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Validating fradulent documents

Middle Ages, partly because wars and disturbances so frequently upset possession and also because the increasing use of written records made it necessary for those whose title was, in fact, perfectly good in old unwritten “customary” law to give it written substantiation.

Diplomatic studies have been applied mainly to Western documents, usually medieval ones, because it requires less specialist training to analyze more recent documents.

But to provide documents having the force of “originals,” copies of the original were usually made and formally certified as such, by public notaries, or by high ecclesiastical or secular dignitaries.

Copies certified in this way were accorded the same legal value as the originals.

The keeping of registers in the chanceries of the French kings began about the year 1200, in Aragon about 1215, in Sicily under the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II (died 1250), and in the German imperial chancery from the early 14th century.