See also:custom alleged to have existed in
See also:Europe, giving the overlord a right to the virginity of his vassals' daughters on their
See also:night . For the existence of the custom in a legalized
See also:form there is no trustworthy evidence . That some such abuse of power may have been occasionally exercised by brutal nobles in the lawless days of the early
See also:middle ages is only too likely, but the
See also:jus, it seems, is a myth, invented no earlier than the 16th or 17th century . There appears to have been an entirely religious custom established by the council of
See also:Carthage in 398, whereby the
See also:Church required from the faithful continence on the wedding-night, and this may havebeen, and there is evidence that it was, known as Droit du Seigneur, or "
See also:God's right." Later theclerical admonition was extended to the first three days of
See also:marriage . This religious abstention, added to the undoubted fact that the feudal
See also:lord extorted fines on the marriages of his vassals and their
See also:children, doubtless gave rise to the belief that the jus was once an established custom . The whole subject has been exhaustively treated by
See also:Veuillot in Le Droit du seigneur au moyen age (1854) .
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