Regional Variations in Matrimonial Law and Custom in Europe, 1150-1600


Much research has been done on medieval marriage in the last decades. However, few books have a pronouncedly comparative approach. This book discusses how much was regional and universal in medieval marriage law and practices in Europe. The sources used range from secular and canon law to court practice and from images to private correspondence. Articles discuss medieval and Reformation Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, and Sweden. Both marriage formation and marital property, two intertwined aspects, are considered in the articles. The book offers fresh evidence on the scope of regional variation tolerated by the Church, regional practices, and European trends.
Contributors are James A. Brundage, Cecilia Cristellon, Trevor Dean, Charles Donahue, Jr., Caroline Dunn, Mia Korpiola, Jurgita Kunsmanaitė, Anu Lahtinen, Anthony Musson, Philip L. Reynolds, Kirsi Salonen, Silvana Seidel Menchi, and Monique Vleeschouwers-Van Melkebeek.
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Biographical Note

Mia Korpiola, LL.D. (2004) in Legal History, University of Helsinki, is Reader (Docent) in Legal History and Research fellow (HCAS). She has published many articles on medieval and early modern marriage in addition to Between Betrothal and Bedding (Brill, 2009).

Review Quotes

“Mia Korpiola has edited an excellent collection concerning the local histories and broad themes of the legal aspects of marriage. This collection is a welcome addition to recent scholarship, which has focused not simply on discussions of matrimonial law in theory but also in practice. Korpiola has bridged the gap that exists in the accounts of medieval marriage between works examining Christendom as a whole and histories providing focused case studies of particular areas for the benefit of a local readership...”
Heather Parker (University of Toronto), Studies in Religion 42(3) Sept 2013.

Table of contents

List of Contributors ... vii
List of Illustrations ... ix

1. Introduction: Regional Variations and Harmonization in Medieval Matrimonial Law ... 1
*Mia Korpiola
2. E pluribus unum: Custom, the Professionalization of Medieval Law, and Regional Variations in Marriage Formation ... 21
*James A. Brundage
3. The Regional Origins of Theories about Marital Consent and Consummation during the Twelfth Century ... 43
*Philip L. Reynolds
4. Separation and Marital Property in Late Medieval England and the Franco-Belgian Region ... 77
*Monique Vleeschouwers-Van Melkebeek
5. Widows, Property, and Law in Lithuania and Some Other Countries ... 99
*Jurgita Kunsmanaitė
6. Images of Marriage: A Comparison of Law, Custom, and Practice in Medieval Europe ... 117
*Anthony Musson
7. A Regional Cluster? Italian Secular Laws on Abduction, Forced and Clandestine Marriage (Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries) ... 147
*Trevor Dean
8. Forfeiting the Marriage Portion: Punishing Female Adultery in the Secular Courts of England and Italy ... 161
*Caroline Dunn
9. Marriage Disputes in the Consistorial Court of Freising in the Late Middle Ages ... 189
*Kirsi Salonen
10. Marriage Causes in Late Medieval Sweden: The Evidence of Bishop Hans Brask’s Register (1522–27) ... 211
*Mia Korpiola
11. The Marriage Process in the Light of Family Correspondence: A Comparative Perspective on the Swedish Evidence ... 251
*Anu Lahtinen
12. Rituals before Tribunals in Renaissance Italy: Continuity and Change, 1400–1600 ... 275
*Cecilia Cristellon and Silvana Seidel Menchi
13. Conclusion: Comparative Approaches to Marriage in the Later Middle Ages ... 289
*Charles Donahue, Jr.

Index ... 317


All those interested in the (legal) history of medieval marriage, medieval law, and the Church as well as family and property strategies.


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