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Report No. a309

Laurentius Hispanus

fl. 1200–48


Alternative Names

Laurentius, Hispanus (LC); Lawrence of Spain; Laurent d’Espagne



Taught canon law at Bologna (c.1200–1214); archdeacon of Orense (1214–1218); bishop of Orense from 1218 to his death in 1248. Laurentius was an important and innovative legal thinker whose writings betray a lively, sarcastic wit. Laurentius wrote two influential works, the Glossa Palatina on Gratian’s Decretum, and an apparatus of glosses on Compilatio tertia. Laurentius’ glosses from these works were cited occasionally in the Glossa Ordinaria to the Decretum and extensively in the Glossa Ordinaria to the Decretals of Gregory IX, as well as in the works of later canonists. In fact, a revision of Johannes Teutonicus’ Glossa Ordinaria on the Decretum, called the ‘Laurentiustype’, was produced in the mid-thirteenth century which incorporated much material added from Laurentius which Johannes had not used. And at the end of the thirteenth century, the canonist Guido de Baysio incorporated a great deal of Laurentian material into his enormous Decretum-commentary, the Rosarium.

Laurentius also wrote glosses to Compilatio prima which can only be found in the apparatus of Tancred. In addition to these works, Stickler has demonstrated that Paris, B.N. MS lat. 15393 contains an independent reportatio of Laurentius lectures on the Decretum written by someone who heard them.

Laurentius’ numerous references to Azo and Bernardus Compostellanus suggest that these two were among his teachers. An early work, a Distinctiones Decretorum, shows the influence of Ricardus Anglicus. Tancred and perhaps Sinnibaldo Fieschi (Innocent IV) were his most important students.



No. 1

Distinctiones decretorum. In Monte Cassino Bibl. Abbaziale 313 pp. 69–84; Laurentius’ authorship remains doubtful.

No. 2

Tractatus de penitentia. Laurentius wrote a large number of glosses on the De penitentia many of which he gathered together into a self-standing apparatus. This work circulated commonly with the Glossa Palatina and with other Decretum apparatus. García y García counted over two-hundred and fifty manuscripts containing Laurentius’s glosses on the de penitentia. Unfortunately, these collections of glosses do not conform to clear recensions. It may be that a large number of glosses which Laurentius presumably left out of his apparatus or wrote later on were added to it piecemeal by canonists over many years, making for numerous sets of glosses conforming to no apparent development. See García, Laurentius Hispanus.

No. 3

Glossa Palatina, 1210–18. A large number of single glosses on Gratian’s Decretum. Written in Bologna, revised, but never completed. The Glossa Palatina, which quotes many glosses from Bernardus Compostellanus, Ricardus, Huguccio, Sylvester and others, was almost certainly compiled by Laurentius. Alfons Stickler produced an intricate argument establishing Laurentius’ authorship, the central point of which is that Glossa Palatina, despite the massive number of his glosses which it contains, has no sigla at all for Laurentius, but many sigla for the other canonists that are quoted. Only Laurentius’ authorship of the work could account for this.

No. 4

Glosses on Compilatio prima and secunda. See Tancred, Apparatus in Compilationem primam et secundam.

No. 5

Apparatus on Compilatio tertia, 1210–16.

No. 6

Reportatio of Laurentius’s lectures on the Decretum.


Text(s) – Manuscripts

No. 3

Glossa Palatina, 1210–18.


Primitive Version


Arras, BM 500


München, BSB Clm 28174


Standard Version


Antwerpen, Mus. Plantin-Moretus M.13


Boulogne-sur-mer, BM 118


Cambridge, Trinity Coll. O.10.2 [James 1454]


Città del Vaticano, BAV Pal. lat. 658


Città del Vaticano, BAV Reg. lat. 977


Douai, BM 590


Durham, Cath. Libr. C.III.8


Évreux, BM 106


Laon, BM 476


Perugia, BC C.M.4


Reims, BM 680


Salzburg, Bibl. Erzabtei St. Peter a.xii.9


Laurentius’s Glosses on the Decretum Excerpted from the Glossa Palatina


Bamberg, Staatsbibl. Can. 14


Charleville-Mézières, BM 269


Città del Vaticano, BAV Vat. lat. 1367


Paris, BN lat. 3903


Paris, BN lat. 14317


Paris, Bibl. Mazarine 1287


Praha, Národní Muz. XVII.A.12


Saint-Omer, BM 192

No. 5

Apparatus on Compilatio tertia, 1210–16.


Admont, Stiftsbibl. 55


Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibl. Aug. XL

No. 6

Reportatio of Laurentius’s lectures on the Decretum.


Paris, BN lat. 15393 (third layer, added onto Alanus’s Ius naturale)


Text(s) – Modern Editions

No. 1

Distinctiones decretorum.

Modern Editions

None, although some 30 pages of glosses have been published by A. Stickler in ‘Laurentius Hispanus’ (1996).

No. 5

Apparatus on Compilatio tertia.

Modern Editions

The Ecclesiology of Laurentius Hispanus and his contribution to the Romanization of canon law jurisprudence, with an Edition of Laurentius’s ‘Apparatus glossarum in Compilationem tertiam’, ed. B. McManus (Ph.D. diss. Syracuse Univesity; Syracuse, NY 1991). (The edition appears in Part II of the dissertation..)



A. Pérez Martín, ‘Lorenzo Hispano’, in Juristas universales 1.410–11.

R. Weigand, ‘The Development of the Glossa ordinaria to Gratian’s Decretum’, 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) 77, 79n108, 80–86, 91, 96.

K. Pennington, ‘The Decretalists 1190–1234’, 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) 228–38.

J. Brundage, ‘The Votive Obligations of Crusaders: The Development of a Canonistic Doctrine’, Traditio, 24 (1968) 86–87. Reprinted in: idem, The Crusades, Holy War and Canon Law (Collected Studies CS 338; Aldershot 1991) no. VI.

K. Pennington, The Prince and the Law, 1200–1600: Sovereignty and Rights in the Western Legal Tradition (Berkeley 1993) 45–48, 82, 231.

B. McManus, ‘The Ecclesiology of Laurentius Hispanus and his Contribution to the Romanization of Canon Law Jurisprudence, with an Edition of Laurentius’s Apparatus glossarum in Compilationem tertiam’, (Ph.D. diss.; Syracuse University 1991).

R. Weigand, Die Glossen zum Dekret Gratians: Studien zu den frühen Glossen und Glossenkompositionen (SG 26; Roma 1991) 3.26.

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) 249–52.

E. Vodola, Excommunication in the Middle Ages (Berkeley 1986) 85, 131, 133.

K. Pennington, Pope and Bishops: The Papal Monarchy in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries (The Middle Ages; Philadelphia 1984) 17–22, 24–25, 33, 41, 64, 127, 130.

A. García y García, ‘La Canonística Ibérica (1150–1250) en la investigación reciente’, BMCL, 11 (1981) 55–56.

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) 173–76.

F. Liotta, La continenza dei chierici (Milano 1971) 309–29.

A. Stickler, ‘Die Zweigliedrigkeit der Kirchengewalt bei Laurentius Hispanus’, in Ius Sacrum: Klaus Mörsdorf zum 60. Geburtstag, G. May, ed. (München 1969) 181–206.

J. Brundage, Medieval Canon Law and the Crusader (Madison WI 1969) 57–59, 78–81.

R. Weigand, Die Naturrechtslehre der Legisten und Dekretisten von Irnerius bis Accursius und von Gratian bis Johannes Teutonicus (Münchener Theologische Studien III. Kan. Abt. 26; München 1967) 251–54, 437–40, and passim.

J. Brundage, ‘The Crusader’s Wife: A Canonistic Quandary’, SG, 12 (1967) 435–36. Reprinted in: idem, The Crusades, Holy War and Canon Law (Collected Studies CS 338; Aldershot 1991) no. XV.

J. Brundage, ‘The Crusader’s Wife Revisited’, SG, 14 (1967) 246–47. Reprinted in: idem, The Crusades, Holy War and Canon Law (Collected Studies CS 338; Aldershot 1991) no. XVI.

A. Stickler, ‘Il decretista Laurentius Hispanus’, SG, 9 (1966) 461–549.

J. Muldoon, ‘Extra ecclesiam non est imperium: The Canonists and the Legitimacy of Secular Power’, SG, 9 (1966) 563. Reprinted in: idem, Canon Law, the Expansion of Europe, and World Order (Variorum Collected Studies Series 612; Aldershot 1998) no. I.

R. Weigand, Die bedingte Eheschliessung im kanonischen Recht (Münchener Theologische Studien 3, Kan. Abt. 16; München 1963) 1.273 n.104, 333–343.

J. Gründel, Die Lehre von den Umständen der menschlichen Handlung im Mittelalter (Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters 39.5; Münster 1963) 234–40.

K. Nörr, ‘Der Apparat des Laurentius zur Compilatio tertia’, Traditio, 17 (1961) 542–43.

G. Couvreur, Les pauvres ont-ils des droits? Recherches sur le vol en cas d’extrême nécessité depuis la Concordia de Gratien (1140) jusqu’à Guillaume d’Auxerre († 1321) (Analecta Gregoriana 111; Roma 1961) 61, 71, 84, 101–2, 108, 110, 115, 269.

N. Vilain, ‘Prescription et bonne foi du Décret de Gratien (1140) à Jean d’André († 1348)’, Traditio, 14 (1958) 147.

A. Stickler, ‘Laurent d’Espagne’, in DDC (1957) 6.361–64.

A. García y García, Laurentius Hispanus: Datos biográficos y estudio crítico de sus obras (Cuadernos del Instituto Jurídico 6; Madrid 1956).

F. Gillmann, ‘Der Prager Codex xvii.A.12 (früher I.B.I) und der Dekreten Apparat des Laurentius Hispanus’, AKKR, 126 (1953–54) 3–43.

G. Post, ‘The So-called Laurentius Apparatus to the Decretals of Innocent III’, The Jurist, 2 (1942) 5–31.

F. Gillmann, ‘Tancreds oder Laurentius Hispanus früherer Apparatus zur Compilatio III in der Staatlichen Bibliothek zu Bamberg’, AKKR, 120 (1940) 201–224.

G. Post, ‘Additional Glosses of Johannes Galensis and Silvester Hispanus in the Early Tancred or so-called Laurentius Apparatus to Compilatio III’, AKKR, 119 (1939) 364–75.

F. Gillmann, ‘Bruchstücke des Laurentius Hispanus Apparats zur Comp. III in der Landesbibliothek zu Kassel’, AKKR, 117 (1937) 436–52.

S. Kuttner, Repertorium 76–91, 326, 356.

G. Post, ‘The Authorship of the Glosses to the Compilatio III in MS lat. 15398, fol. 106–202’, AKKR, 117 (1937) 418–29.

F. Gillmann, Des Laurentius Hispanus Apparat zur Compilatio III auf der Staatlichen Bibliothek zu Bamberg (Mainz 1935).

F. Gillmann, ‘Lanfrancus oder Laurentius? Nachtrag’, AKKR, 110 (1930) 157–82.

F. Gillmann, ‘Lanfrancus oder Laurentius?’, AKKR, 109 (1929) 598–664.