Marriage and the Family in the Middle Ages

Marriage and the Family in the Middle Ages

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Paperback, Pages: 384

Genres: History, Nonfiction, Historical, Medieval

Language: English

Reads: 13

Downloads: 811

Rating: Rated: 390 timesRate It

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Book Description

From bestselling historians Frances and Joseph Gies, authors of the classic “Medieval Life” series, comes this compelling, lucid, and highly readable account of the family unit as it evolved throughout the Medieval period—reissued for the first time in decades.

“Some particular books that I found useful for Game of Thrones and its sequels deserve mention. Life in a Medieval Castle and Life in a Medieval City, both by Joseph and Frances Gies.” —George R. R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones

Throughout history, the significance of the family—the basic social unit—has been vital. In Marriage and the Family in the Middle Ages, acclaimed historians Frances and Joseph Gies trace the development of marriage and the family from the medieval era to early modern times. It describes how the Roman and barbarian cultural streams merged under the influence of the Christian church to forge new concepts, customs, laws, and practices. Century by century, the Gies follow the development—sometimes gradual, at other times revolutionary—of significant components in the history of the family including:
The basic functions of the family as a production unit, as well as its religious, social, judicial, and educational roles.
The shift of marriage from private arrangement between families to public ceremony between individuals, and the adjustments in dowry, bride-price, and counter-dowry.
The development of consanguinity rules and incest taboos in church law and lay custom.
The peasant family in its varying condition of being free or unfree, poor, middling, or rich.
The aristocratic estate, the problem of the younger son, and the disinheritance of daughters.
The Black Death and its long-term effects on the family.
Sex attitudes and customs: the effects of variations in age of men and women at marriage.
The changing physical environment of noble, peasant, and urban families.
Arrangements by families for old age and retirement.
Expertly researched, master historians Frances and Joseph Gies—whose books were used by George R.R. Martin in his research for Game of Thrones—paint a compelling, detailed portrait of family life and social customs in one of the most riveting eras in history.

Reviews
  •    Mesida Cherino
    2020
    If wanting to understand the mindset of Europeans during the Early and High Middle Ages, of their fears and hopes for themselves and their family members, you'll find this book of great value. As a reading supplement in Humanities classes, the book brings a relevance that students can identify with as they explore and contrast family values within their own sphere of experience. Well written and timeless (ignore the pub date).
    Reply
  •    Mikajas Feronshom
    2020
    A historical perspective of marriage from 700's on,showing the differences between the nobility and the peasantry. For the nobility this involved marriage for political or trade reasons. High ranking women had virtually no say in the matter. Women seldom had any power. The main object was for her to produce as many sons as possible,with the rule that the eldest son would inherit title and property. Youngest sons often struggled,never able to marry. Peasants often formed more recognizable family units, working for their lord, living at subsistence level. Many of the children died. Marriage for sons and daughters was with peers in their local communities. The Church had strict regulation in community life providing punishment for all marital indiscretions.
    Later by 1500's the position of the Church has been reduced to religious matters due to other matters becoming the realm of lawyers. One of the major impacts on all people was the Black Plague in the 1300's. Severe decimation greatly impacted mainly younger people but often whole families. It totally changed the economics of most of Europe.

    Reply

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