Acts of Giving: Individual, Community, and Church in by Wendy Davies

By Wendy Davies

Acts of Giving examines the problems surrounding donation --the giving of estate, often landed property--in northern ''Christian'' Spain within the 10th century, whilst written texts turned very considerable, permitting us to glimpse the operating of neighborhood society. Wendy Davies explores who offers and who gets; what's given; purposes for giving; and where of giving in the advanced of social and monetary relationships in society as a complete. humans gave land for every kind of purposes - simply because they have been pressured to take action, to satisfy bills or pay fines; simply because they desired to achieve fabric merits in existence, or to safe help within the brief time period or in outdated age. Giving professional anima, for the sake of the soul, used to be rather constrained; and presents have been made to put individuals in addition to to the church. relations pursuits have been strongly sustained around the 10th century and didn't dwindle; kinfolk land used to be break up and re-assembled, now not fragmented. The gender and standing of donors are key subject matters, besides commemoration: extra males than girls took steps to memorialize, not like a few elements of western Europe, and extra aristocrats than peasants, that's much less of a distinction. Donation as a kind of transaction is usually tested, in addition to the insights into prestige afforded by way of the language and type of the documents. trading, giving and receiving persisted within the tenth-century because it had for hundreds of years. although this era observed the quantity of peasant donation to the church expanding significantly. It was once this which set the stipulations for large social and monetary switch.

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Additional resources for Acts of Giving: Individual, Community, and Church in Tenth-Century Christian Spain

Sample text

Setting the Scene 35 This book, then, is an exploration of some of those themes in the Spanish context, and a search for points of similarity and contrast with European trends. It is about donation—the giving of property, since that is the kind of donation that is recorded, usually landed property. It is about who gives and who receives; about what is given; about reasons for giving; and about the place of giving within the complex of social and economic relationships in society as a whole. The gender and status of donors are important themes that run throughout, and I am interested in probing as much of the practice of peasant society as is possible.

See further below, pp. 183–4, on narrative sources. ⁶⁹ See below, p. 92, for single sheets and originals. ⁷⁰ For detail of transactions in the largest collections, see W. Davies, ‘Sale, price and valuation’, 154–5. See below, pp. 209–13, for small-scale transactions and the significance of the sudden increase. ⁷¹ Numbers given for transactions are necessarily approximate, and I wish to avoid giving any spurious sense of precision. Numbers of transactions do not precisely mirror Setting the Scene 23 most collections include material from different sources, for a cartulary is often the result of a complex process of accumulation.

18 Setting the Scene community. ⁵⁴ It makes no sense to view such landowners as anything other than members of peasant society. Some will have been relatively rich and some will have had relatively high status in their local communities; others will have been relatively poor. It does not follow from this that everyone who worked the land was a free peasant. ⁵⁵ But there were clearly also some slaves and some servile dependents. We should not imagine a landscape of uninterrupted freedom in the countryside—some rural paradise—and we should not expect peasant status to have been homogeneous.

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