04 December 2012

PUBLICATION: Francesco Mastroberti, Stefano Vinci and Michele Pepe on the "Liber Belial" and the Romano-canonical Procedure between 15th and 16th century

Francesco Mastroberti – Stefano Vinci – Michele Pepe, Il Liber Belial e il processo romano-canonico in Europa tra XV e XVI secolo. Con l'edizione in volgare italiano (Venezia 1544) trascritta e annotata, Cacucci ed., 2012
Scant bibliography exists in Italy on the Liber Belial, the work written by Giacomo Palladino, alias Jacopo da Teramo (1349-1417), bishop in Monopoli, Taranto, Firenze and Spoleto. In his book the author imagined that the devils decided to bring legal action against the dispossession by Jesus Christ, when he descended into the Hell to free the patriarchs’ soul. The Liber Belial presents interesting juridical content: studying the juridical controversy of the protagonists, the work describes the intricate and obscure procedural mechanisms, unravelling their secrets into the vast world of the profane, in a pleasant fictionalized style but also with absolute technical accuracy: the description of every processual step contains precise references to legal sources: above all the Liber Extra of Gregory the IX, but also Liber Sextus, Digesta and Codex Iustiniani. The legal content is not the only in the Liber Belial. We have a theological content (all the protagonists acting in the book, in fact, are figures of the Catholic Tradition) and an important sociological content: the long section in which the Last Judgement is explained, the description of what is right or wrong, true or false, make of the Liber Belial an important and effectual interpretive means of the medieval mentality.
The present work, Il Liber Belial e il processo romano-canonico in Europa tra XV e XVI secolo, is divided into three parts: in the first the authors describe the basic profiles of the author and his work and deepen the legal content of Liber Belial; in the second part we have the faithful transcription of the only edition in Italian, printed in Venice in 1544; in the third part we have a comparison of the normative apparatuses of the most important Liber Belial's European versions

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