This 2007 book analyzes how, why, and when pre-modern Europeans documented their marriages - through property deeds, marital settlements, dotal charters, church court depositions, wedding liturgies, and other indicia of marital consent. The authors consider both the function of documentation in the process of marrying and what the surviving documents say about pre-modern marriage and how people in the day understood it. Drawing on archival evidence from classical Rome, medieval France, England, Iceland, and Ireland, and Renaissance Florence, Douai, and Geneva, the volume provides a rich interdisciplinary analysis of the range of marital customs, laws, and practices in Western Christendom. The chapters include freshly translated specimen documents that bring the reader closer to the actual practice of marrying than the normative literature of pre-modern theology and canon law.
• Its sweep from 400–1600 with a sustained argument and demonstration • Its deliberate interdisciplinary approach • Its inclusion and critical analysis of English translations of many newly discovered engagement and marriage documents
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.