Luis Gómez

Luis Gómez was born c.1482 in Orihuela, Valencia. After his initial studies close to home, he pursued the study of civil and canon law at the University of Bologna before moving to Padua to take up a teaching position by 1522. There he is known to have lectured on the Institutes of Justinian as well as canon law.

By 1528, he was serving at the papal court in Rome as an auditor of the Rota, that is, a judge in one of the papal tribunals called the Sacra Romana Rota. He then became director of the Penitenzieria Apostolica (the Apostolic Penitentiary), which was a papal tribunal with jurisdiction over such matters as the issue of indulgences and absolutions from excommunications. In 1534, he was made bishop of Sarno, located east of Naples. As attested in an epigraph from a church in Orihuela, he died in 1542 in the city of Macerata in the Marches and was buried in its cathedral.

Gómez was an accomplished jurist whose works focused primarily on canon law and more specifically on legal and administrative issues arising from the activity of the Sacra Rota. Indeed, his was one the significant voices in the development of administrative canon law in the sixteenth century. In addition to his training in the law, he seems to have shared the interests of his humanist contemporaries
in classical texts and realia. His wide-ranging citations and close readings attest to his being very well-read in classical and medieval sources on Roman history. He seems also to have kept current with the medical literature and the humanist scholarship of his own day.

Gómez’s treatise on the 1530 flooding of the Tiber, De prodigiosis Tyberis Inundationibus ab orbe condito ad annum MDXXXI Commentarii, represents a literary and scholarly departure.





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