Women's Bodies, Women's Property German Customary Law Books Illustrated in the Fourteenth Century

Group VII: Morning Gift, gerade, musteil, and Inheritance

Landrecht I, 24, 1-3

Oldenburg 19r
Dresden 11r
Wolfenbuttel 17r

see below for detailed page sections

Here Eike goes into great detail to codify exactly what constitutes women's property. He identifies four categories: to the morning gift belong all pasture animals, horses, cattle, goats, and pigs who go with the shepherd, and Zaun und Zimmer, an alliterative pair meaning literally "fence and rooms" i.e. house and farm(land). In Landrecht I, 20, 1, Eike defines the morning gift more broadly to include the gift of a servant girl or lad. Fattened pigs belong to the musteil, half of all foodstuffs left in the husband's house after the "thirtieth." For the gerade he then lists a score or more of small scale, domestic, household items. This is an exclusive list, because he adds that anything not in the inventory belongs to inheritance. As if just to be safe on this point, he states that any cloth not cut for women's garments, and any gold and silver not yet worked do not belong to women. The illustrators are not interested in metonymies here. Almost everything in Eike's list is shown. These items operate quite literally to define the women's world, her activities, and ultimately the woman herself.