The 6th January is the day when the Three Kings of the Orient bring gifts for the children. Kings parade route and map. The 12th day is also called Epiphany which is on January 6th - twelve days after Christmas. Ephiphany is the end of the Christmas festive season in Spain and Barcelona where Christmas is celebrated for the 12 days from Christmas Eve on December 24th, until the Epiphany on 6th January. Pictures Three Kings parade. After the greeting festivities the Three Kings leave this location by car and go to the start of the main Kings parade 'Cavalcada de Reis'.
The word 'Epiphany' comes from Greek and means 'manifestation'. These documents usually have the formula trado me ipsum per proprium hominem et solidum. The tenant also places his possessions under the lordship of the recipient of the transaction and sometimes explicitly includes his children or posterity in the obligation Recognition documents purport to be acknowledgment of an alreadyexisting relationship rather than the creation of a new one, but the difference between recognition documents and self-donations is probably less clear than formal classification of records might suggest.
Here too, as with the auto-donations, homage and protection could also be included, though relatively rarely These documents tend toward a simplicity that masks what was probably a great variety of actual circumstances. In some instances we do obtain information about further conditions. A recognition made to the abbot of Canigou in by Ramon Pascal of Egat in Cerdagne was sworn on the Gospels and included a promise to accept no other lord and to pay either a pound of wax or 15 sous annually unless Ramon was continuously resident on his tenement In one instance the agreement to recognize no other lord was backed up by homage and a penalty of sous of Melgueil.
The tenant agreed that his lord might, in case of such betrayal, hold him capere and consider him false and a traitor Although the term homo proprius implies a degree of dependence, this does not appear to be a very onerous sort of obligation in and of itself. Two documents specifically allow men designated as homines proprii to sublease their tenements I will return to the question of what sort of relationship the term homo proprius implies but note for now that what seems to set Roussillon apart is the lack of more dramatic expressions of seigneurial possession of homines proprii.
In the dioceses of Vic and Girona recognitions and auto-donations are often stated in terms of the tenant handing over his body and those of his family and descendants. The only example of this formula dono corpus meum I have seen for Roussillon before involves a man of some stature at least as the holder of five properties who also receives 50 sous of Barcelona from Ermengol de Vernet whose power over him he is acknowledging Another indication of the relatively weak form of servitude in Roussillon is the relative scarcity of redemptions.
While elsewhere, as again at Vic and Girona, the thirteenth century sees a veritable avalanche of documents in which peasants are either freed in return for a varying sum or freed in order immediately to enter another lordship, such transactions are not numerous in relation to the number of self-donations and redemptions that have survived. What are we to make of its desultory appearance in Roussillon? The first example of what appears to be a redemption payment comes in Taking the form of a renunciation definitio , Guillem de Montesquieu cedes two brothers, Bernat and Guillem, whose father was probably a tenant and was at least resident in Montesquieu in Roussillon, to the Hospital of the Poor in Perpignan.
Guillem de Montesquieu receives sous of Barcelona, not from the Hospital but from the men donated who now pledge themselves as homines proprii of the Hospital. The substantial redemption payment of sous of Barcelona and 4 deniers is paid by the Templars. In Galceran de Vigio and his wife freed Guillem Massot de Rocha and his son inhabitants of Cameles in order for them to become men of the Templars of Mas Deu, but this time it was the redeemed pair who paid the 36 sous 6 deniers fee52, Here again the rhetoric of freedom is fairly elaborate, with particular reference to the iugo.
On the other hand a transfer of a couple and their progeny, inhabitants of Orle, to Mas Deu by the monastery of Ripoll neither mentions price nor does it take the form of any sort of enfranchisement Similarly in the sale of seven people, alluded to earlier, possessed racione hominatici seruitutis does not take the same form of freeing in order to allow a transfer but has the same effect There is thus some movement from secular lords to ecclesiastical or charitable foundations, a result both of the ambitions of the foundations and the likely perception of tenants that these were preferable masters, but the level of activity is feeble in comparison to the pattern in Old Catalonia and this represents, in my opinion, the most significant exceptional feature of land tenure and serfdom in Roussillon at least for the thirteenth century.
The proliferation of recognitions and auto-donations implies a form of submission on the one hand and ownership on the other, the latter reinforced by a surprising number of sales of persons with their customary payments. Yet even here the impression of a servile bond is somewhat weakened by the absence of documents of self-donation with the terms. The most common designation for tenants with some extra-economic tie to their landlord, appearing in the great majority of the records cited here, is as homo proprius.
Even in Old Catalonia with its firmer servile regime this term without further explanation does not constitute evidence of something we can confidently call serfdom. In Roussillon, with only occasional indications of firmer ties, we are hardly justified in using it as any sort of proof of the existence of serfs and in this we are forced to agree with the overall observations of Brutails for whom occasional references to such things as the bad customs or redemptions did not amount to very much.
The designation certainly meant something to lords concerned with classifying people in order to control them more closely. The Church of Elne in insisted that the new husband of a female tenant of the cathedral precentor make himself a homo proprius because nullus tenere potest nisi sit homo proprius dicti domini But what did this amount to? Berenguer answered this obliquely by denying that his father had performed homage.
What being a homo proprius chiefly meant was the clarification of lordship, a way to prevent tenants from taking a multiplicity of lords and so confusing their obligations hopelessly.
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As was the case to the south, there were other aspects of a more stringent seigneurial regime and these were not simply eliminated over time weak as servitude in Roussillon might have been. The activity of peasants in the diocese of Elne in the midfifteenth century when peasant syndicates were formed to agitate for the end of serfdom is evidence of this.
What would be necessary in order to make a definitive estimation would be considerably more information. We would also want to achieve a better picture of the exercise of lordship. The work of Aymat Catafou shows how lords were able to take advantage of the establishment of celleres or nuclei of population originally set up to protect peasant property but later convenient as units of seigneurial exploitation and jurisdiction We are reminded that consideration of serfdom must extend beyond the question of legal categorization to take into account the social history of the medieval seigneurie as a multi-faceted system of exploitation.
In fact the Sentencia itself does not describe a geographical territory of servitude. The syndicates of peasants formed to pay the compensation to lords as a result of the Sentencia were organized geographically and Roussillon is not represented, but this is again because of the French occupation.
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On this document see J. Vicens Vives,. Historia de los remensas en el siglo XV , 2nd ed. Freedman, The origins of peasant servitude in medieval Catalonia, Cambridge, , p. Albert, Commemoracions, Latin version in J. We talk to the Chilean interior designer Jaime Beriestain about his life and work in Barcelona and globally, his greatest achievements and what he gets up to in his spare time.
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