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This volume analyzes how, why, and when pre-modern Europeans documented their marriages - through property settlements, prenuptial contracts, court testimony, church weddings, and more. The authors consider both the function of documentation in the process of marrying and what the surviving documents say about pre-modern marriage. After analyzing the foundations of Western marriage set by Roman law and Patristic theology, the chapters provide vivid case studies of marital documents and practices in medieval France, England, Iceland, and Ireland, and in Renaissance Florence, Douai, and Geneva.
1. Marrying and its documentation in pre-modern Europe: consent, celebration, and property Philip L. Reynolds; 2. Marrying and its documentation in later Roman law Judith Evans-Grubbs; 3. Marrying and the tabulae nuptiales in Roman North Africa from Tertullian to Augustine David G. Hunter; 4. Dotal Charters in the Frankish tradition Philip L. Reynolds; 5. Marriage and diplomatics: five Dower Charters from the regions of Laon and Soissons, 1163–81 Laurent Morelle; 6. Marriage agreements from twelfth-century Southern France Cynthia Johnson; 7. Marriage contracts in medieval England R. H. Helmholz; 8. Marriage contracts and the church courts of fourteenth-century England Frederik Pedersen; 9. Marrying and marriage litigation in medieval Ireland Art Cosgrove; 10. Marriage contracts in medieval Iceland Agnes S. Arnórsdóttir; 11. Contracting marriage in Renaissance Florence Thomas J. Kuehn; 12. Marital property law as sociocultural text: the case of late-medieval Douai Martha C. Howell; 13. Marriage contracts, liturgies, and properties in Reformation Geneva John Witte, Jr; Index.