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Liber…censualium: Digital Edition – Additions and supplements: Introduction

Liber censualium: fol.43v - the bishops Meginward of Freising and Otto of Regensburg exchange laborers.Liber censualium: fol.43v - the bishops Meginward of Freising and Otto of Regensburg exchange laborers.


In this part are edited the slips of parchment, single pages, and double pages according to the foliation in Codex HL Freising 6. With respect to its content, it deals with additions and supplements to the Zensualenbuch (fol. 32, 34, 35, 36, 41, 49); as well as with parts from the Freising book of exchanges Tauschbuch (HL Freising 3b), (fol. 39-40, 44-45).  The latter presumably were removed by users from the book of exchanges, where Carl Meichelbeck found them when he drafted his Historia Frisingensis (1724-1729). The third group forms authentica of a different sort, almost all of which are set within the context of Freising's property transactions (fol. 26 mit 33, 37, 38, 42, 43, 46, 47, 48). Three of the authentica engage property located far away from Freising in Grödnertal in the south Tirol (fol. 38, text 36), in the Carinthian region (fol. 46, text 59), and in lower Austria (fol. 47, text 60). The registering of revenues from distant regions, which is recorded in notes of the twelfth century, must have required visitations and a scrupulous survey of Freising's property. This step is attested for the Bavarian Alpine area between Miesbach and the Spitzing region by a court record of Bishop Meginward after 1078 (fol. 40v-39, text 39).

Most frequent are gifts of personnel to the Freising canons with a yearly census at five or three pennies, or the voluntary admission of persons into the familia of the bishop, which was still possible at the end of the eleventh century without the payment of a census (fol. 43, text 53). For both actions the formulas of donation charters are used, while the dispositive clause distinguishes between tradere and se tradere. Donors could also be Zensualen themselves, as for example Konrad of Rimbach around 1250 (fol. 41, text 45 as donor; und fol. 32, text 7 as Zensuale with a reduced census). If higher status women or men changed their social relationship by giving themselves into the protection of the bishopric of Freising, they had to do so before an illustrious circle of witnesses. Likewise, witnesses were necessary if persons were given away as laborers to Freising, or were exchanged for others. These might also involve skilled workers for the production of luxurious clothing, for example a hat maker or a furrier from Munich (fol. 33v, text 16). The following documents show for the bishopric of Freising the different stages in the system of census payment:

During the later Salian period ever more people associated themselves with the bishopric of Freising, which presumably offered them greater security and possibilities for social advancement. Dependence upon the bishopric could be ended by the purchase of freedom, as the oldest entry from the tenth century indicates (fol. 42v, text 51). The further development of personnel-intensive farming of property likewise occurred in the bishoprics of Passau and Regensburg. Contracts of exchange concerning labor verify this, one of which is handed down from the eleventh century for the bishops Meginward of Freising and Otto of Regensburg (fol. 43v, text 54); and another from the twelfth century for bishop Otto of Freising and abbess Adelheid of Passau-Niederburg (fol. 44v, text 56).  The generational change of dependent laborers required the registration as well as the verification of charters, which demonstrated their affiliation to the property of the bishopric. Hints are found repeatedly in the documents, that such on-site inspections were undertaken (for example, scriptum inspecturi; fol. 33v, text 17).

Complementary information on the status of  personnel was noted on additional folios or as marginalia. A complete review of the economic capacity of the Freising properties appears to have been undertaken around 1250 under bishop Konrad I because from his episcopal tenure dates the localization of personal names to places where the context of earlier contracts was renounced. Under his successor Konrad II (1258-1278), it then become customary for the donor to retain an annual census of a penny for specialists (fol. 33v, text 16; and fol. 49v, text 71).


Adelheid Krah (IOeG, University of Vienna)
Translated by Hans Hummer (Wayne State University)