A Husband's Endowment Of His Future Wife On Their Betrothal - Southern Burgundy, 994
The authority of believing men stands adequately
strengthened by what ancient custom the law of both Old and New
Testament shows and by confirmation from the teachings of the
Holy Spirit through Moses on marriage between man and woman,
especially when It says: "Wherefore a man will leave his father
and mother and adhere to his wife, and they will be two in one
flesh." [Gen., ii. 24]; and indissolubly, supported by the divine
word saying: "What God has joined, let man not separate" [Matt.,
xix. 6; Marc., x. 9] Even our Lord, who became a man and was the
maker of men, was willing to attend weddings to confirm that
marriage itself was holy and full of authority, in order that
this pact and that joining might be held valid for ever by all
christians. THEREFORE I Ulric, following such great authority,
led by the counsel and admonitions of my friends, and assisted by
celestial piety, seek a matrimonial partnership. For love of this
and according to ancient practice, I give thee, my dearest and
most beloved betrothed sponsa Ermengarde, by authority of this
endowment ("sponsalicium") everything of mine within the pagus of
Macon, that is, . And I give thee in the pagus of Lyons ... all
things listed above, just as they are written, I cede, hand over
and transfer in perpetuity to thee, my beloved sponsa Ermengarde
to have, to sell, to give or to lease out and to do whatever you
wish in them or with the same things at your free will. But
should I or any of my heirs wishes to come and say anything
against this endowment gift ("sponsalicium donum") or in any way
disturb it -- and I do not believe this will happen -- then he is
not to obtain what he seeks to recall but should be liable for
double the improved value of the whole property, and the present
grant shall remain firm, together with the supporting
stipulation. Done in the city of Macon. Sign of Ulric, who asked
for this endowment ("dotem") and gift to be made and affirmed.
Sign of Rather his brother, who consented. [15 names of signers
follow, then] Sign of Count Otto. Sign of Countess Ermentrude.
Sign of Guy.1 Given by the hand of Rodulf the priest on the
fourth of the nones of September, in the 3rd indiction, the 8th
year of the reign of King Hugh.
[Receuil des chartes de l'abbaye de Cluny, ed. B. de Bruel, vol.
iii, no. 2265, cited by G. Duby, The Knight, the Lady and the
1 These are Otto-William, Count of Macon, his wife and son.
Translation by Paul Hyams of Cornell University. See his Course Page?. He indicated that the translations are available for educational use. He intends to expand the number of translations, so keep a note of his home page.
This text is listed as part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.
Paul Halsall Jan 1996