The history of marriage and the myth of Friedelehe

Ruth Mazo Karras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The idea that Friedelehe and Muntehe constituted two distinct forms of Germanic marriage was based upon an attempt to reconstruct common Germanic culture with scraps of evidence from widely different times and places. A thorough re-examination of the sources for the institutions that were posited, based on this now outmoded methodology, reveals no evidence that transfer of Munt, or guardianship, distinguished between two different types of marriage, except perhaps in Lombard Italy, under the influence of Roman law. The idea that marriage with a dos is a different institution from marriage without one is not attested until the Carolingian period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-151
Number of pages33
JournalEarly Medieval Europe
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2006


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