Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Social control over men’s and women’s sexual relationships among early medieval Germanic peoples

Social control over men’s and women’s sexual relationships among early medieval Germanic peoples SUMMARY This study is an analysis of the early medieval sources which contain information on sexual relations between men and women. The research subject is the authority executed by a community (e.g. a kin, or a tribe) over sexual life of the women and men, and especially the legal rules and customs regulating this sphere of life. Female and male sexual behaviors in the early Middle Ages are investigated from the point of view of the social expectations towards persons of both sexes. The basis of the studies on such a topic are two kinds of source materials - the laws of Germanic peoples (so called leges barbarorum), and narrative texts. Two main problems covered in the laws concerning sexual interactions are premarital and extramarital (i.e. fornication and adultery) relations initiated by women and men. A lawgivers’ belief that women’s sexual initiative should be controlled by men is clearly seen in the Germanic leges. Breaking the law in this domain by a woman often resulted in far more serious consequences than in the case of a man. A similar tendency could be seen in Historiae by Gregory from Tours. The lack of woman’s independent position, which contrasts with the decisive role that men took, both her partner and her relatives, is striking in his stories on sexual relations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annales UMCS, Historia de Gruyter

Social control over men’s and women’s sexual relationships among early medieval Germanic peoples

Annales UMCS, Historia , Volume 67 (1) – Jun 1, 2013

Loading next page...
 
/lp/de-gruyter/social-control-over-men-s-and-women-s-sexual-relationships-among-early-UVSaqqwxlD
Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by the
ISSN
0239-4251
eISSN
2083-361X
DOI
10.2478/v10068-012-0009-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

SUMMARY This study is an analysis of the early medieval sources which contain information on sexual relations between men and women. The research subject is the authority executed by a community (e.g. a kin, or a tribe) over sexual life of the women and men, and especially the legal rules and customs regulating this sphere of life. Female and male sexual behaviors in the early Middle Ages are investigated from the point of view of the social expectations towards persons of both sexes. The basis of the studies on such a topic are two kinds of source materials - the laws of Germanic peoples (so called leges barbarorum), and narrative texts. Two main problems covered in the laws concerning sexual interactions are premarital and extramarital (i.e. fornication and adultery) relations initiated by women and men. A lawgivers’ belief that women’s sexual initiative should be controlled by men is clearly seen in the Germanic leges. Breaking the law in this domain by a woman often resulted in far more serious consequences than in the case of a man. A similar tendency could be seen in Historiae by Gregory from Tours. The lack of woman’s independent position, which contrasts with the decisive role that men took, both her partner and her relatives, is striking in his stories on sexual relations.

Journal

Annales UMCS, Historiade Gruyter

Published: Jun 1, 2013

There are no references for this article.