DURANTI (Guillelmus Durandus), also known as DURAND, GUILLAUME or Durantis, not to be confused with Bishop Guillaume Durand of the same era. From the Italian form of Durandi filius, as he sometimes signed himself (c.1230-1296), French canonist and liturgical writer, and bishop of Mende, was born at Puimisson, near Beziers, of a noble family of Languedoc. He studied law at Bologna, especially with Bernardus of Parma, and about 1264 was teaching canon law with success at Modena. Clement IV., his fellow-countryman, called him to the pontifical court as a chaplain and auditor of the palace, and in 1274 he accompanied Clement's successor Gregory X. to the council of Lyons, the constitutions of which he drew up, along with some other prelates. As spiritual and temporal legate of the patrimony of St Peter, he received in 1278, in the name of the pope, the homage of Bologna and of the other cities of Romagna. Martin IV. made him vicar spiritual in 1281, then governor of Romagna and of the March of Ancona (1283). In the midst of the struggles between Guelfs and Ghibellines, Durandus successfully defended the papal territories, both by diplomacy and by arms. Honorius IV. retained him in his offices, and although elected bishop of Mende in 1286, he remained in Italy until 1291. In 1295 he refused the archbishopric of Ravenna, offered him by Boniface VIII., but accepted the task of pacifying again his former provinces of Romagna and the March of Ancona. In 1296 he withdrew to Rome, where he died on the 1st of November.
Durandus' principal work is the Speculum judiciale, which was drawn up in 1271, and revised in 1286 and 1291. It is a general explanation of civil, criminal and canonical procedure, and also includes a survey of the subject of contracts. It is a remarkable synthesis of Roman and ecclesiastical law, distinguished by its clarity, its method, and especially its practical sense, in a field in which it was pioneer, and its repute was as great and lasting in the courts as in the schools. It won for Durandus the name of "The Speculator." It was commented upon by Giovanni Andrea (in 1346), and by Baldus, and in 1306 Cardinal Béranger drew up an alphabetical table of its contents (Inventorium). There are many manuscripts of the Speculum, and several editions, of which the most usual is that of Turin in 1578 in 2 volumes, containing all additions and tables. This edition was reproduced at Frankfort in 1612 and 1668. The next important work of Durandus is the Rationale divinorum officiorum, a liturgical treatise written in Italy before 1286, on the origin and symbolic sense of the Christian ritual. It presents a picture of the liturgy of the 13th century in the West, studied in its various forms, its traditional sources, and its relation to the church buildings and furniture. With Martène's De antiquis Ecclesiae ritibus it is the main authority on Western liturgies. It has run through various editions, from its first publication in 1459 to the last edition at Naples, 1866. The other important works of Durandus comprise a Repertorium juris canonici (Breviarium aureum), a collection of citations from canonists on questions of controversy - often published along with the Speculum; a Commentarius in sacrosanctum Lugdunense concilium (ed. Fano, 1569), of especial value owing to the share of Durandus in the elaboration of the constitutions of this council (1274), and inserted by Boniface VIII. in the Sextus.
A nephew of "The Speculator," also named Guillaume Durand (d. 1330), and also a canonist, was rector of the university of Toulouse and succeeded his uncle as bishop of Mende. He wrote in 1311, in connexion with the council of Vienne, De modo celebrandi concilii et corruptelis in Ecclesia reformandis. It attacks the abuses of the Church with extreme sincerity and vigour.
On the elder Durand see V. Leclerc in Histoire littéraire de la France, vol. xx. pp. 411-497 (1842); Schulte, Geschichte der Quellen des canonischen Rechts (1877); E. Male, L'Art religieux au XIIIe siècle en France (1898). On the nephew see B. Hauréau, in Journal des savants (1892), 64.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)