Brokers of Public Trust: Notaries in Early Modern Rome by Laurie Nussdorfer

By Laurie Nussdorfer

A fast-growing felony procedure and economic system in medieval and early glossy Rome observed a speedy raise within the desire for written files. agents of Public belief examines the emergence of the fashionable notarial career -- loose marketplace scribes chargeable for generating unique felony files and their copies.Notarial acts frequently move ignored, yet they're necessary to knowing the heritage of writing practices and attitudes towards legitimate documentation. in keeping with new archival examine, agents of Public belief specializes in the govt officers, notaries, and shoppers who regulated, wrote, and bought notarial files in Rome among the 14th and 18th centuries. Historian Laurie Nussdorfer chronicles the educational notaries and the development of public records, explaining why notarial files exist, who made them, and the way they got here to be considered as authoritative proof. In doing so, Nussdorfer describes a occupation of an important value to the folk and executive of the time, in addition to to students who flip to notarial files as necessary and irreplaceable old resources. This magisterial new paintings brings clean perception into the fundamental features of early smooth Roman society and the advance of the fashionable kingdom.

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It was a key point of reference for the jurists when they talked about notaries. If it were missing, even the instrument in public form lost its fides. ∏∑ The protocol could even reinforce a public instrument that was missing key formalities. The last, though optional, phase was the creation of the ‘‘public form’’ of the public instrument. The jurists actually did not say much about the mechanics of this stage, which mattered more to consumers (and governments) than to legal scholars. ∏π We come finally to the terms original and authentic, and we might well wonder how to apply these to the artifacts that we have just surveyed.

By the sixteenth century it was common to refer to civic magistrates and councils as simply the Roman People, the Popolo Romano, as well as by the prestigious initials SPQR. ≤≠ The complex of civic institutions and rights symbolized by the Senate and Roman People and by the Capitoline Hill, its seat, endured after the papacy reasserted its dominion in the late fourteenth century and once more resided in Rome after 1420. It received articulation in a series of partially revised city statutes in 1469, 1494, and 1521 and in a complete and final revision of 1580, as well as in numerous papal privileges.

But when our sources begin in the mid-fourteenth century and throughout the fifteenth century, there are no Capitoline notaries; there are simply notaries—or, in the more precise Latin ‘‘notarii urbis,’’ notaries of the city of Rome. In 1507, when the popes created a separate organization for curial notaries, they introduced a new distinction into this hitherto undi√erentiated professional community. The notaries of Rome were perforce divided. ∞∏ Was there a di√erence, other than of employment, between Capitoline notaries and Roman notaries more generally in the sixteenth century?

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