Aurea Gemma <Gallica> 3a.19-23
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[3a.19] Here is an example of emancipation of bound-servants, whoever emancipates, whether a church or a person:

[3a.20] IN THE NAME OF THE HOLY AND INDIVIDUAL TRINITY. Such and such church or such and such person...

[3a.21] Although the condition of all men is equal and their nature is similar by the law of first creation, this dignity has degenerated by the sin of the first man into such obscurity, that man has fallen miserably from liberty into servitude and he must serve the creation, who disdained to obey the Commander of creation. Whence all must follow this: "For each high person there is yet an even higher one and moreover the king of the whole land rules the servant."1 Furthermore men captured in war or compelled by some necessity have passed over to another person's right, some hardly at all and others without restriction. These latter are indeed called slaves. A man can be emancipated from this second servitude to revert to the dignity of a second liberty.

[3a.22] Indeed because this man H. is constituted under our jurisdiction and power, he has asked to be given liberty and has obtained that liberty by our good work and as a token of our generosity. Thus we now ordain him free and completely emancipated from the yoke of servile condition, so that henceforth he shall have his own rights, he may go freely wherever he wishes, he may manage his affairs however it pleases him, because once manumitted he is not subject to our rights or to another's. And so that sons or relatives may not dare to arrogate him to themselves and to subject him again to the yoke of servile condition, we confirm by the testimony of the present writing, that henceforth all controversy shall be laid to rest and once having accepted liberty he may quietly enjoy it without any forcible molestation.

[3a.23] Such will be a charter of a church or a person who can and should have a seal. But if a person would emancipate who lacks a seal, the charter should be strengthened with the seal of the pontiff or the prince of that province.


1 Eccle. 5.7-8.

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