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Andrea Alciato

Andrea Alciato

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Andrea Alciato commonly known as Alciati (Andreas Alciatus), was an Italian jurist
Jurist
A jurist or jurisconsult is a professional who studies, develops, applies, or otherwise deals with the law. The term is widely used in American English, but in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries it has only historical and specialist usage...

 and writer. He is regarded as the founder of the French school of legal humanists
Legal humanists
The legal humanists were a group of scholars of Roman law, which arose in 16th century France as a reaction against the Commentators. They had a general disdain for the Middle Ages and felt nothing good could come from then. They also had a great love of antiquarianism and were greatly concerned...

.

Biography


Alciati was born in Alzate Brianza
Alzate Brianza
Alzate Brianza is a comune in the Province of Como in the Italian region Lombardy, located about 35 km north of Milan and about 10 km southeast of Como.-External links:*...

, near Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, and settled in France in the early 16th century. He displayed great literary skill in his exposition of the laws, and was one of the first to interpret the civil law
Civil law (common law)
Civil law, as opposed to criminal law, is the branch of law dealing with disputes between individuals or organizations, in which compensation may be awarded to the victim...

 by the history, languages and literature of antiquity, and to substitute original research for the servile interpretations of the glossators. He published many legal works, and some annotations on Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

 and accumulated a sylloge of Roman inscriptions from Milan and its territories, as part of his preparation for his history of Milan, written in 1504-05.

Alciati is most famous for his Emblemata
Emblemata
Usually known simply as the "Emblemata", the first emblem book appeared in Augsburg in 1531 under the title Viri Clarissimi D. Andreae Alciati Iurisconsultiss. Mediol. Ad D. Chonradum Peutingerum Augustanum, Iurisconsultum Emblematum Liber...

,
published in dozens of editions from 1531 onward. This collection of short Latin verse texts and accompanying woodcuts created an entire European genre, the emblem book
Emblem book
Emblem books are a category of mainly didactic illustrated book printed in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries, typically containing a number of emblematic images with explanatory text....

, which attained enormous popularity in continental Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

.

Alciati died at Pavia
Pavia
Pavia , the ancient Ticinum, is a town and comune of south-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 35 km south of Milan on the lower Ticino river near its confluence with the Po. It is the capital of the province of Pavia. It has a population of c. 71,000...

 in 1550.

Works

  • Annotationes in tres libros Codicis (1515)
  • Emblematum libellus (1522)
  • Opera omnia (Basel 1546-49)
  • Rerum Patriae, seu Historiae Mediolanensis, Libri IV (Milan, 1625) a history of Milan
    Milan
    Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

    , written in 1504-05.
  • De formula Romani Imperii (1559, editio princeps)

External links