Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Marriage, morganatic
(853 words)

1. Definition

Morganatic marriage, also known as left-handed marriage, made it possible for men of the high nobility to marry a woman of inferior rank (Equal birth, principle of) and thus legitimate his cohabitation with her without permitting her to enjoy his privileges or property rights. This form of marriage thus existed in early modern Europe predominantly as a legal institution of princely law (Privatfürstenrecht) [1. 180]; [3. 16, 18, 32ff.].

2. Juristic construc…

Cite this page
Scholz-Löhnig, Cordula, “Marriage, morganatic”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 24 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_018536>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

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