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Polygamy
(870 words)

1. Definition

Polygamy (Latin/Greek polygamia, “often married”; double marriage or bigamy was also sometimes called polygamy) includes both the marrying of multiple wives (polygyny) and the marrying of multiple husbands (polyandry), a distinction that still persisted in early modern canon law [6. 260]. One special form of polygamy was the levirate marriage, when one of two co-habiting married brothers died with…

Cite this page
Scholz-Löhnig, Cordula, “Polygamy”, 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 02 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025713>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107



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