Panis Literae

Panis Literae ("bread briefs") were letters of recommendation, by which a secular lord ordered a monastery or other institution of charity to receive a certain. person for support. The right of issuing such letters was connected with the duty, originally imposed upon such institutions, of showing hospitality to princes and other great lords when they were travelling. During the Middle Ages the emperor of Germany exercised a very extensive right of this kind; but the custom existed also in other countries. Towards the end of the 18th century the princes of the different countries refused to admit such royal briefs in their respective territories, and Frederick the Great openly refused to acknowledge such a brief, and asked to be let alone in future with such imperial orders. See Kluber, Litteratur de dedeuischen

Stcaatsrechts (Erlangen, 1791), pages 540-543, 548; Haberlin, Pragmatische Geschichte der neuesten kaiserlichen Walkapitulation (Leipsic, 1792), page 97; Plitt-Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v. "Panisbrief." (B.P.)

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