Oliva 7.8-8a.10 
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[7.8] After the title, specific preambles are used in papal privileges. The pope's dictators rarely vary these preambles, either because they should not change them or because they cannot say them better. I do not imply that the Roman church was not often endowed with excellent dictators, who offered others a form and example of dictating. Nevertheless, many are admitted there and elsewhere by means of entreaties and gifts, who, if their models were removed76 would 'plow the shore'.77 Therefore, I do not call such men dictators, but instead they should deservedly be termed reciters.78 

[7.9] Returning to the subject, I declare that this must be known: Preambles should be put in all privileges, confirmations, general statutes79 and testaments.80 Without preambles, these could not be acceptably commenced after the title.

[7.10] The pope can use this general preamble for any Christian: Residing in the Apostle's chair, the Lord permitting, we are required to offer our protection and help to anyone professing the Christian religion, and, inasmuch as our resources allow, to buttress his rights by apostolic muniments. 

[7.11] This and any other preamble may be varied in innumerable ways if the dictator would be somewhat discreet. For, retaining the aforesaid preamble up to we are required, one can add: to furnish generous and ready assent to the just requests of all81 or to strengthen the rights of each by an apostolic privilege or to confirm the rights of each by an apostolic privilege or to nurture these by apostolic muniment.

[7.12] I shall therefore briefly assign certain modes of varying privileges according to the offices and merits of the recipients, because it would seem inept if a dictator should not garner goodwill82 while placing preambles in privileges. 

[7.13] And although it rarely, or rather never, happens that the pope privileges the emperor, yet as an exercise I say that it could be done as follows: 

[7.14] Although we are required to love all sons of the Roman church with the accustomed beneficence of the apostolic see, yet we ought to honor the imperial majesty more affectionately, with a manifold favor, and offer a ready and generous assent to the petitions of he, who by the Lord's disposition, has attained the monarchy of the world, and who protects the Lord's church from attacks of the wicked. 

[7.15] That preamble can be varied for kings, if after to love it is said in this manner: yet we ought to honor the royal majesty with a manifold favor, and offer a ready and generous assent to petitions of he, who by the Lord's action, conserves unharmed the rights of his kingdom, and protects the Lord's church from the attacks of the wicked. 

[7.16] The dictator of the pope can place this preamble for patriarchs, archbishops and bishops: 

[7.17] Since we are required by the office imposed on us by God to strengthen the rights of all, it is fitting that we should listen with greater foresight to the petitions and be attentive for the repose of those who are participants in name and in office of our fraternity and in the dignity of pastoral preaching and who have been promoted to the episcopal office. 

[7.18] Patriarchs and archbishops can place this preamble in privileges for their suffragan bishops--provided that they remove the word 'apostolic' and place there the adjective of their own office.

[7.19] One should know that all those who grant privileges shall sometimes derive a preamble: 1) from a service conferred to them or to their church or to their predecessors, 2) from the religion of some person or persons, 3) from a matter which awaits their own judicial ruling.83 

[7.20] The pope composes a preamble, or can do so, from a service conferred to him, to the church or to his subjects, as follows: 

[7.21] Since we are required by the office imposed on us to offer our protection and help to all those who profess the Christian religion, we ought to protect more attentively with an apostolic muniment the rights of those who always persist faithfully in service to us and to the Roman church. 

[7.22] Anyone who grants a privilege for the sake of a service conferred to him, or for the religion of some person or persons, can deliver a preamble in like fashion manner, fittingly changing those things which ought to be changed in this way: 

[7.23] Since, through the clemency of divine disposition, the care of all churches has fallen on us, it is fitting that we vigilantly attend to the peace and repose of those who, spurning carnal desires, contemplate with Mary at the foot of the Lord the presence of divine majesty, and protect in apostolic muniments those things which they possess for their sustenance. 

[7.24] Any patriarch, archbishop or bishop can place this preamble in their privileges: 

[7.25] Since, from the clemency of divine dispensation, a care of all the churches of our patriarchate (if he is a patriarch) or archbishopric (if an archbishop) or bishopric (if he is a bishop) has fallen on us, it is fitting that we etc.

[7.26] But the adjective appropriate to their own office should be placed wherever 'apostolic' is said. A dictator can deliver preambles for religious persons in many ways, because perhaps the pope sometimes expressly names in the preamble those to whom he grants the privilege--or his dictator names them--in this manner: 

[7.27] Since we are required by the office imposed on us by God to solicitously nurture all religious men, we should more solicitously protect with an apostolic muniment our beloved Cistercian sons and strengthen their rights with our privilege, because the vigor of religion and the foundation of Catholic faith is found in them. 

[7.28] It can be said in the same way for Camaldolensians84 and other religious men. Patriarchs, archbishops and bishops can place this preamble in their privileges, removing apostolic, and replacing it with the adjective of their own office.

[7.29] But I believe bishops should address Cistercians, Vallambrosians and Camaldolensians and all other religious men who have been exempted by apostolic privilege85 from their jurisdiction as 'brothers' and not 'sons', because it is reckless that they should call these men 'sons' who the pope has exempted from all power by a special privilege; rather, they are 'brothers' of the bishops, who are special sons of one father, that is, of the pope. The bishops ought to defer to the religious, because these men lead the most honest life on earth.

[7.30] If it is asked 'Why does the pope not call them brothers?', it should be responded 'Custom86 rather than reason applies in this case, because he calls himself their servant, so it would not be unjust if he should call them 'brothers'.87 

[7.31] A preamble for the Hospitallers of Jerusalem88 could be so arranged: 

[7.32] Residing in the eminence of the apostolic see, the Lord permitting, we ought to act in Peter's stead and with the keys of apostolic muniments we should open the door of our stronghold for them and solicitously defend their rights, who, spurning the delights of this world, guard the holy sepulcher of the Lord with festive honor and with the highest reverence, devoting many services there to the Creator and to his poor. 

[7.33] But today this preamble would not seem to be true, because the sepulcher of the Lord is placed under the domination of the pagans.89 

[7.34] Nevertheless, wherever the aforesaid Hospitallers may be, they are considered to be in service of His sepulcher.90 The aforesaid preamble may be varied for the Templars, retaining the beginning up to 'delights', and adding: who fight for the Temple of the Lord under the discipline of a Rule, and do not fear to shed their own blood for the love of the Redeemer. 

[8a.] A PRIVILEGE FOR NUNS AND HOW VARIATION MAY BE MADE IN PREAMBLES

[8a.1] The following preamble can be made for virgins: 

[8a.2] Although the Apostle held no precept of the Lord concerning virgins, but has only given a counsel, we, who act in his stead through the clemency of divine disposition, are required to offer apostolic protection and advice to those virgins dedicated to God, and to protect their rights with our muniment, that they might persevere in their praiseworthy resolve. 

[8a.3] This preamble can be appropriately varied for patriarchs and archbishops and bishops, if that clause91 which begins with We and ends in should act in Peter's stead would be removed and another should be placed there, retaining the beginning of that clause in this manner: We ought in the same way imitate His steps etc. Sometimes he makes mention in preambles that his predecessors had granted privileges,92 in this manner: 

[8a.4] Since we are required by the office imposed upon us to offer a ready and generous assent to the just petitions of anyone, we should more generously admit the requests of those, who, for the sake of their merits, have been privileged with a special grace by our predecessors. 

[8a.5] The dictator can suitably place this preamble for the pope and also for patriarchs, archbishops and bishops, without any change, in accordance with a legal case which pertains to their own judicial ruling, in this manner: 

[8a.6] Since we are required by the apostolic office to nurture all churches established throughout the world under the shelter of apostolic protection, and to vigilantly take pains for their peace and repose, we should all the more attentively strengthen with our protection and we should with a more special charity love those churches, which from their foundation have been especially assigned to blessed Peter and the holy Roman church. 

[8a.7] Or after 'love': Those churches which without doubt are especially attached to blessed Peter and the holy Roman church. Or: Which pertain without intermediary to the right of the blessed Peter and are especially assigned to his tutelage.

[8a.8] The aforesaid preambles can be varied in innumerable ways if the dictator has discretion. But if I should wish to specify each single means of varying, my time would run out before my words. In composing preambles of privileges according to the class of the offices and the merits of the recipients, any clever dictator can capture benevolence and gain favor from each and all while delivering a preamble.

[8a.9] All the aforesaid preambles can be placed suitably in confirmations, provided that no mention of 'privilege' should be made there, that is, that this word alone, in any of its cases, should not be written there.93 

[8a.10] Having briefly passed through the classes of preambles which can be made by the pope himself, it may be seen how a transition to the narration ought to be made in privileges.


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76 On the use of models by dictatores: Oliva 8b.28-32, 56.1 etc. Boncompagno struck a similar disparaging note in the letter he sent to a papal notary: Boncompagnus 1.23.5 §2.

77 Ovid Pont. 4.2.16; for a related proverb, see Boncompagnus 3.16.3 and the prologue to a Cistercian ars dictamen written ca. 1273 (= Paris BN lat. 11384, fols. 81-213v): JEAN LECLERCQ "Le formulaire de Pontigny" in Miscellanea Populetana (Abadia de Poblet 1966) 229-265 at 237.

78 Cf. Rhetorica ad Herennium 2.14 and De inventione 2.139 for the opposition between legal interpretors and recitatores. See also Boncompagnus 1.18.1, 1.18.10, 1.25.2, 2.3.10, 3.10.3, Rhetorica novissima prol. 1, 2.2.8,10, 9.5.3. GIOVANNI CERRI ed. Scrivere e recitare: modelli di trasmissione del testo poetico nell'antichita e nel medioevo. Atti di una ricerca interdisciplinare svolta presso l'I.U.O. (Rome, Edizioni dell'Ateneo, 1986) does not treat medieval Latin.

79 Cedrus 6.3, 6.5-7.

80 Mirra 1.3-4, 6.2, 8.1, 23.1. Boncompagno's advice here was rarely followed by Italian notaries drafting statutes and testaments.

81 Cf. the papal preamble 'Iustis petentium desideriis dignum et nos facilem prebere consensum et vota que a rationis tramite non discordant effectu prosequente complere', analyzed by JANE E. SAYERS Papal Government and England during the pontificate of Honorius III (Cambridge 1984) 110-113. See below Oliva 7.17, 8a.4, 10.2, 14.1, 60.2 and Isagoge 3.14.

82 Boncompagno follows the Italian definition of the preamble (exordium) as chiefly consisting of a securing of goodwill (captatio benivolentiae); elsewhere he ridicules or criticized the French preference for proverbs in the preamble: Palma cc. 17, 25-28; Cedrus 6.7; Isagogue 2.2, 2.19; Quinque tabule salutationum 4.21; Tractatus virtutum §2-§7; Liber .X. tabularum prol. 17-21; Boncompagnus 1.18.1. See below, Oliva 8a.8, 23.2. On the preamble (captatio benivolentiae or proverbium) in the early Italian and French ars dictandi: FRANZ JOSEF WORSTBROCK "Die Frühzeit der Ars dictandi in Frankreich" in Pragmatische Schriftlichkeit im Mittelalter: Erscheinungsformen und Entwicklungsstufen. Akten des Internationalen Kolloquiums 17.-19. Mai 1989 edd. HAGEN KELLER, KLAUS GRUBMüLLER and NIKOLAUS STAUBACH (München 1992, Münstersche Mittelalter-Schriften, Bd. 65) 131-156 at 146-149.

83 Of these three programmatic topics for inventing preambles of privileges, the first two are displayed up to Oliva 8a.5-6, where an extremely short demonstration of the third is found. See also below, Oliva 15.3. --- The first two topics stem from two of the three causae dispendandi vel privilegiandi: religio, necessitas vel exhibitum obsequium. On these causae, see HARRY DONDORP "Review of Papal Rescripts in the Canonists' Teaching" ZRG ka 76 (1990) 172-253 and 77 (1991) 32-110 at 186-7. --- Boncompagno may have drawn general inspiration for discussing topics of invention from section I of the Aurea gemma <Gallica> (composed ca. 1148 at Meaux). The anonymous author of this text--the only ars dictandi previous to the Oliva to include a lengthy treatise on privileges--did not include topics specific to privileges, but comprehensively discusses topics for composing letters. However, Rhetorica ad Herennium 3.39 averts generally to the need for a schema for inventing preambles. Previous to the Oliva, Boncompagno established the general principle that preambles of letters should derive from the facts of the narration (Notule auree 5 and Palma 24--see also Ysagoge 2.18). --- According to ruling doctrine of the Italian ars dictandi, itself based on Rhetorica ad Herennium 1.8 and Cicero De inventione 1.22, the three topics (loci) for inventing a preamble of a letter were the sender, the recipient, and and the business common to them: Hugo of Bologna Rationes dictandi (ROCKINGER ed. 58), Ceterum captationis modos in epistolis tres esse necessarios novimus. [...] aut enim ab eo qui mittit seu cui mittitur captatio capitur, vel ex ipsa re, id est ex hoc quod illorum alter vel utrique diligunt commendando benivolentiam captent. --- In his Breviloquium, Boncompagno later gave a doctrina inchoandi: a formal analysis of letter openings, preambles and the openings of narrations and petitions. But book five of his Rhetorica novissima contains his most complete treatment of exordial topics, especially oriented to forensic oration, but not excluding written forms.

84 Camaldolese monks appear throughout the Oliva and also in the Cedrus 6.16-20, Mirra 25.2, Boncompagnus 3.20.30, 3.20.34, 5.10.12. On 12 February 1206 Boncompagno witnessed a document in which the rectors of the nascent university at Vicenza ask permission to install Samson, a Camaldolese monk, as prior of their church of S. Vito (MITTARELLI Annales Camaldulenses 4.202 ff.). For context and analysis, see GIROLAMO ARNALDI "Scuole nella Marca Trevigiana e a Venezia nel secolo XIII" in Storia della cultura veneta (Vicenza 1976) 1.351-386 at 378-9. Innocent III replied with separate letters of praise to these scholars (PL 215.1028, Reg. 9.188, Po. 2913; cf. also ) and of confirmation to Samson (MITTARELLI Annales Camaldulenses 4. Appendix 263, Po. 2923).

85 See also Quinque tabule salutationum 4.22-23: Nam omnes patriarche, archiepiscopi et episcopi debent talium abbatum nomina premittere in salutationibus, si eorum abbatie fuerint exempte per apostolica scripta ab illorum iurisdictione, nisi forte in provincia illa sit sedis apostolice legatus. Omnes autem religiosi viri debent ab omnibus multimode honorari, quia sunt filli Dei excelsi et per dilectionem Dei et proximi, que karitas est, Deo sunt uniti et membra Christi efficiuntur. For exempt monasteries: GEORG SCHREIBER Kurie und Klöster im 12. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart 1910) 1.75-92 and VOLKERT PFAFF "Die päpstlichen Klosterexemptionen in Italien bis zum Ende des zwölften Jahrhunderts" ZRG kan. Abt. 72 (1986) 76-114.

86 On language custom: Rhetorica ad Herennium (1.3,11, 2.45, 3.24,39, 4.10,11,17,43) and De inventione (2.54,116).

87 Cf. Johannes Teutonicus Apparatus in Compilationem tertiam (PENNINGTON ed. 1.12) v. servus: Licet hic te appelles servum servorum Dei, altius tamen intonas, cum dedignaris dici vicarius Petri... For canonists' views on custom: RUDOLF WEIGAND "Frühe Glossen zu D.11 c.6 des Dekrets Gratians" ZRG 95 kan. Abt. (1978) 73-94; the oppposition of custom to reason is a commonplace of the Bolognese legists.

88 For papal diplomatics of charters granted to the Johanniters, see above Oliva 7.4.

89 Since 3 October 1187.

90 This may be an adaptation of the maxim 'Ubi papa ibi Roma'. See below, Oliva 10.13.

91 For literature on the rhetorical distinctio see TERENCE TUNBERG "What is Boncompagno's 'Newest Rhetoric'?" Traditio 41 (1986) 299-334 at 307, note 38.

92 For examples of preambles to imperial diplomas which refer to Vorurkunden, see the index to Arengenverzeichnis zu den Königs- und Kaiserurdunden von den Merowingern bis Heinrich VI. edd. FRIEDRICH HAUSMANN and ALFRED GAWLIK (Munich 1987), s.v. 'privilegium'. For an example of a petition for an imperial privilege containing such a preamble, see Boncompagnus 4.4.16.

93 This precept, repeated below Oliva 44.3, if taken seriously, would revise generally held chancery usage, described above, Oliva 8a.3. For other revisionist precepts, see Quinque tabule salutationum 5.5 and Tractatus virtutum §8-§9.


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© Steven M. Wight, Los Angeles 1998

Scrineum © Università di Pavia 1999