Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

read more

Introduction: Marriage and Other Unions

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-24

Histories of marriage are inevitably teleological: they put “marriage” as we know it at the center, and they evaluate all other forms of union in terms of that model. It is understandable, of course, that people want to know how an institution that is so important in contemporary society came to be the way it is. Given the contested nature of marriage today...

read more

1. The Church and the Regulation of Unions between Women and Men

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 25-67

The traditions discussed in the Introduction took on new configurations as the Western church claimed control over marriage. The Hebrew Bible allowed one man to have several permanent partners, either several women with full wifely status or one woman as primary and the rest secondary but with all the children having inheritance rights. Ancient Roman law, however...

read more

2. Unequal Unions

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 68-114

Many unions noted in the previous chapters were between partners of different social levels. Often an elite man formed a union other than marriage with a woman of lower status, either before marrying or while married to a woman who was selected for him for family, political, or economic reasons. This was especially true of monarchs and the highest aristocracy...

read more

3. Priests and Their Partners

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 115-164

When I told people that I was working on a book on couples who lived together without being married, most non- medievalists (and many medievalists) immediately said, “Oh, priests.” The idea that some churchmen keep their vows of celibacy in the technical sense of being unmarried, but not in the more common sense of abstaining from...

read more

4. On the Margins of Marriage

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 166-208

Priests and their partners did not have the choice of formalizing their union; neither did slaves or servants pressured or forced into relations by their employers. This chapter examines some couples who had a choice of types of union, and chose not to make a formal marriage. Either they preferred a temporary union, thought marriage was...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 209-213

This work has looked at the range and variety of pair bonds in which people engaged across the space of western Europe over a thousand- year period. It has attempted to bring to the fore alternatives to what medieval people considered marriage, or what we now consider marriage. Yet all these varieties of unions existed within a world in which marriage was...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 215-261

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 263-270

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 271-280

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 281-282

I am very grateful for the support of research and writing provided by a sabbatical fellowship from the American Philosophical Society in 2004– 5 and an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship in 2010– 11. Both were supplemented by the College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota. Travel was also supported by the Provost’s Imagine Fund for...