[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
[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
[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
[8a.] A PRIVILEGE FOR
NUNS AND HOW VARIATION MAY BE MADE IN PREAMBLES
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
[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
[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.
Top of page -- Table of contents -- Previous
section -- Next section -- Edition Siglorum
conspectus -- Main menu
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
© Steven M. Wight, Los Angeles 1998
Scrineum © Università di Pavia 1999