Germanic Kinship Structure by Alexander Murray

By Alexander Murray

This publication is a huge reevaluation of the normal view of early Germanic kinship constitution and the massive physique of proof from Antiquity and the early heart a while which has lengthy been notion to aid its significant assumptions. The e-book is set kinship, but additionally, at once and in some way, approximately different facets of the interval: legislations, organization and social association, kin associations and the barbarian and Roman history of the early center a long time. it truly is its central objective that from a second look of kinship will come a better knowing of a few of the critical files of barbarian social and criminal background. The stories provided the following fall into 3 elements. partly One the main theories of Germanic kinship constitution and improvement are tested and subjected to a serious research dependent upon a contemporary anthropological figuring out of kinship platforms. half examines the assumptions that early Germanic society was once created from unilineal clans and lineages, a view based upon the classical money owed of Caesar and Tacitus within the vicini, farae and geneologiae of the early center a long time. even though this facts is proven to have little referring to the extended family of conventional historiography, it does let us know a substantial volume concerning the historical ethnographic traditions concerning the Germanic and non-Germanic North, the character of kinship in barbarian society, and some of the sorts of organization in Antiquity and the early heart a while. nearly half the ebook (Part 3) is taken up with a attention of the kinship texts of the Frankish criminal assortment Lex Salica, the translation of which has usually suffered significantly some time past from conventional assumptions approximately Germanic kinship constitution and society. The conclusions provided in those stories involved not just Frankish kinship, but in addition estate keeping, organization, the criminal skill of girls, and the textual background of Lex Salica itself. -(from publisher's notice)

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J. McLennan, Primitive Marriage (London. 1865). II Frederick Engels. The Origin of" the Family, Private Property, alld the SWle (New York, 1972). The result is often a great deal of vituperation. See. g .. H. Galton. "' Zeitschri/i fiir Ethnologie 82 ([ 957) 121·138. 23 Quite apart from the history of the Germanic peoples. matriliny is an important element in British historiography: see for instance G. D. Thomson. Studies ill A I(ciem Greek Sociery (London. 1949): 'The task I have set myself is to reinterpret the legacy of Greece in the light of Marxism" (p.

The result was a stock collection of questions and answers and assorted ethnographic motifs. which, by mechanical transference. could be readily abused by the less able. and less patient, ethnographers. However. as a people was drawn into contact with the Mediterranean world. and became better known. the less liable were its culture and habits to be forced into the rigid preconceptions of the ethnographic-historical schemata. In considering the accounts of Caesar and Tacitus. therefore. it is crucial to examine the extent to which they were subject to the distortions of ancient ethnography and also to have an idea of the general state of contemporary knowledge about the Germans.

Patrilocal in residence; there was bilateral recognition of kinship. The question is what exactly 'patrilineal in descent' means. apart from residence in an extended family which tended to be patrilocal. The Indo-European Gm~~rall1ilie. according to Benveniste, might include married daughters and their offspring (Jildo-Ellropean Lallgllage alld Society, p, 252), which would give it a cognatic character. P. Friedrich ("Proto· Indo-European Kinship," Ethnology. 5 [1966]). a strong supporter of patrilineal descent and agnatic clan structure among the Indo· Europeans.

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