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Report No. a372

Petrus Blesensis iunior

fl. 1170s


Alternative Names

Peter of Blois; Pierre de Blois



Not to be confused with his older and more famous namesake, the letter-writing archdeacon of Bath. This Petrus is known for his Distinctiones, which have been edited under the title Speculum iuris canonici. The monograph, composed by Petrus while he was a canon at Chartres (fron 1176 until at least 1181), consists of 60 chapters, each of which treats a legal argument given in the headline. In addition, Petrus used the left and right margins of the text as columns for his allegations (legal references) pro and contra the argument, due to which the treatise serves the purposes of collection of Brocarda as well. A prologue and an index of the chapter also form part of the original text. The opening chapter (1) deserves particular attention, since it presents the most elaborate treatment of the concordance-method since the famous Prologue of Ivo of Chartres. The work shares many characteristics and doctrines with the contemporary Summa Monacensis. Meanwhile, it remains uncertain if Petrus in fact was the author of the Ordo iudiciarius mentioned below.


Entry by: KP rev AL 2015



No. 1

Speculum iuris canonici.

No. 2

Ordo iudiciarius ‘Videndum est quis sit ordo’. (shortly after 1176).


Text(s) – Manuscripts

No. 1

Speculum iuris canonici.




Bamberg, Staatsbibl. Can.17, fol. 63–74


Hamburg, Staats- u. Universitätsbibl. Cod. jur. 2541


London, BL Royal Cod.10 B.IV, fol. 9–32


a372Txt1London, Lambeth Palace Libr. 49, fol. 139–48 (no allegations after ed. p.5.5–7 ‘referenti’)


Oxford, Bodleian Libr. 4967, fol. 5–19


Città del Vaticano, BAV Pal. lat. 653, fol. 117–28.


Without Prologue


a372Txt1Arras, BM 618, fol. 68–77 (Omits ed. P.52.9 ‘certi’ – p.61.8 ‘si prelatus’; ends p.103.6 ‘post litis contestationem.’ The allegations in the margins are not authentic.)


a372Txt1Oxford, Corpus Christi Coll. 154, p.260–95 (no allegations in the margin, but complete at the end)


Without Prologue and Index


a372Txt1London, Lambeth Palace Libr. 449, fol. 346–53 (ends ed. P.73.4 ‘post litis contestationem’)


a372Txt1Oxford, Bodleian Libr. 679, fol. 35–51 (reproduces allegations only in part)




a372Txt1Boulogne-sur-mer, BM 119, fol. 73–81 (begins at ed. P.15.6 ‘Breviter quid’ and omits allegations)


a372Txt1Exeter, Devon Record Office four folios (contains ed. p.37.2 ‘Eo enim ipso’ – p.50.6 ‘sed consensit’)


Text(s) – Modern Editions

No. 1

Speculum iuris canonici.

Modern Editions

Petri Blesensis opusculum de distinctionibus in canonum interpretatione adhibendis, sive ut auctor voluit ‘Speculum iuris canonici, ed. T. Reimarus (Berlin 1837). (Based on MS Hamburg, which is one of the oldest and most reliable texts..)

No. 2

Ordo iudiciarius ‘Videndum est quis sit ordo’.

Modern Editions

Quellen zur Geschichte des römisch-kanonischen Processes im Mittelalter, ed. L. Wahrmund, V (Heidelberg 1931) 294–96. (The attribution to Peter of Blois is questionable, see L. Fowler-Magerl, Ordo iudiciorum vel ordo iudiciarius, Ius Commune – Sonderhefte 19 (Frankfurt/M. 1984) 94–95.)



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) 71, 96.

R. Weigand, ‘The Transmontane Decretists: The Development of the Glossa ordinaria to Gratian’s Decretum’, , W. Hartmann and K. Pennington, ed. (History of Medieval Canon Law 6; Washington DC 2008) 178, 189–90.

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) 218–19.

C. Lefebvre, in DDC (1957) 6.1472.

S. Kuttner, ‘Réflexions sur les Brocards des Glossateurs’, in Mélanges Josef de Ghellinck (Gembloux 1951) 787 n.88.

S. Kuttner, Repertorium 220–22.

A. Lambert, in DDC (1937) 2.925–26.