Title

Clandestine Marriage and the Church: King Horn after the Fourth Lateran Council

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Department

English

Language

English

Publication Title

Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Abstract

The early thirteenth-century romance King Horn turns upon a series of failed marriage contracts between Horn and his lover Rymenhild. In each of these contracts, Horn and Rymenhild script their own vows, revealing detailed knowledge of the intricacies of medieval marriage law. By stacking one incomplete contract on top of another, King Horn draws attention to specific gaps and inconsistencies within medieval marriage regulations: particularly those affected by the reforms of the Fourth Lateran Council. This article will argue that by analyzing the delays, disruptions, and interferences within Horn and Rymenhild’s marriage, we can see their relationship as a test case that exposes the inherent inadequacy of the Church’s ability to regulate the sacrament of marriage.

Comments

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DOI

10.1353/cjm.2016.0036

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