Privilege of Superior Engrossment
Not as elaborate as the solemn privilege but artistically by no means unambitious: Charters like these are called privileges of superior engrossment. In contrast to the solemn privilege, the lower part of the document, the Eschatocol, is usually designed without any distinguishing elements. Also the upper part of the document, the protocol, is designed in a much less elaborate way: The main eye-catcher here is the initial “F” symbol of the monarchs name “Fridericus”, which at times is also abbreviated to „FR“.
Even if at times it may be the only eye-catcher, this cypher often shows a sophisticated artistic design, including delicate ornaments and floral decoration. Additionally, paragraphs within the text can be marked more or less distinctively by decorated capital letters. The proper document’s text though may often be a reduced version, stripped of some formal parts, but it will always include the important formulations in the legally relevant sections.
Description of the Sections
designing the monarch’s name using a monarch’s initial placed before the text block, is part of the Sicilian-Norman charter tradition and basically unknown to the „German“ Salian-Hohenstauffen charter. The character F can be designed in uncial (a rounder shape) or capitalis style (like today’s capital F). This figure shows the uncial type.
Seal (Means of Authentication)
In the times of Frederic II only the „sigillum pendens“ (pending seal), mostly made of wax (on special occasions also made of gold = „Golden Bull“).