Dating customs 1500s
because marriage also regulates sexual activity concerned with procreation it belongs to ... On the one hand, marriage is secular because it involves the transfer of property.
On the other hand, it is sacred because it can result in procreation, and because the bond between husband and wife mirrors the bond between mankind and the Divine.
I was, unfortunately, unable to make use of several fine works in French and Italian, as I do not read those languages.
I have, however, included those works in the bibliography which accompanies this paper. The first section deals with the evolution of popular and ecclesiastical thought on what made a marriage valid and legally binding.
In contrast to twentieth-century society, where the only legally recognized union is marriage, early medieval society held concubinage, as well as marriage to be socially acceptable and legally valid.
For a more detailed study of this conflict, I highly recommend Georges Dubys book , which examines the attempts of the Church to regulate marriage in twelfth-century France .
Much of the conflict regarding marriage in Western Europe during the early Middle Ages stems not just from the gradual replacement of pagan* customs with Christian ones, but also from the spread of Roman culture as well.
Before we delve further into these two questions, let us first define what marriage is.
For this, the words of the New Shorter Oxford Dictionary will serve well.