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Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Medieval and Early Modern Jurists

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Report No. t183

Petrus Rebuffus

d. 1557


Alternative Names

Pierre Rebuffi (Rebuffe, Rebuffus)



Zendri, for reasons that seem sound, questions the date of birth of 1487 often given for P., but that he was born in Baillargues (dép. Hérault) toward the end of the 15th century seems clear. That he was ordained a priest in 1547 when he was at least sixty (and learned Greek and Hebrew in order to do it) also seems seems clear. He received his humanistic education at Montpellier, his legal education at Toulouse and Cahors, where he received his doctorate in utroque in 1527. He taught there, at Poitiers, and at Bourges before being named to a chair of canon law at Paris, where he was also an advocate in the parlement. His scholarly output was very large. His Opera omnia were published in nine volumes between 1580 and 1589. He wrote about canon law, Roman law, and both statutory and customary French law. In Roman law, his commentary on Dig. 50.16 is particularly important. Perhaps his most important work is his Commentarii in constitutiones seu ordinationes regias in which he argued that the homologated customs were of a force equal to a royal ordinance. He moved easily between the style of a tractatus and that of glossator on the royal ordinances, all, as Zendri puts it, to ‘passer le ius gallicum et le droit royal au crible du ius commune’. His Feudorum declaratio, in qua multae ponuntur correctiones, quae contraria consuetudine invaluerunt (TUI 1584, t. 10.1) seems to be a freestanding treatise. It is dedicated to Nicolas Bohier in the latter’s capacity as a parlementaire of Bordeaux, and, hence, probably dates from before 1539. The title page of what seems to be the first printing of the De decimis (TUI 1584, t. 15.2) (Paris 1549) says that it was first given as lecture in canon law in Paris in 1546. The Tractatus congruae portionis (TUI 1584, t. 15.2) is printed with it and not dated. The fact that its title says ‘noviter editus’ suggests that there may have been an earlier printing. The Tractatus nominationum (TUI 1584, t. 15.2) and the De pacificis possessoribus (TUI 1584, 15.2) seem to have been first published together in Paris in 1536 in a work that that was headed with the Concordat of Bologna (1516), with P’s commentary on it. The De privilegiis scholarium (TUI 1584, t. 18) seems to have first been published in Paris in 1540 with the title De scholasticoru[m] bibliopolarvm atqve ceterorum vniuersitatum omniu[m] ministrorum iuratorumq[ue] priuilegijs.

Source: C. Zendri, in DHJF.

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