Rufinus (decretist)

Last updated

Rufinus was an Italian canon lawyer, described as the most influential canonist at the University of Bologna in the mid 12th century. [1] He composed a Summa on Gratian's Decretum before 1159, [2] which soon became the most influential commentary in Bologna, surpassing all previous ones in detail and length. [3]

Stephen of Tournai, his pupil, quoted from his Summa several times. [4]

Related Research Articles

Canon law is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of a Christian organization or church and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law, or operational policy, governing the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the individual national churches within the Anglican Communion. The way that such church law is legislated, interpreted and at times adjudicated varies widely among these four bodies of churches. In all three traditions, a canon was originally a rule adopted by a church council; these canons formed the foundation of canon law.

Pope Alexander III, born Roland, was the Bishop of Rome and hence head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 7 September 1159 until his death. A native of Bologna, Alexander became pope after a contested election, but had to spend much of his pontificate outside Rome while several rivals, supported by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, claimed the papacy. Alexander rejected Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos' offer to end the East–West Schism, sanctioned the Northern Crusades, and held the Third Council of the Lateran.


Irnerius, sometimes referred to as lucerna juris, was an Italian jurist, and founder of the School of Glossators and thus of the tradition of Medieval Roman Law.

<i>Decretum Gratiani</i> Collection of Roman Catholic canon law compiled and written by Gratian in the 12th century

The Decretum Gratiani, also known as the Concordia discordantium canonum or Concordantia discordantium canonum or simply as the Decretum, is a collection of canon law compiled and written in the 12th century as a legal textbook by the jurist known as Gratian. It forms the first part of the collection of six legal texts, which together became known as the Corpus Juris Canonici. It was used by canonists of the Roman Catholic Church until the Decretals, promulgated by Pope Gregory IX in 1234, obtained legal force.

Burchard of Worms

Burchard of Worms was the bishop of the Imperial City of Worms, in the Holy Roman Empire. He was the author of a canon law collection of twenty books known as the Decretum, Decretum Burchardi, or Decretorum libri viginti.

Astesanus of Asti was an important Franciscan canon lawyer and theologian, from Asti in Piedmont. His major work is Summa de casibus conscientiae, a confessional work, in manuscript from around 1317 and comprising eight volumes and three indices. Its writing is said to have been at the prompting of Cardinal Giovanni Gaetano Orsini.


Huguccio was an Italian canon lawyer.

The canon law of the Catholic Church is the system of laws and legal principles made and enforced by the hierarchical authorities of the Catholic Church to regulate its external organization and government and to order and direct the activities of Catholics toward the mission of the Church. It was the first modern Western legal system and is the oldest continuously functioning legal system in the West, while the unique traditions of Oriental canon law govern the 23 Eastern Catholic particular churches sui iuris.

Gerard la Pucelle was a peripatetic Anglo-French scholar of canon law, clerk, and Bishop of Coventry.

Henry of Segusio, usually called Hostiensis, was an Italian canonist of the thirteenth century, born at Susa (Segusio), in the ancient Diocese of Turin. He died at Lyon.

In the history of canon law, a decretist was a student and interpreter of the Decretum Gratiani. Like Gratian, the decretists sought to provide "a harmony of discordant canons", and they worked towards this through glosses (glossae) and summaries (summae) on Gratian. They are contrasted with the decretalists, whose work primarily focused on papal decretals.

Stephen of Tournai

Stephen of Tournai,, was a Canon regular of Sainte-Geneviève (Paris), and Roman Catholic canonist who became bishop of Tournai in 1192.

Guido de Baysio was an Italian canonist.

Bernardus Papiensis

Bernardus Papiensis was an Italian canonist and bishop of the Christian Church.

Bartholomew of Brescia was an Italian canonist.

Johann Friedrich von Schulte

Johann Friedrich von Schulte was a German legal historian and professor of canon law who was born in Winterberg, Westphalia. He was a leading authority on Catholic canon law.

Simon of Bisignano was a teacher of canon law in Bologna in the 1170s. He composed a Summa on the Decretum Gratiani between March 1177 and March 1179. Like Paucapalea, he, too, might have been a student of Gratian himself.

Honorius of Kent was a medieval English Archdeacon of Richmond and canon lawyer.

The legal history of the Catholic Church is the history of the oldest continuously functioning legal system in the West, much later than Roman law but predating the evolution of modern European civil law traditions. The history of Latin canon law can be divided into four periods: the jus antiquum, the jus novum, the jus novissimum and the Code of Canon Law. In relation to the Code, history can be divided into the jus vetus and the jus novum. Eastern canon law developed separately.

Gabriel of Baṣra was a bishop and jurist of the Church of the East.


  1. Hartmann and Pennington, pp. 135–136.
  2. Rufinus, Die “Summa Decretorum” des Magister Rufinus, ed. H. Singer, Paderborn 1902, p. LXVII, n. 9
  3. Law in the West After Gratian: The Age of the Decretists A Short History of Canon Law from Apostolic Times to 1917, Kenneth Pennington, The Catholic University of America. Accessed 21 April 2019.
  4. J. F. von Schulte, Die Geschichte der Quellen und Literatur des Canonischen Rechts von Gratian bis auf die Gegenwart, 3 vols, Stuttgart 1875-1880, I, p. 123 and n. 6, and p. 134.