chapter  10
37 Pages

Deeds, Surveys and Charters

ByCarl I. Hammer

The distinguishing characteristic of the early medieval Bavarian evidence is the abundance of deeds. These are legal documents by which individuals and institutions disposed of their property through gift, sale, exchange or bequest. The forms of these conveyances vary between the more common and summary ‘notice’ drawn up after the fact as a mnemonic aid, and, rarely, the full, written ‘charter’ which had its own dispositive legal force. The earliest of these includes, Charlemagne's charter to Kremsmunster, was occasioned by the same problem that produced the Salzburg and Niederaltaich surveys, since Kremsmünster was Tassilo's most important monastic foundation and his donation urgently required confirmation. Rather, copies, sometimes abridged, were transcribed into registers which are thus called ‘libri traditionum’ or, to use an English term, cartularies. Moreover, the conveyances often incorporate additional documents or information from their private ‘archives’.