“Diploma” of Frederick Barbarossa granting navigation rights to the monastery of
San Carpoforo di Como (1159)

I not too way back bought right here all through Acque della Lombardia Medievale, apparently the catalog for an exhibition held by the Biblioteca Ambrosiana di Milano in 2015. (In case you are ever in Milan, don’t miss the associated Pinacoteca Ambrosiana.) The editors, Federico Gallo and Rita Pezzola, write:

In response to Roman regulation, one defines every eternal water-course as “publicum” whether or not or not it was navigable or not, and solely rivulets and streams had been considered personal. All through the Heart Ages and notably inside the 10th and 11th centuries, we uncover more and more extra imperial and royal diplomas giving grants and donations related to stretches of rovers: they verify with the event of ports and mills and to fishing and navigating rights. Thus the principle, or greater the custom-made, of considering some components of a river as capitalized (proper now we might say “privatized”) was established, and more and more extra we uncover that the water-course was on the disposition – roughly of their possession – of the people who owned the adjoining land. All through the Dieta di Roncaglia (Piacenza) in 1158, Federico I, known as Barbarossa – assisted by attorneys from the varsity of Bologna – redefined the licensed standing of rivers. Referring to Roman regulation, the Emperor inserted the “flumina navigabilia” inside the regalie (royal prerogatives), so that the “flumen publicum” not referred to eternal water-courses, nonetheless solely to the navigable ones.

For a similar development in 19th-century Canadian water regulation, see proper right here.

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