Emperor Louis the Pious:
On Tithes, 817
In the reign of Louis the Pious, the tithe was to be drawn from the fruits of the
earth and from livestock, and varied from one seventh to one thirty-second. Payment could
be made in kind or in money, or in labor. The punishment for non-payment could be loss of
Concerning ninths and tenths. It has been decreed that they should be paid from the
fruits of the earth and the offspring of animals. For building and restoring churches the
count and the bishop or abbot together with our missus whom they choose for this, shall
take care that each of them shall give for building and restoration in proportion to what
he has of the goods of the Church. Likewise our vassals shall jointly or individually
contribute in work, in proportion to what they hold from the churches. Or if it is
convenient for them to give money for doing the work let them pay money according to the
estimate of the work with which money the rector of the church may hire workmen and
purchase material for the restoring of the church. And he who has neglected to give ninths
and tenths shall make restitution according to law and pay our ban besides; let the
culprit take care that he do not lose his benefice by repeating the offense.
J. P. Migne, ed., Patrologiae Cursus Completus, (Paris, 1862), Vol . XCVI, p.
411; 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. 379-380.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, October 1998