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Encyclopedia > Salic Law

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The Salic law (Lat. lex Salica) was an important body of traditional law codified for governing the Salian Franks in the early Middle Ages during the reign of King Clovis I in the 6th century. For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... The Salian Franks were a subgroup of the Franks. ... Justinians wife Theodora and her retinue, in a 6th century mosaic from the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. ... Clovis I (variously spelled Chlodowech or Chlodwig, giving modern French Louis and modern German Ludwig) (c. ... The 6th century is the period from 501 - 600 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ...

King Clovis dictates the Salic Law (Code of the Barbaric Laws) surrounded by his court of armed military chiefs.
King Clovis dictates the Salic Law (Code of the Barbaric Laws) surrounded by his court of armed military chiefs.

Its historical consequence is in the tradition of statute law that has extend since then to modern times in Central Europe, especially in the German states, France, The Netherlands, parts of Italy and Austria, parts of Eastern Europe, i.e. (Romania, Hungary, and the Balkans. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1438x1276, 62 KB) The King of the Franks, in the midst of the Military Chiefs who formed his Treuste, or armed Court, dictates the Salic Law (Code of the Barbaric Laws). ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1438x1276, 62 KB) The King of the Franks, in the midst of the Military Chiefs who formed his Treuste, or armed Court, dictates the Salic Law (Code of the Barbaric Laws). ... A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ... The term Modern Times is used by historians to loosely describe the period of time immediately following what is known as the Early Modern Times. ... Central Europe The Alpine Countries and the Visegrád Group (Political map, 2004) Central Europe is the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe. ... Motto: Je Maintiendrai (Dutch: Ik zal handhaven, English: I Shall Uphold) Anthem: Wilhelmus van Nassouwe Capital Amsterdam1 Largest city Amsterdam Official language(s) Dutch2 Government Parliamentary democracy Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Beatrix  - Prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende Independence Eighty Years War   - Declared July 26, 1581   - Recognised January 30, 1648 (by Spain... Pre-1989 division between the West (grey) and Eastern Bloc (orange) superimposed on current national boundaries: Russia (dark orange), other countries of the former USSR (medium orange),members of the Warsaw pact (light orange), and other former Communist regimes not aligned with Moscow (lightest orange). ... Balkan redirects here. ...


The influence lay in that Charlemagne’s law was based upon Salic Law, an influence as great as that of Greece and Rome. The Salic influence extended beyond the 12th century, when the Frankish kings and law changed in the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748) rooted in the problems of female inheritance of property and hereditary position. The Salic Law codified inheritance, crime, and murder. In a kingdom with many ethnic groups, each expected to be governed under its own law. Charlemagne (left) and Pippin the Hunchback. ... For other uses, see Rome (disambiguation). ... (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... The War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


The detailed laws established damages to be paid and fines levied in recompense of injuries to persons and damage to goods, e.g. slaves, theft, and unproved insults. One third of the fine paid court costs. Judicial interpretation was by a jury of peers. These laws and their interpretations grant insight to Frankish society; Salic Law establishes that an individual person is legally unprotected by right (law) if he or she does not belong to a family. Wiktionary has related dictionary definitions, such as: slave Slave may refer to: Slavery, where people are owned by others, and live to serve their owners without pay Slave (BDSM), a form of sexual and consenual submission Slave clock, in technology, a clock or timer that synchrnonizes to a master clock... A young waif steals a pair of boots “Stealing” redirects here. ... This article may be confusing for some readers, and should be edited to be clearer. ... Look up Family in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Agnatic succession

Main article: Agnatic succession

Agnatic succession means succession to the throne or fief going to an agnate of the predecessor; for example, a brother, a son, or nearest male relative through the male line (collateral agnate branches, for example cousins, very distant cousins included). Chief forms are agnatic seniority and agnatic primogeniture. The latter, which has been the most usual, means succession going to the eldest son of the monarch; if the monarch had no sons, the throne would pass to the nearest male relative in the male line. Salic law ... In hereditary monarchies, particularly in more ancient or in more underdeveloped times, seniority was a much-used principle of order of succession. ... Primogeniture is inheritance by the first-born of the entirety of a parents wealth, estate or office, or in the absence of children, by collateral relatives in order of seniority of the collateral line. ...


These genealogical ways to organize succession fulfil the prerequisites of the Salic law.


Female inheritance

See also: Terra salica

One provision of the Salic law continued to play a role in European politics during the Middle Ages and beyond. Concerning the inheritance of land, the Salic Law provided Terra salica was a legal term used in the Salian code. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ...

But of Salic land no portion of the inheritance shall come to a woman: but the whole inheritance of the land shall come to the male sex.

or, another transcript:

concerning terra Salica no portion or inheritance is for a woman but all the land belongs to members of the male sex who are brothers.

As actually interpreted by the Salian Franks, the law simply prohibited women from inheriting, not all property (such as movables), but ancestral "Salic land"; and under Chilperic I sometime around the year 570, the law was actually amended to permit inheritance of land by a daughter if a man had no surviving sons. (This amendment, depending on how it is applied and interpreted, offers the basis for either Semi-Salic succession or male-preferred primogeniture, or both.) Chilpéric I was born c. ... Primogeniture is the common law right of the first born son to inherit the entire estate, to the exclusion of younger siblings. ...


The wording of the Salic law, as well as usual usages in those days and centuries afterwards, seems to support an interpretation that the Salic law would mean partition of the inheritance between brothers. And, if it is intended to govern succession, it can be interpreted to mandate agnatic seniority, not a direct primogeniture. In hereditary monarchies, particularly in more ancient or in more underdeveloped times, seniority was a much-used principle of order of succession. ... Primogeniture is the common law right of the first born son to inherit the entire estate, to the exclusion of younger siblings. ...


In its use by hereditary monarchies since the 15th century, aiming at agnatic succession, the Salic law is regarded as excluding all females from the succession as well as prohibiting succession rights to transfer through any woman. At least two systems of hereditary succession are direct and full applications of the Salic Law: agnatic seniority and agnatic primogeniture. In hereditary monarchies, particularly in more ancient or in more underdeveloped times, seniority was a much-used principle of order of succession. ... Primogeniture is inheritance by the first-born of the entirety of a parents wealth, estate or office, or in the absence of children, by collateral relatives in order of seniority of the collateral line. ...


The so-called Semi-Salic version of succession order stipulates that firstly all male descendance is seen through, including all collateral male lines; but if all agnates become extinct, then the female who is the closest heir (such as a daughter) of the last male holder of the property inherits, and after her, her own male heirs according to the Salic order. In other words, the female closest to the last incumbent is regarded as a male for the purposes of inheritance/succession. This is a pragmatic way of putting order: the female is the closest, thus continuing the most recent incumbent's blood, and not involving any more distant relative than necessary. At that order, the original primogeniture is not followed with regard to the requisite female. She could be a child of a relatively junior branch of the whole dynasty, but still inherits thanks to the longevity of her own branch.


From the Middle Ages, we have one practical system of succession in cognatic male primogeniture, which actually fulfills apparent stipulations of original Salic law: succession is allowed also through female lines, but excludes the females themselves in favor of their sons. For example, a grandfather, without sons, is succeeded by his grandson, a son of his daughter, when the daughter in question is yet alive. Or an uncle, without his own children, is succeeded by his nephew, a son of his sister, when the sister in question is yet alive.


Strictly seen, this fulfills the Salic condition of "no land comes to a woman, but the land comes to the male sex". This can be called a Quasi-Salic system of succession and it should be classified as primogenitural, cognatic, and male.


Application of the Salic law in France

However, in 1316, in events which would later lead to the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453), upon the first situation in the history of the Capetian kings where the closest relative of the dead king was not a son, French lords (notably led by the late king's uncle, Philip of Poitiers, the beneficiary of their position) wanted to forbid inheritance by a woman. In this case, in order to favour the previous king's (John I the Posthumous's) uncle Philip's claim over John's half-sister Joan, these lords wanted to totally disqualify the claim of the future Joan II of Navarre as well as disqualifying any possible future claims of Edward III of England to the French throne. Combatants France Castile Scotland Genoa Majorca Bohemia Crown of Aragon Brittany England Burgundy Brittany Portugal Navarre Flanders Hainaut Aquitaine Luxembourg Holy Roman Empire The Hundred Years War was a conflict between France and England, lasting 116 years from 1337 to 1453. ... The House of Capet includes any of the direct descendants of Robert the Strong. ... Joan II, Juana II, or Jeanne II, Queen of Navarre (1311 - 1349) - was the only daughter of King Louis X of France (Luis I of Navarre) and his first wife, Margaret of Burgundy. ... This article is about the King of England. ...


In 1328, a further limitation was needed, to bar inheritance by a male through a female line. These applications of succession were at that time based on a number of reasons and excuses, such as "genealogical proximity with the king Saint Louis"; the role of monarch as warleader; and barring the realm going to an alien man and his clan through a woman, which also denied an order of succession where an alien man could become king of France by marriage to its queen, without necessarily having any French blood himself. Some additional factors were, in 1316, that the rival heir was a five-year-old female and powerless compared with the rival. And in 1328, the rival was a king of a neighboring kingdom against which the French had had battles and quarrels for a couple of centuries already. As far as can be ascertained, Salic law was not explicitly mentioned at that time.


Later in time, jurists resurrected the long-defunct Salic law and reinterpreted it to justify the line of succession arrived at in the cases of 1316 and 1328 by forbidding not only inheritance by a woman but also inheritance through a female line.


Notwithstanding the Salic law, when Francis II of Brittany died in 1488 without male issue, his daughter Anne succeeded him and ruled as duchess of Brittany until her death in 1514. (Brittany had been inherited by women earlier - Francis's own dynasty obtained the Duchy through their ancestress Duchess Constance of Brittany in the 12th century.) Francis's own family, the Montfort branch of the ducal house, had obtained Brittany in the 1350s on the basis of agnatic succession, and at that time, their succession was limited to the male line only. Francis II (in French François II) (June 23, 1433 – September 9, 1488), was duke of Brittany, from 1458 to his death. ... Portrait of Anne of Brittany by Jean Bourdichon. ... Historical province of Brittany, showing the main areas with their name in Breton language The traditional flag of Brittany (the Gwenn-ha-du), formerly a Breton nationalist symbol but today used as a general civic flag in the region. ...


This law was by no means intended to cover all matters of inheritance — for example, not the inheritance of movables - only those lands considered "Salic" — and there is still debate as to the legal definition of this word, although it is generally accepted to refer to lands in the royal fisc. Only several hundred years later, under the Direct Capetian kings of France and their English contemporaries who held lands in France, did Salic law become a rationale for enforcing or debating succession. By then somewhat anachronistic (there were no Salic lands, since the Salian monarchy and its lands had originally been situated in Dutch areas, now belonging to another country), the idea was resurrected by Philip V in 1316 to support his claim to the throne by removing his niece Jeanne from the succession, following the death of his nephew John. The House of Capet includes any of the direct descendants of Robert the Strong. ... Philip V (17 November 1293 – 3 January 1322), called the Tall (French: le Long), was King of France and Navarre (as Philip II) and Count of Champagne from 1316 to his death, and the second to last of the House of Capet. ... John I the Posthumous (French: Jean Ier le Posthume) (November 15, 1316 – November 20, 1316) was King of France for the five days he lived. ...


In 1328, at latest, the Salic Law needed a further interpretation to forbid not only inheritance by a woman, but inheritance through a female line, in order to bar the male Edward III of England, descendant of French kings through his mother Isabel of France, from the succession. When the Direct Capetian line ended, the law was contested by England, providing a putative motive for the Hundred Years' War. This article is about the King of England. ... The House of Capet includes any of the direct descendants of Robert the Strong. ... Combatants France Castile Scotland Genoa Majorca Bohemia Crown of Aragon Brittany England Burgundy Brittany Portugal Navarre Flanders Hainaut Aquitaine Luxembourg Holy Roman Empire The Hundred Years War was a conflict between France and England, lasting 116 years from 1337 to 1453. ...


Shakespeare claims that Charles VI rejected Henry V's claim to the French throne on the basis of Salic law's inheritance rules, leading to the Battle of Agincourt. In fact, the conflict between Salic law and English law was a justification for many overlapping claims between the French and English monarchs over the French Throne. Charles VI Charles VI the Well-Beloved, later known as the Mad (French: Charles VI le Bien-Aimé, later known as le Fol) (December 3, 1368 – October 21, 1422) was a King of France (1380 – 1422) and a member of the Valois Dynasty. ... Henry V of England (16 September 1387 – 31 August 1422) was one of the great warrior kings of the Middle Ages. ... Combatants Kingdom of England Kingdom of France Commanders Henry V of England Charles dAlbret Strength About 6,000 (but see Modern re-assessment). ... The English claims to the French throne have a long and rather complex history between the 1340s and the 1800s. ...


Other examples of the application of Salic inheritance laws

The Salic law was responsible for some interesting chapters of history. The Carlist Wars occurred in Spain over the question of whether the heir to the throne should be a female or a male relative. The War of the Austrian Succession was triggered by the Pragmatic Sanction in which Charles VI of Austria, who himself had inherited the Austrian patrimony over his nieces as a result of Salic law, attempted to ensure the inheritance directly to his own daughter Maria Theresa of Austria, this being an example of an operation of the so-called Semi-Salic law. The Carlist Wars in Spain were the last major European civil wars in which pretenders fought to establish their claim to a throne. ... Combatants Prussia France Spain Bavaria Naples and Sicily Sweden (1741 — 1743) Austria Great Britain Hanover Dutch Republic Saxony Kingdom of Sardinia Russia Commanders Frederick II Leopold I Leopold II Maurice de Saxe François-Marie de Broglie Charles VII Charles Emil Lewenhaupt Ludwig Khevenhüller Charles Alexander George II Charles... A pragmatic sanction is a sovereigns solemn decree on a matter of primary importance and has the force of fundamental law. ... Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI Charles VI (October 1, 1685 - October 20, 1740) was Holy Roman Emperor from 1711 to 1740 and the second son of Leopold I with his third wife Eleonore_Magdalena of Pfalz_Neuburg. ... Not to be confused with Maria Theresa of Austria (1816-1867). ...


The British and Hanoverian thrones separated after the death of King William IV of the United Kingdom and of Hanover. Hanover practiced the Salic law, while Britain did not. King William's niece Victoria ascended to the throne of Great Britain and Ireland, but the throne of Hanover went to William's brother Ernest, Duke of Cumberland; Salic law was also an important issue in the Schleswig-Holstein question, and played a weary prosaic day to day role in the inheritance and marriage decisions of common princedoms of the German states such as Saxe-Weimar‎, to cite a representative example. It is not much of an overstatement to say that European nobility confronted salic issues at every turn and nuance of diplomacy, and certainly, especially, when negotiating marriages, for the entire male line had to be extinguished for a land title to pass (by marriage) to a female's husband—women rulers were anathema in the German states well into the modern era. Capital Hanover Head of State King of Hanover Hanover (German: ) was a historical territory in todays Germany, at various times a principality, an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, a kingdom and a province of Prussia and of Germany. ... William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was King of the United Kingdom and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death. ... Queen Victoria redirects here. ... Ernest Augustus I of Hanover Ernest Augustus I, King of Hanover (5 June 1771 – 18 November 1851), also known (1799-1837) as the Duke of Cumberland, was the fifth son and eighth child of King George III of the United Kingdom and Queen Charlotte. ... The Schleswig-Holstein Question was the name given to the whole complex of diplomatic and other issues arising in the 19th century out of the relations of the two duchies, Schleswig and Holstein, to the Danish crown and to the German Confederation. ... Germany is a federation of 16 states called Länder (singular Land, which may be translated as country) or unofficially Bundesländer (singular Bundesland, German federal state). ... Saxe-Weimar (German Sachsen-Weimar) was a Duchy in Thuringia. ...


In the Channel Islands, the only part of the former duchy of Normandy still held by the British Crown, Queen Elizabeth II is traditionally ascribed the title of Duke of Normandy (never Duchess). The influence of Salic law is presumed to explain why she is toasted as "The Queen our Duke." This article is about the British dependencies. ... The Duchy of Normandy stems from the Viking invasions of France in the 8th century. ... Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of sixteen sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ... Bold textInsert non-formatted text here This statue of Rollo the Viking (founder of the fiefdom of Normandy) stands in Falaise, Calvados, birthplace of his descendant William I the Conqueror (the Duke of Normandy who became King of England). ...


Old Frankish

Main articles: Old Frankish and Old Dutch

The Salic Law contains the sole direct attestations of Old Frankish. These consist mainly of loose words (Malbergse glossen), but include a full sentence[1]: Old Frankish was the language of the Franks and it is classified as a West Germanic language. ... Old Dutch (Also Old West Low Franconian) is a branch of Old Low Franconian spoken and written during the early middle ages (c. ... Old Frankish was the language of the Franks and it is classified as a West Germanic language. ...

Maltho thi afrio lito
"I tell you: I free you, half free."

Literary references

Shakespeare uses the Salic Law as a plot device in Henry V, saying it was upheld by the French to bar Henry V’s claiming the French throne. The play Henry V begins with the Archbishop of Canterbury asked if the claim might be upheld despite the Salic Law. The Archbishop replies, That the land Salique is in Germany, between the floods of Sala and of Elbe; the law is German, not French. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Title page of the first quarto (1600) Henry V, also known as The Cronicle History of Henry the fift, is a play by William Shakespeare based on the life of King Henry V of England. ... The Archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual leader and senior clergyman of the Church of England, recognized by convention as the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. ... The Fränkische Saale (Franconian Saale) is a 136 km long river in Bavaria, Germany. ... This article is about a river in Central Europe. ...


In Royal Flash, by George MacDonald Fraser, the hero, Flashman, on his marriage, is presented with the Royal Consorts’ portion of the Crown Jewels, and The Duchess did rather better; as ever, feeling hard done-by, he thinks, It struck me then, and it strikes me now, that the Salic Law was a damned sound idea. p.172, Grafton paperback, 2006. Royal Flash is a 1975 movie based on George MacDonald Frasers second Flashman novel, Royal Flash. ... George MacDonald Fraser, OBE (born 2 April 1926 in Carlisle) is a British author of both historical novels and non-fiction books. ... Harry Paget Flashman is a fictional character originally created by the author Thomas Hughes in his semi-autobiographical work Tom Browns Schooldays, first published in 1857. ...


See also

Early Germanic laws of the early middle ages are known as leges barbarorum, we here deal with the principal examples other than Frankish, namely the (1) Leges Wisigothorum, (2) Lex Burgundionum, (3) Pactus Alamannorum and Lex Alamannorum, (4) Lex Bajuvariorum, (5) Lex Saxonum, (6) Lex Frisionum, (7) Lex Angliorum et... Patrilineality (a. ...

Notes

  1. ^ The Dutch Language. Livius.org. Retrieved on 2006-09-20.

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 263rd day of the year (264th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Katherine Fischer Drew, The laws of the Salian Franks (Pactus legis Salicae), Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press (1991), ISBN 0-8122-8256-6/ISBN 0-8122-1322-X.
  • Craig Taylor, ed., Debating the Hundred Years War. "Pour ce que plusieurs" (La Loy Salique) and "A declaration of the trew and dewe title of Henrie VIII", Camden 5th series, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-521-873908
  • Craig Taylor, "The Salic Law and the Valois succession to the French crown", French History, 15 (2001), pp.358-77.
  • Craig Taylor, "The Salic Law, French Queenship and the Defence of Women in the Late Middle Ages", French Historical Studies, 29 (2006), pp.543-64.

External links

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Salic law

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The Salic Law (1287 words)
The Salic Law was not applied or used in any other case: the fiefs of France passed by primogeniture to males and, in the absence of males, to females.
The next time the Salic Law was invoked in France was in the late 16th century, to rule out Spanish claims to the kingdom of France arising from the marriage of Élisabeth of France, sister of the last three Valois kings, to Philip II of Spain.
The Salic Law was introduced in Spain by Philip V, grandson of Louis XIV (though secretly repealed in 1789: doubts over the validity of this secret repeal gave rise to the Carlist claims to the Spanish throne in 1833, which continued until the 1930s when the Carlist line died out.
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