Cum lampullo mantelli. The ritual of notarial investiture : example from Istria


DAROVEC Darko, “Cum lampullo mantelli. The ritual of notarial investiture : example from Istria”, Acta Histriae, 22 (3), 2014, p. 453-508



Based on the study of several documented testimonials concerning the dispute be- tween the inhabitants of Piran and the Capodistrian bishop in 1201, that also include statements describing the investiture of the notary, this article uses the comparative and (re)interpretative method to study the ritual of notarial investiture as it was exercised from the 12th century onwards in the area of the upper Adriatic and in the neighbouring Italian territories. The study is not only focused on the question of the notarial investiture but also ven- tures comparatively into other secular social spheres of the European medieval investiture rituals and states, showing that the rituals were conducted in accordance with the unified, three-part inner structure as described by Galbert of Brugge (1127): homage, fides, inves- titure. Although the investiture ceremonies for special social spheres differed one from an- other with regard to symbolic gestures, objects and words (phrases) and were transformed in accordance to social needs, the inner structure of the ritual was invariable whether it concerned the investitures of emperors, kings, vassals, knights, notaries or functionaries of the other social institutions that were rapidly beginning to take shape especially from the 13thcentury onwards; furthermore, the structure is also present in the judicial sphere. The origins of the medieval ritual are manifested in the ubiquitous divine transcendence whose door was flung wide open during the Carolingian-Ottonian period (8th-11th centuries) whereas the cultural roots of the ritual extend backwards into archaic communities. The study also indicates the role and the significance of notaries in the administration of governmental organs and especially in the formation of the governmental structures of autonomous cities, characteristically reflected in the investiture ritual. It was the mere investiture ritual, as it was developed from 12th century onwards, based on knights and notarial rituals, that opened the pathway towards the investitures in other social fields, especially in free vocations (artes liberales). The right to be invested was later also to be spread amongst the “common” subjects.

Keywords: investiture, notary, ritual, Middle Ages, Istria, Italy, Europe.

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