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would advise as well. The same held for the cathedral's investments. It did put money into its agricultural properties - by paying for the construction of new barns, for example, or by helping tenants to undertake improvements - but it apparently only did so if the return on its investments exceeded what it could earn elsewhere. It was behaving, in short, just the way an economist would want. And Notre Dame was not unusual. Evidence from many other parts of Catholic Europe suggests that monasteries administered their farmland in the same way that secular landlords did, and in some instances - in Bavaria, for example - farms fell into ruin when they left the church's hands.

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