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Organising Landed Property: Manorial Administration Strategies in the 15th and Early 16th Centuries


This paper provides an analysis of micro-level processes in the land administration of two different monastic estates, Lambach in Upper Austria and Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria, in the 15th and early 16th centuries. It argues that several different institutional factors can be seen as driving forces of administrative progress and innovation. To keep up with not always congruent economic, legal and social demands, the two monasteries pursued different strategies in administering their landed property. Their approaches and advancements indicate that the development of bureaucratic use of written texts should not be seen as one of the ever-increasing rationalities but rather as the result of a multilayered cultural process.