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Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Medieval and Early Modern Jurists

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Report No. c031

Karolus de Tocco

mid–12th c.–post 1215


Alternative Names

Carlo di Tocco; Carolus di Tocco; Carolus Siculus



First important jurist from southern Italy. Born in Tocco, near Benevento. Seems also to have had family ties in Sicily. Son of a jurist; possibly studied Lombard law, which remained in place in his home region. By his own testimony, studied Roman law under Placentinus and Johannes Bassianus and heard lectures for many years by Otto Papiensis and also by Cyprianus. Lange accepted the long-held assumption that K. studied in Bologna, but Cortese has noted the improbability that he mainly studied there since some of his self-named teachers probably never taught (Otto Papiensis) or taught only a couple of years (Placentinus) in Bologna. Could have studied Lombard law in Mantua or Piacenza, also places where Placentinus taught. Began teaching in Piacenza; his most famous student was Roffredus. Cortese has also doubted the generally accepted view that K. also taught in Bologna. Later K. served as scholar and judge in Benevento and Salerno. Possibly also active in Capua. Known as the ‘Accursius of Lombard law’, meaning that he concluded the basic commentary on Lombard law. His work was authoritative in the regions where and as long as Lombard law was in force. K. applied Roman law principles and procedures to Lombard law, recognizing Lombard law as part of the ius commune. His siglum is ‘K.’, ‘Ka.’ or ‘Kar.’



No. 01

Apparatus ad leges Longobardorum, c.1208–c.1215. Contains some later additions but probably most of it was completed by around 1215. Contains numerous citations to the major 12th and early 13th-c. glossators of Roman law. Written after Karolus’s return to southern Italy. This apparatus functioned as the Glossa ordinaria on Lombard law..

No. 02

Glossae ad Digestum.

No. 03

Glossae ad Codicem.

No. 04

Glossae ad Athenticum.


Text(s) – Modern Editions

No. 01

Apparatus ad leges Longobardorum.

Modern Editions

Leges Longobardorum, cum argutissimis glosis D.Caroli di Tocco, ed. G. Astuti (Torino 1964) (reprint of ed. Venezia 1537).

No. 03

Glossae ad Codicem.

Modern Editions

La norma giuridica: Spunti teorici nel diritto comune classico, ed. E. Cortese (Milano 1964) 2.425–35 (glosses on Cod. 1.14.1; 1.14.4; 1.14.5; 1.19.7; 1.22.2; 1.22.5; 1.23.7).


Repertorium manuscriptorum veterum Codicis Iustiniani, ed. G. Dolezalek (Ius Commune, Sonderheft 23; Frankfurt a.M. 1985) 2.837–44 (glosses on Cod. 2.1.1–3).



E. Cortese, ‘Carlo di Tocco’, in DGI (2013) 1.450–51.

P. Landau, ‘“Cum essem Mantuae”: Notizen zur Rechtsschule von Mantua im 12. Jahrhundert’, in Iuris historia: Liber amicorum Gero Dolezalek, V. Colli and E. Conte, ed. (Berkeley 2008) 125–29.

L. Loschiavo, ‘Alla ricerca del maestro longobardista di Carlo di Tocco’, in ‘Panta rei’: Studi dedicati a Manlio Bellomo, O. Condorelli, ed. (Roma 2004) 3.403–425.

A. Ricciardi, ‘Ancora sul ms. Paris, B.N. lat. 4546: Carlo di Tocco maestro di diritto romano nel Mezzogiorno?’, in A Ennio Cortese, D. Maffei and I. Birocchi, ed. (Roma 2001) 3.136–56.

H. Lange, Glossatoren 305–310.

G. D’Amelio, ‘Una falsa continuità: il tardo diritto longobardo nel Mezzogiorno’, in Per Francesco Calasso, Studi degli allievi (Roma 1978) 371–411.

G. D’Amelio, ‘Carlo di Tocco’, in DBI (1977) 304–310.

P. Weimar, ‘Die legistische Literatur der Glossatorenzeit’, in Handbuch der Quellen und Literatur der neueren europäischen Privatrechtsgeschichte, H. Coing, ed. (München 1973) 1.219.

G. Astuti, ‘L’apparato di Carlo di Tocco alla Lombarda’, in Preface to reprint of Leges Longobardorum, cum argutissimis glosis D.Caroli di Tocco (Venezia 1537) (Torino 1964) 5–35. Reprinted in: idem, Tradizione romanistica e cività giuridica europea: Raccolta di scritti (Napoli 1984) 1.147–69.

A. Era, ‘L’apparato di Carlo di Tocco alla “Lombarda” nelle due edizioni del 1537 e del 1562’, in Atti del primo Congresso internazionale di studi Longobardi: Spoleto, 27–30 settembre 1951 (Spoleto 1952) 293–302.

P. Leicht, ‘Le glosse di Carlo di Tocco nel Trattato di Biagio da Morcone’, Studi e memorie per la storia dell’Università di Bologna, 4 (Bologna 1920) 151–90. Reprinted in: idem, Scritti vari di storia del diritto italiano (Milano 1948) 2.1.123–55.

K. Neumeyer, ‘Notizen zur Literaturgeschichte des longobardischen Rechts’, ZRG Germ. Abt., 20 (1899) 249–57.

F. von Savigny, Geschichte 5.174–83.