Notarial instrument

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Notarial instrument Gerwin of Hameln dated March 5, 1445 with his notarial signet

A notarial instrument ( instrumentum publicum ) is a document issued by a public notary - appointed by the emperor or the pope - which serves as evidence of a legal transaction that can be judged by the parties involved in the presence of the notary. The authenticity is guaranteed by the signature of the notary and his manus publica , the handwriting that is well known in his field of work. This form of authentication arose in Italy in the 12th century in connection with the reception of Roman law at the University of Bologna , with the Ars dictandi and Ars notariae manuals were available. Additional regulations could be established by statutes of the municipalities and the notary guilds.

While this form of notarization had already prevailed in Provence towards the end of the 12th century, the notarial instrument only spread north of the Alps in the 14th century, even if there are isolated older documents from the 13th century.

A necessary part of the notary's signature was his notarial signature .


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