The purpose of our paper is to analyse the importance of the document and the written record in the formation of medieval memory, focusing on the role that the office of public notary has had in writing and giving fides publica to the norms, contracts, and bureaucracy of the Portuguese kingdom on the 13th and 14th Centuries. The transition from a traditionally oral culture to writing, and the role of institutions such as the medieval university, monasteries, royal chancellery, and urban powers had in this formation of identity and written memory is our focus and contribution to the proposed theme.
This presentation discusses a case in which juridical discourse provided legal ground for discriminatory treatment against an urban group. In the terminology of the Maliki Jurisprudence, the term ‘drowning in debt’ refers to those who earn income through illegal taxation. A fatwa written at Fez in the Marinid period excludes the children of this group from education based on their income’s illegality. This ruling can be considered as a social sanction for collaborators of the dynasty’s oppressive rule. Thus, the text records a memory of the tense relationship between the city and dynasty, which led to the ‘Revolution’ in 1465.
n medieval legislative texts we observe argumentation based on different types of reasoning and it is evident that justifications based in analogical reasoning, etymologies, well-known aphorisms, and biblical episodes are very frequent. This paper will attempt to analyse the strategies which are used to convince readers of an argument or simply to transmit new information and concepts in Portuguese versions of Alphonse X’s legal texts. Several examples of anaphoric processes will be analysed, as will the strategy which depends on a common understanding of organic patterns, natural laws or accepted truths (which are well-known to both author and reader).