oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - Bartolus in Medieval Hungary

Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-545X
  • E-ISSN: 2411-7870



Bartolus was perhaps the greatest jurist and law professor of the Middle Ages. He left an extraordinarily large number of commentaries on the Corpus iuris civilis, many treatises on various branches of public and private law, and a huge number of legal opinions ().

His influence has been the subject of research throughout Europe, but regarding Hungary there has been no research into the sources and extant manuscripts and incunables of Bartolus' works. This article aims to rectify this deficiency. The author surveys the medieval legal literature used in Hungary to give an understanding of Bartolus' influence on Hungarian medieval law.
In summarising his investigations into the influence of Bartolus on Hungarian law in the Middle Ages, the author points out that this influence was very limited. The legal works of the Italian glossators were much more popular among Hungarian jurists than the long commentaries of Bartolus. This was the consequence of the strengthening of the Hungarian and the consolidation of Hungarian customary rules, which were reduced to writing as from the fourteenth century when Bartolus himself wrote and taught in Perugia and other cities. Because they clashed with the growing influence of Hungarian customary law and the legal conservatism of Hungarian lawyers, Bartolus' legal doctrines did not have the impact one might have expected.

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