Bezemer, Kees: Pierre de Belleperche
Portrait of a legal puritan
This is not accidental: Belleperche had very strict ideas about the interpretation of Roman law and about the way it should be taught. He had witnessed Justinian's texts being abused by his colleagues and predecessors in Orleans, in particular by the formidable Jacques de Revigny, who, in his view, was too much of a dialectician and without a proper understanding of the spirit of Roman law. The differences of opinion with Revigny's "scripta" make up an important part of Belleperche's work.
Belleperche was particularly appalled by abuses in the French church. This made him the right man for King Philip. All went well, until the persecution of the knights Templar was started: Belleperche was dismissed as Keeper of the Seal, and died a few months later.
This book is about Belleperche's largest work, his never printed lecture on the Code, used frequently but selectively by the Italian Cinus de Pistoia for his own commentary on the Code. Its hidden aspects are revealed, as well as Belleperche's method of interpretation, which was never studied in its own right. It shows us the French background of his work, and how his views on local law were a prelude to Bartolus' strict interpretation of statutes.
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