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1. Christianity a tenth part of agricultural or other produce, personal income, or profits, contributed either voluntarily or as a tax for the support of the church or clergy or for charitable purposes
2. any levy, esp of one tenth
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the tenth part of a crop (or other incomes), taken from the population for the support of the clergy and church.

In ancient times, the tithe existed among many Semitic peoples, particularly the Jews, and was passed on to the western Christian Church. The Christian Church first demanded the tithe in 585, citing the Bible. Beginning in 779 the tithe became obligatory for the entire Prankish kingdom. The Catholic Church, which levied the tithe in the Middle Ages, took both grapes and grain (the so-called great tithe), garden and industrial crops (the small tithe), and live cattle and animal produce (the blood tithe). The tithe was canonically divided into one-third for the upkeep of church buildings, one-third for the clergy, and one-third for the paupers of the parish. With the development of feudal relations, however, the tithe became almost completely levied for the benefit of the high church officials. The heaviest burden was on the peasantry, the upper classes often being spared payment.

Complete elimination of or limitations on the tithe were included in the demands of many peasant uprisings. In France the tithe was abolished in 1789-90, and in other countries during the 19th century. In Rus’, the tithe (desiatina) was established during the tenth century by Prince Vladimir Sviatoslavich; later, the church was given the right to collect fines in cases adjudicated by the church court instead of collecting the desiatina, but in certain cases various church organizations, although not the monasteries, continued to levy the desiatina. It was finally abolished at the end of the 19th century.

In Islam, the zakat is the functional equivalent of the tithe.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
THE BROOMBUSTERS: Tythe Barn Lane, Shirley, Solihull.
Largely built of red brick beneath tiled roof, they include: The Tythe Barn dating back from the late 17th Century and extended in 1861.
| A VEGGIE and vegan craft fair will be held at the Tythe Barn in the Medieval Village at Cosmeston Lakes on Sunday from 11am to 4pm.
There was a last-gasp goal at Tythe Barn Lane but not enough to stop lowly Highgate United pulling off a surprise 2-1 victory over Loughborough University.
Booking essential - call 029 2086 0054 or visit sfwales.org r or email admin@sfwales.org r |A VEGGIE and vegan craft fair will be held at the Tythe Barn, in the Medieval Village at Cosmeston Lakes on Sunday from 11am to 4pm.
In the day's other league match, Highgate United let an early lead slip on their way to a 2-1 defeat against visitors Ellesmere Rangers at Tythe Barn Lane.
The Tythe Barn, Haselor, near Alcester, guide price pounds 795,000.
Chris Canaan, from Akamba Heritage and Garden Centre, based in Tythe Barn Lane, Shirley, said: "When I was approached by the council, I wanted to get involved with the display.
LLANTWIT MAJOR Enjoy an evening of traditional music and dancing at the Tythe Barn at St Donats Arts Centre from 7.30pm.