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'Tenebo hunc ordinem', Methods and structure of medieval law lectures (12th–14th centuries). –

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image of Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis / Revue d'Histoire du Droit / The Legal History Review

The well known ordo legendi diffused by Cinus among later commentators was a framework structured as a sequence of various steps and moments: divisio textus, positio casus, collectio notabilium, oppositiones and quaestiones. Some of them appear early in the didactic experience of Ioannes Bassianus and, more extensively, in the lecturae held, during the 13th century, by jurists, theologians and artistae as well: to be sure, with relevant differences mainly concerning the meaning of the employed terms. The decay of the glossa as a tool to explain the Corpus Iuris of Justinian in the schools and the diffusion of new styles in approaching the legal texts, made the expositio ordinis a frequent, somehow basic element of the lectura and of the commentum. From the times of Odofredus it occurs mainly when the lex meets heavy problems of interpretation: but not always in the complete sequence of the above mentioned moments. Contraria and quaestiones mark in any case the core of the exposition, according to the scholastic role of medieval dialectics. Different in their respective purposes, they nevertheless share the same logical procedure. From this point of view, an interesting and still inexplicable convergence of methods (and related terminology) can be observed in the age of Cinus between lawyers and artistae, both teaching at the University of Bologna.

Affiliations: 1: Facoltà di Giurisprudenza, Università di Bologna, Via Zamboni 33, I-40126 Bologna, Italy;, Email:


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