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Duranti, William the Elder


One of the most influential canonists of the Middle Ages, renowned liturgist, experienced judge and administrator, bishop of Mende; b. Puymisson, in Languedoc, between 1230 and 1237; d. Rome, Nov. 1, 1296. He obtained his doctorate in Bologna, taught briefly there and in Modena, and went to Rome soon after 1260. At first in the Service of Cardinal hostiensis, he was commissioned, probably under Pope Clement IV (126568) as one of the auditores causarum sacri palatii, the college of judges from which the tribunal of the Roman Rota later developed. In 1274 he helped in drafting the conciliar legislation of Pope Gregory X promulgated in the Second Council of Lyons. From 1278 on he held various high posts, including the governorship (1283), in the administration of Bologna and the Romagna, territories then newly acquired by the Papal States. Although elected bishop of Mende in 1285 and consecrated in 1286, he took possession of his see only in 1291. There he published instructions and constitutions for his clergy and revised the Pontificale Romanum (this revision became the model for the official Roman text of 1485). After declining the archbishopric of Ravenna offered to him by Boniface VIII in 1295, he served the Curia once more as provincial governor in the Papal States until his death.

To the lawyers of the later Middle Ages, Duranti was simply "the Speculator"the author of the Speculum iudiciale. Into this comprehensive treatise on court procedure, first published between 1271 and 1276 (revised c. 1289), the author poured his encyclopedic learning on canon and civil law in general, and all the wealth of his judicial and administrative experience; each section is further illustrated with model forms. Enlarged in the 14th century by the Additiones of Joannes Andreae and Baldus, the book remained authoritative for centuries in the practice of ecclesiastical and civil courts; it was printed at least 50 times between 1473 and 1678. Duranti wrote also a Speculum legatorum (later incorporated in the revised version of his great work), a widely used Repertorium sive Breviarium of Canon Law and, after 1282, a very instructive commentary on the statutes of the Second Council of Lyons (ed. Simon Maioli, Fano 1569). His glosses on Gratian, on the decretals, and on a constitution of Pope Nicholas III seem to be lost. The Rationale divinorum officiorum, written between 1285 and 1291, was an original and lasting contribution to liturgy. It became a standard treatise on liturgical symbolism; it exists in 44 incunabula (first, 1459) and in many later editions.

Bibliography: w. duranti, Le Pontifical de Guillaume Durand, v.3 of Le Pontifical romain au moyen-âge, ed. m. andrieu, 4 v. (Studi et Testi 8688, 90; 193841); "Les Instructions et constitutions de Guillaume Durand ," ed. j. bertehlÉ and m. valmary in Mémoires de l'Academie des sciences et lettres de Montpellier, 2d series, 3 (1900) 1148, also pub. sep. Parts of the Rationale exist in tr., The Symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments, ed. and tr. j. m. neale and b. webb (3d ed. London 1906); Sacred Vestments, ed. and tr. t. h. passmore (London 1899). Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke 7 (1938) 910162. j. f. von schulte, Die Geschichte der Quellen und der Literatur des kanonischen Rechts (Stuttgart 187580; repr. Graz 1956) 2:144156. l. falletti, Dictionnaire de droit canonique, ed. r. naz (Paris 193565) 5:101475.

[s. kuttner]

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