The treatment of issues pertaining to the personal and territorial reach of local statutes by Italian jurist Bartolus of Sassoferrato (1314-1357) has been widely regarded as foundational to the conflict of laws. This article presents a detailed examination of the Bartolan text and places it in historical and political context. It also establishes a working text and improves on previous English translations.
The article approaches Bartolan thought from two angles. It considers the principal notions in modern doctrinal literature regarding Bartolan and medieval conflict of laws: was Bartolus a unilateralist? did he think in terms of territoriality or personality, form/substance, party autonomy or decisional harmony? Bartolan doctrine is also examined in the context of the legal and political environment of his time, notably with regard to the role of the ius commune and the transformation of medieval political structures.