Donations, Inheritance and Property in the Nordic and Western World from Late Antiquity until Today: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Donations, Inheritance and Property in the Nordic and Western World from Late Antiquity until Today

1st Edition

Edited by Ole-Albert Rønning, Helle Møller Sigh, Helle Vogt


332 pages

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pub: 2017-06-07
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Donations, Inheritance and Property in the Nordic and Western World from Late Antiquity until Today presents an examination of Nordic donation and gift-giving practices in the Nordic and Western world, beginning in late Antiquity and extending through to the present day. Through chapters contributed by leading international researchers, this book explores the changing legal, social and religious frameworks that shape how donations and gifts are given.

In addition to donations to ecclesiastical, charitable and cultural institutions, this books also highlights the sociolegal challenges and the tensions that can occur as a result of transferring property, including answering key questions such as who has a right to what. It also presents, for the first time, an insight into the dynamics of donations and the interplay between individual motivations, strategic behaviour and the legal setting of inheritance law.

Offering a broad chronological and European perspective and including a wide range of illuminating case studies Donations, Inheritance and Property in the Nordic and Western World from Late Antiquity until Today is ideal for students of Nordic and European legal and social history.

Table of Contents


List of figures

List of tables

List of Contributors


Ole-Albert Rønning, Helle Møller Sigh, Helle Vogt

  1. Gift-Giving and Inheritance in Late Roman Law and Legal Practice Caroline Humfress
  2. The Jurisprudence of the Forced Share in the Ancient World: Cicero to Justinian Charles J. Reid, Jr.
  3. The Jurisprudence of the Forced Share: The High and Late Middle Ages Charles J. Reid, Jr.
  4. Inheritance in the Lands of the Loire, 1050-1200: A Contrast to Nordic and Roman Practice Amy Livingstone
  5. Protecting the Individual, the Kin and the Soul: Donation Regulations in Danish and Norwegian Medieval Legislation Helle Vogt
  6. By Love and by Law: Choices of Female Donors in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Sweden Anu Lahtinen
  7. Gender and Donation Culture in Icelandic from c. 1300-1600 Agnes S. Arnórsdóttir
  8. Luther’s Last Will and the Invention of Testamentary Freedom Mathias Schmoeckel
  9. Pious Donations: The Act of Giving in the Lutheran Church and its Spatial Implications Martin Wangsgaard Jürgensen
  10. The Business of Charity and the Charity of Business: Donations in the Norwegian merchant town of Bergen in the seventeenth and eighteenth century Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde
  11. "Immortal mother and benefactor": Honorable Dwellings for Unmarried Gentlewomen and the Dynamics of Donations among the Danish Elite from 1699 to 1745 Helle Møller Sigh
  12. The Age of Miracles? Alms Culture and Charitable Donations in Copenhagen, c. 1770-1830 Peter Wessel Hansen
  13. How to Exchange with the Dead: The significance of heirlooms in contemporary Danish inheritance practices Bodil Selmer
  14. Gifts to, from, and between Spouses: Present Regulation in the Nordic Countries John Asland


About the Editors

Ole-Albert Rønning is a historian and PhD candidate at the University of Oslo, Norway, studying oaths of compurgation in medieval Norwegian law and society, in a comparative perspective.

Helle Møller Sigh is a curator at the Strandingsmuseum St. George, Thorsminde, Demark.

Helle Vogt is an associate professor at the Centre for Studies in Legal Culture at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Her previous publications include The Danish Medieval Laws: The laws of Scania, Zealand and Jutland (2016).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Cultural History

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Western
HISTORY / Medieval
HISTORY / Modern / 17th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 18th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 21st Century
HISTORY / Modern / 16th Century
HISTORY / Europe / Scandinavia