Azon

, or Azo Portius, a celebrated lawyer of the twelfth century, distinguished himself first at Bologna, about 1193. He had studied under John Bosiani of Cremona, and acquired such reputation, that he was called “Master of the Law,” and “the Source of Law.” The envy, however, which such merit attracted, made him leave Italy, and go to Montpellier, where he succeeded Placentinus. He was afterwards recalled to Bologna, and became yet more celebrated. It is said that he had a thousand auditors. In the warmth of dispute he threw a candlestick at the head of his antagonist, who died in consequence. Azon was then taken up, and tried, although the accident happened without any evil intent The action, however, might be pardoned according to the intent of the law ad bestias de pcenis, which moderates the punishment to any person who excels in any science or art. Azon, whether from the length of his imprisonment, or from his mind being occupied or abstracted, cried out, ad bestias, ad bestias^ meaning that his acquittal would be found in that law. But this being reported to the judges, who were ignorant of it> they imagined that he insulted them, and treated them like beasts, and not only condemned him to death, but deprived him of the honour of burial. This sentence was executed in 1200, or according to some, in 1225. Others deny that this was the end of Azon, and treat the story as what it very much resembles, a fiction. Contius published his Law Commentaries" in 1577. 2

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Moreri. Fabr, Biol. Lat, Md. —Saxii Onomasticon.