Word Archaeology: antejuramentum

Also known as “praejuramentum” or “juramentum calumniae”, this was an oath taken by both accuser and accused ahead of a trial by compurgation, such as by combat or other judicially sanctioned duels. If the accuser failed the trial, the accused went free. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word, derived from Latin, was first used in this sense sometime around 1763.

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Wes Platt

Lead storyteller. Game designer and journalist. Recovering Floridian.

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