The Canon Law of Divorce in the Mid-Twelfth Century: Louis VII c. Eleanor of Aquitaine
When the troubled marriage of King Louis VII (r. 1137–80) to Eleanor of Aquitaine (ca. 1124–1204) finally reached the stage at which the parties wished to terminate their union, they turned to the church’s judicial system to determine whether and under what terms they could do so. That they did so as a matter of course was the result of a complicated and lengthy process. Jurisdiction over marital disputes had for centuries been a contentious issue in medieval France, but by 1152 the result was clear. The church had won almost complete control over marriage litigation, and the parties to such disputes had no option but to submit to ecclesiastical judgment on the matter.1
KeywordsFamily Land Medieval Church Matrimonial Property Credible Witness Movable Property
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