Glossator of Roman law, known as Master Vacarius; b. Lombardy c. 1115–1120; d. England, after 1198. Trained as a civilian at bologna, Vacarius came to England (between 1139 and 1145), invited to join the household of Abp. theobald of canterbury. As a member of this distinguished familia, he was probably a cleric in minor orders. To him England owes the introduction into its schools of formal training in Roman law. His lectures, beginning in 1149, probably at oxford, would seem to push back the origin of that studium generale beyond the traditional 1167. He lectured also at Northampton. Temporarily under a cloud during the reign of King stephen, he entered the service of roger de pont l'ÉvÊque, Archbishop of york (1159), by whom he was made canon of Southwell and prebendary of Norwell before 1167. He seems to have been of the party, represented by Roger, opposed to the policies of thomas becket. During this controversy he served as Roger's agent to the papal court and later acted repeatedly as papal judge delegate. His bitter attack on gratian, his lack of interest in canonistic science, and possibly also his adherence to the anti-Becket group suggest that Vacarius neither lectured on canon law nor was responsible for the introduction of the canonistic traditions of Bologna into England. His writings on law and juristic theology are the following: Liber pauperum (c. 1149); Summa de matrimonio (c. 1157-59); De assumpto homine; Liber contra multiplices et varios errores (1177).
Bibliography: t. e. holland, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, 20:80–81. f. de zulueta, ed., Liber pauperum of Vacarius (Selden Society 44; London 1927). ilarino da milano, L'eresia di Ugo Speroni nella confutazione del maestro Vacario (Studi e Testi 115; 1945). j. de ghellinck, "Magister Vacarius: Un juriste théologien peu aimable pour les canonistes," Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique 44 (1949) 173–178. s. kuttner and e. rathbone, "Anglo-Norman Canonists of the 12th Century," Traditio 7 (1949–51) 279–358. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the Scholars of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500 3:1939.
[o. j. blum]