Tim Boucher

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Formulary (Medieval model document)

It is practically inevitable that documents of the same nature, issued from the same office, or even from distinct offices, will bear a close resemblance to one another. Those charged with the execution and expedition of such documents come naturally to employ the same formulæ in similar cases; moreover, the use of such formulæ permits the drafting of important documents to be entrusted to minor officials, since all they have to do is to insert in the allotted space the particular information previously supplied them. Finally, in this way every document is clothed with all possible efficiency, since each of its clauses, and almost every word, has a meaning clearly and definitely intended. Uncertainties and difficulties of interpretation are thus avoided, and not infrequently lawsuits. This legal formalism is usually known as the “style” or habitual diction of chanceries and the documents that issue therefrom. It represents long efforts to bring into the document all necessary and useful elements in their most appropriate order, and to use technical expressions suited to the case, some of them more or less essential, others merely as a matter of tradition. In this way arose a true art of drafting public documents or private acta, which became the monopoly of chanceries and notaries…

Source: Formulary (model document) – Wikipedia

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1 Comment

  1. Tim B.

    “Therein was taught, as pertaining to the study of law, the art of drafting public and private documents.[2] It was called dictare as opposed to scribere, i. e. the mere material execution of such documents.

    To train the dictatores, as they were known, specimens of public and private acta were placed before them, and they had to listen to commentaries thereon.”

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