Devoti, GIOVANNI, canonist, b. at Rome, July 11, 1744; d. there September 18, 1820. At the age of twenty he occupied a chair of canon law at the Roman University (Sapienza). After twenty-five years service in this position Pius VI appointed him Bishop of Anagni, which see he resigned in 1804, to become titular Archbishop of Carthage. As such he filled several important positions at Rome. He also accompanied Pius VII during his exile in France. His works are: “De notissimis in jure legibus libri duo” (Rome, 1766); “Juris canonici universi publici et privati libri quinque”, an unfinished work of which only three volumes appeared (Rome, 1803-1815; new edition, Rome, 1827), containing an introduction to canon law and a commentary on the first and second book of the Decretals; “Institutionum canonicarum libri quatuor” (Rome, 1785; fourth ed., Rome, 1814). This last work is distinguished by its clearness and conciseness, and by its numerous historical notes, attributed, but without any reason, to Cardinal Castiglione, afterwards Pius VIII. In 1817, the King of Spain made obligatory the study of the “Institutiones” of Devoti at the University of Alcala; in 1836, the University of Louvain accepted it as a classical manual of canon law. The work is now more useful for the history than for the practice of canon law.
A. VAN HOVE