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Report No. r452

Oldradus de Ponte

fl. early 14th c.


Alternative Names

Oldrado da Ponte (LC); Oldradus de Laude; Oldradus de Ponte de Laude



Little is known of this jurist. Oldradus was likely from Lodi and studied in Bologna with Jacobus de Arena and the civilian Dinus de Mugello. Before 1307 Oldradus served as an assessor in Bologna and he may have taught Roman law there. In 1307, Oldradus moved to Padua where he taught Roman law until early in 1311. Johannes Andrea records having held public disputations with him in Padua. Among Oldradus’ students were Albericus de Rosate and perhaps Bartolus. A manuscript at Cornell University which contains consilia from a number of jurists who taught at Perugia includes a single consilium of Oldradus. This corroborates Oldradus having been a teacher of Bartolus who studied at Perugia and suggests that Oldradus may have taught briefly there. Diplovatatius claimed that Oldradus taught law at Sienna and Montpellier, based on an account in a Tractatus de commemmoratione attributed to Baldus de Ubaldis. This work remains a mystery and thus Diplovatatius’ claim must be treated with skepticism. Evidence from a charter at Lérida suggests that Oldradus may have given lectures there. In 1311, Oldradus went to the papal court in Avignon as the protégé of Peter Cardinal Colonna. Oldradus served as an auditor and judge in the Rota at Avignon for the rest of his life. It is likely that he also taught in the law school in Avignon. It is thought that Oldradus exercised a considerable influence over the legal business and politics of the curia. The traditional date of his death is usually stated as 1335; however, Thomas Fastolf wrote that Oldradus was debating cases in the Rota in 1336/1337 and evidence from his consilia indicates that he was alive as late as 1343.

Oldradus wrote several hundred consilia which display a most penetrating and creative legal mind. Two of his consilia (#43 and #69 in the Vulgate series) seem to have been used as the basis for Clement V’s decretal Pastoralis cura, in which the pope repudiated the claims of the Emperor Henry VII to cite King Robert of Naples for rebellion.

Oldradus was one of the first canonists not only to write a large number of consilia on actual legal problems, but also to collect them. His consilia collection helped to establish this genre as the principal form of legal discourse in the later Middle Ages.



No. 1

Consilia et Quaestiones. The total number of Oldradus’s consilia is not certain. The manuscripts which contain them have no more than 274 consilia; however, most of the printed editions contain 333 consilia. The difference is made up, according to the editor of the earliest such edition (Rome 1478), out of consilia culled from other books. Whether these consilia were written by Oldradus or not remains in doubt. The manuscripts themselves present the consilia in three different series. Most manuscripts follow a series from 1-264, sometimes with ten consilia added at the end (Munich, Clm 3638 and Vat. Ross. lat. 1096 for example). All the printed editions follow this series, but most of these have a further addition of fifty-nine consilia at the end, bringing the total to 333. Only one of these fifty-nine added consilia have been found in any manuscript. The single exception is #276 which is simply a repetion of #239. A second series, which is present in Clm 5463 and partially in Dresden B.87, is complete with 223 consilia. This series is most probably an earlier collection since all the 220 consilia are included in the Vulgate Series, and because the consilia in this series make very few references to the Clementines. The other consilia in the Vulgate Series make many more allegations to the Clementines. A third exists in a manuscript in private possession (Antiquariat Keip, Frankfurt MS 1987) which contains 264 consilia. This series is clearly related to the Vulgate Series also since it keeps the same sequence in certain segments (thus VS #2-44 = Keip #158-199 and VS #179-257 = Keip #69-147); but whether it precedes or derives from the Vulgate series is not clear. It certainly is not directly related to the series of Clm 5463 since the third series has consilia which are not in the earlier series, and lacks any common sequences of consilia which are not also in the Vulgate Series. Additionally, it is not known whether there are a signifigant number of Oldradus’s consilia which circulated apart from his own collection. Much work remains to be done.


Text(s) – Manuscripts

No. 1

Consilia et Quaestiones.


Barcelona, Arch. Corona Aragón Ripoll 16


Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell Univ. Libr. K5++ Consilia legalia pp. 101–103 (Contains a consilium not in the collections. ‘‘Consueuit dubitari an dicens alicui uerbum iniuriosum …bene udes et omnes diuersitates.’)


Basel, Universitätsbibl. C.III.14


Bernkastel-Kues, Bibl. St. Nikolaus Hospitals 277


Bologna, Coll. Spagna 27, fol. 145–153


Bologna, Coll. Spagna 83


Bologna, Coll. Spagna 207


Bordeaux, BM 404, fol. 4v–168v


Città del Vaticano, BAV Vat. lat 2642, fol. 133


Città del Vaticano, BAV Vat. lat. 2653 (Dated to 1426.)


Città del Vaticano, BAV Vat. lat. 8068, fol. 107, 188v


Città del Vaticano, BAV Ross. 1096 (Dated to the early 15th century.)


Città del Vaticano, BAV Urb. lat. 1132, fol. 142


Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibl. B.87, fol. 209–235v


Eichstätt, Universitätsbibl. 502


Firenze, BN Magliab. XXIX.174


Frankfurt-am-Main, Keip 1987 (Contained 264 consilia)


Graz, Universitätsbibl. 59, fol. 261–280v


Hannover, Stadtbibl. Mag. 53


Lawrence, Kan., Univ. Kansas, Spencer Libr. G18


Lucca, Bibl. Cap. Felin. Curia Arcivescovile 301


Lucca, Bibl. Cap. Felin. Curia Arcivescovile 415, fol. 1–174


Mantova, Bibl. Teres. 653


Metz, BM 75 (Dated 1469)


München, BSB Clm 3638


München, BSB Clm 5463


Oxford, New Coll. 217, fol. 171–351


Paris, BN lat. 4276A


Paris, BN lat. 14335, fol. 7ff.


Pistoia, BC A. 40, fol. 18v, 21


Roma, Bibl. Angelica 275, fol. 167–170


Rovigo, BC C. Silv. 485


Salamanca, Bibl. Univ. 594


Salamanca, Bibl. Univ. 2467


Strängnäs, Kath. Bibl. F. mai. 2


Torino, BN Universitaria H.I.9, fol. 1–178


Tübingen, Universitätsbibl. 17


Uppsala, Universitetsbibl. C.537, fol. 225r–334v


Uppsala, Universitetsbibl. C.545, fol. 1r–198v


Venezia, BN lat. V 117, fol. 35–36


Zaragoza, Zaragoza 62–9


Zeitz, Domherrenbibl. (antea 27) fol. 2–157v (Dated 1409)


Text(s) – Early Printed Editions

No. 1

Consilia et Quaestiones.

Early Printed Editions

Early versions.


Versions with 333 Consilia.


Roma, 1472 (Hain 9932). 264 Consilia.


Roma, 1476 (Hain 9933). 274 Consilia.


Roma, 1478 (Hain 9934).


Basel: Eberhard Frommholt, 1481 (Hain 9935).


Venezia: Bernardinus de Tridino, 1490 (Hain 9936).


Bologna: Ugo de Rugeriis, 1495 (Hain 9937).


Venezia: Bernardinus de Tridino, 1499 (Hain 9938).


Salamanca, c. 1500.



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M. Ascheri, ‘Il consilium dei giuristi medievali’, Consilium. Teorie e pratiche del consigliare nella cultura medievale, C. Cassagrande, C. Crisciani, and S. Vecchio, ed. (Micrologus Library, 10; Firenze 2004) 243–258.

B. McManus, ‘A Consilium of Fredericus and Oldradus on Super cathedram’, Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 33 (2002) 185–221.

C. Valsecchi, Oldrado da Ponte e i suoi Consilia: Un auctoritas del primo trecento (Università degli Studi di Milano, Biocca, Facoltà di Giurisprudenza, 6; Milano 2000).

B. McManus, ‘The Consilia and Quaestiones of Oldradus de Ponte’, BMCL, 23 (1999) 85–113.

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T. Schmidt, ‘Die Konsilien des Oldrado da Ponte als Geschichtsquelle’, Consilia im späten Mittelalter: Zum historischen Aussagewert einer Quellengattung, I. Baumgärtner, ed. (Studi: Schriftenreihe des Deutschen Studienzentrums in Venedig, 13; Sigmaringen 1995) 53–64.

A. García y García, ‘La canonistique française méridionale et la péninsule ibérique’, L’Eglise et le droit dans le Midi (XIIIe-XIVe s.), J.–L. Biget, ed. (Toulouse 1994) 117–143.

G. Montagu, ‘Roman Law and the Emperor – The Rationale of “Written Reason” in some Consilia of Oldradus da Ponte’, History of Political Thought, 15 (1994) 1–56.

K. Pennington, ‘Henry VII and Robert of Naples’, Das Publikum politischer Theorie im 14. Jahrhundert, J. Miethke, ed. (Schriften des Historischen Kollegs: Kolloqiuen, 21; München 1992) 81–92.

I. Baumgärtner, ‘Et faciendi plures libros nullus est finis. Der Sinn von Büchern oder der Bildungshorizont eines spätmittelalterlichen Juristen’, Universität und Bildung. Festschrift für Laetitia Böhm zum 60. Geburtstag, W. Müller, W. Smolka, and H. Zedelmaier, ed. (München 1991) 55–70.

R. Kay, ‘Canon law in the Age of Bartolus’, Res Publica Litterarum (1991) 91–99. Reprinted in: idem, Councils and Clerical Culture in the Medieval West (Variorum Collected Studies Series, 571; Aldershot 1997) no. XV.

N. Zacour, Jews and Saracens in the Consilia of Oldradus de Ponte (Pontifical Institute Studies and Texts 100; Toronto 1990).

W. Stalls, ‘Jewish conversion to Islam; The perspective of a quaestio’, Revista española de Teologia (1983) 235–51.

F. Migliorino, ‘Alchimia lecita e illecita nel trecento: Oldrado da Ponte’, Quaderni Medievali (1981) 6–41.

K. Mommsen, ‘Oldradus de Ponte als Gutachter für das Kloster Allerheiligen in Schaffenhausen’, ZRG Kan. Abt., 62 (1976) 173–93.

E. Will, Die Gutachten des Oldradus de Ponte zum Prozeß Heinrichs VII. gegen Robert von Neapel (Abhandlungen zur mittleren und neueren Geschichte 65; Berlin 1917).

L. Anfosso, Oldrado da Ponte e le sue opere (Archivio storico lodigiano 32; Lodi 1913).