In the civil law. An act which has been executed before a notary or other public officer authorized to execute such functions, or which is testified by a public seal, or has been rendered public by the authority of a competent magistrate, or which is certified as being a copy of a public register. Nov. 73, c. 2; Cod. 7, 52,: 6, 4, 21; Dig. 22, 4