Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

(2,457 words)

1. Law

1.1. Introduction

Parties in legal proceedings are chiefly in dispute over assertions of facts. Persuading a court of law of the truth of such assertions is central to the outcome of the trial procedure. The procedure whereby the court is persuaded is called the proof (German Beweis), as is its result.

The resolution of disputes in medieval trials often depended on a party’s taking an oath of repute (German Leumundseid), assisted by sworn witnesses (“compurgators”; Oath). The purpose of this procedure was not so m…

Cite this page
Oestmann, Peter, “Proof”, 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 08 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_017566>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

▲   Back to top   ▲