Skip to main content

Liber Censuum

LIBER CENSUUM

Liber censuum is a tax book compiled in 1192 by the papal chamberlain Censius, later Pope honorius iii. It listed the various taxes, rates, and dues then owed to the Holy See throughout the Western world. It gave the dues owed by individual churches, monasteries, and others, diocese by diocese and province by province. Such lists were not new, but the Liber censuum by its thoroughness, wellordered arrangement, and subsequent use is one of the outstanding documents of the financial history of the medieval papacy. It remained in use down to Eugene IV (143147).

A text of the original survives (MS Vat. lat. 8486), with some additions in the 13th century. Together with the list of dues, the manuscript contains five further pieces: (1) a list of exempt, i.e., papal, bishoprics and abbeys; (2) the Liber de mirabilibus urbis Romae; (3) an Ordo Romanus; (4) two lists of popes, one to Celestine III and the other to Eugene III; and (5) a cartulary of privileges and donations.

Various sources were used by Censius. There is some doubt as to the exact amount of direct or indirect use he made of the work of Cardinal boso, chamberlain to Adrian IV and Alexander III. One of his major sources was the Gesta pauperis scholaris Albini (Albinus, Cardinal Bishop of Albano, d. c. 1198). But there is no doubt that through these sources Censius took documents from the Collectio canonum of deusdedit (108386), the Liber politicus of Benedict Presbyter (114043), and the tax books of eugene iii (114553) and adrian iv (115459).

Certainly the Liber censuum was an achievement. But it is a misinterpretation of the facts to regard it as a record of financial success. Censius compiled it at a difficult time in papal financial history. It thus represents the determination of the Curia to keep alive its claims and to provide a basis for future action, especially toward overlordship in central Italy.

Bibliography: Text in p. fabre and l. d. duchesne, Le Liber censuum de l'Église romaine, 3 v. (Paris 18891910; v.3 ed. g. mollat, 1952). w. e. lunt, ed. and tr., Papal Revenues in the Middle Ages, 2 v. (New York 1934). h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, ed. f. cabrol, h. leclercq, and h. i. marrou, 15 v. (Paris 190753) 9: 180220. m. michaud, Dictionnaire de droit canonique, ed. r. naz, 7 v. (Paris 193565) 3:233253. a. p. frutaz, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (Freiburg 195765) 6:101213. v. pfaff,"Der Liber censuum von 1192," Vierteljahrschrift für Sozialund Wirtschaftsgeschichte 44 (1957) 7896, 105120, 220242, 325351.

[j. gilchrist]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Liber Censuum." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Liber Censuum." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 17, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/liber-censuum

"Liber Censuum." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved December 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/liber-censuum

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.