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Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume IV (1876-1877)

Allen, William F.
Department of social and political sciences,   pp. [1]-6 PDF (1.8 MB)

Page 4

4      Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, aerd Letters.
documents, on the other hand, estates are given by their dimen-
sions, which vary very greatly.
  For example:* Erlenteus and his wife iildegarde hold one
mansus (peasant's holding) containing six bunuaaia about [five
acres] of arable land, three aripenni [thirty-six rods] of vineya rd,
and two and one half of meadow; besides this, he has of allodial
property three bunuaria of arable land, and one aripennus of
meadow. And so throughout: land is held not in uniform and
equal portions, but always in specified and varying amounts.
In ten holdings, for example, in Theodaxium,t the bunuaria of
arable land range from two to twelve; the aripenni of vineyard
from two and one half to four and one half the aripenni of
meadow from one and one half to two and one half.
  Nearly contemporary with this document in date, is the Polyp-
tichum of the Abbey of St. Remi, at Rheims. In this register we
find a totally different system. Each estate is given under the
term mansus, and the size of the mansus is not described. It is a
natural inference, therefore, that that mcanoi were of uniform ex-
tent, corresponding, therefore, to the English hyde. Now these
lands, being in the neighborhood of Rheims, at a considerable dis-
tance to the east of Paris, may very easily have been settled un-
der a different system. Moreover, being near the German fron-
tier, there was in all likelihood a larger proportion of German
population than in the neighborhood of Paris. However this may
be, we find, in the dissimilarity of these nearly contemporaneous
records, a confirmation of the a priori probability that the tenure
of land in France would be irregular or heterogeneous.
  Appended to the Polyptichum of St. Remi are fragments of
a rather later date, of the description of some estates in the neigh-
borhood of Treves, still further east, and in a country of nearly
pure German population. Here, as might be expected, we find a
complete uniformity in the tenures, so far as the incompleteness
of the documents permits us to form a judgment. The mansi are
spoken of as being themselves definite and uniform quantities of
land, like the English hyde; and their extent, in acres, bunuaria
or aripenni, is not alluded to.
                  *Book XXV. 8.  tBook XIV.

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