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Emperor Otto II:
Grant of Freedom from River Tolls, 976

The generosity of this grant of freedom from toll on the rivers of a whole kingdom was prompted by the friendly aid of the people of Passau. It does not follow that such freedom was absolute, older grants of tolls probably taking precedence.

Otto, by favor of Divine clemency, Emperor. Be it known to all people that our beloved and faithful Pilgrim, venerable bishop of the church of Passau, has intimated to us that the fealty and goodwill of the people of Passau has been an aid to our rule, and he has asked and demanded that, in every way, they might receive some security of life and tenure by our imperial action lest in future they be constrained by the exaction of any tax. Also we ordered that those petitions of the said bishop should be answered so that the inhabitants of the said city might not be compelled for the future to pay any toll in going up or down any of the rivers of our kingdom, and that they may in no way be compelled to give any tax for the land they possess in the same city, and that the tenants of St. Mary's, both men and women, may not be harassed by any unjust enforcement of servitude upon them in future....


Monumenta Germaniae Historiae, Diplomata, Th. de Sickel, ed., (Hanover, 1888), Tome II, Part I, pp. 154-155; 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. 402-403.

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.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

© Paul Halsall, October 1998