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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 Priest, 98.]


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
halsall@murray.fordham.edu