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Marriage on Trial

Ludwig Schmugge

Publication Year: 2012

This work vividly describes many of the individual cases and offers new insight into the social and legal pressures on marriage in the Middle Ages.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Translator’s Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

For a person who usually translates texts written by men who have been in their graves for hundreds of years, it was a genuine pleasure and enlightening experience to translate a text by a living author. Whether in his home country, Switzerland, or in his home away from home, Rome, Professor Schmugge was always just an email away, ...

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Preface to the English Translation

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pp. xi-xvi

Research into the legal history of weddings and marriage in the Middle Ages has experienced great productivity in recent decades. While for centuries the traditional approach to the matter started from institutional history (Institutionengeschichte),1 the study of the sources coming from the courts themselves has led to a shift toward a new field, ...

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Acknowledgments for the German Edition

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pp. xvii-xviii

The preceding book grew out of many years of being busy with a project of foundational research at the German Historical Institute in Rome. Since 1992, together with my wife, Hildegard Schneider-Schmugge, and my co-workers and assistants, I have been able to edit the Repertorium Poenitentiariae Germanicum for the Institute. ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xix-xx

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pp. 1-3

In his work on marriage (1530), Martin Luther called “marriage an external, worldly matter.”1 Rarely had the reformer made such a fundamental mistake, for from the middle of the twelfth century the Roman Church counted the marital union of man and woman among the seven sacraments, ...

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1. The Treasures of the Papal Pardon Office

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pp. 4-54

Thousands of highly interesting documents are kept in thick, red volumes of registers in a separate division of the Vatican Secret Archives in Rome. They come from the papal penitentiary, the most important administrative office of the Roman curia next to the chancery and camera. ...

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2. Marriage Law in the Supplications

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pp. 55-98

Before we let the sources themselves give expression to piteous, exciting, sometimes almost unbelievable, and occasionally scandalous stories, the reader may ask whether Martin Luther, in his provocative claim cited at the beginning, was not right after all. ...

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3. Stories from the Roman Supplications

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pp. 99-249

In a famous decretal with the incipit Per venerabilem (X 4.17.13), Pope Innocent III (1198–1216) had determined that the successor of Peter was empowered, even obligated, to interfere everywhere in a regulatory and penal way where there was sinful conduct (ratione peccati), even when the sinners were emperors and kings. ...

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4. Marriage Processes in German Courts

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pp. 250-336

In the satirical poem playing in the Alemannian region around 1400, “The Ring,” by the advocate Heinrich Wittenwiler of Constance, the poet has his protagonists, the young peasants Bertschi Triefnas and a certain Mätzli, get married in the company of friends and relatives, but an (= ohne) schuolern und an phaffen, which means, without the involvement of the church. ...

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5. Conclusion

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pp. 337-352

The Roman curia, with the pope, the bearer of the “fullness of spiritual power” (plenitudo potestatis), at its head, served as the “well of grace” for all Christians of the late Middle Ages, pure and simple. Not only did the path to lucrative ecclesiastical prebends of every calibre, from the office of a priest in charge of Mass at matins up to the cardinalate, lead through Rome; ...

Appendix: Fees and Composition Payments for Marriage Dispensations

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pp. 353-354

Select Bibliography

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pp. 355-368

Index of Manuscripts

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pp. 369-370

Index of Legal Citations

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pp. 371-378

General Index

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pp. 379-389

Back Cover

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p. 413-413

E-ISBN-13: 9780813220185
E-ISBN-10: 0813220181
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813220178
Print-ISBN-10: 0813220173

Page Count: 411
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1