Tithing - what is it?
The noun "tithe" appeared in the Russian language several centuries ago. During its existence, it has acquired several meanings, and some of them are no longer relevant today. However, this is not a reason to forget them - this is part of the story. Let's find out what the word meant once and how it is interpreted today.
Tithing as a unit of measurement
Before the 1917 Revolution, every resident of Tsarist Russia knew that tithing was the unit for measuring land area.
This measure arose and was actively used during the times of Kievan Rus. True, in that historical period, it still did not have exactly a certain size. The most common type of tithing in Ancient Russia is a square with a side length of 50 fathoms (another obsolete unit of measure, equal to 2.16 m). Its total area was one-tenth of a square mile. From here, by the way, the name "tithing" appeared.
It is worth noting that there were several types of them. The most common was the so-called state tithing, which appeared in official documentation.It was she who was the most frequently used land measure in the Russian Empire until its decline.
At the same time, the official tithe - it was already another figure. Not a square piece of land, but a rectangular one. Depending on the length of his lesser side, he was called “thirty” (with a size of 80 and 30 fathoms) or “forged” (60 and 40 fathoms).
History of tithing in Russia and in Tsarist Russia
The first written references to this unit of measurement date back to the XIV century. But, given the number of wars throughout Russia, accompanied by fires in which documents perished, historians believe that tithing as a measure began to be actively used earlier.
As mentioned above, for several centuries this unit did not have exactly the size, and therefore it differed in different historical epochs. Because of this, in different periods, the amount of territory belonging to one or another person recorded in the documents could change. This, of course, caused numerous disputes and redistributions.
To solve this problem, state tithing was introduced as early as 1753 (these are 2,400 fathoms). It was she who, along with the economic scythe, the host round, centesimal and melons, was actively used until the introduction of the metric system.This event occurred after the October Revolution in September 1918.
By the way, despite this change, tithing continued to play the role of a unit of measurement for another nine years, until in 1927 a categorical ban was imposed on its use.
Land tithing is how much in modern units
This measure has long been outdated, but the mention of it can often be found in the literature. And this is not only the works of the classics, written several centuries ago, but also some modern historical novels. In this regard, their readers are often interested in knowing the answer to the question: is the tithe of land how many are in acres, hectares or even square meters? After all, in this way they can better imagine the size of the territory in which the work takes place.
In the works of the XVIII-XIX centuries, as a rule, we are talking about the bureaucratic unit, and it is equal to 10 925 m². If we translate it into weave, the tithe will be 109.25 ar, or 1.0925 hectares. As for other species, in addition to the breech one, the round economic is most often mentioned. In size, it exceeds the economic oblique and is equal to 3600 square fathoms. Knowing this, one can calculate: round economic tithing is how many hectare (ap)? The correct answer would be 163.881.
By the way, the transfer from the units of the metric system can be done with the help of almost any online calculator of measures and values. Usually it contains the state tithe of the earth. But there are more advanced programs of this kind, in which hectares and weave can be translated into some other kind of this measure. Most often - in the economic round. So, if you have time and desire, you can try.
Another way to interpret the word
In addition to the name of the unit of measurement, the described noun was applied in the administrative-territorial division of the Patriarchal region in the Russian Empire in the XVII-XVIII centuries. At that time, tithing was the measure of the ecclesiastical and administrative districts into which the diocese was divided. The head of each of them was called "decadal." At the end of the XIX century. a similar name has been replaced by the term "dearness."
"Tithing" as a toponym
The studied word also became the name of some localities that are part of the Russian Federation and Ukraine. In Russia, it is a small town in the Vologda region and a village in the Novgorod region. On the territory of Ukraine, the so-called village, located in the western part of the country - in the Volyn region.
The meaning of the word "tithe" in terms of religion
The term under study has one more way of interpretation, and in this sense it continues to be actively applied to this day. This is the name of a tax in favor of the church, equal to a tenth of the income of each of the parishioners.
Most often, this file is typical for Christian denominations, as well as Judaism. It is interesting that at different periods of history the attitude towards it was different. At one time, tithing was collected by the state, and this tax was mandatory. In other periods, the payment of this tax became voluntary.
The history of tithing
It is believed that the emergence of the tradition of donating to the needs of the temple a tenth of the acquired is associated with the name of the legendary Abraham. According to the legend, after the Lord granted a victory over his numerous enemies to a man, in gratitude, he donated a tenth of all the spoils to the high priest Melchizedek of Jerusalem. Later, this tradition became popular among the descendants of Abraham.
Tithe of the jews
In compulsory tax for any Jew, tithing was transformed into the time of Moses. After liberation from Egyptian slavery, the descendants of Abraham were faced with the need not only to create a new independent state, but also a system of laws according to which its citizens will live.The Bible says that Jews did not have to invent laws and rules. Indeed, during their stay in the wilderness, the Most High Himself bestowed on them the Law, according to which they should live and believe. It is in it that tithe first becomes a compulsory tax.
In the case of the Jewish people, the existence of such a tax was quite reasonable. The fact is that one of the tribes of Israel (the Levites) took over the functions of the clergy. So that they could fully carry out the duties relating to serving God, and were not distracted, the remaining eleven tribes took upon themselves the responsibilities for their maintenance (the Levites were the only ones who did not have their own land). Tithing was taken for this purpose.
In turn, each of the priests also gave one tenth of the money, food, or goods received for the needs of the main one, the high priest. It is worth noting that the Levitical funds received in this way were spent not only for their own needs, but also for charity, supporting widows and orphans.
Tithing in Christianity
With the emergence of Christianity, many Jewish traditions were laid at its foundation, among them the aforementioned tax.Initially, it was not mandatory, and it could be paid at its own discretion. But there were always very few people who wanted to donate. Moreover, before the formation of Christianity as the dominant religion of the Roman Empire, most of those who profess it were not rich.
When all the citizens of Rome voluntarily-forcibly became Christians, the rich didn't hurry to part with a tenth of their property. To encourage them, in 567 AD er at the Cathedral of Tours, it was decided to present tithe as an optional tax. At the same time emphasizing that the payment of it indicates the true faith of the parishioner.
However, such an attempt to put pressure on the conscience did not have the expected effect, since the owners of huge states are often deprived of it. Therefore, most of them still continued not to pay the file or did it extremely irregularly. Thus, the new law has affected only the poor parishioners, who have tried to make tithe before. After this failure in 585, the tax was declared mandatory at the Makonsky Council, and those who did not pay it were excommunicated.
A little more than two hundred years later, Charlemagne went even further and imposed criminal penalties on all defaulters, depending on their malice.In this case, the king also put forward a number of requirements for the clergy. In particular, they were allowed to spend on themselves only one third of the money received, while the second part was used to build and maintain church buildings, and a third was to be spent on charity.
Unfortunately, from the wonderful idea of Charlemagne (to use tithing for good deeds, and not only for satisfying the growing needs of the clergy), soon there was only the obligation to pay it. Moreover, in future years, the church began to demand not only a portion of the income from farming (as was originally the case), but also from all other activities. It got to the point that even prostitutes were forced to bring tithes to the temple, not forgetting to blame them for the unworthiness of the craft.
In the next few centuries, real battles took place in the division of the collected tithing. So, not only the Pope demanded the lion's share of all the money for the maintenance of his court, but also many European monarchs. At the same time, the common people, the merchants, the knighthood and the less distinguished nobility were not in awe of the growing number of freeloaders. Therefore, with the beginning of the era of the Reformation, most European countries gradually began to abolish this compulsory tax and other religious requisitions.At the moment, most Christian denominations do not have tithing a compulsory tax. However, many of them returned to the principle of the Cathedral of Tours 567.
With the adoption of Christianity in Kievan Rus, as in other states, the mentioned tax was introduced. However, unlike in European countries, all its burden rested on the prince’s shoulders. In other words, after the ruler collected tithing on the lands of his subjects, it was he who paid this tax. And from their own income as well.
This tax was used not only among Jews and Christians, but also in some Muslim countries.
So, during the Ottoman Empire, the inhabitants of the conquered Bulgaria were forced to pay tithing. True, she did not go to the needs of the clergy, but to the Turkish feudal lords. Unlike the Europeans, the Ottomans at least honestly told the citizens who and where their money was going, rather than hiding behind the name of God for the implementation of exactions.