Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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1. Terminology

The office of secretary – in its original meaning of “private or confidential clerk” – is documented since antiquity, when officials from the ranks of the notarii were commissioned to keep the minutes of the imperial consistory. The term secretarius for this functionary makes its first appearance in the mid-5th century. It lost this meaning, however, and subsequently referred exclusively to an assistant belonging to the imperial secret tribunal.

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Babel, Rainer, “Secretary”, 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 02 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_027384>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210601

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