Salic law


Salic law
1. a code of laws of the Salian Franks and other Germanic tribes, esp. a provision in this code excluding females from the inheritance of land.
2. the alleged fundamental law of the French monarchy by which females were excluded from succession to the crown.
3. any law to the same effect.
[1540-50]

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Latin  Lex Salica,  

      the code of the Salian Franks (Frank) who conquered Gaul in the 5th century and the most important, although not the oldest, of all Teutonic laws (leges barbarorum). The code was issued late (c. 507–511) in the reign of Clovis, the founder of Merovingian power in western Europe. It was twice reissued under the descendants of Clovis, and under the Carolingians (Charlemagne and his successors) it was repeatedly altered and systematized and was translated into Old High German.

      The Salic Law is primarily a penal and procedural code, containing a long list of fines (compositio) for various offenses and crimes. It also includes, however, some civil-law enactments, among these a chapter that declares that daughters cannot inherit land. Although this section was not invoked in the exclusion of the daughters of Louis X, Philip V, and Charles IV from the throne, it took on critical importance under the later Valois (Valois Dynasty) (16th century), when it was incorrectly cited as authority for the existing assumption that women should not succeed to the crown.

      In its original form the code is structurally of the pre-Christian era, the only one of the kind that exists. Other Germanic laws, such as those of the Visigoths and Burgundians, may be earlier in date but show appreciable Christian influence. Despite the fact that it was first written down in Latin (after a long period of purely oral transmission), the Salic Law was very little influenced by Roman law. As a record of the Franks' early laws and customs, the Salic Law affords valuable clues about the conditions of primitive Germanic life and society.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Salic law — (Lat. Lex Salica ) was an important body of traditional law codified for governing the Salian Franks in the early Middle Ages during the reign of King Clovis I in the 6th century. Although Salic Law reflects very ancient usage and practices, the… …   Wikipedia

  • Salic law — Salic Sal ic (s[a^]l [i^]k), a. [F. salique, fr. the Salian Franks, who, in the fifth century, formed a body of laws called in Latin leges Salic[ae].] Of or pertaining to the Salian Franks, or to the Salic law so called. [Also {salique}.] [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Salic law — n. 1. a code of laws of Germanic tribes, including the Salian Franks; esp., the provision of this code excluding women from inheriting land 2. the law excluding women from succeeding to the throne in the French and Spanish monarchies …   English World dictionary

  • Salic Law —    Legal code traditionally thought to have been compiled under the great Merovingian king Clovis (r. 481 511), the Salic law (Lex Salica) is one of the most important of early medieval legal compilations. The importance of the code is the result …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Salic law — noun Date: 1599 1. a rule held to derive from the legal code of the Salic Franks excluding females from the line of succession to a throne 2. the legal code of the Salic Franks …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Salic law — noun historical 1》 a law excluding females from dynastic succession, especially as the alleged fundamental law of the French monarchy. 2》 a Frankish law book extant in Merovingian and Carolingian times …   English new terms dictionary

  • Salic law — /ˈsælɪk lɔ/ (say salik law), /ˈseɪlɪk/ (say saylik) noun 1. a code of laws of the Salian Franks, a tribe who dwelt in the regions of the Rhine near the North Sea, and of other Germanic tribes, especially a provision in this code excluding females …   Australian English dictionary

  • Salic law — noun /ˈseɪlɪk.lɒ/ A law or rule that excludes women from the line of succession to a throne or other public office …   Wiktionary

  • SALIC LAW —    a law which obtained among the Salian Franks, as also in certain German States, which excluded females from succession to the throne …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Salic Law — The earliest barbarian code, in use by a Teutonic tribe in the fifth century. The law of the Franks …   Ballentine's law dictionary


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