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By David Herlihy

Lines the historical past of kinfolk existence through the heart a long time and examines medieval marriages, youth, motherhood, and fatherhood.

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Sample text

But this strategy placed the Roman world at a critical disadvantage in the face of the barbarian peoples settled beyond the limes. With no literary culture or system of formal education to maintain, the barbarians invested little in their offspring, and were under no cultural compulsion to limit fertility. Isidore of Seville thinks that the name "Germany/l derives from the land's ability to generate (gignere) peoples. 13B In the opening pages of his History of the Lombards (written shortly before 800), Paul the Deacon affirms that populosa Germania is much more suited for multiplying the human race than Mediterranean regions, and he sees in this dire consequences.

His wife must have been nearly the same age, for she died at 28, after bearing two children. His comments imply that they were equal in age: "iuvenis iuveni quod mihi rapta viro," "young, she was taken from me, her young husband. "92 Ausonius also introduces us to a social type rarely found in prior classical literature: the lifelong spinster. Two such rarae aves are mentioned in his poetry: Julia Cataphronia, his paternal aunt; and Aemilia Hilaria, his mother's sister, who lived the single life for 63 years, practicing the profession of physician.

Julian (supposedly martyred under Diocletian), the saint resists the demands of his parents that he marry, saying that he was not old enough. "91 The writings of the Gallo-Roman Ausonius also cast some light on marriages in the late empire. Ausonius himself, born in 310, was married about 334, presumably at age 24. His wife must have been nearly the same age, for she died at 28, after bearing two children. His comments imply that they were equal in age: "iuvenis iuveni quod mihi rapta viro," "young, she was taken from me, her young husband.

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