chapter  15
30 Pages

The Mysterious Canonist Bazianus on Marriage

ByCharles Donahue, Jr.

Since Tommaso Diplovatazio’s De claris iurisconsultis scholarship has, for the most part, recognized the existence of two Bolognese glossators of the last quarter of the twelfth century with similar names, Johannes Bassianus and Bazianus (or Basianus).2 The former was a civilian, who wrote numerous glosses on all parts of the Corpus iuris civilis, a summa on the Novels, summae on titles of the Digest, Institutes and Code, distinctiones, commenta and lecturae, and a number of important procedural works.3 He was the teacher of, among others, Azo, and his opinions are frequently cited in the Accursian gloss. The latter was a canonist, largely known for his glosses on Gratian’s Concordance of Discordant Canons, whose work is frequently cited in manuscripts that date from or are copies of works from the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, but whose work thereafter seems largely to have been forgotten.4 Biographical details about both men are sparse. In the case of Bassianus, they consist largely of scurrilous anecdotes.5 In the case of Bazianus, there is a plaque on what purports to be his tomb in the cathedral of Bologna that gives a few tantalizing hints about his life and a group of notarial documents concerning a case in which he sat as one of the judges in 1193.6 The first tells us that he was a doctor

1 Copyright © 2003 Charles Donahue, Jr. After I submitted this to the editors of this volume, an expanded version appeared in Rivista internazionale di diritto comune: “Bassianus, that is to say, Bazianus? Bazianus and Johannes Bassianus on Marriage,” 14 (2003): pp. 41-82.