Tijdschrift voor rechtsgeschiedenis vol:75 pages:321-331
Many scholars consider that mediaval trials by ordeal and collective oaths are typical of primitive societies. They occurred all over the world and would have been introduced by the Germans in early-medieval Western Europe. This means of proofs emerged in the eighth and ninth century, at a time when the administration of justice by the lords and the bishops were intertwined. When comparing them to Roman procedure and the canonists' approach to confession, party oaths and torture, one may consider those 'irrational' proofs as having Roman-canonical origins, as so many other institutions of the time. They should therefor non necessarly been compared to non-European developments.