Artibus et Historiae no. 29 (XV)

1994, ISSN 0391-9064

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CHRISTIANE L. JOOST-GAUGIER - The Concord of Law in the Stanza Della Segnatura

While the divided south wall of the Stanza della Segnatura offers a balance of Civic Law that follows traditional practices in the classification of legal literature in medieval libraries its subjects, Justinian and Gregory IX, encouraged a view of the present in terms of its relation to the history of civilization. Thus could Roman law and Canon law be viewed, by an ambitious pontiff who saw his own situation as forged from the inheritance of both, as the greatest influences on-and explanations for-his own governmental ideas and actions. A Ciceronian interpretation of the Law as deriving from the supreme authority (above) would suggest that the three suavely articulated and interconnected female figures above represent the Three Graces or the legal "sisters," daughters of Zeus who supervise the benefits of the Law. Thus is it tempting to imagine the possibility that through the (Greek) graces, the (Roman) Justinian, and the (Christian) Gregory, a grandiose concordance, or harmony, of Greek Law, Roman Law, and Christian Law is offered in the three interrelated scenes of this wall.

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