Betrothal
(1,100 words)

1. Term and meaning

Betrothal (or engagement) is the term for the promise between a man and a woman to enter into marriage with each other. This understanding only came into its own in the early modern period. Previously betrothal was part of the marriage contraction (Marriage, contraction of)  itself. The betrothal was distinguished from the wedding (originally the traditio puellae, the “handing over of the bride”), which followed…

Cite this page
Scholz-Löhnig, Cordula, “Betrothal”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 17 June 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_029620>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907



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