so far is a well-intended solution to the sudden disarray of a young widow and spares the problem of paying the bride price for her new husband because she already belongs to the family.
It is important to note, though, that there is also mention of the custom of levirate
marriage in eastern Francia.
Marriage and the Family in Ancient Judaism (Waltham, Mass.
By sketching the (only) circumstance under which a widow in the 1970s may have considered the levirate
, namely, when the brother of her late husband was married to a close sister of hers, Bell indicates the beginning of the demise of the levitate a few decades ago: 'In keeping with the demographic pressures generated by polygamy, one could expect a widowed woman to be subject to the levirate
, but, although this is a male expectation, it is frequently flouted successfully by women' (Bell 1980:258).
The ancient Israelites regarded as very important their law of levirate
, or 'brother-in-law' marriage; see notes on Deut.
execution for theft), restored harsh penalties (such as cutting off ears and noses), reinforced patriarchal authority (although also allowing sons to set up households while their fathers were still alive), and legitimated levirate
marriages (regarded by most Chinese as incest).
17-26), and who slew Onan for shirking his levirate
duty when he instead spilt his seed on the ground (38.
4,563 (1480), as well as 4,845 (1485), the viceroy forces a Jew to free a widow from the obligation of Levirate
marriage, in no.
Idu, the protagonist in the eponymous novel shattered convention by choosing death rather than succumb to a levirate
marriage at the demise of her husband.
, see Tradition and Modernization, supra note 4 at 137-39.
Now with the possible exception of Abba Shaul, tannaim took Deuteronomy's yibbum law at face value: "her levir [=brother-in-law] shall go in unto her and make her his wife and perform his levirate
duty by her.
In the context of a discussion of levirate
marriage (Deut 25:5-6), he gives as a reason for that historic custom that "eunuchs and the unfruitful were despised.
Marital histories were used to estimate de facto and de jure levels of polygyny (2) in terms of the numbers of wives ever married, surviving, and resident, and to identify cases of marital dissolution and marriage by levirate
to a deceased brother's or son's wives.
19:1-13); the case of an unsolved murder (21:1-9); the case of the rebellious son (21:18-21); the case of a bride accused of unchastity (22:13-21); and the levirate
Concubinage, prostitution and other less easily classified forms of sexual liaison are not new (Uchendu 1965a), but various social customs (including levirate
for young widows) assured that, in general, women of reproductive age were married.