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His works are—1. S. Chrysostomi Homiliae in Evangelium S. Joannis, interprete, 1470, fol. 5. Phalaridis Epistolae, 1469,8vo. 3. Diogenis Cynici Philosophi Epistolae. 4. Authoris incerti Libellis de Thermis Puteolorum, et vicinis in Italia, 4to. 1475. 5. Consilia seu Responsa. 6. Coramentaria super Deeretalium, 1481. Commentaria, 1495, folio. He was also a poet, and some of his sonnets have been printed by Grescembini, in his history of Italian poetry.
SIR THOMAS LITTLETON, an English lawyer and judge was eldest son of Thomas Westcote, Esq. of Devonshire, by the heiress of Littleton, of Frankley, in Worcestershire, whose name he assumed. He was regularly educated for the law; and, in the reign of Henry VI., he was made judge of the Marshalsea Court, and king's serjeant,; and in 1455, went the northern circuit of judge of the assize. In 1466 he was appointed one of the judges of the Common Pleas, and a short time after, was created a knight of the Bath. He died in 1481, leaving three sons, from whom many considerable families are descended. He was author of a valuable work entitled " Tenures and Titles by which Estates were anciently held in England." Sir Thomas during the troubles and confusions of the times, so comported himself, as to enjoy the favour of both the contending sovereigns, and, at the same time, acquired the esteem of all, for his great skill in the laws of England.
MATTHEW AFFLITO, an Italian lawyer, was born at Naples in 1430. He filled many offices of state in his native country, under five successive kings. His knowledge was extensive, and his character most excellent. He was twice married, and from his latter wife, Diana Carmegrana, are descended the Afflitos, barons of Rocca-Gloriosa. He died in 1510. He wrote commentaries in Latin, on the Sicilian and Neapolitan laws and customs, the Justinian code, and other works, which are still held in esteem by the jurists.
PETER D' ANDLO, a lawyer and professor at Basil, was rector of the University in 1471. Many of his manuscripts are preserved in the library; and one has been published, entitled "De Imperio Romano:" Strasburgh, 1603,4to.
BLAISE D' AURIOL, a professor of the canon law at Toulouse, is known by some poetical pieces, and treatises. He was so terrified at the prediction of a deluge, by a pretended prophet of his time, that he built himself a large ark, in which like Noah, he hoped to survive the general calamity. He died in 1540.
JAMES MINUTOLI, born in the year 1434, and son to Francis Minutoli; senator, and Margaret Balbani, who was also of a very noble family, became very learned in the civil and canon law. Pope Pius II. made him abbreviator of the apostolic letters. In the year 1460, pope Paul II. made him one of the commissaries of the Papal army in the war of the holy see against Robert Malatesta, lord of Rimini, he behaved himself so prudently and courageously in that office, that he brought all Umbria into subjection, and especially Spoleto and Citta di Castello, which gave occasion to the learned Antonius Campanus to speak of him in one of his letters to Gentil of Urbino, in this manner, "I hear our friend Minutoli is taken into your college; if it be so, you have got a stout colleague, and who learned long since to defend the common dignity; for that affair of Ancona was a flight and not a fight, and he showed he was a man of courage that day, fighting amongst the first captains." After the war of Rimini, he was made secretary of the apostolic penitentiary, and count of the sacred palace of St. John de Lateran by Paul II. The emperor Frederic III. honoured him with the title of count Palatine, which at that time was a considerable dignity.
In the pontificate of Sixtus IV., he was made governor of Spoleto; and having performed several services for the holy see, Sixtus recompensed him for it by giving him the bishopric of Nocera, in Umbria, and a little time after, he sent him with the cardinal legate, John de Balne, to Lewis XI., king of France, who had such an esteem for him, that he made him his agent with the popes, and procured him a translation from the bishopric of Nocera to that of Agde, in Languedoc ; and in the same year, 1481, he was sent with the king's ambassadors, to persuade the senate of Venice to join in the pacification of Italy, which had been first resolved upon at Rome. The king rewarded him for it by giving him a rich abbey in Poictiers, and by allowing him to enjoy the archbishopric of Cambray. He died in France very much regretted. There are several of his Latin letters in the collection of those of the cardinal of Pavia, James Amarmati Picorlornini.
BARTOLOMEO SOXINI, or SOCCINI, a celebrated civilian, son of Mariano Soxini, or Soccini, was born at Siena in 1436. He studied the law under different masters at Siena and Bologna, and after he had been admitted to a doctor's degree, he became professor of the civil and canon law in his native city. He was, in 1473, invited to Pisa, where he taught both branches of law, and in this city he resided twenty years, with some occasional absences. He took an active part in the civil dissentions of Siena, and was, at one time, in the list of the banished citizens. He was employed in embassies from the Sienese to the Florentines, and it is said he engaged in a military attempt to change the constitution of Siena. At Pisa, the famous Jason del Maino was his rival, and they held frequent public disputations, at one of which Lorenzo de Medici was an auditor. Jason being hard pressed by the arguments of his antagonist, quoted in his own favour, a text which he had invented for the occasion. Soxini, with equal readiness, invented another to oppose it, and being asked by Jason where he had found it, " Next to that which you have just now quoted," he replied. The fame which he had acquired, caused him to be invited to Padua in 1489, with the offer of a large salary, which he determined to accept, but his intentions being known, he was detained. For some time he was professor at Padua. He died in 1507, having been three years deprived of the use of his speech. His works as an author, were " Consultations," "Comments on the Code and Digest," the " Rule of Right," and other pieces of a similar kind. He was not estimable as a practical moralist. He was addicted to gambling, and would sometimes leave his scholars without a lesson, and pass whole nights at the gaming table, the consequence of which most destructive habit was, that he did not leave money enough behind him to pay the expenses of his funeral. He was extremely greedy of money, and charged very high for his opinion, which he would sometimes give to both parties in a suit. He was free of speech, sarcastic and jocular. His faults were borne with on account of his high professional character. Angelo Politiano, speaking of his intended correction of the Pandects, says, "I must have recourse to the assistance and advice of that singularly excellent doctor of Siena, Bartolomeo Soxini, whom I may boldly denominate the Papinian of our age."
NICHOLAS GERBEL, a learned jurist, was a native of Pfortzheim. He was brought up to the study of the lawj and became a professor of it at Vienna, and afterwards at Strasburg. He applied to the study of antiquities, and/obtained great reputation by his writings. De Thou characterizes him as one equally estimable for his erudition and humanity. He died at a very advanced age in 1560. He wrote—1. A description of Greece, under the title of " Isagoge in tabulam Graeciae Nicolai Sophiani," fol. 2. "Vita J oh an. Cuspiniani. 3. DeAnabaptistorum ortu et progressu." He likewise published an edition of the New Testament, 4to.
SEBASTIAN BRANDT, or TITIO, a lawyer, poet, and historian, was born at Strasburgh in 1448. After prosecuting his studies in that city, he removed to Basil, where lie took his master's degree in Arts, and superintended the education of youth, as a public professor, both at Basil and Strasburg. Here he arrived at the highest honours of the law, being made count Palatine, and councillor and chancellor of Strasburg. He died in 1520, leaving numerous works on law, divinity, and poetry. The celebrated "Ship of Fools," is the work which has chiefly perpetuated his memory. It was written originally in the Ger« man language, and translated into Latin by Locher, 1497,4to.
PHILIP DECIO, one of the most eminent jurists of the age in which he lived, was son of Tristan Decio, and was born at Milan in 1453. While engaged in the study of polite literature at home, the plague in Milan compelled him at the age of seventeen to retire to Pavia, where his eldest brother Lancelot, was a professor of law. On his brother's recommendation, he commenced the same study in which he made such progress as to excite his jealousy. Lancelot being invited to Pisa, Philip followed him, and at that university excited the attention of all the celebrated professors, by his great readiness and acuteness in disputation. He obtained a doctor's degree in 1476, and was immediately appointed to read on the Institutions. He was next made lecturer extraordinary in the civil law, in which capacity he accompanied the university on its removal to Pistoia, in 1479. There are few examples in literary history, of more pertinacious disputations than were carried on between Decio and his rival Soxini and his scholars. Decio at length became so formidable, than none of the professors chose to be his competitor or Opponent; and Sandeo, professor of canon law, left the university abruptly, rather than answer a challenge which he had accepted from him. These squabbles were at length the cause of his removal to Siena, but he was soon invited to Rome, where Innocent VIII., nominated him auditor of the rota. This post, however, he refused, because he did not choose to become an ecclesiastic; he therefore resumed his chair at Siena. He soon after accepted a proposal of returning to Pisa on a stipend of 450 florins; but so much were his talents for dispute dreaded, that it was necessary several times to change his chair from civil to canon law, and back again, on the account of refusals of other professors to be his antagonists. In 1501, when the war had reduced the university of Pisa to a low condition, Decio accepted an invitation to the chair of canon law at Padua; and such was the public eagerness to hear him, that the other schools were almost deserted, and many persons of respectability were proud to become his auditors. Milan having fallen under the power of Lewis XII., of France, that prince recalled him thither as a subject, on the promise of the same stipend which he enjoyed at Padua, which was 600 gold florins. The republic refused to part with him, and Rucellai, who was then at Venice, observed that he might tell at Florence, that he had seen the king of France and the state of Venice in warm contention for Philip Decio alone. Such was then the consequence of a man of letters! This at length terminated in his removal to Pavia in 1505, where, for seven years, he explained the canon law to a numerous audience. Lewis having at this time assembled a synod at Pisa, in opposition to pope Julius II., Decio was constrained to attend upon it, in his professional capacity; on which the fiery Julius excommunicated him. Soon after, the French being driven from Italy, Decio was obliged to retire to Asti, and thence to Alba, whence he in vain applied to the pope for pardon. He had the further mortification of hearing that the Swiss troops had pillaged his house at Pavia of his books and furniture, and had even gone to the monastery where he had a natural daughter for education, and had stripped her of every thing, and taken away the money he had left for her maintenance. Such was the rapacity of those mercenaries, Bo long the scourge of Europe! Decio took refuge in France, where in every town he was welcomed by a crowd of scholars all eager to hear him. The king created him a member of the parliament of Grenoble. While he was in that city he received a letter from the pope, offering him pardon on condition of coming to Rome, but this he thought fit to decline. He then accepted the chair of civil law at Valence in Dauphine, with the hitherto unprecedented salary of 1000 franks. When he went thither, there were scarcely twenty-five scholars, but a hundred soon joined him from Avignon, and in his second year the number amounted to 400. At this time, on the request of the cardinals assembled at Lyons, he wrote a refutation of an attack made upon them by cardinal Cajetan, hut the death of Julius prevented it from being published. His successor Leo X., who had been a disciple of Decio at Pisa, sent him a release from ecclesiastical censures, and invited him to Rome, but he did not then choose to leave France. On the accession of Francis I., however, he was desirous of accepting a very pressing invitation to return to Pisa; but the city of Valence applied to the king to prevent his departure. It was at length agreed, that when the Milanese should return to the power of the French, Decio should again open his school at Pavia. This took place in 1515, but the supervening wars rendered his situation at Pavia so uncomfortable, that he retired to Florence, and there agreed to resume his professorship at Pisa. He recommenced his lectures there with vast applause; and notwithstanding the attempts which were made to draw him to Milan, Avignon, and Padua, he finished his days at Pisa. His salary there at length rose to 1500 gold florins, a very ample sum in those days. He died in 1535, at the age of eighty-two. His Consilia were published at Venice, in 1581, 2 vols, fol., and his De Regulis Juris, in folio, at the same time and place.
PETER ACCOLTI, the son of Benedict, was born at Arezzo about the year 1455, and died at Rome December 12, 1532. He was professor of law, and taught with great applause. He was employed by the popes, and raised successively to several bishoprics, and became a cardinal in 1511. He wrote several historical tracts. He was the author of the famous papal bull against Luther. Benedict Accolti, his natural son, was executed, in 1564, for a conspiracy against Pope Pius IV.