Economy-related written sources of the Franciscans (and partially of the Poor Clares’) in Bohemia and Moravia, ca. 1230 – ca. 1450
Źródła pisane dotyczące ekonomii franciszkanów (a także klarysek) w Czechach i na Morawach w latach około 1230 – około 1450
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The article examines the surviving written sources of economic content or relevance related to the Medieval Friars Minors on the territory of present day Czech Republic, which covers the core lands of the Bohemian crown in the Middle Ages, i.e. Bohemia and Moravia. Starting with the Order’s initions and its idealistic attitude towards poverty and the refusal of material goods, it gives then an overview of the most fundamental internal regulations and external, merely Papal decisions on the treatment of money, land and goods as means of ensuring the economic survival and success of the Europewide proliferated Order. The following section provides a brief review of the historiography dealing with the economic practice of the friars, preceeded by a summary of their provincial organization and distribution of settlements. This is followed by a methodological discussion of the relationship between activies of economic relevance, their categorization in terms of economic weight as well as content and the chance of their tradition. Then, the author discusses the most important sources and source collections (published or not) which attribute significantly to the investigation of the Friar’s economic activies; this part of the study aims to provide the basis for an inventory of sources still to come. In the last paragraph, some of the most meaningfull sources, namely the urban books of Brno, the charter book of the Order’s double monastery of Cheb/Eger, and the scattered documentation on the Prague double monastery are presented in order to exemplify goals and limits of present and future examination and pathes of interpretation; these examples demonstrate the wide range of investigation, oscillating between a one-dimensional evaluation of a specific type of source and the bundling of multiple evidences taken from a broad variety of sources, each of them characterized by its own validity; taking the relatively poor tradition of many Franciscan houses into account, the article finally intends argues to adopt an laborious inter-textual approach for gaining at least to some extend a ‘holistic’ picture where researchers have to deal with a lack of a premium source traditions and, otherwise, to integrate the analysis of surviving serial sources into a wider frame of inter-institutional comparisons in order to assess the relative weight of specific economic transcations of one individual Franciscan house.
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