Dowry or Inheritance? Kinship, Property, And Women's Agency in Lisbon, Venice, and Florence (1572)

in Journal of Early Modern History
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

Abstract

The marital property regimes, inheritance practices, and kinship structures of Renaissance Italy and early modern Portugal were at opposite ends of a spectrum. In Italy, the legitimacy of marriage was defined as the outcome of dowry exchange governed by exclusio propter dotem, thus conceptually linked to the disinheritance of daughters and wives. In Portugal, where the Roman principle of equal inheritance was never abolished, domestic unions qualified as marriages insofar as joint ownership was established. Kinship structures were rigidly agnatic in Italy, but cognatic, even residually matrilineal, in Portugal. An investigation of notarial records from Lisbon, Venice, and Florence shows how women's capacity for full legal agency as property owners in both societies differed. Female legal agency, however, whether measured by women's capacity to engage in property transactions independently of their marital status (Portugal), or as the manipulation of limited legal resources, even resistance against a system of dispossession (Italy), always unfolded within the context of larger agendas that were beyond women's control, such as the processes of state formation in medieval Italy and empire-building in Portugal.

Journal of Early Modern History

Contacts, Comparisons, Contrasts. Early Modernity Viewed from a World-Historical Perspective

Sections

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 10 10 8
Full Text Views 3 3 3
PDF Downloads 3 3 3
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0