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

Ames Projects

Click on image for more information



Report No. a306




Alternative Names

Cardinal Laborans; Cardinal Laborante; Laborans Pontormo



Born at an unknown date at Pontormo near Florence, studied in France and received the cardinalate in 1173. Besides several theological treatises, he spent twenty years (1162–82) working on his Compilatio decretorum, which aimed at re-arranging Gratian’s Decretum in a more orderly fashion. Gratian’s material, plus a minor amount of other legal and biblical (!) texts (with the conciliar statutes of Lateran III [1179] added in the margin), was re-distributed into six books and subdivided into ‘partes’ and titles. Like Gratian, Laborans presented the single chapters along with his own comment. He also provided cross-references. Although Laborans transformed Gratian into a much better organized text, the Decretum was by this time too well established to be replaced by the new compilation. In fact, it received no attention at all among contemporaries. Laborans died c.1190.



No. 1

Compilatio decretorum.

No. 2

Theological works.


Text(s) – Manuscripts

No. 1

Compilatio decretorum.


Città del Vaticano, BAV C.110, fol. 1–243v


Text(s) – Modern Editions

No. 1

Compilatio decretorum.

Modern Editions

In preparation by N. Martin in


Discussed and extracts printed by A. Theiner in ‘Disquisitio critica in decretorum compilationem quam M. Laborans S.R.E. cardinalis adornavit’, Disquisitiones criticae (Roma 1836) 399–447.

No. 2

Theological works.

Modern Editions

Laborantis cardinalis opuscula, ed. A. Landgraf (Florilegium patristicum 32; Bonn 1932) (based on the same Vatican manuscript).



K. Pennington, ‘The Decretists: The Italian School’, in The History of Medieval Canon Law in the Classical Period, 1140–1234: From Gratian to the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX, W. Hartmann and K. Pennington, ed. (History of Medieval Canon Law 6; Washington DC 2008) 124–25.

N. Martin, ‘Laborans, Kardinal (ca. 1120/25–1189/90)’, in LMA (1991) 5.1601–1602.

T. Lenherr, Die Exkommunikations– und Depositionsgewalt der Häretiker bei Gratian und den Dekretisten bis zur Glossa ordinaria des Johannes Teutonicus (Münchener Theologische Studien 3, Kan. Abt. 42; München 1987) 211–14.

N. Martin, ‘Die “Compilatio decretorum” des Kardinal Laborans’, in Proceedings Berkeley (MIC C–7; Città del Vaticano 1985) 125–39.

N. Martin, ‘“Mare uitreum” (Neapel, Bibl. Naz. MS. XII A 27): Eine Quelle der “Compilatio decretorum” des Kardinal Laborans’, BMCL, 15 (1985) 51–59.

H. Müller, Der Anteil der Laien an der Bischofswahl: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Kanonistik von Gratian bis Gregor IX. (Kanonistische Studien und Texte 29; Amsterdam 1977) 90–92.

R. Weigand, Die Naturrechtslehre der Legisten und Dekretisten von Irnerius bis Accursius und von Gratian bis Johannes Teutonicus (Münchener Theologische Studien 3, Kan. Abt. 26; München 1967) 177–179, 369, 396.

L. Ott, ‘Laborans’, in LThK2 (1961) 720.

R. Naz, ‘Laborans’, in DDC (1957) 6.297–98.

S. Kuttner, Repertorium 267–68.

J. von Schulte, QL 1.148–49.