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Medieval Sourcebook:
Pope Gregory the Great:
Standard Prices for Grain, c. 600

We have learned that the serfs of the Church are grievously burdened in the matter of prices of grain, so that the purchase price fixed for them is not observed in time of plenty. And it is our desire that the standard purchase price be observed in their regard at all times according to the official prices, whether the harvest be great or small. Moreover, we desire by all means that the grain lost by shipwreck be accredited; yet so that there be no negligence on your part in the matter of shipping the grain, lest the loss arise from your failure to take advantage of a suitable time for shipping. Moreover, we have thought it very unfair and unjust that anything should be taken from the serfs of the Church in the matter of the sctiers, or that they should be compelled to give a greater muid than

that which is brought into the granaries of the Church. Hence by these presents we command that never more than eighteen setiers be taken from the serfs of the Church for a muid of grain. Unless, perchance, there be something which the sailors are accustomed to receive over and above, because of the shrinkage in the shipping of the grain, as they testify.


From: J. P. Migne, Patrologiae Cursus Completus, (Paris, 1849), Vol. LXXVII, p. 498, 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), pp. 127-128.

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

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© Paul Halsall, September 1998