Skip to main content



Author of early glosses and a Summa on the Decretum of gratian. His work was written before 1148 when it is referred to in the Summa Rolandi, which is of that date. We know practically nothing about him, the dates of his birth and death, his place of origin, etc. It seems certain that he taught at Bologna, where it is possible he had been a student of Gratian. He was responsible for some of the earliest paleae, or additions, to the Decretum of Gratian; the division of parts I and III into distinctiones appears also to be his work. He gives evidence of a good knowledge of Roman law and is a canonist of some competence. His Summa is also characterized by the many historiae or exegesis of passages of Scripture already noted in the Decretum. His work is frequently referred to by canonists after his time. For example, the author of the Summa Parisiensis mentions him by name about 20 times and seems to have had his work constantly before him. From time immemorial Paucapalea has been called "the first decretist." More recently that title has been challenged seriously and perhaps successfully. He now appears to have made use of one or two earlier works on the Decretum that have lately come to the attention of scholars.

Bibliography: Die Summa des Paucapalea über das Decretum Gratiani, ed. j. f. schulte (Giessen 1890). a. vetulani, "Le Décret de Gratien et les premiers décrétistes ," Studia Gratiana 7 (1959) 273353; "Nouvelles vues sur le Décret de Gratien," La Potogne au Xe Congrès international des sciences historiques à Rome (Warsaw 1955) 83105. g. fransen, "La date du Décret de Gratien," Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique 51 (1956) 521531. s. kuttner, Repertorium der Kanonistik (Rome 1937). f. maassen, "Paucapalea: ein Beitrag zur Literargeschichte des canonischen Rechts im Mittelalter," Sitzungberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wein 31 (1859) 449516. a. mocci, "Documenti inediti sui canonista Paucapalea," Atti della Reale accademia delle scienze di Torino 40 (1905) 316326.

[t. p. mclaughlin]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Paucapalea." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 21 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Paucapalea." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (February 21, 2019).

"Paucapalea." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.