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Women's property rights in Portugal under Dom Joao I (1385-1433): a comparison with renaissance Italy.

Three decades ago, Jack Goody argued that "Eurasian" dowry exchange was a prime indicator of women's property rights in systems of bilateral or diverging devolution. (1) Diane Owen Hughes criticized this thesis, claiming that in medieval Italy, the re-introduction of dowry exchange served to abolish women's prior, more extensive, rights to their fathers' and husbands' estates. (2) Following Hughes, Christiane Klapisch-Zuber and Isabelle Chabot argued that in Renaissance Florence, dowry exchange had the effect of turning women into objects of exchange rather than subjects of property transactions. (3) More recently, Chabot and Calvi have proposed to locate female agency in women's resistance against dowry exchange as a legalized form of dispossession. (4) Nevertheless, dotal marriage continues to be seen by many historians of Renaissance Italy as an opportunity for women to gain access to property and agency rather than lose it. For Renaissance Venice, Stanley Chojnacki has suggested that patrician mothers' supplementary dowry bequests to their daughters demonstrated not only women's support of dowry exchange, but their responsibility in contributing to the much maligned spiral of dowry inflation. (5) The disagreement between Venetian and Florentine historians on the effects of dowry exchange on women's property rights can in part be explained by Venice's less rigidly patriarchal kinship and inheritance system. Venetian statutory law retained faint echoes of Byzantine equal inheritance, and remained unaffected by Lombard law and its insidious rule of women's legal incapacity. (6)

In this article, I would like to propose that medieval and early modern Portuguese property law, characterized by equal inheritance and property sharing in marriage, provides a more convincing example of "bilateral devolution" than Italian dowry exchange as defined in statutory law. (7) I would furthermore like to argue that Portuguese women's access to property and authority was relatively extensive because of Portugal's thoroughly cognatic, even residually matrilineal, kinship system, (8) a phenomenon accompanied by the ubiquity of clandestine or de facto marriages. (9) Despite the introduction of male primogeniture for crown goods and entailed estates (morgadios) in the fifteenth century, (10) and despite the exclusion of women from the public sphere that Roman law theorized,11 women's property rights remained in my eyes extensive even among the aristocracy.

Antonio Manuel Hespanha has argued that the translation of Justinian's Codex and its medieval Italian glossators under Dom Joao I (1424) facilitated the codification of patrilinear inheritance practices for feudal properties and jurisdictions, a process that in Italy and Spain had been achieved earlier with the redaction of the Lombard Libri Feodorum in the twelfth century and the Siete Partidas in 1348, respectively. (12) The re-introduction of Roman Law led to the formulation of the so-called Lei Mental, (13) which established male primogeniture for the succession of crown goods, and to the elevation of common law as subsidiary law under Dom Afonso V (1447). (14) Such was the impact of Roman notions of patrilinearity, according to Hespanha, that wives even lost their rights to joint ownership and the co-management of marital assets. (15) My research shows, however, that patriarchal innovations in Portuguese normative law were met with strong resistance in fifteenthcentury legal practice, and that the principles of joint ownership and equal inheritance remained firmly anchored in royal legislation all throughout the early modern period. (16) With respect to marriage practices, Antonio Hespanha draws an equally bleak picture, pointing out that wives were subject to legalized physical abuse from their husbands, and that daughters under 25 years of age, who married without their parents' consent, automatically forfeited their inheritance. (17) In his eyes, the marriage reform of the Council of Trent (1545-1563) had a liberating effect on women, because of its alleged emphasis on mutual consent, (18) without considering that Tametsi abolished clandestine marriages in practice and intensified parental control by requiring marriages to be celebrated in public. (19) In my view, Hespanha underestimates the extent to which Portuguese kings protected the freedom of marriage at least for commoners since the thirteenth century.

Already Dom Afonso II (1211-1223) declared that "marriages have to be free; neither we nor our successors can force anybody to marry." (20) Afonso's promise to abstain from match-making himself would have been unthinkable two centuries later, when the sponsoring of casamentos among the king's courtiers became, according to Rita Costa Gomes, a central means of forging court society. (21) Dom Afonso III (1248-1279) confirmed his predecessor's view, (22) referring to the recent definition of the marital sacrament as based solely on the partners' exchange of the words of present consent by the IV Lateran Council (1215). (23) He specified, however, that only those marriages, which could be proven, were valid, "be they clandestine or public." (24) He also prohibited the disinheritance of daughters who married against their parents wishes, and required husbands to procure their wives' consent to property transactions. (25)

Dom Dinis (1279-1325) established guidelines for the distinction of "proper" marriages from simple forms of co-habitation: if the couple was reputed to be married by their neighborhood community, if they had lived together for over seven years, and if they had established joint ownership, i.e. signed purchase, sales, and loan contracts together, their union was legitimate. (26) Dom Dinis thus defined the legitimacy of marriage as a result of property sharing, a concept that later kings would confirm and elaborate. In contrast to his predecessor's generous policy regarding women, he introduced material punishment for elopements: fathers were given the right to disinherit their under-age daughters (>25) if they married without their consent. (27) Futhermore, he legislated strict prohibitions regarding marriages among members of the same aristocratic household without first obtaining the lord's permission, (28) and clarified when exactly husbands could kill their adulterous wives with impunity, "because so many kill their wives for no reason. (29)

Dom Afonso V (1438-1481) clarified what joint ownership meant in prae tice by demanding that both spouses co-sign all property transactions, a provision that was minutely followed, as we will see below. (30) He specified that widows would inherit their husbands' properties in intestate successions, and become automatically sole heads of household. (31) He also ruled that married men could not donate properties to their concubines, (32) and that, if they "sinned" with a woman who was in a de facto marital relationship with somebody else, they deserved the same punishment for adultery as a man who slept with a properly (de dereito) married woman. (33) Afonso V thus established the--from the Italian perspective unheard of--concept of male punishment for adultery, and acknowledged how ill-defined the boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate devolution and reproduction still were. He also strengthened Dom Dinis's rule regarding the disinheritance of under-age daughters who eloped by stressing that they could not claim their inheritance even if their parents wanted them to do so, (34) thus revealing that this was a contested issue.

Dom Manuel (1469-1521) made the first--and, in early modern Portuguese history, only--effort to abolish clandestine marriages altogether by demanding that everyone marry "publicly, in the face of the church, after the publication of bans." (35) Dom Joao IV (1604-56), finally, confirmed that "in the realm of Portugal," marriages among commoners were concluded by "exchanging the words of present consent in the face of the church," and followed the rule of carta da metade (joint ownership). If the couple had not married according to this--by now outdated--Catholic rite, their de facto marriage resulted in property sharing if they had established a common household. (36) Aristocrats and members of the urban elites were expected to marry by dowry and arras (the husband's gift to the bride, usually worth a third of the dowry amount), but the extent to which property sharing might apply to goods acquired during marriage was to be settled in marriage contracts. (37)

In fourteenth-century Italy, by contrast, "clandestine" marriages were outlawed as statutory rape, and continued to be extremely rare well into early modern times. (38) More important for the control of women's reproductive behavior, however, was the re-invention of the dowry by Italian medieval communes. First applied as a strategy for peace-making among feuding magnates in the twelfth century as well as for the creation of alliances in the emergent male body politics of independent city governments, dowry exchange had become ubiquitous in the sixteenth century even among the virtually propertyless. (39) As the monetary markers of a daughter's worth and virtue (or as compensation for their lack), and as venture capital for business operations, dowries circulated between fathers and sons-in-law, guaranteeing that marriages would not take place without parental consent. (40) Daughters who eloped and adulterous wives would forfeit their dowries; widows had to maintain a chaste decorum as well.

In Portugal, where boundaries separating "legitimate" from "illegitimate" forms of reproduction were not as clearly drawn, out-of-wedlock children could easily be legitimized for the purpose of inheritance (see below). Dom Joao IV (1640-1656) rejected this distinction entirely for marriages among commoners, ruling that "natural" children, i.e. those born to parents whose marriage could have taken place because no legal obstacles existed, were to succeed to their parents' properties as if they were legitimate, while "spurious" children (conceived in adultery, or by clerics) were at least entitled to alimonies from their fathers, if they were destitute. (41) Dom Afonso III (1248-1279) ruled that parents could not disinherit their underage daughters in case they eloped, or misbehaved sexually, a provision that was later revoked. (42) These differences in marriage behavior are reflected in the wide gap between ratios of Portuguese and Italian couples who in 1564 professed to have married "clandestinely" or "perhaps clandestinely" in their petitions to the Holy Penitentiary for dispensations from kinship prohibitions: while 88 per cent of all Portuguese applicants who received a dispensation specified to have married in this informal or de facto manner, only 15 percent of the Italian couples did so. (43)

Portugal and Italy were thus at opposite ends of a spectrum in defining modes of reproduction: relatively egalitarian with respect to property transfer, permeable in terms of legitimacy, and couple-oriented in the case of Portugal; heavily male-inflected in its economy, rigidly defined in its formal procedures, and thoroughly agnatic in its lineage orientation in the case of Italy. Class differences existed, of course: marriages among Portuguese aristocrats were often the result of royal match-making, (44) and noblewomen began to be excluded from the succession to crown goods and entailed estates. Venetian working-class couples, on the other hand, drew up fictive dowry contracts in order to legitimize a long-standing, informal domestic partnership, and provide the wife with a counter-dowry in case of widowhood. (45) Despite the fact that Portuguese aristocrats were engaged in pruning their genealogical trees in a manner that middle-class couples married under carta da metade would have found surprising, and that, a century later, Venetian working-class couples used the language of "elitist" dowry exchange to facilitate property sharing, the extent to which different social groups participated in the same legal culture is remarkable.

Other European countries were situated in between these two poles: in England and Northern France, the invention of primogeniture in common law had made great advances in the expropriation of daughters, wives, and widows by the sixteenth century;46 in the Flemish city of Douai, propertied citizens gradually abandoned joint ownership in favor of dowry exchange;47 Spain, although similar to Portugal in its legal traditions, intensified its efforts to regulate marriage by emphasizing parental control in the post-tridentine period, as did France; (48) Central Europe retained a strong commitment to women's properties, even if curtailing them, and chose to regulate marriage more strictly in both Protestant and Catholic regions. (49)

The chancellery records of Dom Joao I contain ample evidence of women's active ownership rights, among aristocrats as well as commoners. (50) Despite the formulation of the so-called Lei Mental, which since the early fifteenth century defined male primogeniture as the default mode of inheritance for crown goods, many opportunities existed for women to claim exemptions. (51) As Antonio Hespanha has argued, the intellectual rigor of Roman Law as a systematically organized, coherent body often gave way to a juridico-political discourse in which justice was understood as the conferral of grace. (52) Aside from the king's own dispensations from the very laws he issued in matters of male primogeniture, noblemen cultivated a flexible attitude toward the new rules themselves. In their attempts to establish "agnatic" lineage properties in the form of morgadios, Portuguese aristocrats frequently entailed estates that had come down to them through female predecessors, or through male relatives on their mother's side. Also, some morgadios were founded by widows or daughters in memory of their deceased husbands or fathers. This phenomenon does not only document how strong the cognatic, even residually matrilineal notion of kinship still was in fifteenth-century Portugal; (53) it also shows how, in a period of transition to a more patriarchal practice of property transfer, women's possessions and agency had to be co-opted. Another example of combining matrilineal resources with patriarchal management can be found in seventeenthcentury Sao Paulo, Brazil, where fathers chose to bequeath the bulk of their properties to daughters instead of sons, hoping to attract suitable, i.e. white and uxorilocal, sons-in-law through oversized dowries. (54)

Most of Dom Joao's chancellery records refer to aristocrats' petitions to the king for special grants or exemptions, but royal lease agreements with commoners can also be found. Here, the evidence of joint ownership between husbands and wives is overwhelming. The enormous number of legitimization records is additional proof of the ill-defined boundaries surrounding marriage--over 65 per cent of those children born from extramarital relationships were fathered by clergymen--and of the inheritance rights of daughters.

In contemplating possible reasons for such divergent developments in Portugal and Italy--the latter being well-known for its strict agnatic structure, especially in its heavily urbanized, northern and central regions--the two regions' different legal traditions have to be taken into consideration. Both countries were heirs to Roman law, of course, but the early medieval invasions by Visigoths and Lombards, respectively, as well as later medieval developments, had the effect of pulling the two Mediterranean legal cultures apart. Visigothic law codes stressed, like the Codex Justinianus, the principle of equal inheritance, a principle that Portuguese law makers never renounced, except in their--somewhat late and feeble--attempts to prune the succession to crown goods and lineage properties in a patrilineal manner.55 Lombard law, on the other hand, had excluded women from the succession to feudal properties already in the twelfth century. It severely limited inheritance rights for daughters and widows since the seventh century,56 and refused to acknowledge women as legal personae. Lombard women were subject to the rule of a mundualdo, or legal guardian, without whose protection they could not engage in valid property transactions, or any form of legal action. (57) This "barbaric" custom seems to have served the purposes of Italian law makers during the communal revolution quite well: in Florence, women continued to be subjected to a mundualdo until the seventeenth century and beyond. (58) The radical refashioning of dowry exchange, however, constituted an even more incisive and longest lasting intervention in Italian legal culture from the point of view of gender and kinship.

While Portuguese dowries remained, like their Sicilian and Southern Italian counterparts, defined as instances of pre-mortem inheritance, thus tied to the concept of a daughter's right to her "legitimate" share in her parents' patrimony (legitima), (59) the governments of Genoa, Florence, Milan, Venice, etc. all voted a novel concept of daughters' marriage portions into law by insisting on the so-called exclusio propter dotem (i.e. the exclusion after, or because of, the receipt of a dowry). (60) This intervention singlehandedly changed women's property rights not only in terms of quantity, but, perhaps most significantly, in terms of quality. First of all, daughters were denied their unconditioned right to a part of their fathers' wealth in intestate successions. Their participation in what Goody euphemistically called bilateral devolution was now dependent on their marriage. (61) Secondly, by denying wives the right to administer their dowries, their "possessions" degenerated into credits. A wife was promised to receive the equivalent of her dowry--without increment--once widowed. Thirdly, by removing a daughter's portion from the calculation of a family's real existing wealth, dowries became prime instruments of speculation, the inflationary trends of which were lamented almost immediately by contemporaries (Dante, for example). (63) Finally, the separation of goods between husband and wife was now irrevocably mandated; despite the fact that male testators were theoretically free to will parts of their patrimonies to their spouses, very few of them did so. The most a widow could realistically hope for was to be appointed domina et usufructuaria (i.e. manager and life-long recipient of the revenues) of her husband's estate. (64) Widows lost all legal claims to their husbands' properties: a twelfth-century sketch of a Genoese notary shows two empty-handed widows in tears, crying about the loss of their terza, i.e. the third part of their husband's wealth to which they had been entitled in areas under Lombard law. (65)

The rights of widows to the so-called third or fourth part existed not only in early medieval Germanic societies, but also in areas under late Roman, and even Islamic law. Justinian mandated that poor wives in marriages without dowry exchange should enjoy the fourth part of their deceased husbands' wealth, a social welfare provision a century later reformulated by Mohammed. (66) This two-tiered concept of property regimes in dotal and non-dotal marriages, and the provision for poor widows in marriages without dowry exchange by creating partial joint ownership, was entirely repressed by medieval Italian glossators in their commentaries on Justinian's corpus iuris. Because the dowry system was now supposed to be the only mode of devolving property to women as daughters and widows, women's reproductive and productive work during marriage were no longer acknowledged.

Italian women were thus at a greater disadvantage with respect to property rights than women in other parts of Europe, where most wives retained at least residual claims to their husbands' wealth, despite the ubiquitous trend of women's on-going exclusion from their fathers' and husbands' patrimonies that accompanied the process of state formation in early modern Europe. In Portugal, as I hope to show in the following, women resisted this onslaught quite well. While the bulk of my analysis is devoted to women's property transactions in fifteenth-century Portugal, a modest sample derived from Florentine and Venetian notarial acts shall buttress my arguments concerning the effects of dowry exchange and kinship patterns in Renaissance Italy, a well-known phenomenon established by three decades of sophisticated scholarship on the subject matter (see above).

My Portuguese sample consists of approximately one thousand royal petitions, preserved as "book four" in the archive of the Chancellery of Dom Joao I (1385-1433). (67) The bulk of these are legitimizations (68.5 percent); royal donations, lease contracts, dowries, and inheritance partitions constitute the remainder. Of the latter, 56 (18.4 per cent) feature women as agents or primary beneficiaries.

The very first act to be authorized in Dom Joao's records immediately introduces us into an entirely unfamiliar world of kinship-related property transactions, at least when looked at from the Italian perspective: Diego Meendes de Vasconcellos, son of Dom Meendes Rodrigues de Vasconcellos, made a donation to his sister Brites in order to help her make a better marriage and live honorably. He conceded to her his inheritance shares from his father's and his uncle's patrimonies, consisting of all of his movable goods and real estate, revenues and jurisdictions, royal donations granted by King Dom Fernando (1367-1383), as well as several entailed estates, so-called morgadios. Such entailments were invented specifically to honor the memory of male agnates; since the fifteenth century they were to be passed on exclusively in the line of first-born sons, at least in theory. (68) Such was the transgression of existing law, in fact, that Diego petitioned to the king to revoke all "laws, canonic as well as civil, rights, orders, customs, and deeds of this kingdom, including the opinions of doctors of jurisprudence, [meaning, Italian glossators]" which might contradict the validity of his concession. (69) Similar annulments of existing law in favor of women's property rights were quite common in Dom Joao's chancellery acts, as we will see. Diego's "marriage gift" to his sister Brites-which we should not confuse with an Italian-style dowry, by the way, because Brites was expected to pass the family estate on to her children along with her name--reveals that despite the kings' efforts to streamline succession to royal donations favoring first-born sons only, (70) many exceptions were granted to women as discussed below. Maria de Lurdes Rosa has noted that among the forty-five morgadios that she studied in depth (1300-1499), only three institutors of such entailments prohibited female succession explicitly. (71)

As instruments of disinheritance, the morgadio, a private form of entailment, and the establishment of primogeniture in succession to crown goods functioned as the conceptual analog to the medieval Italian dowry. Morgadios seem to have emerged spontaneously in the fourteenth century when the nobility sought to reserve parts of their patrimony for single privileged heirs, for the purpose of constructing the memory of a lineage. Swords, shields, chapels, memorial masses, surnames, titles, and the right to represent the lineage all came with the lands, castles, towers, and apposite jurisdictions in one inalienable inheritance package. At the same time, the so-called Lei Mental was established as a rule for the succession to royal donations. It excluded wives, daughters, and sisters, but also cadet sons, younger brothers, uncles, and nephews in favor of the first-born son and the most direct legitimate descending line originating from him. Female succession was possible, however, upon request by royal privilege. (72) The law goes back to King Dom Dinis (1279-1325), but was first codified a century later.

The origins of the morgadio are unclear; old scholarship traces it back to Visigothic rules of primogeniture, (73) while contemporary Portuguese historians stress its conformity to Roman rules of patrilinearity, as we have seen; furthermore, the parallels with the Islamic institution of Maliki family endowments, very popular at the time in Muslim Spain and the Maghreb, are striking and deserve further study. (74) In Iberian as well as Islamic societies, with their strong tribal or clan-based traditions, intestate succession laws were firmly entrenched--in contrast to the absolute testamentary freedom that Roman law conferred to possessors of patriae potestatis. The entailment of parts of the family patrimony in favor of one or several heirs and a well-defined line of descendants became an instrument of disinheritance of all legal heirs in favor of a few select heirs, just as the exclusio propter dotem freed Italian fathers from their obligation to reserve a legittima for their daughters. (75) While the trend was to favor sons over daughters in both Portugal and Islamic societies, women were by no means entirely excluded from the access to such privileged, and, in the Portuguese case, politically sensitive and religiously meaningful properties. In her fascinating study of the morgadio in Portugal, Maria de Lurdes Rosa offers a complex picture of how meandering, discontinuous, and fuzzy the theoretically straightforward first-born male lines of the "lineages" thus constructed really were. In six founding documents of a morgadio, the descent lines were to originate from the institutor, but in other cases, the lineage was to be perpetuated through descent from a wife (1), a mother (4), a maternal grandfather (1), an aunt (1), a mother and grandmother jointly (1), or from the married couple (1). (76) Founders of morgadios would generally search both paternal and maternal genealogies for the most prestigious surnames to adopt, and men hunting for lucrative bequests did not shy away from claiming succession to properties of women with whom they were linked through cognates. (77) Nuno Martins, for example, claimed in 1431 succession to the chapel and morgadio of Caterina Gil as her closest of kin. He was related to her on his mother's side through his great-greatgrandfather. In addition to the patrimony of this great-great aunt, he received legacies from his mother's sister and the Regent Dona Leonor herself. All of Nuno's accumulated wealth, in other words, was passed on to him through women. (78) Stories like Nuno's may cause us to doubt Lurdes's affirmation that the principles of masculinity and primogeniture were uncontested forms of constructing kinship in Portugal since the fourteenth century. (79) Fathers established morgadios for their daughters (80) and illegitimate sons. (81) Illegitimate daughters established morgadios for their fathers, (82) grandfathers for their granddaughters, (83) women for their sisters, (84) married couples for their respective descendants, (85) and mothers for the second-born sons; (86) sometimes, widows would even inherit morgadios from their husbands. (87)

Despite the fact that widows had the right to one-third of their deceased husbands' estates, their inheritance rights were sometimes contested by other heirs. Maria Coelha, for example, widow of Goncalvo Anis, received crown goods "with all their rights and households and civil jurisdiction" from her parents Lopo Diaz d'Azevedo and his wife Johana Gomes da Silva, who were concerned about their daughter's future in light of the strong demands on her inheritance waged against her by her deceased husband's legitimate daughter from a prior marriage. In order for Dona Maria to be able to maintain herself "honorably corresponding to her rank of a wife of a fidalgo of great lineage," her parents gave her 3,000 gold dobras. (88)

Because widows could bring shares of their deceased husbands' estates into subsequent marriages--a situation unthinkable in Renaissance Italy--inheritance settlements were often complicated due to the conflicting demands of stepchildren and widows. (89) Second husbands would often profit from their wives' first husbands' wealth, as in the case of Esteve Anis, escudeiro of Gil Vaasques da Cunha, who petitioned to the king for confirmation of his possession of a farm, which his wife's first husband, master shoemaker to the king, had received as a reward for his service. (90)

Infinitely more complex was the arbitration settlement that the king negotiated with the many heirs of Ruy Vaasques Coutinho, whose widow remarried. (91) Ruy's children Joham, Briatis, and Margarida sued their mother, Dona Branca de Vilhana, subsequently married to Fernando Vaasquez da Cunha, for their shares. They claimed that, although not quite of legal age (twenty-five years), they were old enough to be awarded their inheritance shares, of which Joham demanded the crown goods as Ruy's first-born son. Their mother Branca, however, declared that Ruy had never paid her the arras, i.e. her bride gift, which should receive priority over all other demands, and which, if she were required to share, she would have to share with her brothers, who apparently made ample donations to her as well as to Ruy upon their marriage. Dom Joao I seems to have followed Branca's logic, because the partition he proposed granted Branca and her current husband the bulk of Ruy's estate, while her children from her marriage to Ruy received roughly one quarter. Acknowledging that this arbitration did not correspond to intestate succession laws, according to which the children should have received more (i.e., half), the contenders agreed to pay a 2,000 dobra fine in case they violated the agreement.

Several features of this settlement are interesting for the purpose of our comparison with Italy. First, up until this settlement was signed, Branca's mother, that is, Ruy's as well as Fernando's mother-in-law, was the manager of the entire estate. Other sources as well point to the fact that the position of the mother-in-law in early modern Portuguese society was extraordinarily strong, especially in the northwestern regions, where traces of matrilineal kinship, for example, uxorilocality, can be found. (92) The notarial acts studied by Darlene Abreu-Ferreira suggest that sons-in-law could serve as male agents of their wives' mothers. (93) Cases of adultery sometimes involved sex between husbands and their mothers-in-law. (94) And in the notarial records of Belchior Montalvo a century later, mothers-in-law emerge as general estates managers quite frequently. (95) Second, Branca's husband, Fernando Vaasquez, proved incapable of signing the document in the end, because he had received insufficient power of attorney from his wife. In Italy, any husband would automatically be considered as the administrator and possessor of his wife's estate. Third, the arras in question, that is Ruy's gift to his bride, was qualitatively different from the Italian counter-trousseau, donatio propter nuptias, repromissa, or Morgengabe. In Portugal, husbands' marriage gifts were not governed by the logic of symbolic reciprocity in the context of dowry exchange; an arras was the "dowry" that a husband gave to his wife as her inalienable property in exchange for her "honor," without which, in Visigothic times, no upper-class marriage was valid. (96) Fourth, both of Branca's daughters were in the king's service, as paid professionals in the art of cultivating court sociability, a career opportunity without match in the male-dominated public spheres of Italian city states and republics.

Often, however, women needed royal interventions to enter into the possession of their properties. Lionor Goncalves, stepmother of Fernando Vaasquez, received permission from Queen Filipa to claim her deceased husband's estate in order to extract her arras. Her contenders were Fernando Vaasquez and his wife Branca, i.e. her deceased husband's son from a prior marriage and his wife, to whom the estate was to pass after Lionor had satisfied her legal claim to 4,000 dobras. (97) Dona Isabel, the king's daughterin-law, asked Dom Joao I for permission to pass on her crown goods to her daughters, in light of the fact that she did not have sons. (98) And Briatis Goncalves de Moura received a confirmation of her inheritance of crown goods, once again in open defiance of the Lei Mental, but only on condition that she marry the current governor of Ceuta, the Moroccan city captured in 1415. This decision, made by Dom Joao I and his son Duarte "out of their certain knowledge, free will, and absolute power," honored the fact that the crown goods in question had most likely been awarded to Dona Brites's grandmother, Queen Filipa's aia (the queen's advisor, tutor, and closest chambermaid), whose surname "de Moura" she adopted. Female inheritance claims were guaranteed for two further generations, but only in case Dona Brites would not have sons. (99)

Colonial references in the context of marriages arranged by the king appear repeatedly in my records. Dona Brites's new husband Dom Pedro, the governor of Ceuta, already had two grown daughters, soon to be married off by the king as well. Brites de Menezes was to receive the stately sum of 9,000 dobras as arras and dowry upon her marriage to the king's nephew, Fernando de Noronha, member of the royal council, and close advisor of the king's son (camereiro moor)--again in revocation of all laws, rights, customs, constitutions, statutes, deeds and doctors' opinions that might contradict this arrangement. (100) Her sister, Dona Aldonca, received 4,000 dobras for her marriage to Ruy Nogueira, to be paid from the money awarded to her father's new wife, Dona Brites. (101) Another document reflects that Dona Aldonca was awarded Ruy's houses in the form of a donation, which were supposed to be a crown gift to Ruy's father; in the absence of any male heirs, Aldonca received those properties, again in suspension of the Lei Mental. (102)

The practice of facilitating marriages among courtiers through royal endowments was, as Rita Costa Gomes and A. H. Oliveira Marques have shown, part of the king's system of rewarding retainers. (103) This matchmaking activity on the highest level was an exclusively royal privilege, and characterizes what Costa Gomes has called Portugal's "domestic" or "household-based" monarchy, in which the queen was able to assume important responsibilities. The power of the king was defined as "commanding (raising) servants and arming them," but the rights of the queen extended to "commanding (raising) servants and marrying them." (104) Of particular interest in this context is the way in which the verb "criar" refers both to the raising of children and the exertion of command over retainers. Such metaphors of power deriving from the sphere of reproduction indicate once more the ample space that women were allowed to occupy at court--as queens with their own household and retinues, but also as chambermaids, bakers, washerwomen, wet-nurses, and concubines. (105)

The insistence with which, in the thirteenth century, Dom Afonso II and Dom Afonso III defended the "freedom" of marriages against ricos-homens who might force their own dependents into unwanted marriages suggests that the monarchy's support of "clandestine" marriages was meant to be an anti-feudal weapon, directed against the formation of a strong aristocracy with its own dependent clientele. In the fifteenth century, the Cortes, or parliament, criticized the king's sponsoring of marriages among commoners at court, thus indicating that "to be matched" by the king had become an exclusively aristocratic prerogative. (106) Misalliances between noblemen and daughters of men who acquired fame and wealth in the ongoing colonial enterprise were received with mixed feelings, but can be observed until at least the late sixteenth century, when brides were awarded high royal dowries in the form of cash, land, or even colonial offices to be passed on in the female line for three generations. (107)

How permeable the boundaries regulating upper-class reproduction were, due to the king's frequent extra-legal interventions, is furthermore evidenced by the fact that even daughters of concubines could become heirs of a morgadio, as shown by the petition of Briatis Annes. Her father, Joham Goncalves, vassal of the king, and his mother Costanca Afonso entailed parts of their real estate, left money for a family chapel to be built, and set up rules for the types of masses to be sung after their death. Joham's mother insisted that this morgadio should be passed on to a son or daughter of her son, of any rank or station, on condition that he or she be not legitimate. After this person's death the morgadio was to go to a son or daughter or grandson or granddaughter in a descending line (that is, not to uncles or aunts). In open contradiction to this document, Joham Goncalves made a testament just before his death in which he left his entire estate to his barrega (concubine) Margarida Pires. Margarida's daughter Briatis refused to accept this testamentary provision, however, and took possession of the estate, which, as she pointed out, should go to her as the explicit beneficiary of the morgadio. As a result, mother and daughter worked out a compromise, according to which Margarida Pirez was supposed to receive certain movable goods and real estate, and Briatis the entailment. Since Briatis Annes could by law not enjoy the morgadio as the adulterine daughter of Joham Goncalves, conceived and born at a time when Joham's legitimate wife was still alive, the morgadio risked falling back to the crown. However, in light of the fact that Briatis Annes was married to Afonso Vaasquez, servant (reposteiro moor) of the Infanta, the king's daughter, King Dom Joao I decided to "legitimate her and thus enable her to enjoy her inheritance ... and ... [to] give them the estate as a free donation ... [which] both of them should enjoy in common." (108) This decision, again quite surprising when compared with the treatment of illegitimacy in Renaissance Italy, where "naturalized" or adopted sons had severe problems competing with uncles, half-sisters, and other relatives for access to their fathers' patrimonies, and where the legitimization of daughters would have been an entirely unintelligible and meaningless endeavor, (109) has to be seen in light of the extremely generous legitimization policy of Dom Joao I, who himself was the illegitimate son of Dom Pedro I and the Galician Teresa Lourenco.

As I mentioned earlier, 68.5 per cent of all the acts registered by the royal chancellery were legitimizations for the purpose of inheritance, of which 38 per cent went to daughters. Of a sample study of 200 randomly selected legitimizations, 272 individuals became beneficiaries of this royal privilege. Of those, 33.1 per cent were daughters, and 66.9 percent were sons of men whose long-standing extra-marital relationships were thus acknowledged. The majority of applicants (65.5 per cent) were children of clerics. (110) Parish priests, abbots, vicars, even the Bishop of Coimbra, all fathered children, sometimes from multiple mothers. (111) Afonso Annes, clerigo da missa (priest), had two sons and two daughters from Constanca Vicente and Dominguas Annes. (112) Afonso Goncalves, Abbot of the church of Velleda, also had two daughters and two sons, but from three "wives," namely, Margarida Alvares, Dominguas Afonso, and Ines Annes; (113) however, it was a lay man, Afonso Vasquez, who beat the record, presenting four children to be legitimized from four different women. (114) In 10 per cent of the cases, the father was married to a different woman (unfortunately, we do not know whether children resulted from these legitimate unions); in one--very unusual--case, the mother was married to a different man (how in this case the illegitimacy of her offspring was decided, is unclear); and in four cases, the mother in question was the father's servant.

Apart from these legitimizations and the many documents testifying to fifteenth-century noblewomen's continued presence as property owners even of feudal possessions earmarked for males, my records show a strong tradition of joint ownership among commoners and independent entrepreneurship of single and married women. A high percentage of the royal deeds signed by Dom Joao I consisted of long-term lease contracts for urban, and sometimes, rural, real estate. Of the 56 contracts in which women figured prominently as recipients of property, 18 or 32 per cent were granted to married couples, who were named jointly as beneficiaries of such contracts. A few examples might suffice:

On 11 August 1458, Vaasco de Franca received the lease of houses in Rua Nova, Porto, for himself and for his wife Briatis Goncalves. (115) Catalina Guantes rented houses in Rua Nova, in the parish of Santa Maria de Oliveira, Lisbon, for 80 reis for herself "and her husband Afonso Goncalves." (116) 116 Less expensive were the buildings that Afonso Pires and Caterina Anes leased in Rua da Capataria, Lisbon: (117) they obligated themselves to pay 46 reis annually (old currency). (118) Affonso Anis and Joanna Martins received a farm and a vinyard in Creixomil for 6 reis (old currency) with the following provision: in case they died without heirs, it was not to be sold to persons of higher standing such as clerics, nuns, noblemen and women, or to Moors and Jews. (119) On 8 June 1431, Bortolameu Palastrello, cavalleiro of seemingly Italian extraction, and his wife Margarida Martins, rented a house in Rua Nova, Lisbon. (120)

Single women, or married women acting independently, figured quite prominently in the chancellery records as well. Just to name a few: on 30 April 1426, Caterina Anis, wife of Joham Lopez ferrador (iron worker), rented houses and a garden in Praca da Palha, Lisbon, for 14 reis (old currency) annually, for herself as well as one other person "to be named by her before her death." (121) On 14 December 1457, Barbara Diaz received a confirmation of her lease of houses in Lisbon, formerly rented in her name and the name of her--now presumable deceased--husband Pedro Affonso. (122) In 1424, Branca Rodrigues, merceira (trader) signed a lease contract for a shop in Lisbon, to be bequeathed to two further persons after her death. (123) In Renaissance Italy, by contrast, married women would not normally engange in property transactions; husbands would sign any lease, purchase, or sales contract in their names only. Married women could never aspire to the position of co-manager of their households, in contrast to Portugal, where the couple was considered to be the leading "team" of a household. (124)

But for fear of giving too positive an account of women's properties and kinship relations in fifteenth-century Portugal, I would also like to emphasize that women encountered many difficulties in managing their estates, especially when trying to establish their authority as possessors of feudal estates endowed with jurisdiction. For example, Dona Tareira Fernandez, sister of the deceased Gil Fernandez, alcaide, or governor, of the royal castle in Elvas, petitioned the king for help in running the estate she had inherited. She complained that her share in the inheritance was never properly assessed, as a result of which she did not have enough workers to take care of her many bulls and cows. The king ordered the town magistrate of Elvas to redistribute her share properly and allocate an appropriate number of workers. (125) In the same city of Elvas, another female property holder experienced similar difficulties. Leonor Goncalves, widow of Goncalvo Casto, complained that the villagers refused to acknowledge her ownership rights, thereby forcing her to give the estate away as a marriage gift to her son. She now petitioned to the king to confirm her inheritance of said estate, as well as her donation of it to her son, a servant of the king. (126) Even the Infanta of Portugal, Dona Leonor, expressed difficulties in enforcing jurisdiction over territories that had come to her through a bequest of her mother. The king confirmed her judicial authority even in cases of violent crimes. (127)

In addition to such frequently recorded resistance against female authority figures, women were rewarded for their service to the crown with less prestigious gifts than men. For example, Dona Catelina de Sousa, royal servant, and Ignez Afonso, sister-in-law of Joham Afonso de Santarem of the royal council, received some old, dilapidated houses (pardieiros) in Olivenca and Santarem, respectively. (128) No man in my records ever got rewarded with "ruins." The Infanta's wet-nurse, Izabel Lopez, however, was given proper buildings for her service, in the meat-market section of Lisbon. (129)

My overall assessment of Portuguese women's property rights as they are documented in Dom Joao's chancellery acts, then, is that they testify to women's ample access to inheritance from parents, husbands, children, and other--bilateral--relatives. The strong position of the mother-in-law is particularly striking, as well as the presence of illegitimate heirs, both male and female. Joint ownership between spouses was firmly anchored: married partners had to receive their spouses' explicit consent for any transaction to be valid, and every transaction in their names listed both the husband and the wife as co-owners. This was not a mere formality, since a widow would automatically become owner and manager of her deceased husbands' estates, of which she would have to reserve half for her children, unless her husband had made a testamentary bequest of his terca to somebody else; in this case, the widow would receive two-thirds of his estate, or one-third if their grown children claimed their legitima immediately. Even in aristocratic couples' dowry contracts, the separation of goods never extended to goods acquired during marriage. Tendencies to exclude wives, sisters, and daughters from the possession of entailed family estates, or morgadios, as well as crown goods were well under way in the fifteenth century, but the principles of equal inheritance and joint ownership were too firmly anchored for male primogeniture to take effect immediately and thoroughly. Of particular importance in this regard was the king's absolute power to suspend all existing laws and customs as he saw fit, of which at least Dom Joao I made ample use in favor of women.

My sample of notarial acts from fifteenth-century Florence and Venice does not show the broad access to properties that Portuguese women enjoyed.

In these acts, Florentine women appeared as brides or nuns only, and while Venetian women did figure as testamentary executors, as recipients of bequests and donations, their main activity as contractors revolved around dowry issues. But first of all it should be said that my sample of 100 notarial acts from Venice and 50 contracts from Florence reveals-unsurprisingly--that the Italian data is not entirely commensurate with my Portuguese sample, due to the high degree of specialization of Italian notarial culture at the time. My study of a limited number of acts by six notaries, selected randomly on the basis of legibility in the Florentine case, and somewhat more purposefully based on my interests in the slave trade and the question of dowry transfers in the Venetian case, can thus only point to general trends. Most noteworthy is, perhaps, that the Italian material lacks the density and complexity of the Portuguese records. While the documents from fifteenth-century Portugal were to a large extent extralegal petitions granted by the king (unsuccessful petitions were not recorded), the Venetian and Florentine material is more bureaucratic and formulaic in nature, consisting of notarized receipts of credit payments, bequests, and dowries, of procura assignments (i.e. powers of attorney), sales, leases, marriages and testaments. Furthermore, Florence's notarial culture of the fifteenth century seems to have suffered a setback with respect to previous centuries, in terms of legibility, diversity of transactions, even number of notaries and volume of documents.

My sample of Florentine records consists of 50 documents, composed by notaries Giovanni di Attavanti (active 1463-1467), (130) Domenico Giovanni di Niccolo (active 1402-1416), (131) and Giovanni di Bencino (active 1412-1418). (132) While Giovanni di Attavanti had many upper-class clients including aristocrats and high clerics from the contado, Domenico Giovanni di Niccolo and Giovanni di Bencino were popular among lower and middle-class citizens from the inner city, many of whom sought to notarize marriages and dowry transfers. There was virtually no sign of female agency in any of those records: among the twelve records in which women figured as co-actors of contracts, ten were marriage certificates, one an assignment of power of attorney, and the other one an arbitration settlement--conducted, however, through a male representative. Five women were recipients of contracts, four of which were dowry payments. None of Attavanti's upper-class clients were female, except Domina Eulalia Luca de Bondelmonte, Abbess of the convent of San Salvatore, who together with her 35 fellow nuns extended powers of attorney to the generals of the male branch of their order. (133)

My Venetian sample hardly shows more lively signs of female agency. It is composed of 100 acts by Bernardo Panza di Ghibellino (active 13891416), a notary employed by or affiliated with the Curia Mobilium, a court charged with settling business-related litigation; (134) Pietro Griffon (active 1397-1432), a notary facilitating the Venetian slave trade through his personal connections with Levantine merchants, (135) and otherwise serving lowerand middle-class executors of testaments; (136) and Giovanni Marco de Vegi (active 1465-1474), a cleric working for the Ciudici del Proprio, a court charged with the liquidation of so-called vadimoni, i.e. dowry credits of widows and their heirs. (137) Of these 100 contracts, women figured as actors or co-actors in twenty-three cases, fifteen of whom were widows trying to recoup their dowries, the legitimate transfer and value of which required certification by witnesses or notarial documents. In another six records, women signed receipts for small bequests, dowries, and donations, and one woman appointed a legal representative (procuratore).

Because Vegi's fifteen acts consist exclusively of vadimoni, a high percentage of the entire Venetian sample (21 per cent) deals with dowry-related transactions, in which women figured prominently as agents or recipients. (138) I however hesitate to view women's legal attempts to retrieve what rightfully belonged to them as an indicator of independent agency. Such legal procedures, in protecting widows' rights to their dowries, had above all the purpose of maintaining dowry exchange as a system, thus a heavily controlled and restricted form of reproduction and property transfer. In ten contracts, women were named as recipients of bequests, donations, and dowries, and in two cases even as buyers of slaves. Slaves, most of them female, as was customary for the type of domestic slavery practiced in Renaissance Italy, (139) were mentioned in another ten contracts, all of them Griffon's. Eight of these were sales contracts; one was a testament in which three slaves were promised their emancipation, in addition to medium-sized legacies (60-150 ducats); another consisted of a quitclaim for a dowry, in which Roxa, former slave of nobleman Jacopo Ciuriano, confirmed her receipt of 150 ducats, a bequest to her on the occasion of her marriage. (140) These legacies were meant as compensations for the slaves' life-long service, and were comparable in size to the salary received by the one free servant of Jacopo Ciuriano. (141)

The kinds of kinship connections referred to in my Venetian sample consist to a large extent of women's agnatic affiliations--but female kinship ties of no agnatic, i.e. legal, relevance are also mentioned, even bonds of extra-legal quality such as domestic partnerships, illegitimate offspring, and friendships. This result resonates neatly with Stanley Chojnacki's analysis of patrician women's testamentary bequests, in which he argued that women's networks, kinship-related or not, could be quite vast, and served as a corrective to the agnatic ties they were charged with reproducing, but from which they were excluded as wives, mothers, and, to some extent, also as daughters. (142) Of my hundred contracts, seventeen transactions were conducted between women and their agnatically relevant kin, fifteen of those between husband and wife (sister-brother, 1; father-daughter, 1). Only nine contracts testify to female kinship bonds of no agnatic quality; two were negotiated between sisters, two between mothers and daughters, and five between mothers and sons. Illegitimate children were named in two documents, one of which also named their mother as the testator's domestic partner, and heir of half of his properties (the other half went to his mother). (143) My Florentine sample only gives evidence of relations between husband and wife; no other female kinship bond is articulated. Aware of the danger of overanalyzing my limited sample, I would like to summarize my results as follows: female ownership as documented in my Venetian records was limited to the receipt of dowries and small bequests, and female agency invested with some authority was restricted to occasional activities of widows as executors of testaments (1), sellers of houses (1) and buyers of slaves (2). My Florentine sample, as already mentioned, lists women only as brides, some of whom received dowries, or as nuns who appointed proxies and estate managers.

The differences between Venetian and Florentine women's property rights might--in part--be explained by the longer lasting tradition of Justinian law in Venice, (144) which in Florence was superseded by early medieval Lombard law. The stronger resonance of Justinian law in medieval Venice prevented the strict agnatic appropriation of women's possessions we find in Florence, where the Lombard tradition of treating all women as minors in need of a legal guardian, in addition to Lombard women's severely limited inheritance rights, seems to have paved the way for the formulation of what might be called the least "diverging" succession law in Italy. (145) In fourteenth-century Florence, daughters inherited from their fathers in intestate successions only if there was no brother, son of a brother, grandson of a brother or other "direct" paternal descendants; after 1415, paternal uncles and their male descendants were added to the long line of male agnates who had prior claims to their fathers' patrimonies. (146) Mothers were equally unlikely to inherit from their children. (147) In Venetian statutory law, the Roman principle of equal inheritance for all children morphed into the rights of daughters to a "congruous" dowry. This momentous change demanded urgent justification. Complicated language was adopted in 1247 to explain the de-facto abolition of equal inheritance between siblings, and the substitution of dotal return alla collazione (148) with the principle of exclusio propter dotem (i.e. the exclusion from inheritance after the receipt of a dowry). Sons inherited equally, married daughters received nothing, and "virgin" daughters could request of their fathers' movable properties only as much as was needed for them to congrue uxorari, i.e. to find husbands according to their station. In other words, daughters' property rights were officially declared to be dependent on the volatile rule of supply and demand in the marriage market. If a daughter decided that she could not find a proper match with her alloted share, she was allowed to initiate a lengthy arbitration process; an arbitration committee consisting of three or four male relatives on her father's side, and the corresponding number of male relatives on her mother's side would, by majority decision, decide whether or not she might be able to satisfy her demands of a "congruous" match out of the remaining movable goods. If her mother's relatives refused to represent her, judges might step in, as they would also do if the litigating woman had recently immigrated and thus lacked extended family ties in Venice. If there were no movable goods to pass on, the daughter still had no right to her brothers' inheritance of immovable properties, but fell under the tutelage of those brothers who were of legal age. In this case, her adult brothers were responsible for giving her a dowry. Only if her brothers were minors (and only if there were no sufficient movable properties, and only if she initiated a litigation) did the daughter have an equal right to succeed to her father's immovable properties. (149)

In both the Venetian and Florentine case, then, the abolition of daughters' unconditioned inheritance in favor of dowry exchange had been achieved in the fifteenth century, and with it, a severe curtailing of women's legal status as independent property owners vis-a-vis earlier centuries, of which my selection of notarial acts gives ample evidence. In fifteenth-century Portugal, by contrast, fuzzy practices rendered exclusionary and hierarchical institutions like kinship and property permeable to women, such that upper-class concubines could legalize their possession of crown goods despite the newly formulated law of agnation, and mothers were able to legitimize their adulterous offspring for the purpose of inheritance.

My research shows that Portuguese women--compared with women from Florence, but also Venice--enjoyed a much higher degree of access to property and authority not only in the fifteenth century, but well into the sixteenth century and beyond, because of the obstinacy with which Portuguese society maintained the interlocking principles of joint ownership, equal inheritance, and marriage by consent alone. (150) The king's policy of mandating "free" marriages for commoners, while "rewarding" his servants with sponsored marriages to members of the royal household, indicates the existence of a particular polical environment not favorable to the formation of a strong, independent elite. In Renaissance Italy, on the other hand, the emergence of participatory urban governments can be directly linked to the fostering of alliances among in-laws of equal status through dowry exchange. (151) The historiographical problem of women's property rights and access to positions of authority thus begs the question of whether such female agency served other, larger agendas--processes of state formation, for example--over which women had little to no control at all in both countries under investigation.

Jutta Sperling

Hampshire College

(1) Jack Goody, "Inheritance, Property and Women: Some Comparative Considerations," in Jack Goody, Joan Thirsk, and E. P. Thompson, eds., Family and Inheritance: Rural Society in Western Europe (1200-1800) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976), 10-36; Jack Goody, The Development of the Family in Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983); Jack Goody, The European Family: An Anthropologico-Historical Essay (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000).

(2) Diane O. Hughes, "From Brideprice to Dowry in Mediterranean Europe," Journal of Family History, 3 (1978): 262-95.

(3) Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, Women, Family, and Ritual in Renaissance Italy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985); Isabelle Chabot, "La sposa in nero. La ritualizzazione del lutto delle vedove fiorentine (secoli XIV-XV)," Quaderni Storici 86 (2) (1994): 421-462; Isballe Chabot, "Risorse e diritti patrimoniali," in Angela Groppi, ed., Il lavoro delle donne (Rome: Laterza, 1996), 47-70; Isabelle Chabot, "La loi du lignage. Notes sur le systeme successoral florentin (XIVe/XVe-XVIIe siecles)," Clio 7 (1998): 51-72; Isabelle Chabot, "Lineage Strategies and the Control of Widows in Renaissance Florence," in Sandra Cavallo and Lyndan Warner, eds, Widowhood in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Singapore: Longman; Harlow and New York: Pearson Education, 1999), 127-44; Isabelle Chabot, La dette des familles. Femmes, lignage et patrimoine a Florence aux XIVe et XVe siecle (Rome: Ecole francaise de Rome, forthcoming).

(4) Giulia Calvi and Isabelle Chabot, eds., "Introduction," to Giulia Calvi and Isabelle Chabot, eds. Le ricchezze delle donne: Diritti patrimoniali e poteri familiari in Italia (XIII-XIX secc) (Torino: Rosenberg & Sellier, 1998), 17; Laura Tirchi, "'L'eredita' della madre. Un conflitto giuridico nello stato estense alla fine del cinquecento," in Calvi and Chabot, Richezze, 161-185.

(5) Stanley Chojnacki, "Dowries and Kinsmen," in Stanley Chojnacki, Women and Men in Renaissance Venice: Twelve Essays on Patrician Society (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000), 132-52; See also Chabot's critique of Chojnacki's optimistic assessment of women's property rights in Venice in her article "A proposito di "Men and Women in Renaissance Venice," di Stanley Chojnacki: Ricchezze femminili e parentela nel Rinascimento. Riflessioni attorno ai contesti veneziani e fiorentini," Quaderni Storici, 118 (1) (2005): 203-29.

(6) Anna Bellavitis, "Patrimoni e matrimoni a Venezia nel Cinquecento," in Calvi and Chabot, Richezze, 149-60; Thomas Kuehn, "Cum Consensu Mundualdi: Legal Guardianship of Women in Quattrocento Florence," in T. Kuehn, Law, Family, and Women: Toward a Legal Anthropology of Renaissance Italy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), 212-37.

(7) For an overview of Portuguese laws on joint ownership, see Guilherme Braga da Cruz, "O regime matrimonial de bens supletivo no direito luso-brasileiro," Scientia Iuridica: Revista Bimestral Portuguesa e Brasileira 6 (30-32) (1957): 384-413.

(8) Caroline B. Brettell, "Kinship and Contract: Property Transmission and Family Relations in Northwestern Portugal," Comparative Studies in Society and History, 33 (3) (1991): 443-465; Helena Osswald, "Dowry, Norms, and Household Formation: A Case Study From North Portugal," Journal of Family History, 15 (2) (1990): 201-24.

(9) Jutta Sperling, "Marriage at the Time of the Council of Trent (1560-1570): Clandestine Marriages, Kinship Prohibitions, and Dowry Exchange in European Comparison," Journal of Early Modern History, 8 (1-2) (2004): 67-108.

(10) Maria de Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio em Portugal (secs. XIVXV): Modelos e praticas de comportamento linhagistico (Lisbon: Estampa, 1995); Antonio Manuel Hespanha, As Vesperas do Leviathan: Instituicoes e poder politico. Portugal--Sec. XVII (Coimbra: Almedina, 1994), 413.

(11) A. M. Hespanha, "O estatuto juridico da mulher na epoca da expansao," unpublished paper.

(12) Hespanha, Historia de Portugal moderno: Politico e institucional (Lisbon: Universidade Aberta, 1995), 181.

(13) Hespanha, Historia de Portugal moderno, 181-6, 103-97.

(14) Hespanha, Panorama historico da cultura juridica europeia (Mira e Sintra: Mem Martins, 1997), 80-1, n.91.

(15) Hespanha, Historia de Portugal moderno, 48ff.

(16) Ordenacoes e leys do reyno de Portugal, confirmadas, e estabelecidas pelo senhor rey D. Joao IV novamente impressas por Mandado do ... D. Joao V (Lisbon: No Mosteiro de S. Vicente de Fora, Camara Real de Sua Magestade, 1747), book iv, title xlvi, 35-6. See also the notarial acts of Belchior Montalvo (Instituto dos Arquivos Nacionais/Torre do Tombo (IAN/TT), Livros de notas, Cartorio 15, Livros 8, 9 (1572)).

(17) Hespanha, Historia de Portugal moderno, 48ff.

(18) A. M. Hespanha, "Carne de uma so carne". Para um compreensao dos fundamentos historico antropologicos da familia na epoca moderna," Analise Social, 28 (123/24) (4-5) (1993): 951-74.

(19) J. Sperling, "Marriage at the Time of the Council of Trent."

(20) Portugalliae Monumenta Historica (PMH). Leges et Consuetudines (Lisbon: Academiae Scientiarum Oliponensis, 1856; facsimile ed. Liechtenstein, 1967), 1: 175.

(21) Rita Costa Gomes, The Making of a Court Society: Kings and Nobles in Late Medieval Portugal (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003; first Portuguese ed. Lisbon: Diffel, 1995), 65, 218-9.

(22) "The King, in deliberation with his council, mandates that neither he nor any aristocrat (rico-homen), nor any powerful person of whatever condition or status, in all of the Reign, be he a clergyman or a lay person, can not force through threats or violence any man or woman into a marriage against their wishes; instead, all marriages should be based on the true wishes of those who are about to be married, in accordance with the ordinances of the Holy Church" (PMH, Leges et Consuetudines, 1: 329).

(23) "I hereby marry you."

(24) Ordenacoes del-Rei Dom Duarte, ed. by Martim de Albuquerque e Eduardo Borges Nunes (Lisbon: Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian 1988), D. Afonso III, LIII, 88.

(25) PMH. Leges et Consuetudines, 1: 257, 262; see also Ordenacoes del-Rei Dom Duarte, D. Afonso III, 88-9.

(26) Ordenacoes del-Rei Dom Duarte, Dom Dinis, "Como se prova o casamento per fama," 216.

(27) Ordenacoes del-Rei Dom Duarte, Dom Dinis, "Ley que pena deve d'aver a molher que sse casa ou faz malldade de seu corpo sem mandado de seu padre," 185.

(28) Ordenacoes del-Rei Dom Duarte, Dom Dinis, "Da penna que devem aver os que casam com parentas o molheres de casa de seus senhores sem suas lecencas ou dormem com ellas," 187.

(29) Ordenacoes del-Rei Dom Duarte, Dom Dinis, "Que pena devem d'aver aquelles que matam suas molheres a torto," 185.

(30) Ordenacoens do Senhor Rey D. Afonso V (Coimbra: Real Imprensa da Universidade, 1792), libro III, tit. xxxxv, 154-60.

(31) Ordenacoens do Senhor Rey D. Afonso V, libro IIII, tit. xii, 76-8.

(32) Ordenacoens do Senhor Rey D. Afonso V, libro IIII, tit. xiii, 79-80.

(33) Ordenacoens do Senhor Rey D. Afonso V, libro V, tit. xxiii, 89-92.

(34) Ordenacoens do Senhor Rey D. Afonso V, libro IIII, tit. lxxxxviiii, 361.

(35) Livro primeiro das ordenacoes co sua tavoada q asigna os titulos ... Novamete corregido ... do muy alto e muy poderoso senhor Rey Do Manuel nosso senhor ... (Evora: n.p., 1521), livro quinto, [19.sup.r-v]. Interestingly, in re-edition of this compilation from 1565, i.e. two years after the Council of Trent had issued a complicated marriage reform law according to which clandestine marriages would no longer be valid, the reference to clandestine marriages is missing. It might have been precisely the--by now--outdated prohibition that necessitated a revision of Manuel's laws. O primero [-quinto] livro das ordenacoes (Lisbon: n.p., 1565), book v, tit. xxxii, 25'-26r.

(36) Ordenacoes e leys do reyno de Portugal, confirmadas, e estabelecidas pelo senhor rey D. Joao IV novamente impressas por Mandado do ... D. Joao V (Lisbon: No Mosteiro de S. Vicente de Fora, Camara Real de Sua Magestade, 1747), book iv, title xlvi, 35-6.

(37) Ordenacoes e leys do reyno de Portugal, 74-5.

(38) Daniela Lombardi, Matrimoni di antico regime, Annali dell'istituto storico italogermanico in Trento, Monografie 34 (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2001), 42-8. J. Sperling, "Marriage at the Time of the Council of Trent."

(39) Manlio Bellomo, Ricerche sui rapporti patrimoniali tra coniugi (Varese: Guifre 1961); Mauro Carboni, Le doti della "poverta:" Famiglia, risparmio, previdenza. Il Monte del Matrimonio di Bologna (1583-1796) (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1999); Isabelle Chabot, "La beneficenza dotale nei testamenti del tardo Medioevo," in Vera Zamagni, ed., Poverta e innovazioni istituzionali in Italia (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2000).

(40) For a selective list of studies on dowry exchange in Renaissance Italy, see Hughes, "From Brideprice to Dowry"; Klapisch-Zuber, Women, Family, and Ritual; Chojnacki, Women and Men in Renaissance Venice; Anna Bellavitis, Identite, mariage, mobilite sociale. Citoyennes et citoyens a Venise au XVIe siecle (Rome: Ecole francaise de Rome, 2001); Chabot; "La sposa in nero"; Chabot, "La loi du lignage"; Julius Kirshner, "Maritus Lucretur Dotem Uxoris Sue Premortue in Late Medieval Florence," Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung fur Rechtsgeschichte 108, Kanonistische Abteilung Band 77 (1991): 111-55; Julius Kirshner, "Materials for a Gilded Cage: Non-Dotal Assets in Florence, 1300-1500," in David I. Kertzer and Richart P. Saller, eds., The Family in Italy from Antiquity to Present (Yale: Yale University Press, 1991), 184-207; Julius Kirshner and Anthony Molho, "The Dowry Fund and the Marriage Market in Early Quattrocento Florence," Journal of Modern History 50 (1978): 403-78; Julius Kirshner, "Li Emergenti Bisogni Matrimoniali in Renaissance Florence," in William J. Connell, ed., Society and Individual in Renaissance Florence (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), 79-109. Kuehn, Law, Family, and Women; Calvi and Chabot, Richezze.

(41) Ordenacoes e leys do reyno de Portugal, confirmadas, ... pelo senhor rey D. Joao IV, book iv, title xcii, 73; Hespanha, Historia de Portugal moderno, 107.

(42) PMH, Reinado de Afonso III (1248-1279), title lxxi, 257-58. Later kings, including Dom Joao IV, specified that an underage daughter's sexual misconduct or clandestine marriage resulted automatically in disinheritance. Only if she was an only daughter could the parents circumvent this law and bequeath their properties to her (Ordenacoes e leys do reyno de Portugal, confirmadas, ... pelo senhor rey D. Joao IV, book iv, title lxxxviii, 69).

(43) J. Sperling, "Marriage at the Time of the Council of Trent."

(44) Costa Gomes, The Making of a Court Society, 18-19.

(45) Matto di Marco Vicentino, barcaruolo (gondola rower) in the house of Alvise Vendramin, declared to renounce to the dowry of sixty-five ducats that Francesca, his wife, had promised to him, and to guarantee her repromissa (i.e. the dowry amount his wife could claim after his decease) anyway, augmented by five ducats in counter-dowry (Archivio di Stato di Venezia (ASV), Notarile, Atti, Giovanni Figolin, busta 5617, 7 July 1572, fol. [II.sup.v]). See similar contracts by the same notary on 22 July 1572 (fol. 38r); 26 July 1572 (fols. 4ir-v); 28 July 1572 (fols. 43").

(46) Amy Louise Erickson, Women and Property in Early Modern England (London and New York: Routledge, 1993).

(47) Martha C. Howell, The Marriage Exchange: Property, Social Place, and Gender in Cities of the Low Countries, 1300-1550 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998).

Sarah Hanley, "Engendering the State: Family Formation and State Building in Early Modern France," French Historical Studies, 16 (1) (1989): 4-27; Charlene Villasenor Black, "Love and Marriage in the Spanish Empire: Depictions of Holy Matrimony and Gender Discourses in the Seventeenth Century," Sixteenth Century Journal 32 (3) (2001): 637-68.

(49) Karin Gottschalk, Eigentum, Qeschlecht, Qerechtigkeit: Haushalten und Erben im fruhneuzeitlichen Leipzig (Frankfurt a. M.: Campus, 2003); Wolfgang Reinhard, "Disciplinamento sociale, confessionalizzazione, modernizzazione. Un discorso storiografico," in Paolo Prodi, ed., Disciplina dell'anima, disciplina del corpo e disciplina della societa tra medioevo ed eta moderna (Bologna: Societa editrice il Mulino, 1994), 101-124.

(50) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4.

(51) Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio em Portugal; Nuno Goncalo Monteiro, O crepuscolo dos Grandes (1750-1832) (Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 1998); Ordenacoes Filipinas on-line, livro 2, tit. 35, no. 4, 455.

(52) Hespanha, As Vesperas do Leviathan, 281.

(53) Brettell, "Kinship and Contract;" Osswald, "Dowry, Norms, and Household Formation;" Allyson M. Poska, "Gender, Property, and Retirement Strategies in Early Modern Northwestern Spain," Journal of Family History 25 (3) (2000): 313-25.

(54) Muriel Nazzari, Disappearance of the Dowry: Women, Families, and Social Change in Sao Paulo, Brazil (1600-1900) (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991).

(55) "We grant that all legitimate offspring, male as well as female, can by right claim their inheritance ... so that not only an emancipated son and a daughter succeed to their father's fortune in similar ways, but also to the properties of their brothers and sisters" (Codex Justinianus, ed. by Paul Kruger (Berlin: Publisher, 1877), De Legitimis Heredibus, VI, 15, 613). This law (531 C.E.) traces the tradition of female inheritance back to the Twelve Tables (451-450 B.C.E.). See also J. A. Crook, "Women in Roman Succession," in Beryl Rawson, ed., The Family in Ancient Rome: New Perspectives (Ithaca: Cornell, 1986), 60. "If a father or mother dies intestate, sisters and brothers succeed to their parents' inheritance without any objection in equal parts." Lex Visigothorum, IV, Titulus II, De Successionibus, I (PMH. Leges et Consuetudines, 1: 45); "A woman succeeds to the inheritance of father or mother, grandfathers or grandmothers, maternal as well as paternal, of her brothers and sisters, as well as to those inheritances that come from her paternal uncle or the son of her paternal uncle, as well as the brother or sister of her paternal uncle, equally with her brothers. Because it is only just that those whom the vicinity of nature brought together should not be divided by inheritance regimes" (Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH), Leges Nationum Germanicarum, Societas Aperiendis Fontibus Rerum Germanicarum Medii Aevi (Hanover and Leipzig: Imprensis Bibliopolii Hahniani, 1902), 1 (Leges Visigothorum): 177. Also in Burgund law, daughters and sons inherited equally in intestate successions (MGH, Leges Nationum Germanicarum (Hanover: Imprensis Bibliopolii Hahniani, 1892), 2 (Leges Burgundorum): 33).

(56) According to Rothari's edicts no. 158 and 159 (643), for example, surviving legitimate daughters could claim up to a third of their parents' inheritance, if they had illegitimate brothers only. If the legitimate daughters outnumbered the natural sons, the daughters could claim half of the inheritance, their brothers one third. There is no provision specifying what illegitimate daughters might receive, or legitimate daughters in the presence of legitimate sons (The Lombard Laws, ed. by Katherine Fisher Drew (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1973), 78.

(57) Rothari's edicts no. 188, 199 (The Lombard Laws, 87, 90-1); Liutprand's edict no. 114 (729) (The Lombard Laws, 193; nos. 119, 196). Maria Teresa Guerra Medici, L'aria di citta: Donne e diritti nel comune medievale (Naples: Edizioni scientifiche italiane, 1996).

(58) Giulia Calvi, Il contratto morale: Madri e figli nella Toscana moderna (Rome: Laterza, 1994); T. Kuehn, "Cum Consensu Mundualdi."

(59) Igor Mineo, Nobilta di Stato: Famiglie e identita aristocratiche nel tardo medioevo. La Sicilia (Rome: Donzelli, 2001). For the Portuguese practice, see Muriel Nazzari, Disappearance of the Dowry; Kalliopi Papakonstantinou, Die Collatio Dotis: Mitgift und Miterben-Auseinandersetzung im romischen Recht (Koln, Weimar, Wien: Bohlau, 1998).

(60) Laurent Mayali, Droit savant et coutumes: L'exclusion des filies dotees XlIeme--XVeme siecles, Studien zur Europaischen Rechtsgeschichte, 33 (Frankfurt a. M.: Klostermann, 1987); Chabot, "La loi du lignage"; Roberto Cessi, ed., Cli statuti veneziani di Jacopo Tiepolo del 1242 e le loro glosse, Memorie del Reale Istituto Veneto di Scienze, lettere ed Arti, XXX (2) (Venice: C. Ferrari, 1938), 4: 200-5 (no. XXIIII); A. Bellavitis, "Patrimoni e matrimoni."

(61) Goody, "Inheritance, Property and Women"; Goody, The Development of the Family; Goody, The European Family.

(62) Isabelle Chabot, La dette des familles.

(63) Dante, Paradiso, XV: 103-5; quoted in Klapisch-Zuber, Women, Family, and Ritual, 215.

(64) However, in Renaissance Florence, only one third of all male testators who were married and had children chose to do so. Chabot, "Lineage Strategies and the Control of Widows;" Gianna Lumia, "Morire a Siena: Devoluzione testamentaria, legami parentali e vincoli affetivi in eta moderna," Bullettino Senese di Storia Patria, 103 (1997): 111; A. Bellavitis, " Patrimoni e matrimoni."

(65) Reproduced as the frontispiece of M. T. Guerra Medici's book, L'aria di citta.

(66) Justinian, unsuccessful in his goal to abolish dowry exchange altogether, ratified this law in 537 C.E. in favor of "poor women who are un-endowed" (David S. Powers, Studies in Qur'an and Hadith: The Formation of the Islamic Law of Inheritance (Berkely, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1986), 76.

(67) IAN/TT, Chancelarias Regias, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4.

(68) Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio em Portugal; Hespanha, Historia de Portugal moderno.

(69) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, i'-2r; 8 June 1455. The date suggests that this act (like all the following) is in reality a confirmation by Dom Afonso V (1438-1481) of a previously ratified act issued under Dom Joao I.

(70) The so-called Lei Mental goes back, apparently, to Dom Dinis, but appears in written form only in early fifteenth century; in the fourteenth century, its principles were employed by founders of morgadios (Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 261; Hespanha, Historia de Portugal moderno, 193-5).

(71) Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 270-1 (Quadro III).

(72) "And if ... there should be no legitimate first-born son, nor legitimate grandson, i.e. legitimate first-born son of the first-born son, but only a daughter, the king wishes that she should not inherit those crown goods, except as a special donation or favor that he wishes her to grant, following those contracts and donations which his antecessors used to make ..." (Ordenacoes Filipinas on-line, Livro ii, title 35 "Da maneira que se tera na sucessao das terras e bens, da Coroa do Reino," no. 4, 455).

(73) M. Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 27.

(74) David S. Powers, "The Maliki Family Endowment: Legal Norms and Social Practices," International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 25 (1993): 379-406.

(75) The Venetian fidecommessi were not instruments of disinheritance in the same sense, because they were not governed by the rule of primogeniture.

(76) Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 98.

(77) Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 47

(78) Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 145-53.

(79) Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 104-5. In a different paragraph, Lurdes affirms, however, that "interruptions in the descent lines were very frequent, and the recourse to cadet sons, wives, and cognates a constant phenomenon" (Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 169).

(80) Dom Pedro de Meneses (Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 48).

(81) Gil Rodrigues de Vasconcelos (Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 91); and Joao Martins de Soalhaes (Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 185-6).

(82) Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 50.

(83) Gomes Borges (Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 61-2).

(84) Maria Pires Rova (Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 179).

(85) Fernao Pires and Constanca Vicente (Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 176).

(86) Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 170.

(87) Lurdes Rosa, O morgadio, 70.

(88) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, I3'-I4r (confirmed on 14 October 1458).

(89) In a joint ownership arrangement, a widow would receive half of her husband's patrimony, her children the other half, if of legal age. Of this half, the widow could dispose freely of one third, the terca, while the rest would be passed on to her children when she died.

(90) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, 241.

(91) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, 62r-63r.

(92) H. Osswald, "Dowry, Norms, and Household Formation."

(93) Darlene Abreu-Ferreira, "Work and Identity in Early Modern Portugal: What Did Gender Have To Do With It?" Journal of Social History, 35 (4) (2002): 867.

(94) Amelia Andrade, Teresa Teixeira, Olga Magalhaes, "Subsidios para o estudo do adulterio em Portugal no seculo XV," Revista de historia 5 (1983-1984): 93-129.

(95) IAN/TT, Livros de notas, Cartorio 15, Livros 8, 9 (Belchior Montalvo, 1572).

(96) "There shall be no marriage without dowry" (Lex Visigothorum, (c. 653), III.I.1., in PMH, 1: 32; a subsequent law specified that this dowry was the portion the father of the groom gave to his daughter-in-law (Lex Visigothorum, (c. 653), III.I.6, PMH, 1: 33).

(97) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, 62r.

(98) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, 93v.

(99) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, 96v.

(100) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, ii8v; R. Costa Gomes, The Making, 238.

(101) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, 120".

(102) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, 14T. For more information on this family, see M. Lurdes de Rosa, O morgadio, 125-6; R. Costa Gomes, The Making, 237.

(103) R. Costa Gomes, The Making, 238-9; A. H. de Oliveira Marques, Portugal na crise dos seculos XIV and XV (Lisbon: Presenca, 1986), 253-4.

(104) "La reina es tenuda de criar e casar assi como el rey de criar e de armar" (Leyes de Alfonso X, I (Especulo), quoted in Costa Gomes, The Making, 65.

(105) Costa Gomes, The Making, 57-78.

(106) Costa Gomes, The Making, 239.

(107) Another such arranged marriage was that of Lionel da Lima and Dona Filippa da Cunha, for which the king paid 3,500 coroas in dowry to Lionel, and 1,500 coroas in arras "for the honor of her body" to Dona Filippa (IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, I34r, 12 April 1432).

(108) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, 56r-57v (confirmed on 15 September 1459).

(109) Thomas Kuehn, Illegitimacy in Renaissance Florence (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002); Federico de Aznar Gil, "Die Illegitimen auf der Iberischen Halbinsel im Spatmittelalter," in Ludwig Schmugge and Beatrice Wiggenhauser, eds., Illegitimitat im Spatmittelalter (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1994), 171-206.

(110) On marriages of clergy, see Humberto Moreno Baquero, "O casamento no contexto da sociedade medieval portuguesa," Bracara Augusta, 33 (75-76) (87-88) (1979): 170-2; on the clergy's illegitimate offspring, see A. H. de Oliveira Marques, Portugal na crise, 23I

(111) Afonso, son of Dom Martinho, Bishop of Coimbra, and of Milha Goncalves, received his legitimization on 3 January 1431 (IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 2, 741). See also R. Costa Gomes on the presence of bastard children of bishops at court (Costa Gomes, The Making, 63, 177).

(112) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 2, fol. 74'; Livro 4, fols. i8v, 40v, 86r.

(113) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 2, fol. i74v.

(114) Maria Lourenco, Moor Esteves, Moor Vaasques, and Catelina Vasques (IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 2, fol. 90r).

(115) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, fol. 23'.

(116) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, fol. io8r.

(117) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, fol. 76'.

(118) On the monetary reform under Dom Duarte, see Oliveira Marques, Portugal na crise, 211.

(119) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, fol. i5v-i6r.

(120) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, fol. i28v.

(121) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, fol. 931.

(122) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, fol. i6v.

(123) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, fol. 92r.

(124) Brettell, "Kinship and Contract," 451; Osswald, "Dowry, Norms, and Household Formation."

(125) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, fol. 4iv.

(126) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, fol. i05v.

(127) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, fol. i2iv.

(128) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, fols. 38r, 55r.

(129) IAN/TT, Chancelaria D. Joao I, Livro 4, fol. 551 (confirmed 22 April 1460).

(130) Archivio di Stato di Firenze (ASF), Notarile Antecosimiano, reg. 9423.

(131) ASF, Notarile Antecosimiano, reg. 6251.

(132) ASF, Notarile Antecosimiano, reg. 1214.

(133) ASF, Notarile Antecosimiano, reg. 9423, Oct. 3 (?) 1463, (19, my numeration).

(134) Archivio di Stato di Venezia (ASV), Cancelleria Inferiore, Notai, busta 146.

(135) Slavery, ubiquitous in medieval and early modern Portugal, but in its exclusively female and domestic variety limited to Italian Renaissance cities, is documented here only in my Venetian material, but existed also in Florence. See Iris Origo, "The Domestic Enemy: The Eastern Slaves in Tiscany in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries," Speculum 30 (3) (1955): 321-66. See also ASF, Capitoli, Appendice, 26, Registro degli schiavi (1366-1387). For Portugal, see A. C. De C. M. Saunders, A Social History of Black Slaves and Freedmen in Portugal (1441-1555) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982); Charles Verlinden, L'esclavage dans l'Europe medievale, 2 vols. (Bruges: De Tempel, 1955). For Venice, see Sally McKee, "Inherited Status and Slavery in Late Medieval Italy and Venetian Crete," Past and Present 182 (2004): 31-53.

(136) ASV, Cancelleria Inferiore, Notai, estremi degli atti, busta 96, reg. III, no. 5.

(137) ASV, Cancelleria Inferiore, Notai, busta 231, filza 13.

(138) On vadimoni, see Stanley Chojnacki, "Getting Back the Dowry," in Stanley Chojnacki, Women and Men in Renaissance Venice: Twelve Essays on Patrician Society (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000), 95-111.

(139) Iris Origo, "The Domestic Enemy."

(140) Pietro Griffon, ASV, Cancelleria Inferiore, Notai, busta 96, parchment no. 10, 14 Oct. 1424.

(141) In his testament, Jacopo Ciuriano, who left no sons or daughters, granted to Marco, "mio fantin e mio schiavo libero e francho", a boat plus forty ducats; to "Ruoxa mia schiava libera e franca," 150 ducats as dowry; to Bortolamia, his servant, 100 ducats as dowry; to "Marta mia schiava libera e francha", sixty ducats as dowry; but to Orsa, daughter of his niece Cataruza Ciuran dicta Blanchja, only fifty gold ducats (ASV, Cancelleria Inferiore, Notai, busta 96, parchment no. 15, 13 July 1423). Compare this fairly generous treatment of his slaves and domestics to the case analyzed by Giovanna Benadusi, "Investing the Riches of the Poor: Servant Women and Their Last Wills," American Historical Review, 109 (3) (2004): 805-26.

(142) See S. Chojnacki's 1974 article "Patrician Women in Early Renaissance Venice," reprinted in Stanley Chojnacki, Women and Men in Renaissance Venice: Twelve Essays on Patrician Society (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000), 115-31. See also Monica Chojnacka's study of census data, according to which a considerable proportion of households were composed of sisters (Monica Chojnacka, Working Women of Early Modern Venice (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001)).

(143) ASV, Cancelleria Inferiore, Notai, busta 146, no. 25, Notary Bernardo Panza di Gibellino, Testament of Zuane Batista dal Mangano, 30 July 1400. In this testament, Dona Barbarella received Zuane's shop, his mother got the house. Dona Barbarella was encouraged to stay with Zuane's mother in his house, in order to look after their children, but he also provided for her in case she wanted to marry.

(144) Bellavitis, Citoyennes et citoyens a Venise au xvie siecle, 145

(145) Chabot, "La loi du lignage," 61.

(146) Chabot, "La loi du lignage," 54-5.

(147) Chabot, "La loi du lignage," 55.

(148) This concept refers to the southern Italian and Iberian practice of renegotiating daughters' inheritance shares after the death of one or both parents. K. Papakonstantinou, Die Collatio Dotis.

(149) Cessi, ed., Gli statuti veneziani di Jacopo Tiepolo del 1242, 200-5.

(150) See also the notarial records of Belchior Montalvo (IAN/TT, Livros de notas, Cartorio 15, Livros 8, 9 (1572)).

(151) Anthony Molho, Marriage Alliance in Late Medieval Florence (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994).
Table 1 Overview of Dom Joao's Chancellery Records,
Book 4 (1385-1433)

First 200 entries                     Number   Per cent
(fols. [1.sup.r] - [29.sup.u])

Legitimations                          137       68.5

Property transactions                   62       31.0

Of those transactions, women            12       19.4
mentioned as agents or co-agents

Women's property transactions           56       18.4
in entire Book 4

Total no. of property transactions     304      100.0
(estimate based on sample)

Table 2 Legitimizations in Dom Joao's Chancellery Records (N=200)

Total no. of children legitimized (272)    Number   Per cent

Daughters                                    90     33.10 (1)
Single daughters                             69       25.40
Sons                                        182       66.90
Single sons                                 110       40.40
Families with 2 mothers                      7      3.50 (2)
Families with 3 mothers                      1        0.50
Families with 4 mothers                      1        0.50
Father married to a different wife           20       10.00
Mother married to a different husband        1        0.50
Both unmarried                               16       8.00
Mother servant                               4        2.00
Father cleric                               131       65.50
Father noble                                 10       5.00
Father merchant                              8        4.00

(1) Percentage taken from no. of children
(2) Percentage taken from no. of records

Table 3 Notarial Acts from Fifteenth-Century
Venice and Florence (N=150)

Venice (sample size: 100 (1))               Number   Per cent

Women actors                                  23        23
(of those, jointly with men)                 (5)
Powers of attorney                            1         1
Widows' dowry claims (vadimoni)               15        15
Sureties                                      6         6
Women recipients                              10        10
Receipts of bequests, dowries, donations      8         8
Receipts of slaves                            2         2
Dowry related                                 21        21
Purchases of slaves                           10        10

Florence (sample size: 50 (2))              Number   Per cent

Women actors                                  12        24
(of those, jointly with men)                 (11)
Marriage contracts                            10        20
Powers of attorney                            1         2
Arbitration settlements                       1         2
Women recipients                              5         10
Receipts of dowries                           4         8
Receipts of arbitration settlements           1         2
Dowry related                                 5         10

(1) Panza: 31; Griffon: 52; Vegi: 17.
(2) Attavanti: 24, Niccolo: 6, Bencino: 20
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