Love, Marriage and Family in the Middle Ages: A Reader / Edition 1

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This reader of primary sources focuses on the burgeoning field of the medieval family. While much of what it means to be in love, or to marry, or to be part of a family has remained consistent over the past two millennia, dramatic changes have also taken place. Love, Marriage, and Family in the Middle Ages now allows readers a vivid sense of what these issues, which make up so much of daily life, meant to those in the Middle Ages.

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Editorial Reviews

The 80 excerpts and short pieces consider foundations and influences; love and its dangers; marriage and the church; husbands and wives; marriage and family; childbirth; parents and children; and beyond Christendom. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551111049
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division
  • Publication date: 9/21/2001
  • Series: Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures Series, #7
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 524
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Murray is Dean of Arts at the University of Guelph. She is the editor of Conflicted Identities and Multiple Masculinities: Men in the Medieval West and Desire and Discipline: Sex and Sexuality in the Premodern West (with Konrad Eisenbichler).
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Table of Contents

I. Foundations and Influences

1. The Biblical Foundations

2. The Germanic Foundations

3. Theological Foundations: Augustine, On the Good of Marriage

4. Theological Foundations: Augustine on Marriage as a Social Institution

5. Legal Foundations: The Burgundian Laws

6. Legal Foundations: Anglo-Saxon Laws

7. Pastoral Foundations: The Penitential of Theodore

II. Love and its Dangers

8. A Biblical Celebration of Love

9. The Biblical Regulation of Sexual Behavior

10. The Marriage of Thorstein and Spes

11. Charlemagne's Daughter and Her Lover

12. The Ideology of Courtly Love

13. Troubadour Love Poetry

14. Goliardic Love Songs

15. Vernacular Love Songs

16. Adulterous Love: The Story of Equitan

17. A Debate about Love and Marriage: The Owl and the Nightingale

18. Abelard and Heloise

19. Paolo and Francesca

20. Edward III's Love for the Countess of Salisbury (1342)

21. The Paston Family on Love and Marriage

22. Prosecutions and Punishments for Sexual Misconduct

III. Marriage and the Church

23. The Theology of Marriage: Peter Lombard's Sentences

24. A Woman's View of Marriage: Hildegard of Bingen's Scivias

25. The Good of Marriage: Etienne de Fourgères

26. Ecclesiastical Legislation: the Fourth Lateran Council (1215)

27. Episcopal Legislation: the Statutes of Salisbury (1217-19)

28. The Parish Priest and the Rules of Marriage

29. How to Dissolve a Marriage

30. Marriage Litigation in Fifteenth-Century London

IV. Marriage Ceremonies, Rituals, and Customs

31. Pope Nicholas's Letter to a Bulgarian King (866)

32. The Legend of St. Nicholas and the Three Dowries

33. A Bad Courtship and a Good: Ruodlieb

34. The Liturgy of Marriage

35. Popular Customs and Marriage Celebrations

V. Husbands and Wives

36. An Early Christian View of Husbands and Wives

37. Tertullian: To His Wife (ca. 200)

38. An Anti-matrimonial Diatribe

39. A Grieving Husband: The Death of Einhard's Emma

40. The Marriage of Guibert of Nogent's Parents

41. Cautionary Tales

42. A Sermon on the Ideal Husband

43. A Popular View of Marriage: The Vision of Piers the Plowman

44. Saint Bernardino on Marriage

45. The Fifteen Joys of Marriage

VI. Marriage and Family

46. Marriage Among the Franks

47. Counting Families in the Ninth Century

48. Spiritual Marriages

49. A Rebellious Wife

50. An Unhappy Marriage: Godelive of Ghistelle

51. A Lord Asserts his Rights: Gerald of Aurillac

52. Duplicitous Wives and Illegitimate Heirs

53. The Legitimation of Children

54. Feudal Marriage

55. A Fraudulent Marriage Agreement (1280)

56. Marriage Cases in Village Courts

57. Housing and Households

58. Domestic Violence

VII. Childbirth

59. Gregory the Great on Sex, Childbirth, and Purity

60. A Medical Discussion of Childbirth

61. Description of a Birthing Chamber

62. Prayers for Women in Childbirth

63. Rejoicing for a Safe Delivery

VIII. Parents and Children

64. Biblical Advice on Parent/Child Relations

65. Jerome on the Education of Girls

66. Frankish Parents' Grief

67. An Unhappy Childhood: Guibert of Nogent

68. The Ideals of Childhood

69. Intrafamilial Conflict

70. Parents, Children, and Child-rearing

71. A Happy Childhood: Jean Froissart

72. The Instruction of Children

73. The Care of Orphans

IX. Beyond Christendom

74. Laws Regulating Contact Between Jews, Muslims, and Christians

75. Marriage Cases in the Jewish Community

76. A Jewish Merchant's Letter

77. A Jewish Father's Advice: Eleazar of Mainz

78. Islamic Teaching on Marriage and the Family

79. Christian Misunderstanding of Islamic Teachings on Marriage

80. The Cathar's Rejection of Marriage

Index of Topics


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