Episode 82: A Marriage for the Ages

The marriage of Matilda’s son, Henry, to Eleanor of Aquitaine was a crucial event in the history of England and France. It produced a powerful realm which contributed to the return of peace and the end of Anarchy.  In this episode, we explore these political developments, and we also examine the state of marriage in 12th century Europe.  We also explore how these events shaped the vocabulary of the English language.

Map Prepared by Louis Henwood (Click Map for Larger Image)

Map Prepared by Louis Henwood (Click Map for Larger Image)

8 thoughts on “Episode 82: A Marriage for the Ages

  1. No husband 🙁
    In swedish Husbonde means “master” or “master of the house” or somesuch even if it is slightly softer in meaning, at least today. It comes from the word for house and farmer (bonde). Even though bonde might have had a different meaning 1200 years ago?

    Thanx for another fantastic episode!

    • Hi Klas,

      Thanks for the comments. By the way, I discussed the etymology of the English word “husband” in Episode 50. As you might expect, the English word was probably borrowed from Old Norse.

    • I believe husband originally had an association with farming in English – husbandry is still occasionally used to mean farming.

      Incidentally, the way the lower peasants were considered married in spite of having no ceremony survived in the concept of “common law marriage”, which people still talk about, although it no longer has any legal status.

  2. “Husbonde” is terribly archaic thought and is mostly used jokingly. Its best use in a serious way was in the translation of the Lord of the Rings, it is what Sam calls Frodo.

  3. What is the phrase mentioned that means “elegantly dressed”? It sounds like “Hraegl yuh frekulness”, but I can only find “hraegl” in an old English dictionary as meaning dress.

  4. I always wondered why the German word for novel is “Roman” (row-MAN). I think you may have just explained that for me.

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