This talk examines evidence from a wide variety of medieval Hebrew sources discussing the age of brides at marriage and their agency in choosing their spouses in the medieval Jewish communities of Germany and northern France. Contrary to many recent studies it suggests that the bride and groom were far from passive in the arrangement of their own marriages and that the bride was generally older than commonly assumed. Changes in this pattern over the High Middle Ages within Jewish communities are situated within shifting conceptions of marriage in medieval Christian Europe at large.
Elisheva Baumgarten is the Yitzhak Becker Professor of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is the author and editor of many articles and books, most recently Practicing Piety in Medieval Ashkenaz: Men, Women and Everyday Religious Observance (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014) and Jews and Christians in Thirteenth Century France, ed. Elisheva Baumgarten and Judah D. Galinsky (Palgrave Press, 2015).
This event is free and open to the public. No registration required. Please be advised that seating is limited.