Marriage institution during middle ages: obstacles and prohibitions. Exploration of historical anthropology and comparative studies Cover Image

Instituţia căsătoriei în epoca medievală: impedimente şi interdicţii. Explorări de antropologie istorică şi studii comparative
Marriage institution during middle ages: obstacles and prohibitions. Exploration of historical anthropology and comparative studies

Author(s): Lilia Zabolotnaia
Subject(s): History
Published by: Muzeul Naţional de Istorie a Moldovei
Keywords: historical anthropology; family history; marriage institution; comparative analysis

Summary/Abstract: This article treats the issue concerning the “family history”, particularly, the obstacles and prohibitions dealt with in what regarded marriage, during the respective period; a comparative method is being analyzed here, from an interdisciplinary point of view, outlining both the historical and the judicial aspects of it. The impediments, as well as the conditions of the marriage conclusion have been known in the judicial popular, religious and pravile systems. Failure to comply with the substantive and formal conditions of the marriage conclusion would lead to the nullity of the act, which could have been absolute or relative. Concerning the absolute ones, the following cases are to be mentioned: wicked marriage (no wedding, incest), cursed marriage (with nuns or religious individuals, or between “believers” and “unbelievers”), forbidden marriages (between relatives, regarding a forbidden relation degree, such as blood kinship spiritual kinship, relationship by marriage). It is important to remark that all the above mentioned cases would entail the dissolution of the marriage, where the ravishers would see themselves expelled from the community (exiled) or have their property confiscated. The people from “the bottom” were also whipped. The relative nullity was declared in case of consent vices and took place at the demand or request of the injured party, which was pleading for being mislead as to the social condition of his/her partner (Istoria 1980, 504-510). The priests who consented the wedding ceremony to the reckless people, were to be defrocked and as for the marriages, they were held void. To conclude, according to the records of the questioned period, some of which one has outlined above, the obstacles to the marriage conclusion were as follows: • Blood relatives on a direct line; • Collateral blood relatives; • Alliance relatives; • Spiritual kinship that comes from the holy baptism as well as adoption; • Mixed marriage (with the heterodox); • Marriage with people deposing vows (monastic vows, particularly); • Illegitimate marriage (non religious wedding ceremony); • Incest (mixed blood); • Marriage conclusion during mourning period; • Bigamy (having two wives or husbands); A fourth marriage (only three were to be considered legal).

  • Issue Year: V/2011
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 9-30
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Romanian