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Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Medieval and Early Modern Jurists

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Report No. t251

Petrus Calefatus

1499–1586

 

Alternative Names

Petrus Calefatus Pisanus; Pietro Calefati

 

Biography/Description

P. was born of a family which had moved from Pisa to Piombino (prov. Livorno) when the Florentines conquered Pisa in 1406. He studied both at Siena and Pisa and earned his doctorate at the latter in 1525, having studied under Filippo Decio, Ormanozzo Deti and Mariano Socini the younger. He took up the position of judge of appeals and of the mercantile court in Lucca in 1527, but ceded that position to a candidate favored by the duke of Urbino. He returned to Piombino where he served as podestà on a number of occasions. In 1530, he went with Jacopo V Appiani, the lord of Piombino, to the coronation of Carlo V at Bologna. The latter named him count palatine and cavaliere aurato in 1537. P. served as auditor of the Sienese Rota in 1541. In 1545, he became a member of the regency council at Piombino for Jacopo VI, whose tutor he became. He served as ambassador both at the imperial court and at that of the Medici.

In 1547, P. appears for the first time as an ordinary professor civil law at Pisa, giving what seem to be repetitiones on Dig. 1.21, Cod. 6.9, Dig. 12.1, and Cod. 2.1. He was a member of the college of jurists at Pisa, and gave many consilia. With the death of his senior colleague at the university, he obtained the chair as first lecturer on civil law in 1555, a position that he held for the rest of his long life. The last document that testifies that he was still alive is dated in June of 1586.

P’s published works all seem to date from the 1560s. They include repetitiones: Enarrationes in aliquot leges Digestorum (Firenze 1564) (included in vol. 1 of Repetitones in varias iuris civilis Leges [Venezia 1608]) and Enarrationes in Rub. C. de edendo (Bologna 1566). 1564 also saw the publication in Lucca of his Speculum verae politicae nobilitatis, an elaboration on the Bartolan distinction between ‘natural’ and ‘political’ nobility. Mazzacane describes this work, which was also translated into Italian, at some length. Both Mazzacane and Tocci date P’s De equestri dignitate et principibus (TUI 1584, t. 18) to 1567 without giving it a place of publication. The first edition that we have found is that of Milano 1581. P. is said to have rendered some 600 consilia, but according to Mazzacane and Tocci the only ones that have been found are those that G. B. Ziletti inserted in his Consilia criminalia (Venezia 1582). The online edition of the ed. 1560 suggests that these are not consilia, but decisions that P. rendered when he was auditor of the Sienese Rota (?1541).

Source: M. Tocci, in DGI. A. Mazzacane, in DBI 16 (1973).

TUI database