Unfit For Marriage: Impotent Spouses On Trial In The Basque Region Of Spain, 1650-1750 (The Basque Series)
Unfit For Marriage: Impotent Spouses On Trial In The Basque Region Of Spain, 1650-1750 (The Basque Series)
Author: -
Title: Unfit For Marriage: Impotent Spouses On Trial In The Basque Region Of Spain, 1650-1750 (The Basque Series)
ISBN10: 0874176999
ISBN13: 978-0874176995
Format: .PDF .EPUB .FB2
Pages: 224 pages
Publisher: University of Nevada Press (March 6, 2007)
Language: English
Size pdf: 1349 kb
Size epub: 1762 kb
Rating: 3.7 ✪
Votes: 516
Category: History
Subcategory: World
In early modern Europe the sacrament of matrimony represented a life-long commitment, and the Catholic Church accepted few grounds for the dissolution of an unhappy marriage. One of these was an unconsummated marriage owing to the sexual impotency of one of the partners. Even then, an annulment was granted only after a Church court had conducted a lengthy investigation of the case, soliciting testimony from numerous witnesses as well as from the aggrieved couple, and had subjected the allegedly impotent spouse (and sometimes both spouses) to an intimate physical examination. Historian Edward J. Behrend-Martinez studied the transcripts of eighty-three impotency trials conducted by the ecclesiastical court of the Spanish diocese of Calahorra in La Rioja - an area incorporating both Basque and Castilian populations and including urban and rural parishes. From these records, he produced a detailed account of private life and public sexuality in these early years of the modern era. The transcripts provide insights into the dynamics of daily marital life and the role that property, gender, and personal preference played in marriage. They also reveal information about medical knowledge at the time and about contemporary understanding of the physiology and psychology of sex. "Unfit for Marriage" is the first study in English to address the proceedings of a Spanish ecclesiastical court and is a vivid portrait of marriage and marital sex in early modern Europe. It is essential reading to anyone interested in social history, gender studies, canon law, legal history, sexuality, and the history of divorce in Western Europe.