Hostiensis (Henry of Segusio)

views updated


Hostiensis (Henry of Segusio, Enrico Bartolomei), cardinal and canonist whose writings exerted a great influence on Canon Law in the 13th century; b. Susa (Segusia, Diocese of Turin), c. 1200; d. Lyon, Oct. 25 or Nov. 6, 1271. He was not only one of the most famous de cretalists, he proved himself also a capable diplomat. Hostiensis studied civil law in Bologna at the time of Sinibaldus de' Fieschi (later Pope Innocent IV), under Jacobus Balduinus and Homobono, and Canon Law under james of albenga. Later he taught, perhaps at Bologna and certainly at Paris (1239). Before 1233 he became a cleric; he was appointed prior of Antibes (perhaps in 1234), and made frequent visits to England, where he gained the confidence of Henry III. When consecrated bishop of Sisteron (at the end of 1243), Hostiensis soon caught the eye of Innocent IV, and he was appointed archbishop of Embrun (about 1250). He was entrusted with a mission to Germany in support of William of Holland (125152) and with other legations, particularly that to Treviso against the ghibelline Ezzelino (1259). Named cardinal by Urban IV (1262), he continued to discharge numerous duties until the conclave of Viterbo, which he was compelled to abandon because of illness (June 1270).

Works. He began his Summa in 1239 in Paris; it was partially destroyed by a fire, but he continued and completed it in 1253 at Embrun. This monumental work, often called Summa 'Copiosa,' was inspired by the writings of Pillius (De feudis ), but most of all by the works of Godfrey of Trani and of Azo, from which some passages were taken word for word. Nevertheless, the originality of the work cannot be doubted. If Hostiensis followed the decretals of gregory ix, he also added many new titles. He made a synthesis of Roman law and Canon Law and thus accomplished a summary of the utrumque ius. This treatise became the vade mecum of canonists until the 17th century.

The Lectura in novellas Innocentii IV followed the Summa almost immediately, but preceded the bull Ad explicandos (Sept. 9, 1253). It is a commentary on the decretals of the Collectio I and II, on five decretals from the Collectio III (28 s. 32, 40 s.), and on two extravagantes (see quinque compilationes antiquae). Also to be noted are a short treatise on the framing of a decree concerning episcopal elections [cf. A. von Vretschko, Ein Traktat d. Kard. H. in Deutsche Zeitschr. f. KR 17 (1907) 73-] and the Diamargariton (MS 993 Leipzig University Library). The Lectura in quinque libros decretalium, like the Summa, goes back to the time of Hostiensis' teaching in Paris, and is thought to have been written at the request of Alexander IV. That it was completed is known from the author's testament (April 30, 1271). All the decretals are commented on, but some rather briefly. The spirit of this work appears to be somewhat different from that of the Summa: the author is more openly under the influence of theologians than previously (hugh of saint-cher, odo of chÂteauroux). As a result Canon Law is often presented in opposition to Roman law; thus, the aequitas canonica is preferred to the ius civile. The importance of the commentary allowed the author to make more frequent references than in the Summa to canonists and civil jurists who had preceded him and to contemporaries such as bernard of parma and Innocent IV. In it he criticized Innocent often and somewhat sharply for his devotion to Roman law and was at pains (10.3, 5, 33) to emphasize that the Lectura represents his own considered state of mind.

Principles. The chronicler Rolandino of Padua has underlined Hostiensis' profound knowledge of both canon and civil law, as well as his being theologia scientia plenus. This is apparent particularly in the Lectura: emphasis is put on aequitas canonica, on natural law, on good faith, on sin, but also on the power of the pope and on the power of bishops. Theological principles are given precedence over juridical concepts.

Natural law is divided into rational and common. The former must be respected by any positive law and by any institution. Its violation brings with it sin, and every effort must be made in order to avoid sin: in fact, the periculum animae is to be avoided before all. Many a time Hostiensis invoked this principle in order to reject a solution sponsored by some canonists. This recourse to the gospel also led him to emphasize equity, which he claimed should be invoked not only in the application or nonapplication of law, but also in its interpretation. In the same spirit, he admitted the binding force of natural obligations and of good faith, particularly in matters of prescription, except in respect to custom (because of its nature). This same approach is found again in connection with summary procedure and, above all, when he treats of the gospel condemnation of sin (denunciatio evangelica ).

Hostiensis held for the plenitude of papal power. If he allowed that the civil and spiritual powers were completely

distinct, he recognized that the pope could intervene in an imperial vacancy, as well as when (ratione peccati ) an imperial incumbent was disqualified because of sin (a fortiori in cases of a refusal to admit justice). For Hostiensis, this papal control of the imperium derived from the Church, which in turn had inherited it from the Roman Empire and from Christ.

The influences of Hostiensis' works, especially of the Summa, have been considerable, although the Lectura numbers fewer manuscripts and fewer editions than the Summa. However, unlike Innocent IV or the glossa ordinaria, Hostiensis was not held to possess the authority to offset a standard interpretation (opinio communis ).

Bibliography: c. lefebvre, Dictionnaire de droit canonique, ed. r. naz, 7 v. (Paris 193565) 5:121127, with complete bibliog.; "La Doctrine de l'Hostiensis sur la préférence à assurer en droit aux intérêts spirituels," Ephemendes iuris canonici 8 (1952) 2444. n. didier, "Henri de Suse en Angleterre (1236?1244)," Studi in onore di Vincenzo Arangio-Ruiz, 4 v. (Naples 1952) 2:333351. p. vaccari, "Teologia e diritto canonico nel XII secolo," in Scritti in onore di Contardo Ferrini, 4 v. (Milan 194749) 1:418428. g. simon, La Conception du droit naturel chez un canoniste du XIII e siècle, Henri de Suse, cardinal d'Hostie (doctoral diss. unpub. Institut Catholique, Paris 1954). g. le bras, "Théologie et droit romain dans Henri de Suse," Études historiques à la mémoire de Noël Didier (Paris 1960) 195204; et al., Sources et théorie du droit au moyen-âge (Paris 1964), passim. p. michaudquantin, "Commentaires sur les deux premiéres décrétales du recueil de Grégoire IX au XIIIe siècle," in Die Metaphysik im Mittelalter, ed. p. wilpert (Miscellanea Mediaevalia 2; Berlin 1963) 103109.

[c. lefebvre]