Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(806 words)

1. Definition

A notary’s job was to record, witness, or certify legal transactions of a public or private nature (Law). The presence of notaries thus presumes that a legal system relies on writing to a certain degree. Documents that had been certified by notaries were considered means of proof; in general, they enjoyed and still enjoy public credence, that is, their contents are regarded as correct until proven otherwise.

2. Early modern period

At the dawn of the early modern …

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Pahlow, Louis, “Notary”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 15 April 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_024846>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200128

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