Prothonotary a word that has a different signification in the Greek Church from what it has in the Latin; for in the first it is the name of one of the great officers of the Church of Constantinople, who takes rank next to the patriarch, and writes all despatches he sends to the grand seignior; besides which lie is empowered to have an inspection over the professors of the law, into purchases, wills, and the liberty given to slaves; but in the Roman Church they were formerly called prothonotaries who had the charge of writing the acts of the martyrs and circumstances of their death, a title of honor whereunto are ascribed many privileges, as legitimizing bastards, making apostolic notaries, SEE PROTONOTARIUS APOSTOLICUS, doctors of divinity and of the canon and civil law: they are twelve in number.

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