To Have and to Hold: Marrying and its Documentation in Western Christendom, 400-1600

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...(T)he volume offers a rich analysis of marriage in the West and provides a particularly useful resource to the academic and less specialized audiences."
Cristina Mitrovici, Comitatus

...a marvelous contribution to our understanding of medieval marriage traditions based on an analysis of the documents that preserve them." —Journal of Interdisciplinary Hisotry

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521867368
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 536
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip L. Reynolds is Aquinas Professor of Historical Theology in the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. He is the author of the book, Marriage in the Western Church: The Christianization of Marriage During Patristic Times and Early Medieval Periods, which is widely cited as the leading text on marriage in the first millennium of the Christian era, and scores of scholarly articles published in leading medieval journals.

John Witte, Jr. is the Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. A world class scholar of legal history, marriage, and religious liberty, he has published 120 articles, 8 journal symposia, and 18 books including Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment. His writings have appeared in German, French, Italian, Hebrew, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, and Romanian translations.

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Table of Contents

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.

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