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The Templars in the Corona de Aragn Alan John Forey 9 Secular Activities of the Templars
[344] The secular activities of the Templars included, as has been seen, participation in the reconquest and the administration of property, but they were not limited to these. The Orders temporal power in the Corona de Aragn made the provincial master an important political figure; and at a time when the Crown lacked an adequate body of professional administrators, the Temple -- like other ecclesiastical institutions -- was used as a recruiting ground for royal servants and officials; while the Templars were also commonly engaged in banking and moneylending activities. The provincial master's standing gave him a natural place among the counsellors of the king. He was often in attendance at court and was regularly summoned to the Cortes.(1) But even among the leading men of the kingdom the master often appears to have enjoyed a particular prestige, for at times he was assigned tasks of special responsibility. William of Montrodn was thus made tutor to James I during the latter's minority,(2) and James in his first will drawn up in 1232 nominated the provincial master as a tutor for his own son Alfonso.(3) On several occasions the master acted as a mediator in major political disputes: in 1227, for example, the issues in dispute between James I and the Aragonese nobility were submitted for arbitration to the provincial master Fulk of Montpesat, the archbishop of Tarragona, and the bishop of Lrida.(4) On many other occasions the master was employed in the more normal activities of a king's servant, such as acting as a royal envoy. Among those who occupied this role were William of Pontns, who was James I's representative at the papal court in 1262 when the marriage between the Infante Peter and Constance of Sicily was being negotiated,(5) and Arnold of Castellnou, who was one of Jamess ambassador's to the French king in 1272.(6) Advisory and administrative functions were also performed by other members of the Order. At the Cortes of Monzn in 1289 [345] Peter of Tous, the commander of Miravet, was appointed to the king's council.(7) The commander of Asc was a royal representative at Rome in 1284,(8) and seven years later this position was occupied by the commander of the house of Ribaforada in Navarre.(9) In 1276 Peter Peronet, the commander of Burriana, was similarly ordered to negotiate on the king's behalf with the Moorish rebels of Eslida.(10) In the same year Peter Peronet also held the post of royal almoner and administered royal rights at Villarreal near Burriana.(11) Templars appear to have been employed most frequently, however, as financial officials, engaged in the reception of royal dues and taxes. In 1184 the Templar Pons of Azemar was one of those who received accounts from the royal bailiffs of Tarragona and Cervera.(12) In the same way, the commander of Palau, with a canon of Barcelona, received from the moneyers an account of the profits resulting from changes in the coinage made at the end of the year 1222,(13) while two years earlier a Templar had been appointed temporarily both in Aragon and in Catalonia to supervise the collection and administration of all revenues.(14) Similarly in 1289 the

commander of Barcelona, Romeo of Burguet, was deputed to receive accounts from all officials,(15) and at the same time Templars were nominated to appoint collectors of an aid in the dioceses of Vich and Lrida.(16) The Order thus contributed a not inconsiderable number of those temporary officials on whom any royal administration of the period so much depended.(17) The Templars who carried out administrative tasks for the Crown would already have gained experience on the Order's own estates, where the administrative techniques would not have differed radically from those used by the Crown. By employing Templars the king was therefore obtaining the services of trained men, who could easily adapt themselves to the methods employed in the royal administration. There was, of course, the danger that in undertaking tasks imposed by the king the Templars would neglect their own duties; but these royal demands could not be refused if the Order wanted to remain in the king's favour. Although individual Templars became involved in political affairs, the Order as a whole appears not to have played a major role in Aragonese politics.(18) The nomination of the provincial master as an arbiter in political disputes was made possible by the Temple's neutrality, and the Order's activities during the conflict [346] between king and pope following the Sicilian Vespers suggest that its primary concern at that time was the preservation of its rights and property. In that struggle the Templars gave their support to the Crown, but they seem to have done so only reluctantly, and a number of protests against royal demands were made by the Order. This does not indicate, however, that the Templars sympathized strongly with the papacy, for their protests were not occasioned by Martin IV's sentence on Peter III. The protests were concerned merely with breaches of Templar privilege; such complaints were not new, nor did they cease when pope and king were reconciled. In giving support to the king, the Order appears merely to have been following the course which seemed to present the least immediate threat to its rights and privileges, although its siding with the Aragonese did create difficulties in Roussillon, where -- at the instigation of the French king -- James of Mallorca seized the house of Mas-Deu on the pretext that it was subject to the Aragonese Templars.(19) The Order's relations with the baronial opposition to the king at this time were similarly influenced by a concern for rights and privileges. Although its interests to some extent coincided with those of the nobles, the Temple was wary of entering into any commitment which might endanger its powers of jurisdiction: thus in 1284 the castellan of Monzn forbade his vassals to take any oath to the union of Aragonese nobles, because such an action would prejudice Templar authority.(20) The Order was more important in the sphere of finance than in that of politics. The banking and moneylending activities of the .Aragonese Templars were similar to those of their French and English colleagues, whose work in this sphere is well known,(21) but the surviving evidence suggests that in Aragon these activities were conducted on a rather smaller scale than in the other countries. In Aragon as elsewhere Templar houses served as places of deposit, and they were frequently used for this purpose by all classes of men. At Gardeny there was even a special 'house of deposits'.(22) Anything could be deposited, including Moorish prisoners or a mule, left while its owner was abroad. (23) Early in the thirteenth century Gerald of Cabrera and his son had gold, silver, horses, and corn in safe-keeping at Gardeny.(24) Most deposits, however, fell into one of three classes: jewellery, documents, or money. In James I's reign royal jewels and ecclesiastical ornaments [347] were at times kept at Gardeny and Monzn,(25) and among those of lesser rank who made deposits of this kind was a Valencian knight, Peter of Monteagudo, who in his will drawn up in 1256 stipulated that a ring deposited in the convent of Valencia should remain there until his son came of age.(26) The documents in Templar custody often included those placed temporarily in the Order's keeping while settlements and agreements were being put into effect. When Peter of Alcal drew up his will in 1214 he handed over to the Temple all his title deeds, which were to be retained by the Order until the conditions of his

will had been fulfilled,(27) and in 1241 Elvira, the widow of William of Cervelln, similarly entrusted to the commander of Palau several acknowledgements of debt, which were to be recovered by the debtors when they had fulfilled their obligations.(28) Money was deposited in the Temple both by private individuals and by royal and papal officials. Gardeny in 1241 held cash belonging to the viscount of Cardona,(29) and seven years later the family of Moncada was using the Templar house at Tortosa for the same purpose,(30) while in 1275 the countess of Urgel received back money which she had deposited in the convent at Valencia.(31) Part of the crusading tenth exacted by Gregory X was deposited with the Aragonese Templars in 1277 ;(32) in 1270 the peaje exacted by royal officials at Alagn was for a time placed in the keeping of the commander of Zaragoza ;(33) and five years later the houses of Zaragoza, Huesca, Tarazona, and Teruel for a while had custody of the peita paid to the Crown by the Jewish aljamas of those places.(34) In these last two instances royal officials were using Templar convents and houses merely as temporary local treasuries, and other depositors appear to have done the same. No one in Aragon is known to have used the Temple as his sole treasury and there is no evidence of the existence of current accounts, such as are encountered in France, into which money was regularly paid and from which disbursements were made by the Temple on behalf of its clients.(35) The Aragonese Templars did at times make payments on behalf of others, but in all the instances in which the circumstances are known they used money which either belonged to the Order or was derived from particular deposits. Some individuals deposited money specifically in order that the Temple might make a payment on their behalf: when in [348] 1256, for example, Lope of Fraga wanted to pay 200maz. to William of San Melione he used the commander of Tortosa as an intermediary.(36) Money might alternatively be deposited with the Temple for the purpose of having it transferred from one place to another: in 1270 a Catalan knight, William of Pujalt, received from the convent of Palau some money which he had deposited with the Order in the East.(37)Deposits might, on the other hand, be made merely for safekeeping. The Temples military and religious character made it particularly well suited for this task. Although Desclot reports that Peter III seized treasure which James of Mallorca had deposited with the Templars in Roussi1lon,(38) this was probably an exceptional occurrence; it was a seizure made by a king in time of war. There is no evidence to show that deposits might also be made with the Temple as a form of investment, as they were with other bankers.(39) Most of the surviving documents are admittedly records of the withdrawal and not of the deposit of money and do not specify the terms on which deposits were made; but the few deposit agreements which have been preserved refer to 'demand' and not to 'time' deposits, such as are encountered in Genoese and other records of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries;(40) and in no document is there any reference to the repayment of any sum other than the amount deposited. It is not even clear whether the Templars made use of the money deposited with them. It has sometimes been assumed that the Order loaned it out,(41) but the scanty evidence which has been found on this subject does not support this assumption;(42) and there is with regard to Aragon the further point that as deposits were made on only a limited scale it would not have been easy for the Order to utilize them. The Temple might, however, derive benefit in other ways, even if immediately it was nothing more tangible than the goodwill of the depositor. The moneylending activities of the Templars in Aragon can be traced back as far as the 1130s.(43) At that time it was not uncommon for ecclesiastical institutions to lend money, but whereas most other religious establishments soon lost importance in this sphere, moneylending became and remained a Templar activity of considerable significance. The surviving sources show that the Templars continued to make frequent loans up to the time of their arrest. These sources probably cover, however, only a fraction of the Temples activity in this field, for there was no necessity [349] to keep records of loans

after the money had been repaid; records of advances made to the king have sometimes been preserved because the instruments of debt were copied into the royal registers, but documents concerning loans to private individuals have usually survived only by chance. Money was borrowed from the Temple by men of all ranks and classes, including the Jews,(44) but the most important client was the king. In the early years of his reign Alfonso II obtained numerous loans from the Order, including 1,100m. in 1164, 1,200m. in 1167, 5,000m. in 1169, and 400m. in 1175,(45) while the royal registers show that in the second half of the thirteenth century the Crown was making constant recourse to the Temple for money. The demand for loans was such that, as in France,(46) the Templars had difficulty in satisfying it. When James I asked the Templars to lend him 4,000m. in 1264, he mentioned the possibility that they might have to borrow money themselves before they could make the loan, and in fact on a number of occasions the Temple was obliged to do this in order to satisfy royal demands.(47) The use of an ecclesiastical institution in the role of an intermediary --which was perhaps not uncommon(48)-- probably facilitated the borrowing of money especially by rulers. Laymen would probably be more ready to make loans to an institution like the Temple than to advance money directly to the king, because a religious institution was less likely to repudiate a debt. The king, on the other hand, might be expected to honour obligations to ecclesiastical creditors more readily than those to laymen. Nevertheless the Templars in Aragon appear to have been reluctant to act in this role; they did so only 'at the great prayers' and 'the great insistence of the king.'(49) They no doubt feared lest, if the king defaulted, they would themselves be obliged to pay back not only the capital borrowed on his behalf but also the interest charged on that sum, thus incurring double loss. Most of the loans made by the Temple were short-term advances, which were sought by the Aragonese kings and others in order to overcome merely temporary financial difficulties and which could be repaid when clients' rents and dues were collected. A debtor normally repaid a loan of this kind by assigning some of his incoming revenues to the Order. If he usually received dues from the Temple, the Order was normally allowed to recoup [350] itself from these. In the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries royal debts to the Temple were frequently repaid out of the monedaje and cena which the Crown usually received from the Order's lands,(50) and in 1232 the bishop of Zaragoza in the same way made repayment out of dues owed to him by Templar churches in his diocese.(51) Occasionally debtors promised instead to pay back a debt on a certain date, but even then a clause was often inserted in the instrument of debt to the effect that if the debtor defaulted the Order was to recover its loan out of the income derived from certain properties.(52) When revenues were assigned to the Templars in repayment of loans, it was often agreed that the Order could deduct part of the sum collected to cover its expenses, as was permitted in canon law: (53) when the Templars in 1169, for example, were assigned royal dues in Asc in repayment of a debt owed by the king, they were allowed to retain a third of these revenues for this purpose.(54) But the Aragonese sources, like those of other countries,(55) do not reveal whether the Templars usually gained a direct monetary profit from lending. Only rarely can it be definitely stated that the Aragonese Templars did so. In a few instances they are known to have profited through the mortgaging of lands to them by debtors. Thus in 1189 a woman and her son pledged four vineyards and other lands to the commander of Boquieni and stated that the Order should retain this property and receive the produce from it 'for the souls of all our forebears' until they paid back a debt of 50s. which they owed to the Temple.(56) But even when references to mortgages do occur, it is not made clear whether the lands pledged were held of the Temple, and on this depended the legality of the transaction, for after the middle of the twelfth century a lender was allowed to retain the revenues of pledged land as profit only if he was the lord of the land and released the tenant from his tenurial obligations.(57) The mortgaging of lands to the

Temple could not, however, have been a very common practice, because rents and dues were usually assigned to the Order for the repayment of the capital borrowed. When this was done the Temple sometimes charged interest at a fixed rate. When the bishop of Zaragoza in 1232 assigned the Order his revenues from Templar churches for a year, he stated that he was doing this in order to repay a debt of 550m., 'namely 500 as capital and 50 as usury annually [351] the said 500m.'(58) This rate of 10 per cent per annum -- 2 per cent less than the maximum allowed to Christian moneylenders in Aragon and half of the Jewish rate(59)--appears to have been that normally charged by the Temple, for it was referred to several times by James I as the 'rate and custom of the Temple.'(60) In royal documents the exaction of interest by the Templars is mentioned only when the Order was acting as an intermediary, and in these cases the Templars were not deriving a profit but merely gaining compensation for the interest which they paid on sums borrowed on the king's behalf. But it cannot be proved that the Templars charged interest only in these circumstances. The 1232 charter of the bishop of Zaragoza makes no reference to the Templars acting as intermediaries and it could well be referring to the exaction of usury by the Order for its own benefit. While in a few instances the Templars definitely obtained a direct monetary gain from moneylending, (61) on some other occasions they appear not to have done so. Thus several loans made to Ramonedo of Moncada in 1302 were specifically stated to be free from usury.(62) But in the majority of documents there is no indication whether the Templars made a monetary profit or not. This silence does not necessarily mean that nothing was obtained, for interest could easily be concealed. The sums allowed to the Templars for expenses could easily hide an extra payment, especially when the Order was assigned a fixed proportion of revenues for this purpose. In some other cases it is possible that interest was deducted from a loan at the time when the money was lent, so that the amount mentioned in the instrument of debt would represent the sum loaned, but not the actual amount received by the borrower. (63) Interest might have been concealed in this way, for example, when the count of Urgel in 1186 granted the Temple revenues worth 175s.J. per annum for two years to repay a debt of 350s.J., without making any allowance for additional repayments.(64) But this could not have happened on every occasion when interest was not specifically mentioned, for it is made clear in some instances that the debtor received the whole sum that was to be repaid: when James I in 1227 assigned the Order revenues worth 500s.J. a year for eight years in repayment of a debt of 4,000s.J., he gave details of payments made by the Order on his behalf and these totalled exactly 4,000s.J.(65) But even if a document does not contain a concealed reference to interest it is [352] of course possible that the Order still received some additional payment. Nevertheless, it would be dangerous to assume that a definite charge was made in all cases where there is no reference to interest. Peter II's restoration of Tortosa to the Templars in 1202 on the day that they lent him 1,000m.(66) suggests that in some cases the reward which the Temple gained consisted in the goodwill and favour of the borrower rather than in any precise monetary return. And the reference to usury in the bishop of Zaragoza's acknowledgement of debt in 1232 shows that not everyone tried to conceal the payment of usury to Christian moneylenders. (67) The absence of any reference to interest in a document might therefore sometimes mean that the Temple received no direct monetary return from a loan. But since moneylending was not just an occasional and peripheral activity for the Temple, it may be doubted whether many of the loans made by it were as completely gratuitous as the ecclesiastical authorities would have wished. Notes for Chapter Nine 1. Cortes de Aragn, Valencia y Catalua, i (Madrid, 1896), 123, 140, 182-3, 197-8; J. Vincke, Documenta selecta mutuas civitatis Arago-Cathalaunicae et ecclesiae relationes illustrantia (Barcelona, 1936), p. 29, doc. 55; p. 52, doc. 94.

2. S. Sanpere y Miquel, 'Minora de Jaime I, Congreso de historia de Ia Corona de Aragn, ii (Barcelona, 1913), 580-694, passim. 3. Huici, Coleccin diplomtica, i. 187-9, doc. 101. 4. CDI, vi. 90-5, doc 15. 5. D. Girona y Liagustera, 'Mullerament del Infant En Pere de Cathalunya ab Madona Constana de Sicilia, Congreso de historia de la Corona de Aragn, i (Barcelona, 1909), 245,268 ;J. Guiraud,Les Registres dUrbain IV, ii (Paris, , 1901), 29-31, doc. 94. 6. C. Baudon de Mony, Relations politiques des comtes de Foix avec la Catalogne (Paris, 1896), i. 221; ii. 147, doc. 62. 7. ACA, reg. 73, fol. 80. 8. ACA, reg. 47, fol. 131. 9. ACA, reg. 90, fol. 100. 10. F. Soldevila, Pere el Gran, II. i (Barcelona, 1962), 23, 82, doc. 50. 11. AHN, Montesa, R. 132. 12. ACA, parch. Alfonso II, nos. 360, 361. 13. ACA, parch. James I, no. 207. 14. CDI, vi. 81-3, doc. 12; Huici, Coleccin diplomtica, i. 3 3-4, doc. 16. 15. ACA, reg. 80, fol. 127v. 16. Ibid., fol. 136. 17. For examples of Templars in royal service in other countries, see M. L. Bulst-Thiele, 'Templer in kniglichen und papstlichen Diensten, Festschrift Percy Ernst Schratnm (Wiesbaden, 1964), i, 289308. 18. The Order of Santiago appears similarly to have avoided political entanglements: see D. W. Lomax, La Orden de Santiago (Madrid, 1968), pp. 30, 35. 19. The Templars in the East appealed to Nicholas IV to take action against James, but the pope's order for the surrender of the house was made conditional on its being administered by someone who was loyal to the pope and the king of Mallorca: S. Baluzius, Vitae Paparum Avenionensium, ed. G. Mollat, iii (Paris, 1921), 7-8, doc. 5. 20. AHN, cd. 471, pp. 318-19, doc. 251. 21. L. Delisle, Mmoire sur les oprarions financires des Templiers (Mmoires de l'Institut National de France, Acadmie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, xxxiii. 2, 1889); J. Piquet, Des banquiers au moyen age: les Templiers (Paris, 1939); A. Sandys, 'The Financial and Administrative Importance of the London Temple in the Thirteenth Century, Essays in Mediaeval History presented to Thomas Frederick Tout, ed. A. G. Little and F. M. Powicke (Manchester, 1925), pp. 147-62; T. W. Parker, The Knights Templars in England (Tucson, 1963), pp. 58-80. 22. ACA, reg. 291, fol. 230. 23. AHN, cd. 466, pp. 53-4, doc. 52; ACA, parch. James I, no. 405. 24. AGP, parch. Gardeny, no. 461. 25. AHN, cd. 471, p. 124, doc. 119; p. 149, doc. 148; see below, p. 385.

26. AHN, Montesa, P. 204. 27. ACA, reg. 310, fol. 75-75v. 28. ACA, parch. James I, no. 864. 29. AGP, parch. Gardeny, no. 642. 30. AGP, parch. Tortosa, no. 38. 31. AHN, Montesa, P. 358. 32. ACA, reg. 39, fol. 225-225v; Delaville, Cartulaire, iii. 350, doc. 3631. 33. AHN, cd. 467, p. 396, doc. 333. 34. ACA, reg. s8, fol. 100v. 35. Piquet, op. cit., pp. 36ff.; Delisle, op. cit., pp. 24ff. 36. AGP, parch. Tortosa, no. 51. 37. ACA, parch. James I, no. 2034; published in part by M. Vilar Bonet, 'Actividades financieras de la Orden del Temple en la Corona de Aragn, VII Congreso de historia de Ia Corona de Aragn (Barcelona, 1962), ii. 584. 38. B. Desclot, Chronicle of the Reign of King Pedro III of Aragon, ed. F. L. Critchiow, ii (Princeton, 1928), 201-2. 39. A. E. Sayous, 'Les operations des banquiers italiens en Italie et aux foires de Champagne pendant le xiiie sicle, Revue historique, clxx (1932), 10-11. 40. ACA, parch. James I, no. 379; AHN, Montesa, P. 212; cf. M. W. Hall, 'Early Bankers in the Genoese Notarial Records', Economic History Review, vi (1935-6), 77-8; R. de Roover, 'New Interpretations of the History of Banking', Cahiers d'histoire mondiale, ii (1954-5), 39. It seems, however, that not all demand deposits were returned on demand, and that deposits of this kind were in fact sometimes investments: A. E. Sayous, 'Les mthodes commerciales de Barcelone au xiiie sicle, daprs des documents indits des archives de sa cathdrale', Estudis universitaris catalans, xvi (193 i), 172, 192-3. 41. Delisle, op. cit., p. 15; Parker, op. cit., p. 66. 42. e.g. Joinville, Histoire de Saint Louis, cap. 75, ed. N. de Wailly (Socit de l'Histoire de France, 1868), pp. 134-6, quoted by Delisle, op. cit., pp. 8-9. Parker, op. cit., pp. 60-1, mentions several occasions on which money deposits kept in chests and strong-boxes were seized from the English Templars. 43. Albon, Cartulaire, p. 64, doc. 84; p. 79, doc. 111; Lacarra, 'Documentos, nos. 183 (iii. 576), 188 (iii. 579-80). 44. AGP, parch. Tortosa, no. 22. Jews were of course forbidden to exact interest from or pay interest to fellow Jews. 45. ACA, parch. Alfonso II, nos. 13, 67, 179; AGP, parch. Gardeny, no. 648. Some of these loans are discussed by Vilar Bonet, loc. cit., pp. 579-81. 46. Cambridge Economic History of Europe, iii (Cambridge, 1963), 477. 47. ACA, reg. 13, fol. 157-157v; reg. 14, fols. 48 v, 52 v-53; reg. 28, fols. 37 v-38; AHN, Montesa, R. 173; see below, p. 394.

48. Cambridge Economic History of Europe, iii. 444. 49. ACA, reg. 14, fols. 52v-53; reg. 28, fols. 37v-38; AHN, Montesa, R. 173; see below, p. 394. 50. ACA, reg. 13, fol. 157-157v; reg. 14, fols. 48 v, 52 v-53; reg. 332, fol. 280; reg. 333, fols. 33-4; parch. James II, nos. 1537, 2245; see below, p. 394. 51. AHN, cd. 467, pp. 258-9, doc. 265. 52. e.g. ACA, parch. Alfonso II, nos. 13, 53. 239.J. T. Noonan, The Scholastic Analysis of Usury (Cambridge, Mass., 1957), p. 112. 54. ACA, parch. Alfonso II, no. 67. 55. Cf. Delisle, op. cit., p. 87; Piquet, op. cit., pp. 52-6; Sandys, loc. cit., pp. 158-9; Parker, op. cit., pp. 69-72. 56. AHN, cd. 470, pp. 72-3, doc. 86. 57. Noonan, op. cit., pp. 102-3. 58. AHN, cd. 467, pp. 258-9, doc. 265. 59. Cortes de Aragn, Valencia y Catalua, i. 126, 131; cf. F. de Bofarull y Sans, 'Jaime I y los judios, Congreso de historia de Ia Corona de Aragn, ii (Barcelona, 1913), 852; A. A. Neuman, The Jews in Spain (Philadelphia, 1944), i. 200-1. 60. ACA, reg. 13, fol. 157-157v; reg. 14, fol. 48v. 61. M. Melville, La Vie des Templiers (Paris, 1951), pp. 75-6, maintains that in 1135 the Aragonese Templars profited from a loan which was made in the form of a purchase and later re-sale of land; their interest consisted of the revenues derived from the land while it was in the Orders possession. But it is by no means certain that they did receive the revenues in this instance, for they were to account for them when the land was repurchased by the original owners: Albon, Cartulaire, p. 79, doc. 111; Lacarra, 'Documentos, no. 188 (iii. 579-80). 62. AHN, cd. 467, pp. 263-5, docs. 273, 274. 63. Cf. G. Bigwood, Le Rgime juridique et conomique du commerce de largent dans Ia Belgique du moyen ge (Acadmie Royale de Belgique, Classe des Lettres, Mmoires, 2e srie, xiv. 1, Brussels, 1921), pp. 453-4; Sayous, 'Les mthodes', p.170. 64. AGP, parch. Gardeny, no. 1928. 65. AHN, cd. 471, p. 106, doc. 101. 66. See above, pp. 29-30. 67. Cf. J. Ibans, La Doctrine de lglise et les ralits conomiques au XIIIe sicle (Paris, 1967), p. 91.