The temporary leasing of a monastery's administration to a layman, or institution, by an emperor, patriarch (qq.v.), or some other state or church official. The origins of the practice are obscure; the period of Iconoclasm (q.v.) has been suggested. Nevertheless, by the 11th century the practice was well established. When it worked well, it benefited both the lay administrator and the monastery, for it promoted the economic development of monastic lands. However, some bishops complained about poor lay management, loss of revenues, and improper interference in church affairs. Patriarch Nicholas III Grammatikos (q.v.) supported these complaints, and he convinced Alexios I Komnenos (q.v.) to require that all such grants be registered with the patriarch so they could be monitored. A grant of charistikion differed from a grant of pronoia (q.v.) insofar as the former, unlike the latter, had no obligation of service.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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  • Canon Law —    Canon law comprised church regulations combined with selected legislation from civil law (q.v.). Regulations issued by councils, including ecumenical councils (q.v.), comprised the core of canon law. Supplemental collections like the… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

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