Marriage and the Family in the Middle Ages

Marriage and the Family in the Middle Ages

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by Frances Gies, Joseph Gies
     
 

A compelling, lucid, and highly readable chronicle of medieval life written by the authors of the bestselling Life in a Medieval Castle and Life in a Medieval City

Historians have only recently awakened to the importance of the family, the basic social unit throughout human history. This book traces the development of marriage and

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Overview

A compelling, lucid, and highly readable chronicle of medieval life written by the authors of the bestselling Life in a Medieval Castle and Life in a Medieval City

Historians have only recently awakened to the importance of the family, the basic social unit throughout human history. This book traces the development of marriage and the family from the Middle Ages to the early modern era. It describes how the Roman and barbarian cultural streams merged under the influence of the Christian church to forge new concepts, customs, laws, and practices. Century by century it follows the development — sometimes gradual, at other times revolutionary — of significant elements in the history of the family:

  • The basic functions of the family as production unit, as well as its religious, social, judicial, and educational roles.
  • The shift of marriage from private arrangement between families to public ceremony between individuals, and the adjustments in dowry, bride-price, and counter-dowry.
  • The development of consanguinity rules and incest taboos in church law and lay custom.
  • The peasant family in its varying condition of being free or unfree, poor, middling, or rich.
  • The aristocratic estate, the problem of the younger son, and the disinheritance of daughters.
  • The Black Death and its long-term effects on the family.
  • Sex attitudes and customs: the effects of variations in age of men and women at marriage.
  • The changing physical environment of noble, peasant, and urban families.
  • Arrangements by families for old age and retirement.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060914684
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/28/1989
Series:
Harper Perennial
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.86(d)

Table of Contents

I.Origins
1.Historians Discover the Family3
2.Roots: Roman, German, Christian16
II.The Early Middle Ages
3.The European Family: 500-70045
4.The Carolingian Age68
5.Anglo-Saxon England99
Marriage and the Family in the Year 1000116
III.The High Middle Ages
6.The Family Revolution of the Eleventh Century121
7.The Twelfth Century: New Family Models133
8.Peasants Before the Black Death: 1200-1347157
9.The Aristocratic Lineage: Perils of Primogeniture186
10.Children in the High Middle Ages196
Marriage and the Family in the Year 1300218
IV.The Late Middle Ages
11.The Impact of the Black Death223
12.The Late Medieval Peasant Family: 1350-1500235
13.A Family of the English Landed Gentry251
14.A Merchant's Family in Fifteenth-Century Florence271
Marriage and the Family After the Black Death291
V.The End of the Middle Ages
15.Legacy295
Notes307
Bibliography341
Index359

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