I renewed my notary public commission the other day. So I am a public officer who is authorized to administer oaths. To become a notary, I had to take an oath. Which was administered by another public officer.
This got me to thinking . . . who was the first public officer authorized to administer oaths? Who swore him in? Is there an unbroken chain of oaths stretching back from me to the provincial governer of New York? To King George? To Emporer Nero?