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Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Medieval and Early Modern Jurists

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Report No. r529

Silvester Mazolinus de Priero



Alternative Names

Mazzolini; Silvestro; a Priero (LC); Mazzolini de Prierio; Silvestro Mazzolini; Sylvestrus Prierates; Sylvester de Prierio; Silvester Prierianus; Silvestro da Prierio



A Dominican who lived from ca. 1460 to 1523, Silvester was the author of what he intended to be the ultimate confessional work, incorporating, comparing and reconciling all of the teachings to be found in the major Summae of his medieval predecessors. To illustrate his purpose, he himself called it the Summa summarum (c.1516), which in fact rendered obsolete much of what had been said before. The number of printed editions thereafter clearly outnumbered those of other authors in the field, while the truly encyclopedic format discouraged later attempts to attempt further Summae confessorum. In this way, Silvester’s work marked the culmination and close of this literary genre.



No. 1

Summa summarum, c. 1516.


Text(s) – Early Printed Editions

No. 1

Summa summarum, c. 1516.

Early Printed Editions

Bologna, 1524.


Lyon, 1524.


Lyon, 1528.


Lyon, 1533.


Anvers, 1569.


Lyon, 1593.


Venezia, 1598.



P. Michaud-Quantin, Sommes de casuistique et manuals de confession au moyen âge (XII–XVI siècles) (Leuven 1962) 101–3.

J. Dietterle, ‘Die “Summae confessorum (sive de casibus conscientiae)” von Anfängen an bis Silvester Prierias’, ZKG, 28 (1907) 416–31.

F. Michalski, De Sylvestri Prieriatis O.P., magistri sacri palatii (1456–1523) vita et scriptis (Münster 1892).

J. von Schulte, QL 2.455–56.