Giovanni Antonio Sangiorgio

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Giovanni Antonio Sangiorgio[1] (died 14 March 1509) was an Italian canon lawyer and Cardinal.[2] Agostino Oldoino calls him the leading jurisconsult of his age.[3] Kenneth Pennington has called him one of the ‘last two great commentators on feudal law’.[4]

Super usibus feudorum, 1548 edition

Early career[edit]

Sangiorgio was born in Milan.[5] He had taught Canon Law at the University of Pavia.[6] He was Provost of the Collegiate Church of S. Ambrogio in Milan.[7] In Rome he became a Papal Referendary, and an Auditor (judge) of the Sacred Roman Rota (Court of Appeal).[8] He was bishop of Alessandria from 1478 to 1500, having been appointed by Pope Sixtus IV at the special request of the Duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Sforza. He then served as Sforza's ambassador to King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary.[9]


In the Consistory of 20 September 1493, Pope Alexander VI created him a cardinal, and assigned him the titular church of Ss. Nereus and Achilles.[10] He was referred to as the Cardinal of Alessandria.[11]

He was transferred to the diocese of Parma on 6 September 1499.[12]

Cardinal Sangiorgio attended the papal Conclave of September 1503, and was the senior cardinal-priest present. He was already present at the first preliminary Congregation on 19 August 1503. He was not the favored candidate of any secular power or faction of cardinals, though he voted with the cardinals who favored the French. The Conclave opened on 16 September, and on the first ballot on 21 September, Sangiorgio received eight votes of the 105 that were cast.[13] Cardinal Piccolomini of Siena was elected on 22 September, taking the name Pius III. He reigned only twenty-six days, dying on 18 October.[14]

The Conclave to elect a successor to Pius III began on 31 October, with virtually the same participants as a month before. On 1 November 1503, Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere received all the votes cast, except for nine scattered votes. Sangiorgio received no votes.[15] Cardinal della Rovere became Pope Julius II.

On 22 December 1503, Sangiorgio was promoted to the rank (ordo) of Cardinal Bishop, and assigned the Suburbicarian See of Tusculum (Frascati).[16] On 17 September 1507 he was moved to the Suburbicarian diocese of Praeneste (Palestrina).[17] On 22 September 1508, he was promoted to the Suburbicarian See of Sabina.[18]

Papal legate in Rome[edit]

In August 1506, when Pope Julius led the papal army north, to retake the states of Perugia and Bologna from their Borgia tyrants, Giampaolo Baglione and Giovanni Bentivoglio, he left cardinal Sangiorgio behind in Rome as his Legatus a latere, to govern in his absence.[19] During his absence from Parma, as a Cardinal Bishop in Rome, Sangiorgio administered the church of Parma through Vicars and Procurators (solicitors); in 1505, his Vicar was Msgr. Giambatista Capitani, a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter of Novara, and in 1506 Msgr. Giovanni Luchino, Dean of the Cathedral Chapter of Alessandria, filled the same office.[20]

Sangiorgio died in Rome on 14 or 28 March 1509.[21] Umberto Benassi gives the date of 27 March, based on a dispatch of the Venetian ambassador in Rome dated 28 March.[22] In his Last Will and Testament Sangiorgio named the Confraternity of the Saviour at the Sancta Sanctorum (Societas Salvatoris ad Sancta Sanctorum) as his heir, as his tombstone testifies.[23]


His De appellationibus, from the time before he became a bishop, was an early printed book (Como: Ambrogio d'Orco e Dionigi Paravicino, V id. aug. [9 VIII] 1474).[24] He also wrote the Commentaria in Feudorum Libri Tres.[25]


  • Super usibus feudorum (in Latin). Pavia. 1490.
  • Super usibus feudorum (in Latin). Lyon: Jacques Giunta, héritiers. 1548.
  • Commentaria in Feudorum Libri III (in Latin). Frankfurt am Main: Sumptibus Clementis Schleichii. 1629.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Giovanni da San Giorgio, Giantonio da Sangiorgio, Johannes Antonius de Sancto Georgio. Gregorio for Georgio appears to be an error from an early book.
  2. ^ From 1493; he was bishop of Frascati in 1503, bishop of Palestrina in 1507, bishop of Sabina in 1508.
  3. ^ Agostino Oldoini (1676). Augustini Oldoini Athenaeum Romanum (in Latin) (Rome ed.). Perugia: Heredes Sebastiani Zechini. p. 380.: habitusque sui aevi Iurisconsultorum Princeps.
  4. ^ Ken Pennington, "The Development of Feudal Law in the Ius commune," in the article, "Law, Feudal," Dictionary of the Middle Ages: Supplement 1 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons-Thompson-Gale, 2004), pp. 320-323. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-11-11. Retrieved 2016-02-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ He was not a native of Piacenza, as a number of writers insist. His tombstone is clear that he was a native of Milan. Ughelli, p. 187. Cardella, p. 251.
  6. ^ Allodi, II, p. 5.
  7. ^ Ughelli, p. 187.
  8. ^ Eubel, p. 22 note 1.
  9. ^ Cardella, p. 251.
  10. ^ Eubel, p. 22, no. 3.
  11. ^ Cardinalis Alexandrinus, Alejandrino.
  12. ^ Eubel, p. 213. [1].
  13. ^ L. Thuasne (editor), Johannis Burchardi Argentinensis . . . Diarium sive Rerum Urbanum commentarii Volume III (Paris 1883) pp 273-276.
  14. ^ F. Petruccelli della Gattina, Histoire diplomatique des conclaves Volume I (Paris 1864), pp. 435-456. Ferdinand Gregorovius, The History of Rome in the Middle Ages (translated from the fourth German edition by A. Hamilton) Volume 8 part 1 [Book XIV, Chapter 1] (London 1902), pp. 1-15.
  15. ^ F. Petruccelli della Gattina, Histoire diplomatique des conclaves Volume I (Paris 1864), pp. 435-446. Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes (edited R. K. Kerr) second edition Volume VI (London: Kegan Paul 1902) 185-231.
  16. ^ The shifting of Sees was made possible by the election of ardinal Giuliano della Rovere to the papacy on 1 November 1533, leaving his diocese of Ostia vacant.
  17. ^ Eubel, III, p. 4 no. 13.
  18. ^ Eubel, III, p. 4 no. 13; 58 column 1.
  19. ^ Ferdinand Gregorovius (1902). History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages. Vol. VIII, part 1. London: G. Bell & sons. pp. 46–52. Gregorovius (p. 47) names Cardinal Cibò of Tusculum as the Vicar. But Cibò had never been Bishop of Tusculum, rather of Palestrina, and he died in 1503. The name of the one cardinal left behind is given by the Diario of Marino Sanuto, Volume VI (Venezia 1881), pp. 389, 395.
  20. ^ Allodi, II, pp. 9-10. Benassi, p. 99, notes under the year 1504 that Sangiorgio continued to reside outside his diocese of Parma.
  21. ^ Eubel, p. 22, note 3.
  22. ^ Umberto Benassi (1899). Storia di Parma: 1501-1512 (in Italian). Vol. primo. Parma: M. Adorni di L. Battei. p. 191.
  23. ^ Allodi, II, p. 11. Allodi draws attention to the fact that the inscription does not mention the Bishopric of Parma. Forse egli un po' prima della sua morte avea renunziata questa chiesa, prevedendo di no potervi residere.... (Perhaps at some point before his death, he had renounced this church, foreseeing that he would not be able to reside....).
  24. ^ Marginalia - Milano, Biblioteca Trivulziana, Triv. Inc. A125 Archived 2007-06-07 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Giovanni Antonio Sangiorgio (1629). D. Joannis Antonii de Sancto Georgio S.R.E. Cardinalis Alexandrini... Commentaria in Feudorum Libri III (in Latin). Frankfurt am Main: Sumptibus Clementis Schleichii.


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