The collection of legal “formulas” commonly called Cartularium Langobardicum, rightly defined by Giovanna Nicolaj as “summula teorica e scolastica sulle obbligazioni”, lacks an in-depth study. One of the reasons for the Cartularium’s existence is to indicate the procedure to be followed, in the regime of personality of the laws, by the person conducting the dialogue between the parties involved. The formulas are not immediately intended to provide a frame of reference for the drafting of acts. Rather, it is a dialogical vademecum of the lines and gestures accompanying the course of legal actions: on the one hand, everyday contracts; on the other hand, matters that involve going before the count and before judges. The sources of the compilation, with the exception of Form. 16 concerning the remarriage of the widow under Salic law, are to be found less in the laws or forms of the north of the Alps than in the documents of contemporary practice. An examination of the latter confirms the dating to the Ottonian period already proposed, and more precisely the quarter of a century that separates the end of the 960s from the beginning of the 990s: the Cartularium cannot be linked to the notarial practices in force in the 9th century and is part of a resolutely Italian context. Finally, the identification of some variants between the manuscripts allows for additional observations on its composition and on the adjustments made to the text by the copyists.
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