Halberstadt Ars dictandi 2.2
Table of contents -- Next section -- Previous section -- Edition
Main menu


[2.2.1] In this faculty, an actio is called a written narration of some past event; there are two types, one with a salutation and the other without a salutation. That which contains a salutation requires the apposition of a seal or of seals. Let it be made in this manner:

[2.2.2] Gardolf,1 by the grace of God bishop of Halberstadt, to all the faithful, greetings in the Lord.

[2.2.3] The present generation has this innate vice, that it moves against their prelates with faces of envy and furthermore it does not blush to obscure all their merit and good deeds.

[2.2.4] Therefore, lest my election might be in the future flecked by any stain of detraction, all the faithfull shall know that on the death of our predecessor of pious memory our whole church met together for the substitution of a bishop in that same diocese.

[2.2.5] While all were here and there saying many things according to the opinion of their desires, four candidates were finally put forward, and when nearly each voter stuck persistantly to an announced candidate, it seemed to many that we should submit the election to a council of religious men. But I must confess that I did not agree, because bribery and gifts often skew equitable judgement at these sorts of councils.

[2.2.6] Thus at this juncture a time of election was heralded, just as canon laws have decreed. Meanwhile, I had obtained an embassy from the church to the lord emperor's court,2 so that episcopal incomes would not be escheated pending the election of a new bishop. The Lord knows that I had not worked for my own ends at the imperial court, and the lord emperor knows, who has himself testified this in the presence of prelates, free men, and ministerials.

[2.2.7] On the appointed day, while we were seated for the election, having invoked the Holy Spirit's aid, although no mention had yet been made of humble me, the four candidates were overlooked, who would have seemed more competant, the voters cast their eyes on lowly me, with only one voter crying out an objection, who was admonished and quickly quieted down. Thus after the election had been carried out as recounted, I was first invested by the lord emperor and subsequently I received the sacerdotal and episcopal benediction from the lord <archbishop> of Mainz,3 with the presence and assent of my church.

[2.2.8] Therefore, lest either envy or ignorance might be able to darken this text of truth, we have caused this document to be marked with two seals, namely ours and that of our church.

[2.2.9] Or, omitting the salutation, an actio could begin like this: May all the faithful know..., as above, down to the end.

[2.2.10] Without a salutation and a seal,4 an actio will be made in this way: On the death of lord Th.5 of pious memory, bishop of Halberstadt, ...for the substitution of another bishop etc., up to: Therefore, lest...this text of truth..., so that the wording shall be done throughout in the third person.

[2.2.11] However, if the actio is short, it could be put in a letter to the lord pope or to the emperor or to some other person, in place of that letter's narratio, and a petitio could be placed afterwards.

1 Gardolf, bishop of Halberstadt (1193-1201). This actio was printed from manuscript S by J.F. SCHANNAT Vindemiae literariae (Fulda-Leipzig 1723) 205 no. 53 from S, and reprinted by H. HOOGEWEG Urkundenbuch des Hochstifts Hildesheim und seiner Bischöfe (Hannover 1901) 2.418 no. 829. It was printed from manuscript V by F. WINTER "Aus einem Halberstädter Formelbuch des 12. Jhs." Zeitschrift der Harzverein 2 (1869) 190-195 at 192 and G. SCHMIDT Urkundenbuch des Hochstifts Hildesheim und seiner Bischöfe (Halle 1883) 311-12 no. 349, then reprinted by P. ALDINGER "Die Wahl Bischof Heinrichs I. von Hildesheim (1246-57) und dessen epistola apologetica über seine Wahl" Zeitschrift historische Verein Niedersachsens (1896) 115-132 at 130-131

2 Henry VI, emperor (1190-1197).

3 Conrad I., archbishop of Mainz (1161-1165, 1183-1200).

4 See above, 2.2.1.

5 Dietrich (Lat. Theodoricus) von Krosigk, bishop of Halberstadt (1180-1193).

© Steven M. Wight, Los Angeles 1998
Scrineum © Università di Pavia 1999