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10 - Hugues Doneau

(1527–1591)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 May 2019

Olivier Descamps
Affiliation:
Pantheon-Assas University, Paris
Rafael Domingo
Affiliation:
Emory University, Atlanta
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Summary

Hugues Doneau (Hugo Donellus, 1527–1591) was the head of the dogmatic school of legal humanism, which focused on the Roman law being applied in the late sixteenth century. An orthodox Calvinist, he started his academic career at Bourges, where he escaped the massacres of St Bartholomew’s Day (1572). He then became professor in Heidelberg, Leiden, and, finally, Altdorf, at the Academy of Nuremberg. At the end of his life, in his famous Commentarii de iure civili,Doneau newly systematized the whole of the Roman civil law. In the history of European jurisprudence, this magnum opus was an unparalleled achievement, not in method but in dogmatics. Doneau’s central innovation consisted in interpreting private law by taking the human being for its basis. Specifically religious influences are rarely demonstrable in Doneau’s work because Stoic, humanistic, and Calvinist influences – all focusing on the individual – are hardly to be distinguished. While Doneau’s fame soon faded, his work was acclaimed in the nineteenth-century German historical school of jurisprudence. By way of the pandectists, the modern doctrine of civil law has adopted Doneau’s central thoughts, which are rooted in his systematization and individualization of civil law.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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References

Recommended Reading

Avenarius, Martin. “‘Neque id sine magna Servii laude …’ Historisierung der Rechtswissenschaft und Genese von System und Methode bei Donellus.” Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis 74 (2006): 6193.Google Scholar
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Stapelfeldt, Katrin and Schröder, Jan. “Hugo Donellus.” In Deutsche und Europäische Juristen aus neun Jahrhunderten, edited by Kleinheyer, Gerd and Schröder, Jan, 118–21. 6th edn. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017.Google Scholar
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Strohm, Christoph. Calvinismus und Recht. Tübingen: Siebeck Mohr, 2008.Google Scholar
Thireau, Jean-Louis. “Hugues Doneau et les fondements de la codification moderne.” Droits 26 (1998): 81100.Google Scholar

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