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Baldo degli Ubaldi
Consiliorum, sive responsorum, 1575.

Baldus de Ubaldis (Italian: Baldo degli Ubaldi; 1327 – 28 April 1400) was an Italian jurist, and a leading figure in Medieval Roman Law and the school of Postglossators.


Lectura feudorum, 15th-century manuscript. Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Collectie Willem Matthias D'Ablaing, ABL 7.

A member of the noble family of the Ubaldi (Baldeschi), Baldus was born at Perugia in 1327, and studied civil law there under Bartolus de Saxoferrato, being admitted to the degree of doctor of civil law at the early age of seventeen. Federicus Petrucius of Siena is said to have been the master under whom he studied canon law.

On his promotion to the doctorate he went to Bologna, where he taught law for three years, after which he was advanced to a professorship at Perugia, where he remained for thirty-three years, and he had among his students Francesco Albergotti.[1] He subsequently taught law at Pisa, Florence, Padua and Pavia, the rivals to Bologna. During his period at Pavia he sometimes also taught at Piacenza. He died at Pavia on 28 April 1400[2] and was buried in the church of San Francesco.[3]

Baldus was the master of Pierre Roger de Beaufort, who became pope under the title of Gregory XI, and whose immediate successor, Urban VI, summoned Baldus to Rome to assist him by his consultations in 1380 against the anti-pope Clement VII. Baldus' view on the legal issues relating to the schism are laid down in the so-called Questio de schismate. Cardinal Francesco Zabarella and Paulus Castrensis were also among his pupils.


Gravestone of Baldus, about 1400, Pavia, University

Many of Baldus' works are incomplete. He left voluminous commentaries on the Pandects and on the Codex Justinianus. His Commentary on the Libri Feudorum, a twelfth-century compilation of feudal law provisions, is considered to be one of his best works. He also commented on the canon law compilations of decretals, the Liber Extra and the Liber Sextus. In addition to these commentaries, Baldus wrote a number of treatises on specialised legal topics. His major effort, however, went into the writing of some 3,000 consilia (legal opinions). No other medieval lawyer has so many consilia preserved.

Baldus's work on the law of evidence and the gradations of proof was a high point of medieval thought in the discipline and remained the standard treatment of the subject for centuries.[4]



Baldus de Ubaldis at the right on the title page of Benvenutus Straccha (Benvenuto Stracca): De mercatura decisiones, 1671

Baldus had two brothers, Angelus (1328–1400) and Petrus (1335–1400). It is probably due to confusion between Baldus and his brother Petrus that the famous jurist's name is sometimes given as Petrus Baldus de Ubaldis.


  1. ^ "ALBERGOTTI, Francesco in "Enciclopedia Italiana"". (in Italian). Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  2. ^ Pennington, Kenneth (1997). "Baldus de Ubaldis". Rivista internazionale di diritto comune. 8: 35. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Lapide di Baldo degli Ubaldi". Pellegrini del Sapere. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
  4. ^ Franklin, James (2001). The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability Before Pascal. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 30–33, 43–45. ISBN 0-8018-6569-7.

Further reading