Religion Past and Present

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Benefices, System of
(244 words)

[German Version]

In the barter economy of the early Middle Ages, the bestowal of useful goods gained increasing significance. Against this background, beneficium , in its most comprehensive meaning, referred to any grant which, owing to the advantages associated with it, represented a benefit to the recipient. In its early medieval development, the beneficium (the property law component) was associated with vassalage (the personal law component). The Carolingians already attempted to bind their vassals to themselves by allocating church property. The king grant…

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Kalb, Herbert, “Benefices, System of”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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