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Creating Cistercian NunsThe Women's Religious Movement and Its Reform in Thirteenth-Century Champagne$

Anne E. Lester

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449895

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449895.001.0001

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(p.xix) On Currencies, Names, and Transcriptions

(p.xix) On Currencies, Names, and Transcriptions

Creating Cistercian Nuns
Cornell University Press

In Champagne, as in most of Europe during the medieval period, money was reckoned in pounds (l., French livres, Latin libri), shillings (s., French sous, Latin solidi), and pence or pennies (d., French deniers, Latin denarii), with 12 pence = 1 shilling, and 20 shillings = 1 pound. The currency was based on a silver standard. Although Italian merchants occasionally employed gold coins at the Champagne fairs, the majority of economic transactions in Champagne were paid in the Champagne currency of provinois or French tournois. Most small payments were paid out in pence, one pound being equal to 240 pennies. Half pennies also existed (Latin obolus), and many customary payments and rents were rendered in this denomination. Because of the dominance of the Champagne fairs during the High Middle Ages, money provinois, minted in the comital capital of Provins, circulated more widely than any other northern French coin. Although the money provinois initially held a high silver content, around 1224 it was debased to conform to the value of money tournois. After the county was incorporated into the royal domain in 1284, money tournois was minted in Champagne in place of money provinois. Cistercian nuns received payments in all of these currencies, but for ease of narrative I have employed the following abbreviations for coinage when mentioned in the text: l., s., and d.

Whenever possible I have employed modern English naming patterns, favoring Stephen over Étienne, Alice over Aalydis. Where a French equivalent has come into common usage, however, I have used that form, as is the case with Jacques de Vitry and Jean de Joinville. With respect to Latin citations from original archival sources, in most cases I have silently expanded abbreviated words according to classical norms and followed modern principles of punctuation. When citations are taken from printed sources I have followed the convention of the edition employed. This study is built around a core collection of archival material, much of which has never been transcribed before. Although I have endeavored to keep the notes as unencumbered as possible, at times fuller quotations from the documents are included for those unable to consult the archival collections or the more obscure printed editions that reference them. (p.xx)