From the Meeting’s programme

The control of the premarital status of the bride and groom was a point of constant concern for the Catholic Church in the context of its struggle against bigamy. The Council of Trent established the rules (marriage announcement, registration) which, in places, were completed through the conduct of witness-based inquiries to certify that the bride and groom were free, either because they were single or widowed. The aim of these surveys was to respond to the challenge of geographical mobility in relation to marriage discipline.

Object of the meeting, which is registered in the activities of ANR “Processetti. Mariage et mobilité à Venise, XVIe-XVIIIe siècle”, is to determine whether the Churches of Eastern Europe, and especially the Orthodox, met the demands of control according to the same procedures, at the same time. The analogies observed between the Catholic Patriarch of Venice and the Orthodox Archbishop of the city allow us to explore the circulation of ecclesiastical rules and ecclesiastical practices between the Churches of the East and the West.

Particular attention will be paid to the way in which mixed marriages between Orthodox and Catholics were supervised, which could become subject of a conflict of jurisdiction between Latins and Orthodox. In general, practical methods of identifying premarital status will be explored.

The Meeting was held at the Historical Archive of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and at the French School of Athens, on 10 and 11 September 2021.

The Hellenic Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies in Venice has offered and will continue to offer full access to its rich Archive for the conduct of the Program as well as hosting an authorized researcher.