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Capitulary of Aachen:
Payments on Tributary and Taxable Land, 817

In the Capitulary of Aachen there is evidence of a tendency on the part of landholders to evade payment of taxes to the royal treasury. Louis the Pious, therefore, insisted on their payment, but, recognizing that these taxes on land might sometimes be oppressive, he extended his clemency to those unable to pay in full.

C.2. Concerning tributary land. Whoever transfers land, from which taxes are customarily paid to our fisc, so that it falls into the hands of the Church or to another person, he who takes it will pay the tax to our fisc which was paid at the time---unless by chance he has such a charter granted by his lord by which he can show that the tax has been remitted.

C.4. Concerning taxable land. If any one has taxable land which his ancestors gave either to some church or to our villa, he can in no way hold this according to law, unless it is so willed by the one in whose right either the church or villa rests, or unless perchance he is the son or grandson of the one who gave it and wants to hold this land. But it ought to be taken into consideration in this case whether he is rich or poor and whether he has any benefice or other property of his own. And he who has neither of these ought to be accorded mercy, lest despoiled of all, he fall into want, and he shall pay such a tax as was decreed for him or he shall receive some portion in benefice whence he may be able to sustain himself.


J. P. Migne, ed., Patrologiae Cursus Completus, (Paris, 1862), Vol. XCVII, p. 410; 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. 359-360.

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
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