From memory or formulary: how were medieval documentary formulae reproduced?

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This paper reviews the state of the art concerning how documentary formulae were reproduced in early medieval private charters written in Latin. It assesses the theoretical considerations and empirical evidence supporting one or the other of the two main hypotheses: i) that charter scribes copied the formulae from models or ii) that they had memorized the formulae and reproduced them from memory each time they wrote a new charter. While proposing that the memorization hypothesis is more robust, I also recognise intermediate positions.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)4-24
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 6121 Languages
  • Latin
  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • charter
  • diplomatics
  • Early Middle Ages
  • formulae
  • memory
  • copying processes

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