The ecclesiology of Laurentius Hispanus (c. 1180-1248) and his contribution to the Romanization of canon law jurisprudence, with an edition of the "Apparatus glossarum Laurentii Hispanii in Compilationem tertiam".

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Kenneth Pennington


Middle Ages, Law, Religious history, Laurentius Hispanus, Canon law jurisprudence

Subject Categories



Laurentius Hispanus was an important, canon-law jurist teaching and writing at Bologna during the years 1205-15. This dissertation includes a brief biography, a survey of his writings, and discussions of the content and importance of his doctrine on four issues: election law, custom and law, the power of the papacy within the Church, and the power of the papacy in secular affairs.

While teaching at Bologna, Laurentius composed at least five and perhaps as many as seven works, the most important of which were his vast collection of glosses on the de penitentia of Gratian's Decretum which circulated in numerous manuscripts, the Glossa Palatina on the whole Decretum which included material from many other canonists and was a most important source for Johannes Teutonicus's Glossa Ordinaria, and the Apparatus glossarum in Compilationem tertiam, which was mined extensively by Johannes and by later cononists including Bernardus Parmensis.

After teaching in Bologna, Laurentius returned to an ecclesiastical career in Spain. He served for thirty years from 1218 to his death in 1248 as bishop of Orense.

Laurentius's knowledge of Roman law was very great and his most important contribution to the development of the scientific study of canon law was his integration of Roman law language and learning into canon law jurisprudence. He cited Roman law more often and integrated it into the basis of his legal argumentation more regularly than previous canonists. After Laurentius, canonists needed to be as conversant with the Corpus iuris ciuilis as with the texts of canon law.

Laurentius was also the first medieval jurist to recognize that the underlying principles of authority in the canon law had changed in such a way that the pope was free to abolish and change old law without regard to objective standards of reason or the need for consent. Laurentius's realization was fundamental for the development of a fully positive legal system.

Laurentius's teaching on election-law, on custom, and on various aspects of papal power in the Church were very influential and became the established teaching of the canon lawyers. However, on the question of papal power in temporal affairs, Laurentius's views were not to be well received.

This dissertation includes an edition of Laurentius's Apparatus glossarum in Compliationem tertiam, based on the two manuscripts in which it stands, Admont 55 and Karlsruhe Aug. XL.


Surface provides description only. Full text is available to ProQuest subscribers. Ask your Librarian for assistance.