Oliva 17 
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[17.] ANOTHER PREAMBLE ABOUT NUNS AND A DOCTRINE OF VARIATIONS

[17.1] It befits us to carefully protect with our defense those prudent virgins elected by God, who, spurning marital relations and temporal delights, come to meet the Bridegroom with lighted lamps, as they are known to fervently smolder in the love of their Maker.193 

[17.2] Now the pope can employ these preambles, furthermore preambles or other dictamina in their own genus are so inserted194 that they can be employed for anyone with only a slight addition or deletion, if the dictator knows the natures and properties of phrases. 

[17.3] Thus that general preamble given above for the pope ('In the apostolic chair')195 could also be fittingly employed in privileges for patriarchs, archbishops and bishops. It would similarly be a general preamble for them, if varied in this manner: Where it is said 'In the apostolic chair', it may be said 'In the patriarchal see' for a patriarch, 'In the archiepiscopal see' for an archbishop, 'In the episcopal see' for a bishop.

[17.4] But it is not legal for them to say 'apostolic' or 'cathedra', since the apostolic nature now belongs only to the pope, because he is the vicar of the apostles and especially of Peter, to whom the keys of the celestial kingdom were given. 'Cathedra' can not be used of these, because it is only fitting for the pope to reside 'in cathedra',196 for the reason that only Peter resided in a 'cathedra'. Nor do I believe it legal for the patriarch of Antioch to say that, although Peter sat 'in cathedra' at Antioch.

[17.5] There are an infinite number of words which from their own nature have a very restricted meaning. In many cases these words cannot be employed. But the provident dictator would sometimes use here a similar word, or sometimes an antonym, because that is a discipline of contraries.197 

[17.6] For 'see' has a large field of meaning and can be placed for many. This word would not properly said for the pope, because the pope never says: see of the holy Roman church.

[17.7] It could also be questioned: Why does the pope always names himself 'bishop' in any title and the property 'episcopal', referring to himself, is never placed in the series of the narration? It would seem that because he calls himself 'bishop', he should make mention in the following passages of 'episcopal' properties, just as do the other bishops. But he never puts any name derived from the word 'bishop' in the narrations. 

[17.8] It could be questioned: Since he is commonly called 'pope'198 by all mortals, why does he never speak of 'papacy'199 in his own treatises, and why does he name himself 'bishop' in his title, although he is called 'bishop' by no one? For all those who make mention of him in their treatises, always say either 'lord pope' or 'of the lord pope' or simply 'pope', according to that which can be varied by grammatical cases.

[17.9] And this never happens with other dignitaries, because the emperor names himself 'emperor' and 'of the emperor', and very often in the series of his narrations he says 'of the empire' and 'for the empire', according to that which can be varied by grammatical cases. And so may it be said with respect to all dignitaries, except the papacy.

[17.10] To this I say and respond that no one can satisfy that question. One would well satisfy the questioner, if it were said that in this matter there is custom alone. Know that sometimes one can satisfy the questioner and not the question, sometimes one may satisfy the question and not the questioner.200 

[17.11] Moreover, anything contained in the above preamble201 can be fittingly placed for those <ecclesiastics>, if that said above and that which I may say below is removed.

[17.12] Contained in that preamble is: all who profess Christian religion. By their nature these five words have a co-signification, but by the placement of a term of eminence they are restricted to signifying for one, that is for the pope.

[17.13] For the restrictions202 and amplifications203 of signification are so infinite that these cannot be understood by anyone, unless the placement of the fact is regarded.

[17.14] Thus in place of those <five> words204 are put these four words 'all committed (to) our care', which agree with this placement <of fact>. 'Apostolic' at the end is removed and is replaced by an adjective derived from that office of which mention has been made, such as 'patriarchal', 'archiepiscopal' or 'episcopal', and this variation can be made in all <grammatical> cases.

[17.15] Note that all dictamina can be varied by numerous means, sometimes by a synonym, sometimes by an equivalent term, sometimes by an antonym. Note again that each variation draws its origin from augmentation or diminution.


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193 Cf. formula 22, Die Register Innocenz III ed. OTHMAR HAGENEDER and ANTON HAIDACHER (Graz-Cologne 1964) 1.xlvi: Prudentibus virginibus, que sub habitu religionis accensis lampadibus per opera sanctitatis iugiter se preparant ire obviam sponso, sedes apostolica debet presidium impertiri, ne forte cuiuslibet temeritatis incursus aut eas a proposito revocet aut robor, quod absit, sacre religionis infringat.

194 Cf. Rhet. Her. 4.32, 4.38.

195 Above, Oliva 7.10.

196 See NIKOLAUS GUSSONE Thron und Inthronisation des Papstes von den Anfängen bis zum 12. Jahrhundert: zur Beziehung zwischen Herrschaftszeichen und bildhaften Begriffen, Recht und Liturgie im christliche Verständnis von Wort und Wirklichkeit Bonner historische Forschungen 41 (Bonn: Roehrscheid, 1978).

197 Cf. Azo Lectura codicis 4.10.5: ait Aristoteles, contrariorum eandem esse disciplinam (Sophistici elenchi 1.10 [171a 36], 1.15 [174b 37]); gl. simul intellegemus ad Inst. 1.8 pr. cited in GERHARD OTTE Dialektik und Jurisprudenz (Frankfurt 1971) 26, 210. See Boncompagnus prol. 3.22. On the rhetorical-juristic method of the quaestio, see BRUNO PARADISI "Appunti per un commento alle Quaestiones de iuris subtilitatibus" in Estudios en Homanaje a Don Claudio Sanchez Albornoz en sus 90 anos vol. III (Buenos Aires 1985) 3-58 at 4ff; see Oliva 18.25, Boncompagnus 1.18.4-5; but also Boncompagnus 1.3.3 §2, 1.21.4 §2, Rhetorica novissima 2.4.1.

198 JOHN MOORHEAD "Papa as 'bishop of Rome'" Journal of Ecclesiastical History 36 (1985) 337-350

199 Boncompagno himself only uses this term once, in a rubric to Boncompagnus 3.1.2; the adjective papalis is used three times: Boncompagnus 3.13.18, 3.20.17, 5.23.1.

200 On questions, see above, Oliva c. 10 and De amicitia 8 (Nathan ed. 51-2). This phrase appears also in Rhetorica novissima 5.6.6.6: Ego tamen questioni satisfaciam et querenti...

201 Above Oliva 7.10 (and cited above, 17.3). See also above, Oliva 7.21.

202 The term restrictio does not appear in the ancient rhetorical treatises, although Boncompagno uses it with a technical meaning here, below Oliva 18.22 (restringitur) and at Boncompagnus 5.10.28. For the medieval grammatical concept of restrictio, see L.M. DE RIJK Logica modernorum 2.617ff; for a modist treatment of restriction and amplification see Radulphus Brito Priora Analytica, I qu. 46 edited in J. PINBORG "Some Problems of Semantic Representations in Medieval Logic" in H. PARRET ed. History of Linguistic Thought and Contemporary Liguistics (Berlin 1976) 254- 278 at 272-275 [reprinted in J. PINBORG Medieval Semantics (London 1984). In general, see ALAIN DE LIBERA "On Some 12th and 13th Century Doctrines of Restriction" in Studies in Medieval Linguistic Thought dedicated to Geoffrey L. Bursill-Hall (Amsterdam 1980) edd. KONRAD KOERNER, HANS-J. NIEDEREHE and R. H. ROBINS, pp. 131-143.

203 For the more normal technical term of rhetoric, amplificatio, see Rhetorica ad Herennium 2.47. However Boncompagno refers here to grammatical restriction and amplification: see previous note.

204 ie. above, Oliva 17.12.


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© Steven M. Wight, Los Angeles 1998

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