What is a seal command

Diplomatics (2/3) - Ideal structure of a certificate

Here are a few key words for the structure of an ideal-type royal certificate:

  • protocol
    • Invocatio
      Invocation of God, often with Chrismon (Christ sign), e.g. B. (C.) In nomine sancte et individue trinitatis.
    • Initiation
      Name and title of the exhibitor; important for the self-image, e.g. B. Heinricus divina favente clementia quartus rex
    • Inscriptio
      Mention of the recipient, especially in letters, not so often in documents
  • context
    • Arenga
      General, religious justification of the documentary activity, partly with reference to the specific individual case, but always expresses a fundamental understanding of the Christian exercise of power, mostly solemn language
    • Promulgation
      also Publicatio, Annunciation formula, z. B. Notum sit omnibus fidelibus tam presentibus quam futuris
    • Narration
      describes the specific circumstances that led to the drafting of the document; especially important because of the naming of petitioners and interveners (i.e. people who had a share in the development of the legal transaction and were therefore in closer contact with the ruler); z. B. interventu dilectissime coniugis nostre Berthe rogatuque fidelis nostri Conradi Traiectensis sedis episcopi et ducis Theoderici ceterorumque fidelium nostrorum ...
    • Dispositio
      the actual legal content of the document; z. B. ... cuidam nostro fideli nomine Sigeberto villam nomine Wategozingen ... in proprium tradidimus ...
    • Sanctio
      Poem formula, threat of punishment if the content of the document is violated
    • Corroboratio
      Authentication, seal order, possibly witness lists; z. B. Et ut hec nostre traditionis auctoritas stabilis et inconvulsa omni evo permaneat, hanc cartam inde conscriptam manu propria, ut infra videtur, roborantes sigilli nostri impressione iussimus insigniri.
  • Eschat log
    • Sign line
      comparable with signature, but not handwritten by the exhibitor, with ruler's monogram, this partially with a completion line made by the exhibitor; z. B. Signum domni Heinrici (M.) quarti regis.
    • Recognition line
      Notary or chancellor recognizes the deed; z. B. Gebehardus episcopus et cancellarius recognovit.
    • Dating
      Time and place of the legal transaction and the issue of the certificate (does not have to be the same date!); z. B. Anno dominice incarnationis millesimo LXXX, indictione III data, anno autem ordinationis domni Heinrici quarti regis XXVII, regni vero XXVI; actum Mogontie
    • Apprecatio
      final blessing; z. B. in Christi nomine feliciter amen.

On the next page there are some explanations about the law firm.


© by Larissa Veronesi and Clemens Radl
Update 2006 by Valeria Lily
Update 2014 by Annette Grabowsky