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Gregory of Tours:
Exemption of the Church in Clermont from Royal Taxes, c. 590

If, as this document suggests, the collectors were responsible for the taxes, it may well be that there was a system of farming out. At least that would be a good reason for the exemption which they, in common with the clergy, were granted.

Book X. Chapter 7:

But in the same city [Clermont] King Childebert remitted all tribute both from the churches and from the monasteries and from the other clergy who seemed to belong to that diocese, as well as that from all those who held office in the diocese. For the collectors had already been reduced to penury in that, for a long time when land, through the succession of new generations, had been divided into many parts, they were scarcely able to collect this tribute. By the inspiration of God, the king commanded the collection of the tribute to be improved so that what was owing from the past to the fisc should not harm the collector of the tribute, or cause any churchman to be brought to account for tardiness in paying.


J. P. Migne, ed., Patrologiae Cursus Completus, (Paris, 1849), Vol. LXXI, p. 534; reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), p. 356.

Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by Prof. Arkenberg.

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

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© Paul Halsall, October 1998