(s) – Early Printed Editions

No. 02

Tractatus de iure prothomiseos sive de iure congrui, 1475 X 1477.

 
Early Printed Editions

Tractatus universi iuris: De iure prothomiseos. Venezia: F. Ziletti, 1584, 17.2ra.

 

Literature

G. Vallone, ‘D’Afflito, Matteo’, in DGI (2013) 2.624-627.

E. Cortese, ‘Lo Studio di Napoli e la scienza giuridica dei·tempi aragonesi’, in Le carte aragonesi: Atti del convegno Ravello, 3–4 ottobre 2002, M. Santoro, ed. (Atti. Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento Meridionale 2; Pisa 2005) 21.

V. Colli, ‘Incunabola operum Baldi’, Ius Commune, 26 (1996) 299.

G. Vallone, ‘Evoluzione giuridica della feudalità’, in Storia del Mezzogiorno, G. Galasso and R. Romeo, ed. (Napoli 1993) 9.97, 98.

G. Vallone, ‘Il pensiero giuridico meridionale’, in Storia del Mezzogiorno, G. Galasso and R. Romeo, ed. (Napoli 1991) 10.10–11.

D. Maffei, ‘Di un inedito “De modo in iure studendi” di Diomede Mariconda’, RIDC (1991) 8 n. 2.

Handbuch der Quellen und Literatur der neueren europäischen Privatrechtsgeschichte, H. Coing, ed., 3 vols. (München 1973–88) 2.247, 252, 373, et al.

G. Vallone, Le “decisiones” di Matteo D'Afflitto (Lecce 1988) esp. 20–22, 133 s.

A. Vallone, ‘Le citazioni dantesche negli scrittori legali’, Letture classensi, 16 (1987) 13–14.

D. Maffei, Prospero Rendella giureconsulto e storiografo. Con note su altri giuristi meridionali (Monopoli 1987) 50–51. Reprinted in: idem, Studi di storia delle università e della letteratura giuridica (Goldbach 1995) 405–467, with corrections 546–547.

G. Vallone, Iurisdictio domini. Introduzione a Matteo d’Afflitto ed alla cultura giuridica meridionale tra Quattro e Cinquecento (Lecce 1985) esp. 139–160.

G. Vallone, Croce Gramsci e la provincia pensante (Lecce 1985) index s.n.

G. Vallone, ‘Alciato, Andrea’, in DBI (1985) 31. (online).

O. Zecchino, Le Assise di Ruggiero II (Napoli 1980) 68–69.

F. P. De Stefano, Romani, langobardi, e normanno-franchi nella Puglia (Napoli 1979) 652–657.

A. Romano, Giuristi siciliani dell’età aragonese. Berardo Medico, Guglielmo Perno, Gualtiero Paternò, Pietro Pitrolo (Milano 1979) 165.

P. Colliva, ‘Lo Stato di Federico II’, ASD, 10–11 (1966–7) 33 n. 49.

Jole Mazzolini, Regesto della Cancelleria Aragonese (Napoli 1951) 83.

E. Gentile, La “curia generale” del regno di Carlo I d’Angiò (Roma 1917) 5, 16–18.

T. De Marinis, Nuovi documenti per la storia dello Studio di Napoli (Firenze 1904) 9.