Prologus Boncompagni ad Summam Codicis Azonis
Siglorum conspectus -- Main menu --
Parallels in the Opera Boncompagni -- Prooemium ad Summam Institutionum Azonis


Incipit prologus ad Summam Codiciis per domini Azonem compositam.

[1.] Cum post inventionem scientie supervenerit gratie plenitudo et successivis nature beneficiis ingenium predotetur, non est mirum si humana conditio continuis exercitiis suscipiat incrementum; unde etiam dicit lex "Omne artificium suscipit incrementum", ut ff. DE LEG. infra, l. Legatis, par. Ornatricibus, quia ipsa consuetudo convertitur in naturam. Unde iuniores perspicatius queque singula contemplantur. Est enim natura quedam existentia subiectorum complectens accidentia secundum esse proprium.

exercitiis suscipiat incrementum] recipit exercitiis incrementum V      infra] iii. V      suscipit] recipit ed. Dig. 32.65.3       Ornatricibus] Hornatricibus V       convertitur] vertitur  V       proprium esse tr. V et om. signum paragraphi

Since, after the invention of knowledge a fullness of grace has supervened and genius is pre-endowed by the successive benefits of nature, it is no wonder if the human condition may receive an improvement through continuous excercises. Thus the law says "Every craft may receive an improvement," as below in the Digest 32.65.3, because custom itself is converted into nature. Therefore, youngsters should consider carefully each and every thing. For nature is a certain being of subjects embracing the accidents according to their own being.

[2.] Vel natura est id quod intus latet et ex consuetudinis instantia, queritur, de quo tantum accipitur quantum est de materia inesse, et tamen augeri potest per consuetudinarium studendi modum. Alterabilis est quidem ipsa natura, quia suscipit magis et minus iuxta sententiam Salomonis. Inquit enim "Omnia renovantur et deiciuntur, et generatio carnis et sanguinis nascitur et finitur." [Sirach 14.19 omnia renovantur: alia generantur cod., et2: sic cod. ] Renovantur igitur homines et ipsa scientia reflorescit quia veteres preceptores artium et scientiarum principia contulerunt, unde commendandi sunt, sed non pre ceteris extollendi sunt, quoniam "qui subtiliter factum emendat, laudabilior est eo, qui prius invenit," ut C. DE VET IURE ENUC. l. i. par. Sed neque v. Nam qui [Codex 1.17.1.6, Digest proem. Deo auctore, (non subtiliter factum ed.) Summa Codicis Azonis ad 1.17.1.6]

ex] extra V         tantum] tamen? V         modum] motum V         quidem] equidem V         finitur--quia om. V           ceteris] cepteris V         extollendi] sunt om. V          eo qui] quia V             Sed neque v. om. V         

Or, nature is that which reveals itself inwardly, and it may be sought through the perseverance of custom, from which only so much is gained as inheres in the matter, although it can be enlarged through a customary manner of study. Indeed, nature itself is alterable, because, according to the judgment of Solomon, it receives more or less. For he said "All things are renewed and cast off, and the generation of flesh and blood is born and is ended." [Sirach 14.19]. Thus are men renewed and knowledge itself reblooms, because the elder teachers have passed down the principles of the arts and the sciences. They should be commended for this, but they should not be extolled above all others, since "He who emends with discernment deserves more praise than the original author," as in Codex 1.17.1.6 [Digest proem. Deo auctore].

[3.] Scio siquidem quod dominus Placentinus, preclarus et famosus iurisperitus, apud Montepessulanum super Codice et Institutionibus summas laudabiles composuit, cuius dictis non proposui derogare. Nam licet in quibusdam minus plene, in quibusdam ordine irregulari, et in quibusdam non observatio tramite iuris, ita quod confuse processisse videatur, non est tamen ab aliquo inculpandus "quia omnium habere memoriam, et in nullo penitus peccare, divinitatis est potius quam humanitatis", l. ii. par. Si quid autem, C. DE VET. IURE ENUC. [Cod. 1.17.2.13].

Codice] Codicem V           Institutionibus] Institutiones V        ita quod] Item V          sunt om. V          eo qui] quia V             l.ii par.--ENUC om. V         

Inasmuch as lord Placentinus, a noble and famous jurist, composed at Montpellier praiseworthy Summa on the Codex and on the Institutiones, I do not intend to detract from his writings. For although his Summa are in some places incomplete, in others irregularly ordered, and in still other places the right path is not observed, so that he seems to procede in confusion, yet no one should condemn him, "because it pertains to the divinity rather than mortality to have a memory for all things and to give offense in no respect at all," [Codex 1.17.2.13].

[4.] Nunc autem ego Azo residens Bononie in iurisperitorum ordine, honorabilium sociorum precibus humiliter condescendi, qui vita commendabili, morum honestate, scientie magnitudine, numero personarum, nobilitate prosapie, multaque liberalitate resplendent. Unde iuxta ipsorum amicabiles supplicationes Codicis et Institutionum Summas lucide tractare studebo, cupiens ut tam provecti quam rudes, que postulant, queant facile invenire, quia sepe accidere consuevit quod per glossas textus notitia tenebratur, et dum glossa ad glossam vel textum transmittitur--quod quidem ego ipse feceram, ut vitarem scribendi laborem--studiosus auditor desiderabili privatur effectu, et cum ad erudiendum super dubitabilibus patrocinium glossaram requirit, lumen reperit a tergo, unde in erroris cadit sepissime labyrinthum. Suscipiatis itaque amabiles et preclarissimi socii lucidum et favorabile munus, quod mihi <a me> diutius postulastis, tenentes, quia nihil obscurum, nihil dubitabile, nihilque contrarium legibus invenietis, quoniam omnes principales et secundarie harum summarum particule de iuris corpore processerunt.

que postulant] quod postulant V          per glossas] per glossam V          ad erudiendum] erudiendus V        glossarum patrocinium tr. V           sunt om. V          eo qui] quia V           itaque] igitur V

But now I, Azo, living at Bologna in the order of jurists, humbly condescend to the entreaties of my many honorable students, who shine through commendable lives, honest morals, extensive knowledge, noble lineage, and great generosity. Thus, in accord with their friendly requests, I will strive to lucidly draw out Summa on the Codex and on the Institutiones, desirous that the skilled as well as the inexperienced may easily find what they seek, because it often happens that knowledge of the text is obscured by its glosses, and when a gloss is transmitted to gloss or to the text (something which I myself have done, in order that I might avoid the labor of writing), the studious listener/pupil is deprived of his desired result, and when he seeks out the patronage of glosses in order to become instructed about ambiguities, he obtains a light from the rear, and thus quite often falls into a labyrinth of error. Therefore, my friendly and noble students, take this lucid and favorable gift which you have long sought from me, understanding that you will discover nothing obscure, nothing doubtful, and nothing contrary to the laws, since every principal and secondary particle of these Summas procede from the body of the law.

***
© Steven M. Wight, Los Angeles 1998

Scrineum © Universitą di Pavia 1999