Marriage in the Middle Ages

1808 Words Mar 19th, 2012 8 Pages
I. Marriage in the Middle Ages A. Marriage and women’s rights in the medieval society B. Thesis: Arrangement of marriages, abuse and adultery, divorce and desertion
II. Arrangement of Marriages
A. Age requirements
1. Muslim
2. Christianity
B. Betrothals
1. Elite
2. Peasants
III. Adultery A. Upper elite nobility 1. Priests and sex a. Peasants b. Concubines 2. Kings a. Servants
IV. Abuse to wives
A. Physical violence
1. Lower class
2. Nobility
a. Abduction/imprisonment of wives
B. Repercussions for husbands versus wives
V. Divorce A. Religion
1. Christianity
2. Muslim 3. Judaism
B. Desertion 1. Repercussions a. Wife b. Family
VI. Conclusion A. Catholic marriages
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Marriage within the Christian faith was meant to be until death, thus the attraction between the couple was also very important. As young as 7 years old, parents would sometimes house the couple to make sure they were suited for each other. In the Muslim culture, the match between a bride and groom was not as important because the dissolution of marriage was not uncommon. Betrothals were more frequent among the upper class in order to keep the family bloodline as pristine as possible. “...family histories from twelfth-century France are very conscious of genealogy, but less so of the individuality of the women who are bearers of that genealogy” (Karras). Marriage among peasants did not have these types of restraints to compete with which allowed the spouses to sometimes select their partners. This also meant for a happier, healthier marriage and less chances for an annulment or divorce. “In the Middle Ages, as in other ages, powerful men married monogamously, but mated polygynously. Both laymen and church men tended to have sexual access to as many women as they could afford” (Betzig). This type of behavior was more common in the higher class society. Women and men were both guilty of this crime, but it was easier for men to commit
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