Sicardus of Cremona

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Bishop, canonist, historian, and liturgist; b. Cremona, c. 1150; d. Cremona, June 8, 1215. Having studied in the schools of Bologna, Sicardus went to Paris about 1170 and taught canon law and theology there until about 1180. In that year he was collated to a prebend at Mainz,

where he taught in the cathedral school and fashioned his Paris lectures into a Summa decretorum. After his appointment as bishop of Cremona on Aug. 23, 1185, he successfully defended the rights of the city against Brescia and Milan, won independent status for the city from Frederick I Barbarossa, and pushed forward a great scheme of fortifications (1186). From 1202 until 1205 he took part in the papal mission of Cardinal Peter of Capua in Armenia and at Constantinople; in 1212 he welcomed Frederick II to Cremona and obtained from him the confirmation of Barbarossa's privileges.

Writings. The following works represent only a part of the varied output of Sicardus, for certain early treatises of which he himself speaks are no longer extant. Mitrale (1200) is one of the most important liturgical treatises of the Middle Ages, and a source of much of the famous Rationale of William duranti, the Elder, almost a century later. The Mitrale consists of nine books (printed in Patrologia Latina, 217 v. [Paris 187890] 213:13434): bk. 1, churches and church fittings; bk. 2, sacred orders and vestments; bk. 3, the Mass; bks. 48, the liturgical year; bk. 9, Sanctorale. (2) Chronica universalis (1213). This, the first Italian example of a history from the beginning of time, was completed to 1201 when Sicardus left for the East in 1202, and on his return, continued to 1213 [printed in L. A. Muratori, Rerum italicarum scriptores, 5001500, 25 v. in 28 (2d new ed. Città di Castello 1990) 7:521626, whence in Patrologia Latina 213:441540; Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores 31:22103]. Because it was chiefly valuable for recent or contemporary events, especially those of the Fourth Crusade, it was a prime source of the early part of the Chronicle (c. 1283) of salimbene of Parma. (3) Summa decretorum. This most important work of Sicardus was put together, or at least completed, in Mainz between 1179 and 1181 (see the "apology" attached in many manuscripts: "Ego vero Sychardus "); it follows the plan of the Decretum of gratian (ministers,

discipline, Sacraments), and owes something to various predecessors of Sicardus, particularly to simon of bisig nano and to the French school of decretists. It has not been printed, but a list of manuscripts, with a view to an edition (now in the hands of P. J. Kessler of Münster, Westphalia), will be found in S. Kuttner, "An interim checklist of manuscripts," Traditio 12 (1956): 562; see also ibid. 13 (1957): 470 and ibid. 15 (1959): 499.

Contribution. Although there is no radical departure from Gratian's sequence of topics, it is the merit of Sicardus that he loosened up the formal divisions of the Decretum. There is a marked attempt to be systematic that is enhanced by a use of distinctiones (dramatic pauses in order to view a point as a wholean oral technique originally) and of quaestiones. The latter are not the quaestiones disputatae, or the classroom exercises of a slightly later period. Originally they were answers to problems that cropped up in the course of teaching, but as employed by glossators as a literary device they became known as quaestiones decretales and first made their appearance in the last quarter of the 12th century. Although the Summa of Sicardus possibly reflects techniques already in use in Paris, there seems to be no doubt that the Summa, with its novel arrangement into quaestiones principales (problems occurring as such in the Decretum ) and quaestiones incidentales (problems suggested by a text), promoted the spread of the quaestio decretalis.

If Sicardus is thus an early example of an emerging decretist genre littéraire that is not narrowly along the lines of Gratian's Decretum, he is no less a witness to a breakaway from the canonico-theological tradition of Gratian and his immediate successors. Although trained in that atmosphere at Bologna, Sicardus significantly abandons "to the theologians" a whole group of questions relating to the Eucharist, and he has no discussion whatsoever of Gratian's long De poenitentia. Apart from a material dependence on Sicardus of everard of ypres (denied by some authors) and a more obvious debt of the anonymous Summa "In eadem civitate," some of the specific teaching of Sicardus was adopted toward the end of the century by the Summa lipsiensis and the Summa coloniensis, while hostiensis (Lectura II, VII, 1, v. divinae et humanae, n. 7) subscribed to his view that canon law was of divine origin.

Bibliography: j. f. von schulte, Die Geschichte der Quellen und der Literatur des kanonischen Rechts, 3 v. in 4 pts. (Stuttgart 187580; repr. Graz 1956) 1:143145. o. holder-egger, "Einiges zur Quellenkritik der Chronik Sicards," Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde 26 (1900) 471555; 29 (1903) 177245. a. franz, Die Messe im deutschen Mittelalter (Freiburg 1902) 448453. j. brys, De dispensatione in iure canonico (Bruges 1925) 101, 104, 107, 108, 117, 120, 136, 139. j. juncker, "Summen und Glossen: Beiträge zur Literaturgeschichte des kanonischen Rechts im zwölften Jahrhundert," Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonistische Abteilung 14 (1925): 384474. s. cavalcabÒ, La Famiglia del Vescovo Sicardo (Cremona 1931). s. kuttner, Repertorium der Kanonistik (Rome 1937) 150153, 187190; "Zur Biographie des Sicardus von Cremona," Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonistische Abteilung 25 (1936): 476478; "Réflexions sur les brocards des glossateurs," Mélanges Joseph de Ghellinck, 2 v. (Gembloux 1951) 2:783788. j. de ghellinck, Le Mouvement théolgique du XII e siècle (2d ed. Bruges 1948) 460462, 504. e. brocchieri, Sicardo di Cremona e la sua opera letteraria (Cremona 1958). c. lefebvre, Dictionnaire de droit canonique, ed. r. naz, 7 v. (Paris 193565) 7:10081111.

[l. e. boyle]