Judicium Crucis

was stretching out the arms before a cross, till one of the party could hold out no longer, and lost his cause. The bishop of Paris and abbot of St. Denis appealed to this judgment in a dispute they had about the patronage of a monastery; each of the disputants selected a man to represent his cause, and the man selected by the bishop gave in, so that the award was given in favour of the abbot.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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