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Arenga ( Middle Latin (h) arenga , from old Italian aringa 'solemn address', derived from aringo 'public space', borrowed from Gothic * hriggs 'ring, ring-shaped assembly', circularly gathered crowd) is the name of a formula introducing the context of a medieval document that is not legally relevant. In the Byzantine area it was called Proömium .

Typical Arengen were kept quite short until the middle of the 10th century , later they were often more detailed. Under Emperor Heinrich II , they were occasionally written in rhyming prose.

The arenga expresses the general motives that led to the issuing of a certificate . It deals - often in a pathetic way - with the virtues of rulers , with the hope of a heavenly reward, with office, with justice or peace.

For historical studies , the arengen represent important sources on the medieval history of ideas, for example on the prevailing ideology , on the respective "state thinking", on government activity or on the "government program". In diplomacy , the arenga can be used to determine the dictation , insofar as it does not only reproduce fixed patterns .

The papal bulls and encyclicals are quoted after the incipit of the Arenga, e.g. B. Unam Sanctam (1302) or In coena Domini (1363/1627).


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