chapter  II
25 Pages


I Very few details about the life of Lucas de Penna have come down to us. The researches of later scholars have added little new material to the scanty information which we can obtain from Lucas’s own writings, which indeed are almost our only source of information. The great work of Diplovatacius1 is of no avail to us, nor have Panziroli’s investigations yielded any appreciable results-‘de eius tumulo aut die mortis nihil ad nos pervenit’.2 He was born in Penna, a small place in the southern part of the Abruzzi near Pescara, about 1320, studied law at the university of Naples, and graduated there in the year 1345.3 No doubt is permissible about the locality of his birth or place of his studies, although later authorities made him of Gallic origin or located his birthplace at Toulouse: the Paris edition of his Commentaries of 1509 called him ‘Doctor Gallicus’,4 and Panziroli5 styled him ‘Doctor Tholosanus’.6 But the allocation of Lucas’s birthplace to France must be considered a mistake in view of the abundant internal evidence-namely, his most detailed knowledge of legal conditions in the Kingdom of Sicily, the personal affection he displays towards Sicilian rulers, such as Frederick II and Robert,7 the frequent quotations of special laws and constitutions of the Sicilian kings,8 and the emphasis on their importance for the study and application of the law, certain passages in his work of a type only to be found in the writings of Neapolitan jurists and which typically refer to the kingdom ‘in regno nostro’, ‘in curia

the fifteenth century, because he treated him after Bartholomaeus Capilistius, who died in 1505; Panziroli said: ‘In Gallis eodem tempore Lucas de Penna Tholosanus enituit’.