Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Brotherly Love

Medieval times are often referred to as the Dark Ages, although there is a considerable body of information developing that points to the period as being not so dark, with a generous amount of the period (11th to the 13th centuries) providing the civil society and creative energy that launched the Renaissance.

Allen Tulchin of Shippensberg University in Pennsylvania writes in the September Issue of the Journal of Modern History that there is historical evidence that during the Medieval period there existed the arrangement legally referred to as "affrerements" between men. These were sanctioned civil unions in which each man pledged "un pain, un vin et une bourse" (one bread, one wine, one purse) before a notary and witnesses. Here's the news.

One wonders, of course, what options women may have had. I guess that requires a further study...with the usual grim findings. I think we would find that the women had no "purse" to share and therefore could not, like the men, establish the security of a sanctioned union. Just my guess.

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