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Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Medieval and Early Modern Jurists

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Report No. t234

Philippus Probus

d. 1559


Alternative Names

Philippus Probus Bitturicus; ?Philippe Prudhomme



Cortese cautiously does not put P’s name into the vernacular. P. was born in Saint-Benoît-du-Sault (dép. Indre). The place is near Bourges, hence ‘Bitturicus’ in TUI 1584 and elsewhere. It was in Bourges that P. became a cleric. He studied civil law at Avignon while he was in the service of the cardinal legate François de Clermont. He was licensed, however, in canon law, either at Avignon or at Paris. Around 1526, we find him as an advocate in the parlement of Paris, defending both François de Clermont and the church of Bourges. Perhaps from 1530 and certainly in 1534–5 he taught canon law at Paris. His additions to Jean Lemoine’s gloss on the Sext are the product of his lectures and were printed in Paris in 1535 and again in Venezia in 1585.

In conjunction with the librarian of the university, Gaillot Du Pré, P. embarked on a career as a publisher. In 1534, he published Arnoul Ruzé’s De iure regalie. A reprint in 1551 added 63 quaestiones by P. on the same topic and Pierre Bertrand’s De origine iurisdictionum. This is the source of the reprints of these works in TUI 1584 (t. 12). In 1546, he published a reprint of the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges (1438) with the gloss of Cosme Guymier and his own quite extensive additiones. It is on this work that his later fame rests. Cortese characterizes P. as a moderate Gallican, no mean achievement in a world that tended to extremes on both sides of the issue. P. ended his career as vicar general of the diocese of Amiens, and died at Amiens.

Source: E. Cortese, in DHJF.

TUI database