By David Herlihy
Strains the historical past of kin existence through the heart a while and examines medieval marriages, formative years, motherhood, and fatherhood.
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Additional info for Medieval Households (Studies in Cultural History)
The children of his sister are without doubt members of his kin and representatives of his stock-his semen in the terminology of the Irish lives.
53 The holy bishop Dimma was conceived in adultery and abandoned at a church door, where St. Carthach found him and reared him. 54 Incest as well as adultery is commonly encountered in these biographies. "55 One Irish king, after the death of his wife, wishes to marry the most beautiful girl in the land; he dispatches a delegation to find her. The delegation reports that the most beautiful girl in the land is his own daughter, Dympna. 56 The king determines to marry his daughter and makes preparations for the wedding.
73 This practice of early marriages for women long persisted. In the Vitae patrum, St. Melany the younger was married at age 13. 74 Euphraxia was betrothed to a senator, and received earnest money from him (the arrhas) when she was only five years old (this would have violated the Augustan marriage laws). While everyone waited for the girl to grow up, her fiance tried to court her mother. 75 When St. Augustine, about 384, decided to discard his concubine and marry, he chose as fiancee a ten-year old girl, and expected to wait two years until she attained the legal age of twelve before marriage.