Foto del docente

Nicoletta Sarti

Full Professor

Department of Legal Studies

Academic discipline: IUS/19 History of Medieval and Modern Law

Curriculum vitae



Graduated in Law with honors, at the University of Bologna on 30 October 1980 discussing with Professor Guido Rossi a thesis in History of Italian law entitled ‘The prison in the civil law doctrine of intermediate law (secc XII-XVI)’.

A re-elaboration of this research, aimed at focusing, in the early Middle Ages, the signs of the Romanistic type of incarceration to the punitive function of modern origin, has appeared in the "Rivista di storia della italiano italiana", LIII-LIV (1980-81, ma 1983), under the title Appunti su carcere-custodia e carcere-pena nella dottrina civilistica dei secoli XII-XVI.


Diploma obtained on 10 December 1983, with a grade of 70/70 with honors, at the end of the two-year attendance (aa 1981-82 and 1982-83) of the School of specialization in research and study of medieval civil texts, then belonging to the Faculty of Law in Bologna, where I had the opportunity to follow the courses of authoritative Professors, such as Professor Rossi, Paolo Colliva, Antonio Padoa Schioppa, Filippo Liotta, Corrado Pecorella, Roberto Bonini, Vittorio Valentini, Gianfranco Orlandelli, Roberto Ferrara, Augusto Vasina, Ovidio Capitani. After having passed twelve examinations of profit in the multiple branches of the law and of medieval culture (medieval Latin, economic history, palaeography and diplomacy etc.) - and having participated as a scholar at the twentieth week of Spoleto studies of the Early Middle Ages (15- April 21, 1982) - I graduated presenting a thesis in the History of the Bolognese notary and had as supervisor Professor Valentini. From this thesis, which offered the critical edition of a fourteenth century statute, the third in chronological order among those that illustrated the life of the Societas Notariorum bolognese, was born the volume Gli Statuti della Società dei Notai di Bologna dell'anno 1336. Contributo alla storia di una corporazione cittadina, Milan 1988 (Juridical Seminar of the University of Bologna, CXXIV). As a premise of the edition of the statutory source - which is part of a now age-old tradition of studies on the institutional events of the flourishing Bologna notarial corporation – there is a broad introduction on the palaeographic, philological and content peculiarities of the text.


Employee since 1 / IV / 1984 as a Technical Agent of the "A. Cicu" legal institution of the University of Bologna.


Frequency of the first course of the 2nd Cycle of the PhD in History of Italian Law, with particular reference to medieval and common law, with administrative headquarters at the University of Milan (coordinator Professor Domenico Maffei), following a competition held before a commission composed by Professors Antonio Padoa Schioppa, Manlio Bellomo, Umberto Santarelli.

In the three years of attendance of the Doctorate, taking a suggestion from Professor Rossi, I awaited the review and the remeditation of the complex problems that characterized the biography and the pronounced procedural attitude of the legum doctor bolognese Iacopo di Balduino (... 1210-1235), followed with constant care and methodological rigor by Professor Giovanni Gualandi, new owner of the chair of Common Law at the University of Bologna after the death of Professor Rossi in 1986. The useful and formative experience of the PhD gave me the opportunity to to be admitted as scholarship holder to the II Seminar of Studies on " Fonti per la storia della civiltà italiana tardo-medievale: la fonte notarile " (San Miniato, 8-15 September 1988) and to initiate a habit of presences at the Ericine weeks promoted by the International School of Ius Commune directed by Professors Manlio Bellomo and Stephan Kuttner.

On 23 June 1989 I obtained the title of Doctor of Research in Rome at the Historical Institute for the Middle Ages, before a national judging commission formed by Professors Severino Caprioli, Giovanni Santini, Federico Martino, presenting the final dissertation entitled: ‘Un giurista tra Azzone e Accursio. Iacopo di Balduino e il suo “Libellus instructionis advocatorum ".

The results of the Balduinian studies, somehow announced by the publication in 1989 of a short essay appearing on the " Rivista di storia del diritto italiano ", concerning a re-reading of the doctrinal sources related to the episode that saw Balduino, mayor in Genoa, exercise his magisterium standing proudly on horseback, then merged into a monograph of 1990 (Juridical Seminar of the University of Bologna, CLX), which finds its strength in the edition, based on six manuscript witnesses, of a Libellus on the introductory formality of the dispute, which appears as a faithful mirror of the trial vocation of the jurist and his school.


Postdoctoral fellowship of the Faculty of Law at the University of Bologna achieved in April 1992.

I started working as University Researcher, from 1 November 1992, at the chair of History of Italian Law of the same Faculty, winning a national competition in front of a Commission composed from the Professors Giovanni Gualandi, Gian Savino Pene Vidari and Vittorio Valentini.

Already since 1991 the research activity has continued in two parallel directions, which have privileged both the classical themes and paths of "Bolognese" legal historiography with particular regard to the study of the XIII century manuscript tradition and the analysis of a characteristic institute of the Roman-canonical process in the age of common law. The first direction includes a series of contributions which, from 1991 to 1993, turned, in order, to the insertion in the stemma codicum of Torelli of a famous glossary manuscript of the Institutiones of Leningrad (St. Petersburg), which remained inaccessible to the Master and was exposed in Bologna on the occasion of the celebrations of the Ninth Centenary of the Alma Mater ["Archivio Giuridico", CCXI (1991)]; to the analysis of some problematic aspects of the Libellum conventionis faced in the fragments of a lectura Codicis by Jean de Monchy († 1265) ["Torricelliana", 42 (1991)]; to the institute of restitutio in integrum of the unsuccessful minor in possessorio through the reconstruction of the positions of the doctrine of the twelfth-thirteenth centuries, which is accompanied by the critical edition of an unprecedented quaestio azzoniana ["Rivista di storia italiana del diritto italiano", LXV (1992) ]; to some notes relating to the accusation of leges qualcosinae which unites two constitutions variously included in the textual tradition of the Codex Iustinianus and so far considered apocryphal by the doctrine ["Archivio Giuridico", CCXIII (1993)].

On the dogmatic side of the processual issues, a five-year period of study finally landed, on the limit of 1995, in a monograph dedicated to the oath of slander: Maximum causarum dirimendarum remedium. Il giuramento di calunnia nella dottrina civilistica dei secoli XI-XIII (The oath of slander in the civil doctrine of the eleventh-thirteenth centuries, Milan 1995 (Juridical Seminar of the University of Bologna, CLX). A Justinian institute intended as the maximum dirimendarum causarum remedium, whose long life parable was not exempt from substantial "rewriting" by, above all, the interpreters of the intermediate doctrine.


I started working as Associate Professor winning a national competition before with a Commission composed by Profs. Paolo Grossi, Mario Caravale, Antonio Padoa Schioppa, Frank Micolo and Franco Migliorino.

My research path has continued to follow the profound imprint of the teaching of Giovanni Gualandi: in addition to a particular aspect of the exegetical activity of the jurist Martino da Fano (post 1270) (which was followed by an essay published in the "Rivista di storia del diritto italiano" in 1997), I studied a partial procedural memory, datable around the mid-twelfth century. The document, drawn from the ms. Oxford, Oriel College 22, is among the earliest evidence of the re-emergence in the practice of allegations taken from the Justinian corpus and appeared in a diplomatic edition with critical introduction in the second volume of the Studi di storia del diritto dell'Istituto di Storia del diritto italiano dell'Università statale di Milano.

From November 1st 1997 I took over the teaching of History of Italian Law (group M-Z), at the Faculty of Law in Bologna.


Since 1998 I have been a member and vice-president (until 2006) of the Institute for History of the University of Bologna and a corresponding member of the Deputation of History of the Homeland for the Provinces of Romagna (Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Province di Romagna).


In October 2000 I presented to the Convention Rolandino e l’ars notaria da Bologna all’Europa the report "Publicare-exemplare-reficere". Il documento notarile nella teoria e nella prassi del XIII secolo, published in the Atti appeared in 2002.


The monographic study "Inter vicinos praesumitur aemulatio". Le dinamiche dei rapporti di vicnato nell'esperienza del diritto comune (Milan 2003) was dedicated to the prohibition of emulation in the civil and canon law of the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. The research began with the focus of the Romanistic foundation of the institute, reconstructing in the age of common law the theoretical configuration of this limitation of the ius dominicale linked to a so-called selfish behavior and without utility for the owner.

At the invitation of prof. Gian Paolo Brizzi - Director of the Center for the History of Italian Universities - I proceeded to draft the "The University of Bologna from its origins to today" for the collective work History of the Universities in Italy (ed. 2005), which was followed by the participation in the conference The university statutes. Tradition of texts and polyvalent values (Messina, Milazzo, 14-17 April 2004), with a report on Le edizioni degli Statuti dello of the Studium Bononiense: stato dell’opera, published in Atti (2006).


Qualified as eligible in a competition for full – time professor organized by the University of Udine, I took up my position as an extraordinary professor on October 1, 2005 at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bologna.

Over the three-year period of extraordinary work my scientific commitment proceeded along the lines of research previously launched:

- in-depth study of the issues related to the teaching of minor universities in the Po Valley area in the 13th century (Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena, Mantua, Vercelli), with particular attention to their vocation for training lawyers, lawyers and judges. This trend has resulted in the edition of "Libellus cautele et doctrine" by Uberto da Bobbio (1211-1245), a research sponsored by the National Forensic Council in the framework of the project "Per una storia dell'avvocatura in Italia".

- persistent interest in the peculiarities of the Studium Bolognese in its relations with the outside world (see the case of Genoa) and in its historical evolution (see the card that I edited prt the third volume of the "History of the Universities in Italy" by GP Brizzi and A. Romano).


In July of this year my research on the "Storia dell'avvocatura in Italia" was crowned with the publication of the edition with a critical introduction of Libellus cautelae et doctrinae by Uberto da Bobbio (d. 1245), for the types of Il Mulino.


In this two year my research activity has focused on the history of the Bologna university in the modern and contemporary age, privileging the inseparable link that has always linked it to the city government and to the top of its economic institutions. The essay L'Ateneo e la città. Accademia e istituzioni a Bologna tra Otto e Novecento has emerged.

This line of research has been accompanied by the analysis of the public values in the Bolognese middle ages statutory edition: report Politica e tradizione normativa cittadina. Il paradigma statutario bolognese bassomedievale and a reflection on the figure of the jurist and notary of the first threeteenth century Pietro d'Anzola: Città e studio nell'età di Pietro d'Anzola.


Over the three-year period, I studied the peculiarity of the scholastic readings of the Bolognese model during the 13th century. The speech as a speaker at the Roman Conference of the Society for the History of Law dedicated to "Casistica e sistema" was the occasion of a research on the jurisprudential sources translated into an essay published by "Archivio Giuridico" (2016).

In 2017 was also published in a collective volume a study on Dimensione urbana e territorio rustico: una riflessione diacronica tra scienza giuridica e legislazione nello specchio degli atti emulativi.


Participant in the International Congresses of the Italian Society of the History of Law "Entrepreneurship and law in historical experience" (Erice, 22-25 November 1989), "The contracts of the Public Administration in the historical experience" (Turin, 17-19 October 1994), at the Seminars of common law in force organized by the San Marino Juridical Institute in the Nineties, at the Study Meeting "The teaching of the history of medieval and modern law" (Florence, 6-7 November 1992), remains the collaboration with the editorial activity of the Law Faculty of the Bologna Faculty, which took the form of an intervention at the Seminar of studies "Bologna and its University in the contribution of Giovanni De Vergottini", held in the twentieth anniversary of the disappearance [Miscellanee del Seminario Giuridico, 16] , in the care, together with Dr. Giovanna Morelli, of the volume of Scritti minori by Paolo Colliva [Legal Seminar, CLXI] and with Prof. Giovanni Gualandi of the volume Scritti di storia giuridica medievale by Guido Rossi [Legal Seminar, CLXXV].

On October 13, 2011 I was a speaker at the conference "The aspiration to the brevity of the criminal trial between history and current affairs", held in Bologna, with a report titled A process not only short: summary rite in the experience of common law.

In November 2013 I was a speaker at the Society of the History of Italian Law held in Rome on 18 and 19 on the topic "Cases and system in the history of European law". My contribution has had as its object: From the system to the casus and back. The circularity of the constructive processes of common law.

On February 20, 2014 I held the inaugural lecture "The circularity of the constructive processes of common law" of the last cycle of the Ph.D. in History and Law theory at the "Magna Graecia" University of Catanzaro.

On 6 October 2014, within the lecture series "The protection of the territory in the historical-juridical perspective" organized and financed by the University of Trieste, I gave a lecture entitled Dimensione urbana e territorio rustico nello specchio degli atti emulativi.

On February 20, 2015 I participated in the conference "Study, practice and deontology of justice in Bologna over the centuries: a vocation for law", organized by the Bologna Forensic Council, with a report entitled The golden age of the Studium of Bologna (XI -XVI).

I participated in the III World Congress of Constitutional Law dedicated to "Constitution and Justice at the beginning of XXI Century", held in Bologna on 10-13 October 2017, with a Main Lecture titled Bologna to the origins of the history of the Universities.

On September 12-16, 2017, I participated in the 71st session of SIDHA, dedicated to "La Liberté et les interdictions dans les droits de l'antiquité", with a report titled Riflessioni diacroniche sul diritto ad aemulationem.


I participated in the PRIN 2006 coordinated by prof. Andrea Padovani "Theory and practice of the criminal justice between the late middle ages and the modern age". Historical and legal analysis".

I participated in the FIRB 2008 project coordinated by prof. Enrico Pattaro "Medieval juridical manuscripts: description, digitization, computerization in XML standard for their diffusion in the network, The recomposition of a mosaic.

In the face of participation in the Prin Project "For a history of criminal justice in Italy" coordinator prof. Marco Cavina my scientific interests are addressed to the enucleation in the doctrinal and normative field of the professionalism of the lawyer and prosecutor in the criminal field in the Middle Ages.


From the academic year 1997-98 ato 2004-05 I was the Associate Professor of the History of Italian Law (R-Z group).

From 1999-2000 to the academic year 2004-05 I succeeded to the prof. Giovanni Gualandi in the optional teaching of Common Law, later deactivated by the Faculty of Jurisprudence of Bologna.

Starting from the academic year 2004-05, following the reform of the degree courses of the legal faculties, my teaching commitment was concentrated in the teaching of History of Medieval and Modern Law (RZ Group), in the first year in the Master's degree program in Law .

It is flanked by the teaching of History of modern and contemporary law (third, now fourth year of the Magistral). From the year 2009-2010 I share the ownership with my colleague, prof. Marco Cavina.

I was also nominated, with rectoral decree, tutor of the students of the Faculty of Law admitted for merit to the "Collegio Superiore of the University of Bologna" (already "College of Excellence") and I am part of the Giunta of the same, as I was elected to represent the associate professors in the Giunta of the Department of Legal Sciences "A. Cicu ", took office on 1st November 2003.

From the accademic year 2003-04 I am part of the Board of Professors of the Historical-Legal Research Doctorate of the State University of Milan (now Doctorate in Juridical Sciences "Cesare Beccaria").

In my capacity as teacher in charge of the teaching of History of modern and contemporary law, I have promoted at the invitation of my colleagues proff. Adriano Di Pietro and Girolamo Sciullo the interdisciplinary seminar "The birth of the modern state, of taxation and of administrative space". This Seminar, intended for students in the third year of the course, met wide and encouraging feedback.

From the accademic year 2006-2007 I coordinated, as delegate of the Dean, the activity of the Commission for the conduct of the curricular internships of the students of the degree courses of the Faculty.

From 2010 to 2012 I was nominated by the Dean as President of the Didactic Commission of the Faculty of Law.

Since November 2012, following my election, I have been President of the School of Law for three years. The mandate was renewed in November 2015.

In addition, I was raffled off as Commissioner within the ASN for the 2012-2013 part-sessions and a member of the National Commission for the confirmation of I and II professors.

In October 2015 I was reconfirmed for the second term as President of the School of Law.

From the same year I am part of the Steering Committee of the «Rivista di Storia del Diritto Italiano».

Since 2016 I have been part of the Scientific Committee of the "Archivio Giuridico" Filippo Serafini "».