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Report No. t102

Julius Clarus Alexandrinus

1525–1575

 

Alternative Names

Giulio Claro

 

Biography/Description

J. was born to Giovanni and Ippolita Gambaruti, patricians of Alessandria. His mother was a skilled poet, and his father was a well-connected collegiate doctor, a tax lawyer, and twice a senator. His brother, Camillo, was also prominent in the region as a governor and podestà in Tortona. His family’s connections gained him admittance to the juridical college of Alessandria and the highest levels of the Spanish bureaucracy in Lombardy. In addition to his studies at Alessandria, J. studied at Bologna and gained his degree in utroque iure in Pavia in 1550. A scholar and politician as well as a jurist, J. studied under the humanist masters Andreas Alciatus, Nicolaus Bellonus, and Jacobus Mandellus de Alba. Defined by contemporaries as a practicorum practicus, in a short time he launched a successful career that kept him from his personal attachments, particularly to his daughers Ippolita, Giulia, and Laura. Beginning in 1557, J. was an advocate of the senatorial ordo, and then a praetor in Cremona. In 1563, he became president of the Extraordinary Magistracy in Milano, and, from 1565 until his death, he was a regent and member of the Supreme Council of Italy in Madrid. In all of these roles, J. demonstrated not only an indefatigable intellectual energy but also an understanding of the importance of the relationship between central and local governmental and judicial bodies in a rapidly changing regulatory framework.

While J. left behind a large corpus of writings from the rest of his career, there is little remaining evidence of his years at the university outside of a few in manuscript. He planned and wrote some of, but did not complete, a Volumen universalis historiae, which was intended to go from from the reign of Charlemagne to his own time. He wrote De philosophia naturali et medicina liber imperfectus. Loca communia ad Medicinam spectantia ex variis auctoribus, praesertim a Galeno, which survives in one manuscript, as does the Ragionamento della possanza d’amore, et delli meravigliosi effetti suoi. Later unpublished works include a letter, De Julio Claro para el señor Don Juan, addressed to Don Juan José of Austria just before the latter came to Italy to take command of the fleet against the Turks in 1571. Also unpublished is the treatise De duellis, eorumque legitimis causis libri IV, which, according to M. Cavina (Il duello giudiziario, 176–180), was impressive enough that it “could have become an authentic masterpiece on dueling.”

J.’s position likely prevented the publication of at least this last work. Philip II was an adamant opponent of dueling, and the Church condemned the institution at the Council of Trent. The position of the church would have been particularly important to J., both that on dueling and in other matters. He believed that in the womb of the Church “semper vixi, et vivere, ac mori intendo.” He reiterates this general idea in: Ammaestramento dell’eccellente dottor il signor Giulio Claro. The “highest precept” is the union of the fear of God and service to the king. (Cf. De Julio Claro para el señor Don Juan, fol. 354v.)

A few records of J.’s judicial activities in the Senate are found in the Delegazioni del sig. Senatore Giulio Claro 1556–1564 (Milano, Archivio di Stato), including a couple from his time as praetor in Cremona (1560–1561), where he rendered decisions along with the vicar, Antonio Baratieri, and the judge of criminal cases, Luigi Belloni. J. was a successful and influential praetor in the city, respected by the magistracy and his colleagues. He earned an extraordinary salary from the work and was afforded an opportunity to communicate regularly with Philip II, communication that led to his appointment as regent in 1565. J. continued along the cursus honorum of the Spanish court until his untimely death in 1575.

J.’s best-known work is the Liber Quintus of his Receptae sententiae, dealing with criminal law and procedure, first published in Venezia, 1568. The Liber quintus had been conceived as part of a full juridical encyclopedia entitled Receptae sententiae, echoing the Roman jurist Paulus. J. intended the work to include seven books, each treating a different topic (see E. von Moeller, p. 33–43, 220–226): leges and consuetudines, persons, successions, contracts, criminal law and procedure, civil procedure, and extraneous matters. J.’s busy life, however, prevented all the books from appearing; Liber V was the only section of the work that was printed in its entirety. From Liber III, a section on testaments was published in Cremona in 1559. A section of Liber IV, dealing with gifts, emphyteusis, and fiefs was published, also in Cremona, in 1560. These treatises were published together in Milano in 1562 and reprinted frequently thereafter. Liber Quintus combined with the four earlier treatises was published as J’s Opera omnia (1st. ed. Frankfurt 1572). Later editions include additiones by other jurists, so many that the base text in the middle of the page is sometimes quite reduced.

G. P. Massetto and S. Parini analyze the Liber quintus fully. We summarize their analysis here, leaving out their extensive references. The text is divided into twenty-two paragraphs or chapters. It opens with an introductory chapter that lays out a series of basic distinctions: between public and private crimes (based on the distinction between statutory and customary crimes); among secular, ecclesiastical, and common or mixed crimes; between named and nameless crimes; among levia, atrocia, and atrocíssima crimes; and, finally, between crimes that arise in committendo and and those that arise in omittendo. After this are twenty paragraphs, each concerning a different crimes. These crimes are organized alphabetically, not topically or by the type of court that dealt with them, as in such authors as Tiberius Decianus or Lancellotus Corradus. The twenty-second paragraph, the longest and most developed, is divided into one hundred quaestiones that offer a complete picture of the contemporary state of criminal law. J. drew upon his deep knowledge of the normative and doctrinal sources of the law and quotes frequently from them. This makes his work a good source for understanding the criminal law and procedure of the 16th century.

J. seems to have used a wide variety of sources: medieval doctores, the humanists, various treatises and consilia, the arrêtistes (case reporters), and some authors of practicae. He did not regard the opinions of these sources as binding in themselves, however. Rather, he concerned himself primarily with a search for the majority opinion. He also drew from a number of authoritative sources: the ius commune and naturale; the Milanese Nuove Costituzioni of 1541; royal orders and decrees; statutes not found in the Nuove Costituzioni; decrees of governors; and the orders, decrees and senatusconsulta of the Milanese Senate. Nonetheless, this composite regulatory framework is dominated by other sources. J. makes decisive use of consuetudo and practica, both defined as optima legum interpres. It is hard to understand the difference between custom and practice in J’s work. He takes advantage of his experience as a member of the Ducato magistracy, even if he frequently goes beyond his local sphere to a concept of practica mundi, totius orbis, or universalis. Ultimately, Massetto and Parini argue, these two elements attain a sort of parity, with custom strengthening practice and vice-versa. For J., the jurist must never withdraw “a communi practica et usu” in criminal cases, and usus is sometimes coupled with the stylus curiarum, so that, united, “faciunt ius.”

From this concept of customary practice, J. argues that the inquisitorial model is the best for criminal proceedings. Based on the testimony of Albertus Gandinus, J. observes that the remedium inquisitionis has become ordinarium and the accusatory extraordinarium. This, he says, is not the case only in Italy but also abroad. The slow progression of the inquisitorial, however, allows something to be left over of the accusatorial. Therefore, if “de iure loquendi” the accusatorial and inquisitorial are incompatible, “attenta hac generali consuetudine, unum ex istis duobus remedijs . . . non facit cessare aliud, sed ambo simul concurrunt.”

Source: G. P. Massetto and S. Parini, in DGI 1.552–555

TUI database

 

Text(s)

 
No. 01

Volumen universalis historiae, ?a. 1557. J. refers to this work in De criminibus, § fin., q. XXXV, versic. Idem etiam, where he says that it was planned to go from the reign of Charlemagne to his own day and that if he could finish it, it would be “lectoribus . . . maxime utile ac iucundissimum.” No traces of this work have yet been found.

 
No. 02

De philosophia naturali et medicina liber imperfectus Loca communia ad Medicinam spectantia ex variis auctoribus, praesertim a Galeno, ?a. 1557. Survives in one manuscript.

 
No. 03

Ragionamento della possanza d’amore, et delli meravigliosi effetti suoi, ?a. 1557. Survives in one manuscript.

 
No. 04

De Julio Claro para el señor Don Juan, 20.v X 16.vi 1571. Survives in one manuscript. For the date, see E. von Moeller, p. 187–201.

 
No. 05

De duellis, eorumque legitimis causis libri IV, 1560. See the Biography. The most complete description that we have found is in M. Cavina, pp. 175–186. The work was written in Italian. Cavina argues that there are two recensions in the autograph manuscript, the first completed in 1550, the second in the late 1550s when the number of books was reduced to three, There follow notes for additions, but the work stopped in 1560, perhaps because of the promulgation of the decree of the council of Trent against dueling .

 
No. 06

Ammaestramento dell’eccellente dottor il signor Giulio Claro sopra il ben vivere, et il ben morire, ?1570. The work was not published until 1582 in a translation into Italian, but a Spanish version of the rules about good dying is in the same manuscript as J’s letter to Don Juan of Austria. E. von Moeller argues that they are two separate works, and summarizes their contents (p. 211–218).

 
No. 07

Receptae sententiae. The organization of the work into seven books is laid out in the Biography. How much of it was written that was not published is unknown. There do not seem to be any surviving manuscripts.

 
No. 07_01

De testamentis. Extracts from Liber IV.

 
No. 07_02

De donationibus, 1560. Extracts from Liber III.

 
No. 07_03

De emphyteutibus, 1560. Extracts from Liber III.

 
No. 07_04

De feudis, 1560. Extracts from Liber III.

 
No. 07_05

De criminibus et processu criminali, 1568. The entire Liber V.

 
No. 08

Tractatus quatuor, 1562. A combined printing of Text 07_01 through 07_04. An edition, Milano ?1562, with a dfferent title is reported in Italian edit16. That of Milano 1565 seems to have been the one most often reprinted.

 
No. 09

Opera omnia, 1572. A combination of Text 08 and 07_05, first published in Frankfurt in 1572, and reprinted in increasingly elaborate editions in the 17th and 18th centuries.

 

Text(s) – Manuscripts

No. 02

De philosophia naturali et medicina liber imperfectus Loca communia ad Medicinam spectantia ex variis auctoribus, praesertim a Galeno , ?a. 1557.

 
Manuscript

El Escorial, Bibl. Monasterio g.II.11, olim VII.O.10 (390 fols. Catalogued as: Julii Clari loca communia ad Medicinam spectantia ex variis auctoribus, praesertim ex Galeano. Autógrafo?)

 
No. 03

Ragionamento della possanza d’amore, et delli meravigliosi effetti suoi, ?a. 1557.

 
Manuscript

Madrid, BN 613 (Fol. 1–50 of 51. Catalogued as: Opera del signor reggente Giulio Claro, Raggionamento della posansa d’Amore et delli marauigliosi effetti suoi.)

 
No. 04

De Julio Claro para el señor Don Juan, 20.v X 16.vi 1571.

 
Manuscript

Madrid, BN 2058 (Catalogued as: Documentos varios de los siglos XVI y XVII. Item 114: Consejos de Julio Claro para el señor don Juan de Austria (fol. 347-[358]).)

 
No. 05

De duellis, eorumque legitimis causis libri IV, 1560.

 
Manuscript

El Escorial, Bibl. Monasterio g.II.10 [1°], olim III.F.20 (Not in printed catalogue.)

 
No. 06

Ammaestramento dell’eccellente dottor il signor Giulio Claro sopra il ben vivere, et il ben morire, ?1570.

 
Manuscript

Madrid, BN 2058 (Catalogued as: Documentos varios de los siglos XVI y XVII. Item 20: Instruction que el señor Julio Claro, Regente del stado de Milán, hizo para el tiempo de su muerte con copia de una carta a su amigo y hermano (fol. 48-[53]).)

 

Text(s) – Early Printed Editions

No. 06

Ammaestramento dell’eccellente dottor il signor Giulio Claro sopra il ben vivere, et il ben morire, ?1570.

 
Early Printed Editions

Ammaestramenti dell'eccellente dottore il signor Giulio Clari sopra il ben viuere e il ben morire. Tradotti di spagnuola in lingua toscana dal reuerendo m. Pietro Buonfanti piouano di Bibbiena. Firenze: Giorgio Marescotti, 1582.

 
No. 07_01

De testamentis.

 
Early Printed Editions

Cremona, May 1559. With a dedication to Antoine de Granvelle Perrenot.

 
 

Tractatus universi iuris. Venezia: F. Ziletti, 1584, 8.1.80va.

 
No. 07_02

De donationibus, 1560.

 
Early Printed Editions

Cremona, 1560. With a dedication to Ferdinando di Cordova.

 
No. 07_03

De emphyteutibus, 1560.

 
Early Printed Editions

Cremona, 1560. With a dedication to Ferdinando di Cordova.

 
No. 07_04

De feudis, 1560.

 
Early Printed Editions

Cremona, 1560. with a dedication to Ferdinando di Cordova.

 
No. 07_05

De criminibus et processu criminali, 1568.

 
Early Printed Editions

Sententiarum receptar[um] liber Quintus, in quo diversorum criminum materia XX §§ diligenter explicatur. Item practica criminalis totius criminalis iudicij ordinem et delictorum poenas complectens. Venezia, 1568.

 
 

Pesaro, 1570.

 
 

Venezia: [eredi di Melchiorre Sessa il vecchio], 1571.

 
 

Venezia: Altobellus Salicatius, 1587.

 
 

Venezia: Cornelius Arriuabenus, 1587.

 
 

Venezia: Altobellus Salicatius, 1589 (online).

 
 

Venezia: Paulus Ugolinus, 1595.

 
 

Venezia: Altobellus Salicatius, 1598.

 
No. 08

Tractatus quatuor, 1562.

 
Early Printed Editions

Tractatus. De testamentis. De donationibus. De iure emphiteotico. De feudis. Milano, 1562. Fran[ciscus] Moschen[ius] excudebat, 1558 mense Nouembr. The colophon date would seem to be an error.

 
 

Tractatus quatuor ex suis VII libris Sententiarum receptar. quorum I est De testamentis, II De donationibus, III De iure emphyteotico, IIII De feudis. Milano, 1565.

 
 

Tractatus. De testamentis. De donationibus. De iure emphiteotico. De feudis. Venezia, 1566.

 
 

Tractatus. De testamentis. De donationibus. De iure emphiteotico. De feudis. Venezia, 1567.

 
 

Tractatus quatuor. In quibus omnia accuratissime tractantur quae pertinent ad Testamenta, Donationes, Emphyteoses, & Feuda. Venezia, 1573 (online). Bound together with an otherwise unrecorded edition of the De criminibus, this is the first Italian edition of what in Germany was called Opera omnia.

 
 

Tractatus quatuor. In quibus omnia accuratissime tractantur quae pertinent ad Testamenta, Donationes, Emphyteoses, & Feuda. Venezia, 1574.

 
 

Tractatus quatuor. In quibus omnia accuratissime tractantur quae pertinent ad Testamenta, Donationes, Emphyteoses, & Feuda. Venezia, 1578.

 
 

Tractatus quatuor. In quibus omnia accuratissime tractantur quae pertinent ad Testamenta, Donationes, Emphyteoses, & Feuda. Venezia, 1579.

 
 

Tractatus quatuor. In quibus omnia accuratissime tractantur quae pertinent ad Testamenta, Donationes, Emphyteoses, & Feuda: Nouissime accesserunt paraphrases, siue annotationes d. Hieronymi Giacharii Lugiensis, iureconsulti celeberrimi. Item eiusdem Consilia, seu Responsa duo. Venezia, 1595.

 
 

Tractatus quatuor. In quibus omnia accuratissime tractantur quae pertinent ad Testamenta, Donationes, Emphyteoses, & Feuda: Nouissime accesserunt paraphrases, siue annotationes d. Hieronymi Giacharii Lugiensis, iureconsulti celeberrimi. Item eiusdem Consilia, seu Responsa duo. Venezia, 1598.

 
No. 09

Opera omnia, 1572.

 
Early Printed Editions

Ivlii Clari . . . Opera omnia: qvae qvidem hactenvs in lvcem prodiervnt: nvnc recens mvlto qvam antehac vnquam, collatis omnibus diuersarum aditionum exemplaribus, recusa [sic]: qvorvm catalogvm proxima post praefationem pagina monstrabit: cum summarijs & indice locupletissimo; [Ivlii Clari . . . Liber qvintvs receptarvm sententiarvm, integer: in qvo omnivm criminvm materia svb receptis sententijs copiosissimè tractatur, ita vt nil, vlterius desiderari possit, quot cum ad reorum persecutionem, tum ad ipsorum defensionem, faciat: cum summarijs & indice locupletissimo].: Ex typographia Nicolai Bassee, impensis Sigismvndi Fierabent et Ioannis Balleri [i.e. Belleri]. Frankfurt, 1572 (online). 2 title pages, dedicatory epistle by Johann Fichard.

 
 

Lyon, 1575.

 
 

Frankfurt, 1576 (online).

 
 

Lyon, 1578.

 
 

Lyon, 1579. Said to be available from ProQuest by subscription, but we could not reach it on 16.i.2022.

 
 

Iulii Clari patritii Alexandrini, . . . Opera, quae quidem hactenus edita sunt, omnia; plurimis locis emendata. . . . Index eorum copiosissimus. Additiones Io. Guiotij Niuernensis I.V.D. Torino, 1586 (online).

 
 

Frankfurt, 1596 (online).

 
 

Genève, 1625 (online).

 
 

Opera omnia . . . cum doctissimis additionibus . . . Ioannis Baptistae Baiardi . . . , Bernardini Rossignoli . . . , Hieronymi Giacharii . . . , Ioannis Guiotii . . . , Antonii Drogbi . . . . Hisque novissime accesserunt novae . . . Ioannis Harprecti et . . . Manfredi Goveani . . . . Venezia, 1640 (online). The examples that follow all seem to have the extensive additiones that had appeared between 1579 and 1640.

 
 

Lyon, 1661 (online).

 
 

Lyon, 1672 (online).

 
 

Genève, 1739.

 

Literature

G. Massetto and S. Parini, ‘Claro, Giulio’, in DGI (2013) 1.552–555. (Contains an extensive bibliography. There is an even more extensive one of items prior to 1982 in DBI. We include here only the items that we have used.)

M. Cavina, Il duello giudiziario per punto d’onore. Genesi, apogeo e crisi nell’elaborazione dottrinale italiana (sec. XIV–XVI) (Torino 2003) 175–186.

A. Mazzacane, ‘Claro, Giulio’, in DBI (1982) (online).

E. von Moeller, Julius Clarus aus Alessandria, der kriminalist des 16. jahrhunderts, der rat Philipps II. 1525–1575 (Breslau 1911; repr. Aalen 1977) (online).