Aurea Gemma <Gallica> 2.28-32
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[2.28] Because it has been said concerning testaments of heirs and concerning privileges of persons, one should now speak concerning records of dowry.

[2.29] Dowry is called whatever accrues to a husband from the wife's portion or to a wife from the husband's portion. Here is an example of this matter:1

[2.30] Since human fragility must be supported by the manifold help of remedies, the Maker of the world, who is ignorant of nothing in the nature of things, instituted holy matrimony in Paradise, saying "The two were once one in the flesh and for this sake man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife",2 and at Cana Galilee the Lord consecrated a marriage by his presence.3

[2.31] Thus relying on such a great authority, I, N., have joined this woman N. to myself in a nuptial bond in the hope of propagating offspring. But because the acts of mortals suffer the wound of oblivion, unless they are bound up by written records and they are defended from the annihilation of oblivion by the support of these records, it has been salutarily provided that we should transmit to posterity a written memorial4 of things done, lest any occasion of controversy can arise or the exception of a fraudulent advocate. Thus we have taken care to transmit in written form a summary of a thing done to the memory of posterity...

[2.32] We have also thought it worthwhile to insert in this charter the names of those witnesses who were present for this action, that truth annexed by the testimony of many may easily explode the fallacy of contemptuous persons. At the end should be noted the year of the Word's incarnation and the indiction and the regnal year of the king or emperor in whose realm this was done.

1 Another model dotal instrument is found below, Aurea Gemma <Gallica> 3b.82-84. Three others are found in the collection of model charters associated with Bernard de Meung's Flores dictaminum. This collection was edited by JOHANNES MEISENZAHL Die Bedeutung des Bernhard von Meung für das mittelalterliche Notariats- und Schulwesen, seine Urkundenlehre und deren Überlieferung im Rahmen seines Gesamtwerkes 3 vols. (typed PhD diss., Würzburg 1960); the dotal instruments are found there as nos. 13, 59, 62, (pp. 41+-42+, 89+-90+, 91+-92+). I have edited the earliest strata of this collection, a core group of sixteen model charters (Evanescunt simul, see above, Text 3b), composed at Tours or Paris and formed prior to the collecting activities of Bernard de Meung and his students, who worked at Orleans. The name Evanescunt simul comes from the incipit of its first charter, the model dotal instrument (No. 59 of MEISENZAHL's edition, pp. 89+-90+). For a special diplomatic study: LAURENT MORELLE "Mariage et diplomatique: autour de cinq chartres de douaire dans le Laonnois-Soissannois 1163-1181" BEC 146 (1988) 225-284. MORELLE was unaware of the model charters discussed above.

On the early history of dotal instruments, see CARLO CASTELLO "Lo strumento dotale come prova del matrimonio" Studia et documenta historiae et iuris 4 (1938) 208ff. and HANS JULIUS WOLFF Written and Unwritten Marriages in Hellenistic and postclassical Roman Law (Haverford 1939). Model charters of dower are found in the Formulae Andecavenses 1c, 34, 40, 54 (ZEUMER ed. 5,16,17-18, 23); Marculfi Formulae 2.15 (ZEUMER ed. 85); Formulae Turonenses 14, App. 2 (ZEUMER ed. 142-3, 163-4); Formulae Bituricenses 15 (ZEUMER ed. 174-5); Cartae Senonicae 25 (ZEUMER ed. 196); Formulae Salicae Bignonianae 6 (ZEUMER ed. 230); Formulae Salicae Merkelianae 15, 17 (ZEUMER ed. 246-7, 247-8); Formulae Salicae Lindenbrogianae 7 (ZEUMER ed. 271-2); Formulae Augienses B 24, 25 (ZEUMER ed. 357-9); Formulae Sangallenses Miscellaneae 12, 13, 16, 18, 19 (ZEUMER ed. 385, 387, 388); Collectio Sangallensis Salomonis III. tempore conscripta 12, 18 (ZEUMER ed. 404, 406-7); Formulae Extravagantes 1.9-15 (ZEUMER ed. 538-543); Formulae Visigothicae 14-20 (ZEUMER ed. 581-585); Formularum Pithoei Fragmenta 55, 57, 60 (ZEUMER ed. 597-8).

2 Gen. 2.24.

3 Ioh. 2.1.

4 For this same theme (Schriftlichkeit), see below Aurea Gemma <Gallica> 2.40,45,46, 3a.3,12,59,63,72,79 see also 3a.35 and other corroborationes. Five preambles of a similar tenor are found in Brugge cod. 528, fol. 15v, following Section IIIa of the Aurea Gemma <Gallica>. See below, Appendix Ia.

© Steven M. Wight, Los Angeles 1998
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