Law, Sex, and Christian Society in Medieval Europe

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University of Chicago Press, Feb 15, 2009 - Law - 698 pages
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This monumental study of medieval law and sexual conduct explores the origin and develpment of the Christian church's sex law and the systems of belief upon which that law rested. Focusing on the Church's own legal system of canon law, James A. Brundage offers a comprehensive history of legal doctrines–covering the millennium from A.D. 500 to 1500–concerning a wide variety of sexual behavior, including marital sex, adultery, homosexuality, concubinage, prostitution, masturbation, and incest. His survey makes strikingly clear how the system of sexual control in a world we have half-forgotten has shaped the world in which we live today. The regulation of marriage and divorce as we know it today, together with the outlawing of bigamy and polygamy and the imposition of criminal sanctions on such activities as sodomy, fellatio, cunnilingus, and bestiality, are all based in large measure upon ideas and beliefs about sexual morality that became law in Christian Europe in the Middle Ages.

"Brundage's book is consistently learned, enormously useful, and frequently entertaining. It is the best we have on the relationships between theological norms, legal principles, and sexual practice."—Peter Iver Kaufman, Church History
 

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Contents

V
3
VI
12
VII
14
VIII
24
IX
51
X
53
XI
59
XII
76
LI
321
LII
324
LIII
327
LVI
333
LVII
343
LVIII
344
LIX
345
LX
346

XIII
79
XVI
82
XVII
89
XVIII
105
XIX
115
XX
124
XXI
126
XXIII
129
XXIV
136
XXV
152
XXVI
154
XXVII
171
XXVIII
175
XXIX
178
XXX
179
XXXI
181
XXXII
189
XXXIII
201
XXXIV
205
XXXV
216
XXXVI
225
XXXVII
227
XXXVIII
231
XXXIX
237
XL
244
XLI
247
XLII
253
XLIII
255
XLIV
256
XLV
258
XLVI
262
XLVII
280
XLVIII
290
XLIX
299
L
316
LXI
347
LXII
403
LXIII
407
LXIV
410
LXV
411
LXVI
416
LXVII
419
LXVIII
421
LXIX
422
LXX
481
LXXI
483
LXXII
487
LXXIII
489
LXXIV
492
LXXV
496
LXXVI
519
LXXVII
538
LXXVIII
541
LXXIX
542
LXXX
545
LXXXI
546
LXXXII
548
LXXXIII
553
LXXXV
554
LXXXVI
563
LXXXVII
576
LXXXVIII
578
XC
581
XCI
599
XCII
608
XCIV
610
XCV
621
XCVI
623
XCVII
637
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Page 6 - I could be content that we might procreate like trees, without conjunction, or that there were any way to perpetuate the world without this trivial and vulgar way of coition. It is the foolishest act a wise man commits in all his life, nor is there any thing that will more deject his cooled imagination, when he shall consider what an odd and unworthy piece of folly he hath committed.
Page 33 - Modestinus, who says (Dig. 23. 2. 1), 'nuptiae sunt coniunctio maris et feminae, et consortium omnis vitae, divini et humani iuris communicatio.

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About the author (2009)

James A. Brundage is the Ahmanson-Murphy Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History and Law at the University of Kansas. He is the author of nine books, including The Medieval Origins of the Legal Profession: Canonists, Civilians, and Courts, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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