special sign

n. DiplomaticsA mark that identifies individuals involved in the compilation, receipt, or execution of a record.


Duranti 1998, p. 138 Among the extrinsic elements, the diplomatists of medieval documents used to include the special signs, which should be regarded rather as intrinsic elements because of their function of identifying the persons involved in the documentation activity. The special signs can be divided into two categories: the signs of the writer and the subscribers, and the signs of the chancery or the records office. The first category includes the symbols used by notaries as personal marks in the medieval period, corresponding to the modern notarial stamp, and the crosses used by some subscribers in place of their name. The second category includes the rota and bene valete used by the paper chancery; the monogram of the sovereign's personal name used in imperial and royal chanceries; the initials m.p.r. for manu proprio; the double s for s(ub) scripsi; and all the various office stamps.