Heiraten in Grenzräumen. Vermögensarrangements adeliger Ehefrauen und -männer im frühneuzeitlichen Tirol
MetadataShow full item record
The article is concerned with marriage agreements regarding wealth and property among men and women of the early modern landed nobility in Tyrol, which in legal terms constituted a transitional space between northern and southern traditions of law. The negotiations accompanying a noble marriage referred on the one hand to the Tyrol territorial law code (Landesordnung) and on the other hand to the laws pertaining in the lands of the spouse’s family. The system of marriage dowry agreements practised in Tyrol reflected this legal plurality. For example, noble daughters entirely renounced any inheritance claims to family goods in return for their receipt of a substantial dowry to take into marriage, as occurred in the Italian dowry system. In contrast to the Italian system, however, marriage contracts among the Tyrolean nobility consistently foresaw a ‘morning gift’ (Morgengabe) from the husband to the wife after the first wedding night, and frequently also a so-called ‘counter dowry’ (Widerlage) comprising the wealth brought into the marriage by the husband. Such practices undoubtedly reflect the influence of the neighbouring countries to the north. The stipulations regarding widowhood sought to find a balance between the Tyrolean regulations regarding the renouncement of inheritance and the extensive separation of goods between marriage partners. The transitional legal space in the border region of Tyrol enabled noble families a relatively large degree of freedom in their marriage agreements, as they sought to achieve a balance between potential advantages and disadvantages for individuals and families against the background of marital gifts’ considerable material and symbolic significance.