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Prerogative, Royal

(402 words)

Author(s): Ogris, Werner
[German Version] ( iura regalia). The expression “royal prerogative” has several meanings. In a wider sense the royal prerogative is understood as including all the (German) king’s rights of rule, with the help of which government was carried on. The catalogue of royal privileges contained in the 1158 Roncaglia for imperial Italy, indirectly valid also for the German empire, included inter alia cities, duchies and counties, castles and streets, ports and escorts, forests and fisheries, coinage and excise levies, silver and salt mining, treasury and taxes.…

Synodal Court

(316 words)

Author(s): Ogris, Werner
[German Version] ( synodus). The synodal court was a special form of ecclesiastical tribunal (Jurisdiction, Ecclesiastical), a “morals court” presided over by the bishop as judge; it investigated and punished offenses of the laity against canons of the church. It emerged in the ¶ 9th century and was modeled on the Frankish reprimand court. Seven jurors were required to inform the court of offenses known to them. Inquiries – aided by an extensive catalogue of questions compiled in 908 by Regino of Prüm – concentrated primarily on offenses …

Ordeal, Trial by

(1,373 words)

Author(s): Wißmann, Hans | Niehr, Herbert | Ogris, Werner
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Legal History I. Religious Studies Trial by ordeal is a means of decision-making as to the guilt or innocence of a suspect in legal cases where there is no available evidence or testimony, and where no guilty plea has been entered. In place of an oath, but in ¶ line with the inherent logic of the oath, a conditional self-curse was sometimes employed; this would apply in cases where, for example, a slave was disqualified from a hearing under oath, and a divine declaration of the truth was so…


(3,214 words)

Author(s): Beinhauer-Köhler, Bärbel | Otto, Eckart | Reeg, Gottfried | Krawietz, Birgit | Ogris, Werner
[German Version] I. Concept Talion is derived from the Roman lex talionis, in which it referred to a regulated act of retribution – in keeping with a legal norm that was meant to place limitations on self-administered justice. This stands in contradiction to the general understanding of talion as “doing as you are done by,” also in the sense of self-administered justice. In modern usage, talion is thus particularly understood in the sense of blood revenge or vendetta. The latter meaning is therefore focuse…