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Papa et pecunia: Innocent III’s combination of reform and fiscal policy to finance crusades

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This article examines the fiscal policies of Pope Innocent III throughout his pontificate, culminating in the canons of the Fourth Lateran Council. The aim of this analysis is to illustrate that not only was Innocent more fiscally minded than his predecessors, but that he also attempted to utilize fiscal policy as a tool for facilitating the crusade movement. Innocent adapted the fiscal tools of his predecessors while inventing several of his own. These tools included streamlined census-taking, income taxation, crusader vow redemptions/commutations, expanding crusade indulgences, the collection of alms, trade embargoes, clerical reform and more. These tools were designed to aid crusade endeavours, either directly or indirectly, and through crusading achieve the salvation of Christian souls.
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Keywords: Fourth Lateran Council; Innocent III; alms; crusade; indulgence; tax

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of History, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, USA

Publication date: January 2, 2017

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