The Laws about Weddings in Viking-Age Gotland

medieval church on Gotland - photo by  Stella Hwang / Flickr

An important source about daily-life in Viking-Age Scandinavia is Guta Lag, a set of laws from the Swedish island of Gotland. This includes details on how weddings were to be conducted.

‘Que lo lean literalmente’: Clerical Ignorance and a Late Medieval Wedding Ceremony

medieval wedding

There is ample evidence that in late-medieval Spain a vast number of priests charged with carrying out the Church’s everyday liturgical responsibilities were undereducated and had little or no capacity in that language.

How Significant Were Perceptions Of Marital Fidelity As An Aspect Of Kingship In The Thirteenth And Fourteenth Centuries?

Detail of a miniature of the marriage between Edward II and Isabella, daughter of Philippe IV of France: Jean de Wavrin, Recueil des chroniques d'Engleterre, vol. 1, Netherlands (Bruges), c. 1475 (after 1471), Royal 15 E. iv, f. 295v

This paper, concentrating on the above mentioned monarchs, will argue that marital fidelity, whilst no means encouraged as a form of acceptable behaviour, was rarely used to criticise the kings of England in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and played little part in perceptions of their rule.

Incest in Early Medieval Society

Painting of Audovera's repudiation by Albert Maignan.

The question of what persons and why can have sexual relations with each other and consequently, can contract marriage, is of basic importance for the functioning of every society, irrespective of time, place and the degree of the society’s development.

Scattered voices: Anthonis de Roovere and other reporters of the wedding of Charles the Bold and Margaret of York

Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, here around 1460 as Count of Charolais

Both sources are of great value for those who study the Bruges wedding, with the impact it had on its contemporaries, and the way in which our present-day picture of it came about.

Intersex in the Middle Ages

Statue of Hermaphrodite - Louvre

A brief look at how the medieval world viewed the Intersex individual.

In Pursuit of Aristocratic Women: A Key to Success in Norman England

medieval marriage

Discussion of marital strategies of the aristocracy in England, 1066-1154, including recruitment through marriage, marital alliances, and political advantage.

Marital Affection and Expectations in a 14th-Century Parisian Court

A View of Paris from around 1600

I argue that the women in fourteenth-century Paris expected affection, or at least a lack of hatred, within their marriages.

Love and Marriage on the Medieval English Stage: Using the English Cycle Plays as Sources for Social History

The art of courtly love

Much scholarship concerning the concept of “companionate” marriage traces its origins to the early modern period as clergymen, especially Protestant ones, began to publish “guides” to the relationships and respective duties of husbands and wives in the 1500s and 1600s.

Raymund’s Daughter’s Divorce in the 9th-Century: a Woman’s Textual Role in the Breaking of an Alliance

Marriage Medieval (Germany)

This chapter will analyse an aspect of one of the divorce cases of the mid 9th century: I review its links with politics of the day and reconsider the roles given to wife and husband in the only text that deals with this case…

The Perils of Polygamy in 15th century Cairo

arabic woman

Under medieval Islamic law, a man could marry up to four women. However, if accounts from 15th century Egypt are indicative, it would be rare for such an arrangement to work out for all parties.

Working women in thirteenth-century Paris

Medieval women at work weaving.

This thesis examines the role of women in the Parisian economy in the late thirteenth century.

The (Attempted) Alliance of Alfonso VIII of Castile and Valdemar II of Denmark: the Infante Fernando’s Marriage Reconsidered

King Alfonso VIII 'the Noble' of Castile

This paper presents the evidence for a lost marriage alliance between Castile and Denmark, contextualizes the marriage within the larger framework of Alfonso VIII’s international relations, and finally, demonstrates that the match can help to underscore the importance of crusading lineages in the affairs of the Castilian royal family.

Late Medieval Knight Reflecting on his Public Life: Hugo de Urriés (c. 1405-c. 1493), Diplomacy and Translating the Classics

Sepulchre of Hugo de Urriés (1420-1443) - at Huesca Cathedral. By Gothic sculptor, Pere Johan

This article focuses on Aragonese courtier Hugo de Urriés’s public profile by means of analyzing the critical points derived from examining his personal, political, cultural and historical stands making use of an invaluable primary source, his letter to Fernando the Catholic in the early 1490s.

10 Medieval and Renaissance Things to See at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Chest belonging to Elisabetta Gonzaga, 1488. Mantua or Urbino, Italy.

My latest visit to the Victoria and Albert Musuem: 10 Medieval and Renaissance Things to See at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Gender and Matrimonial Litigation in the Church Courts in the Later Middle Ages: The Evidence of the Court of York

Van Eyck - Arnolfini Marriage (1434)

If some later medieval males thought the courts were biased, what might the female perspective have been?

The Danes and the Marriage Break-up of Philip II of France

Philip Augustus

On 14 August 1193 the illustrious king Philip II of France repudiated his queen, Ingeborg, the daughter of the Danish king Valdemar I, during her coronation ceremony in Amiens cathedral. The events that followed, which merited twenty-four papal letters and the comment and speculation of several chroniclers across Europe.

Grainne Uaile: The Movie

Grainne Uaile - the Movie

An up and coming movie about Grace O’ Malley (Grainne Uaile), Ireland’s famous female pirate!

The Perquisite of a Medieval Wedding: Barbara of Cilli’s Acquisition of Wealth, Power, and Lands

Barbara Celje (Barbara of Cilli)

The aim of my research will be on the one hand to highlight the beginnings of Barbara’s relationship with Sigismund; particularly their engagement and wedding…

Fast and Feast – Christianization through the Regulation of Everyday Life

Haakon Jarl (Haakon Sigurdsson) was given missionaries by the king of Denmark, but before departure, Haakon sent the missionaries back.

This article will illustrate that an important part of rulers’ wish to create a Christian society was the introduction of Christian legislation.

Caught in Love’s Grip: Passion and Moral Agency in French Courtly Romance

The art of courtly love

French royal courts in the late twelfth century were absolutely smitten with love. Troubadaours traveled from place to place reciting stories of knights and the ladies they wooed.

Ten Reasons Why a Man Should Not Get Married (from a Pope)

Ten Reasons Why a Man Should Not Get Married

‘In general, she sighs and cries, day and night, and gossips and grumbles.’

BOOK REVIEW: A Triple Knot by Emma Campion

A Triple Knot - Emma Campion

BOOK REVIEW: A Triple Knot by Emma Campion I had the pleasure of reading another Emma Campion (Candace Robb) novel recently. Campion, who has written extensively about Alice Perrers, the royal mistress of King Edward III, in her hit, The King’s Mistress, is back on the shelves with a new book released this month entitled: A Triple Knot. This […]

Big Love in the Middle Ages: Adjudicating Jewish Bigamy in Venetian Crete’s Secular Court

Big Love in the Middle Ages

What happened when Catholic doctrine, secular law, and minority religious difference met in that crucible of cultural decision making: the courtroom?

Royal and Magnate Bastards in the Later Middle Ages: The View from Scotland

Medieval Children

Theory and Practice in Scotland and Elsewhere Medieval Scotland’s law on bastardy is set out in the lawbook Regiam Majestatem (c.1320)…In England things were different, as Michael Hicks has demonstrated. Admittedly, English heraldic practice eventually followed the French, and the formula ‘X bastard of Y’ is occasionally found for magnates’ bastards.

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