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Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Medieval and Early Modern Jurists

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Report No. r366

Johannes Monachus



Alternative Names

Johannes Monachus (LC); Jean Lemoine; Jean le Moyne; Jean le Moine; Jean des Cranches; Johannes Cressiacus Ambranensis; Johannes Monachus Picardus Cisterciensis; Joannes Monachus; Johannes Monachus Picardus Cardinalis



Born in Crécy (c.1240–50), likely of a noble family, Johannes was not a monk. He studied law at Paris and obtained prebends for churches in Paris, Amiens and Bayeux which he held until his death in 1313. During the 1280’s, Johannes was promoted to Dean of Bayeux, but it seems doubtful that he ever discharged his duties there personally. In 1285, he was serving as a procurator in the Roman curia. During the reign of Honorious IV (1285–87), Johannes became a papal chaplain and an auditor. In 1288, he was advanced to the Vice-Chancellorship of the Roman Church by Pope Nicholas IV. In 1293, he was elected Bishop of Arras, but probably remained only an electus, as he was promoted to the Cardinalate in 1294 by Pope Celestine V. Johannes remained on good terms with Pope Boniface VIII and worked dilligently on curial business until his legation to France in 1303. At the height of the second conflict between Boniface VIII and Philip IV of France, Johannes was dipatched as a legate to Paris in a last and unsuccessful effort to achieve a resolution. He has been charged by some historians with adopting a (treacherous) anti-Bonifacian position on this mission; but it seems more likely that, whatever his personal views, he attempted to perform a task which simply proved impossible. From 1303–1313 he worked in the curial administration in Rome and Avignon. During his career, Johannes gave liberally to various churches and the Collége de Cholets in Paris and eventually founded a college in the University of Paris bearing his own name.

Johannes Monachus’ most important work was a Glossa aurea to the Liber Sextus. It was an important and persuasive work which was often cited by later canonists. He also wrote extensive glosses to Boniface VIII’s Extravagantes, many of which were incorporated into the Glossa ordinaria to the Extravagantes communes. Although Johannes has been seen as an extreme papalist, the studies of Johannessen and Steckling cast serious doubt on such an interpretation.



No. 1

Glossa aurea in Libro sexto.

No. 2

Apparatus super decretalibus.

No. 3

Gloss on the Extravagantes Johannis XXII.

No. 4

Gloss on ‘Super cathedram’ (Extrav. Com. 3.6.2).


Text(s) – Manuscripts

No. 1

Glossa aurea in Libro sexto.


Angers, BM 391, fol. 1r–107r


Frankfurt am Main, Stadt- und Universitätsbibl. Barth. 29, fol. 1r–140v


Laon, BM 379


Paris, BN lat. 4068, fol. 1r–87r (Defective)


Reims, BM 727, fol. 1r–145r


Saint-Omer, BM 458, fol. 1r–96v

No. 2

Apparatus super decretalibus.


Paris, Bibl. Sainte-Geneviève 339 (Breaks off at X 1.4.9)


Text(s) – Modern Editions

No. 4

Gloss on ‘Super cathedram’ (Extrav. Com. 3.6.2).

Modern Editions

Ed. L. Hödl in ‘Die Glosse des Johannes Monachus zur Konstitution Super cathedram Bonifaz’ VIII. (vom 18.02.1300) und deren Kritik durch Petrus de Palude OP (Cod. Vat.lat.869, f.125r-128r, ed.)’, ZRG Kan. Abt., 118 (2001) 269–305.



L. Evdokimova, Jean de Vignay et Jean Lemoine’.A (2009) 505–506, 231–236.

L. Hödl, ‘Der Kommentar des Kardinals Johannes Monachus zur Dekretale Super cathedram des Papstes Bonifatius VIII. (18. Februar 1300)’, Revue Mabillon (2005) 133–178.

N. Zacour, ‘The Cardinals’ View of the Papacy, 1150–1300’, Medieval Religion: New Approaches, C. Berman, ed. (Rewriting Histories; New York 2005) 183–207.

A. Paravicini Bagliani, ‘“De fratrorum nostrorum consilio”. La plenitudo potestatis del papa ha bisogno di consigli?’, Consilium. Teorie e pratiche del consigliare nella cultura medievale, C. Cassagrande and S. Vecchio, ed. (Micrologus’ Library, 10; Firenze 2004) 181–194.

L. Hödl, ‘Die Glosse des Johannes Monachus zur Konstitution Super cathedram Bonifaz’ VIII. (vom 18.02.1300) und deren Kritik durch Petrus de Palude OP (Cod. Vat.lat.869, f.125r-128r)’, ZRG Kan. Abt., 118 (2001) 269–305.

B. Galland, ‘Les hommes de culture dans la diplomatie pontificale au XIIIe siècle’, MEFR, 108 (1996) 615–643.

R. Johannessen, ‘Cardinal Jean Lemoine’s Gloss to Rem non novam and the Reinstatement of the Colonna Cardinals’, Proceedings San Diego 1988, S. Chodorow, ed. (Città del Vaticano 1992) 309–320.

R. Johannessen, Cardinal Jean Lemoine: Curial Politics and Papal Power (Ph.D. dissertation: Univ. California; Los Angeles 1989).

R. Johannessen, ‘Cardinal Jean Lemoine and the authorship of the glosses to Unam Sanctam’, BMCL, 18 (1988) 33–41.

R. Steckling, ‘Cardinal Lemoine’s legation to France, 1303: A diplomat’s dilemmas’, Res publica litterarum (1982) 203–25.

E. Rabut, ‘Les Cholets, étude historique et topographique d’un collège parisien’, Paris et l’Ile–de–France. Fédération des Sociétés historiques et archéologiques de Paris et de l’Ile–de–France, 21 (1970) 7–95.

R. Steckling, Jean le Moine as Canonist and Political Thinker (Ph.D. dissertation: Univ. of Wisconsin; Madison 1964).

R. Naz, ‘Jean le Moine ou Joannes Monachus’, in DDC (1957) 6.112–113.

H. Finke, Aus den Tagen Bonifaz VIII.: Funde und Forschungen (Münster 1902) 126–45, 177–86.

F. Lajard, ‘Jean le Moine, cardinal, Canoniste’, in HLF (1877) 27.201–24.