Giudice (history of Sardinia)

Article

January 24, 2022

Giudice, in the meaning of sovereign, is the definition used in the Italian language to translate the word judike from the Sardinian language. In the official documents of the chancelleries of the four Sardinian kingdoms this word was used to indicate the person of the king. Always with the same meaning this word was also expressed in other forms such as: iudike, judiche or iudice or again in the feminine form juyghissa (see the Carta de Logu promulgated by Eleonora d'Arborea), but also rege (from the Latin rex, regis, "king").

Origin of the name

For their meaning, the term judike and its variants are of Byzantine derivation (see archon), while as for the etymology they derive from the Latin: iudex, iudicis, "magistrate, judge".

Peculiarities of the functions of the judge

Although in Italian the word "judge" (referring to judike) indicates a generic sovereign, in reality the sovereigns of the medieval Sardinian kingdoms were clearly differentiated from those of the contemporary continental kingdoms. The main difference was that their personal assets were distinct from the state property. In fact, the kingdoms were not owned by the sovereign, but by the people who agreed to submit to him in exchange for a solemn oath in which the king undertook to respect their prerogatives. In this regard, the historian Francesco Cesare Casula writes:

Legitimation of the judge

The two primary juridical principles that legitimized the functions of judges were the dynastic one and that of the designation made by the Corona de Logu (the parliament of the kingdom). After their election, after the investiture ceremony (su collectu) and after the solemn oath called bannus consensus in which their belonging to the people was affirmed, the State was entrusted to them; from that moment they became holders of all sovereign powers, from administrative to judicial and military ones. The judges qualified themselves as reges and defined the territorial scope of their power as kingdom (rennu); they were sovereigns well inserted in the international context of the Middle Ages: they took part in the crusades, took part in the struggle between the empire and the papacy, were proponents of monasticism. They lived in palaces protected by an efficient guardhouse called kita de buiakesos and in seals and scrolls they used to write their name followed by rex. According to some historians, in accordance with continental customs, to avoid misunderstandings about their title, each Sardinian monarch specified that he was judex sive rex (judge or king).

The Regency

In case of impediment of the legitimate judge, a judike de factu, ie a regent, was elected. They usually came from the family of the sovereign himself and carried out all government actions of the state. The most famous case was Eleonora d'Arborea, who held the throne for her eldest son Federico (who died at the age of ten) and, after him, in the name of her second son Mariano V. They preceded Eleonora as judging regents or "bearers of title "(to his wife or son): Elena di Gallura, Benedetta di Cagliari and Adelasia di Torres.

List of Sardinian judges

Judges of Arborea Judges of Cagliari Judges of Gallura Torres judges Lacon-Gunale Lacon-Massa De Serra Bas De Thori

Notes

Bibliography

G.G. Ortu, The Sardinia of the Judges Ed. Il Maestrale 2005, ISBN 88-89801-02-6 F.C. Chasuble, The history of Sardinia, Carlo Delfino Editore, Sassari, 1994, ISBN 88-71380-84-3 A. Solmi, Historical Studies on Sardinian Institutions in the Middle Ages, 2001, Ed Ilisso, Nuoro. Insights Pasquale Tola, Codex Diplomaticus Sardiniae, Turin, 1861-8, in Historiae Patriae Monumenta, Tomi X-XII (LA) Codex diplomaticus Sardiniae, vol. 1, Turin, Royal Printing House, 1861. (LA) Codex diplomaticus Sardiniae, vol. 2, Turin, Royal Printing House, 1868.

Related items

Carta de Logu Condaghe History of Byzantine Sardinia History of the Sa

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