A curtsy is a traditional gesture of greeting, in which a girl or woman bends her knees while bowing her head. It is the female equivalent of male genuflecting in Western cultures. Miss Manners characterizes its knee bend as deriving from a "traditional gesture of an inferior to a superior." The word "curtsy" is a phonological change from "courtesy" known in linguistics as syncope. According to Desmond Morris, the motions involved in the curtsy and the bow were similar until the 17th century, the gender differentiation between the actions developed afterwards; the earlier, combined version is still performed by Restoration comedy actors. In more formal variants of the curtsy, the girl/woman bends the knees outward sweeping one foot behind her, she may use her hands to hold her skirt out from her body. In the Victorian era, when women wore floor-length, hooped skirts, they curtsied using the plié movement borrowed from second-position in classical ballet in which the knees are bent while the back is held straight.
Both feet and knees point out. This way, the lady lowers herself not to one side. Traditionally and girls curtsy for those of senior social rank just as men and boys bow. Today this practice has become less common. In many European cultures it is traditional for women to curtsy in front of royalty, it may be referred to as a court curtsy and is especially deep and elaborate. Further, some female domestic workers curtsy for their employers. Female dancers curtsy at the end of a performance to show gratitude or to acknowledge applause from the audience. At the end of a ballet class, students will curtsy or bow to the teacher and pianist to show gratitude. According to Victorian dance etiquette, a woman curtsies before beginning a dance. Female Scottish highland dancers performing the national dances and the Irish jig curtsy; some female ballroom dancers will curtsy to their partners before beginning the Viennese Waltz. It is customary for female figure skaters to curtsy at the end of their performances at figure skating competitions or shows.
It is acceptable in some cultures for the female to curtsy if wearing trousers or shorts. During her coronation ceremony Queen Elizabeth II performed a curtsy, or rather a half-curtsy, half-neck bow to King Edward's Chair; the "Texas Dip" is an extreme curtsy performed by a Texan debutante. The young woman lowers her forehead towards the floor by crossing her ankles bending her knees and sinking; the escort's hand is held during the dip. When the debutante's head nears the floor, she turns her head sideways, averting the risk of soiling her dress with lipstick. Partial squat The Lady's Courtesy in the Victorian Ballroom
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power over others acting like a master, a chief, or a ruler. The appellation can denote certain persons who hold a title of the peerage in the United Kingdom, or are entitled to courtesy titles; the collective "Lords" can refer to a body of peers. According to the Oxford Dictionary of English, the etymology of the word can be traced back to the Old English word hlāford which originated from hlāfweard meaning "loaf-ward" or "bread keeper", reflecting the Germanic tribal custom of a chieftain providing food for his followers; the appellation "lord" is applied to men, while for women the appellation "lady" is used. However, this is no longer universal: the Lord of Mann, a title held by the Queen of the United Kingdom, female Lord Mayors are examples of women who are styled Lord. Under the feudal system, "lord" had a wide and varied meaning. An overlord was a person from whom a landholding or a manor was held by a mesne lord or vassal under various forms of feudal land tenure.
The modern term "landlord" is a vestigial survival of this function. A liege lord was a person. Neither of these terms were titular dignities, but rather factual appellations, which described the relationship between two or more persons within the stratified feudal social system. For example, a man might be Lord of the Manor to his own tenants but a vassal of his own overlord, who in turn was a vassal of the King. Where a knight was a lord of the manor, he was referred to in contemporary documents as "John, lord of". A feudal baron was a true titular dignity, with the right to attend Parliament, but a feudal baron, Lord of the Manor of many manors, was a vassal of the King; the substantive title of "Lord of the Manor" came into use in the English medieval system of feudalism after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The title "Lord of the Manor" was a titular feudal dignity which derived its force from the existence and operation of a manorial court or court baron at which he or his steward presided, thus he was the lord of the manorial court which determined the rules and laws which were to govern all the inhabitants and property covered by the jurisdiction of the court.
To the tenants of a certain class of manor known in Saxon times as Infangenthef their lord was a man who had the power of exercising capital punishment over them. The term invariably used in contemporary mediaeval documents is "lord of X", X being the name of the manor; the term "Lord of the Manor" is a recent usage of historians to distinguish such lords from feudal barons and other powerful persons referred to in ancient documents variously as "Sire", "Dominus", "Lord" etc. The title of "Lord of the Manor" is recognised by the British Government for any such title registered at Her Majesty's Land Registry before 13 October 2003 but after that date titles can no longer be registered, any such titles voluntarily de-registered by the holder cannot be re-registered; however any transfer of ownership of registered manors will continue to be recorded in the register, on the appropriate notification. Thus in effect the register is closed for new registrations; such titles are classified as "incorporeal hereditaments" as they have no physical existence, have no intrinsic value.
However a lucrative market arose in the 20th century for such titles for purposes of vanity, assisted by the existence of an official register, giving the purchaser the impression of a physical existence. Whether a title of "Lord of the Manor" is registered or unregistered has no effect on its legal validity or existence, a matter of law to be determined by the courts. Modern legal cases have been won by persons claiming rights as lords of the manor over village greens; the heads of many ancient English land-owning families have continued to be lords of the manor of lands they have inherited. The UK Identity and Passport Service will include such titles on a British passport as an "observation", provided the holder can provide documentary evidence of ownership, as will Passport Canada; the United States however, forbids the use of all titles on passports. Australia forbids the use of titles on passports if those titles have not been awarded by the Crown or the Commonwealth; the Scottish title Laird is a shortened form of'laverd', an old Scottish word deriving from an Anglo-Saxon term meaning'Lord' and is derived from the middle English word'Lard' meaning'Lord'.
The word is used to refer to any owner of a landed estate and has no meaning in heraldic terms and its use is not controlled by the Lord Lyon. Lord is used as a generic term to denote members of the peerage. Five ranks of peer exist in the United Kingdom: in descending order these are duke, earl and baron; the appellation "Lord" is used most by barons, who are addressed by their formal and legal title of "Baron". The most formal style is'The Lord': for example, Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, can be called as "The Lord Tennyson", although the most common appellation is "Lord Tennyson". Marquesses and viscounts are also addressed as Lord. Dukes use the style "The Duke of", are not referred to as'Lord'. Dukes are formally addressed as'Your Grace', rather than'My Lord'. In the Peerage of Scotland, the members of the lowest level of the peerage have the substantive title'Lord of Parliament' rather than Baron. "Lord" is used as a cour
The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable; the works of William Shakespeare and Beethoven, most early silent films, are in the public domain either by virtue of their having been created before copyright existed, or by their copyright term having expired. Some works are not covered by copyright, are therefore in the public domain—among them the formulae of Newtonian physics, cooking recipes, all computer software created prior to 1974. Other works are dedicated by their authors to the public domain; the term public domain is not applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as "under license" or "with permission". As rights vary by country and jurisdiction, a work may be subject to rights in one country and be in the public domain in another; some rights depend on registrations on a country-by-country basis, the absence of registration in a particular country, if required, gives rise to public-domain status for a work in that country.
The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". Although the term "domain" did not come into use until the mid-18th century, the concept "can be traced back to the ancient Roman Law, as a preset system included in the property right system." The Romans had a large proprietary rights system where they defined "many things that cannot be owned" as res nullius, res communes, res publicae and res universitatis. The term res nullius was defined as things not yet appropriated; the term res communes was defined as "things that could be enjoyed by mankind, such as air and ocean." The term res publicae referred to things that were shared by all citizens, the term res universitatis meant things that were owned by the municipalities of Rome. When looking at it from a historical perspective, one could say the construction of the idea of "public domain" sprouted from the concepts of res communes, res publicae, res universitatis in early Roman law.
When the first early copyright law was first established in Britain with the Statute of Anne in 1710, public domain did not appear. However, similar concepts were developed by French jurists in the 18th century. Instead of "public domain", they used terms such as publici juris or propriété publique to describe works that were not covered by copyright law; the phrase "fall in the public domain" can be traced to mid-19th century France to describe the end of copyright term. The French poet Alfred de Vigny equated the expiration of copyright with a work falling "into the sink hole of public domain" and if the public domain receives any attention from intellectual property lawyers it is still treated as little more than that, left when intellectual property rights, such as copyright and trademarks, expire or are abandoned. In this historical context Paul Torremans describes copyright as a, "little coral reef of private right jutting up from the ocean of the public domain." Copyright law differs by country, the American legal scholar Pamela Samuelson has described the public domain as being "different sizes at different times in different countries".
Definitions of the boundaries of the public domain in relation to copyright, or intellectual property more regard the public domain as a negative space. According to James Boyle this definition underlines common usage of the term public domain and equates the public domain to public property and works in copyright to private property. However, the usage of the term public domain can be more granular, including for example uses of works in copyright permitted by copyright exceptions; such a definition regards work in copyright as private property subject to fair-use rights and limitation on ownership. A conceptual definition comes from Lange, who focused on what the public domain should be: "it should be a place of sanctuary for individual creative expression, a sanctuary conferring affirmative protection against the forces of private appropriation that threatened such expression". Patterson and Lindberg described the public domain not as a "territory", but rather as a concept: "here are certain materials – the air we breathe, rain, life, thoughts, ideas, numbers – not subject to private ownership.
The materials that compose our cultural heritage must be free for all living to use no less than matter necessary for biological survival." The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". A public-domain book is a book with no copyright, a book, created without a license, or a book where its copyrights expired or have been forfeited. In most countries the term of protection of copyright lasts until January first, 70 years after the death of the latest living author; the longest copyright term is in Mexico, which has life plus 100 years for all deaths since July 1928. A notable exception is the United States, where every book and tale published prior to 1924 is in the public domain.
A court is any person or institution with authority to judge or adjudicate as a government institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law. In both common law and civil law legal systems, courts are the central means for dispute resolution, it is understood that all people have an ability to bring their claims before a court; the rights of those accused of a crime include the right to present a defense before a court. The system of courts that interprets and applies the law is collectively known as the judiciary; the place where a court sits is known as a venue. The room where court proceedings occur is known as a courtroom, the building as a courthouse; the practical authority given to the court is known as its jurisdiction – the court's power to decide certain kinds of questions or petitions put to it. According to William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, a court is constituted by a minimum of three parties: the actor or plaintiff, who complains of an injury done.
It is usual in the superior courts to have barristers, attorneys or counsel, as assistants, though courts consist of additional barristers, reporters, a jury. The term "the court" is used to refer to the presiding officer or officials one or more judges; the judge or panel of judges may be collectively referred to as "the bench". In the United States, other common law jurisdictions, the term "court" by law is used to describe the judge himself or herself. In the United States, the legal authority of a court to take action is based on personal jurisdiction over the parties to the litigation and subject-matter jurisdiction over the claims asserted; the word court comes from the French cour, an enclosed yard, which derives from the Latin form cortem, the accusative case of cohors, which again means an enclosed yard or the occupants of such a yard. The English word court is a cognate of the Latin word hortus from Ancient Greek χόρτος, both referring to an enclosed space; the meaning of a judicial assembly is first attested in the 12th century, derives from the earlier usage to designate a sovereign and his entourage, which met to adjudicate disputes in such an enclosed yard.
The verb "to court", meaning to win favor, derives from the same source since people traveled to the sovereign's court to win his favor. The word jurisdiction comes from juris and dictio. Jurisdiction is defined as the official authority to make legal decisions and judgements over an individual or materialistic item within a territory."Whether a given court has jurisdiction to preside over a given case" is a key question in any legal action. Three basic components of jurisdiction are personal jurisdiction over an individual, jurisdiction over the particular subject matter or thing and territorial jurisdiction. Jurisdiction over a person refers to the full authority over a person regardless on where they live, jurisdiction over a particular subject matter refers to the authority over the said subject of legal cases involved in a case, lastly, territorial jurisdiction is the authority over a person within an x amount of space. Other concepts of jurisdiction include general jurisdiction, exclusive jurisdiction, territorial jurisdiction, appellate jurisdiction, diversity jurisdiction.
Trial courts are courts. Sometimes termed "courts of first instance", trial courts have varying original jurisdiction. Trial courts may conduct trials with juries as the finders of fact or trials in which judges act as both finders of fact and finders of law. Juries are less common in court systems outside the Anglo-American common law tradition. Appellate courts are courts that hear appeals of trial courts; some courts, such as the Crown Court in England and Wales may have both trial and appellate jurisdictions. The two major legal traditions of the western world are the civil law courts and the common law courts; these two great legal traditions are similar, in that they are products of western culture although there are significant differences between the two traditions. Civil law courts are profoundly based upon Roman Law a civil body of law entitled "Corpus iuris civilis"; this theory of civil law was rediscovered around the end of the eleventh century and became a foundation for university legal education starting in Bologna and subsequently being taught throughout continental European Universities.
Civil law is ensconced in the French and German legal systems. Common law courts were established by English royal judges of the King's Council after the Norman Invasion of Britain in 1066; the royal judges created a body of law by combining local customs they were made aware of through traveling and visiting local jurisdictions. This common standard of law became known as "Common Law"; this legal tradition is practiced in the English and American l
Dower is a provision accorded by law, but traditionally by a husband or his family, to a wife for her support in the event that she should become widowed. It was settled on the bride by agreement at the time of or as provided by law; the dower grew out of the Germanic practice of bride price, given over to a bride's family well in advance for arranging the marriage, but during the early Middle Ages, was given directly to the bride instead. However, in popular parlance, the term may be used for a life interest in property settled by a husband on his wife at any time, not just at the wedding; the verb to dower is sometimes used. In popular usage, the term dower may be confused with: A dowager is a widow; the term is used of a noble or royal widow who no longer occupies the position she held during the marriage. For example, Queen Elizabeth was technically the dowager queen after the death of George VI, Princess Lilian was the Dowager Duchess of Halland in heraldic parlance; such a dowager will receive the income from her dower property.
Property brought to the marriage by the bride is called a dowry. But the word dower has been used since Chaucer in the sense of dowry, is recognized as a definition of dower in the Oxford English Dictionary. Property made over to the bride's family at the time of the wedding is a bride price; this property does not pass to the bride herself. Being for the widow and being accorded by law, dower differs from a conventional marriage portion such as the English dowry; the bride received a right to certain property from his family. It was intended to ensure her livelihood in widowhood, it was to be kept separate and in the wife's possession. Dower is the gift given by the groom to the bride, customarily on the morning after the wedding, though all dowerings from the man to his fiancée, either during the betrothal period, or wedding, or afterwards as late as in the testamentary dowering, are understood as dowers if intended for the maintenance of the widow. Dower was a property arrangement for marriage first used in early medieval German cultures, the Catholic Church drove its adoption into other countries, in order to improve the wife's security by this additional benefit.
The practice of dower was prevalent in those parts of Europe influenced by Germanic Scandinavian culture, such as Sweden, Germany and successor states of the Langobardian kingdom. The husband was prevented from using the wife's dower — as contrasted with her dowry, brought to the marriage by the bride and used by both spouses; this meant that the woman's legal representative a male relative, became guardian or executor of the dower, to ensure that it was not squandered. The wife was free from kin limitations to use her dower to whatever and whomever she pleased, it may have become the property of her next marriage, been given to an ecclesiastical institution, or been inherited by her children from other relationships than that from which she received it. In English legal history, there were five kinds of dower: ad ostium ecclesiae, or at the church porch. Dower ad ostium ecclesiae, was the closest to modern meaning of dower, it was the property secured in bride's name at the church porch. This was optional.
Dower wasn't the same as bride price. Dower de la plus belle was a hereditary conveyance of tenure by knight service, it was abolished by the act which did away with old tenures. Dower ex assensu patris, was the dower given to the bride by the father of the bridegroom; this became obsolete. At common law, dower was of a different nature, it was a legal declaration of a wife's right to property, while the husband lived, which he would manage. A dower at common law was not liable for the husband's debts — which became controversial after many tried to use it to shield their property from the collection of debts; the Dower Acts of 19th century abolished this. Dower by custom was an attempt to recognize the rules of dower customary at each manor and in each region. Customary dowers were abolished in the 19th century, replaced with uniform inheritance laws. Dower is thought to have been suggested by the bride price which Tacitus found to be usual among the Germans; this bride price he terms dos, but contrasts it with the dos of the Roman law, a gift on the part of the wife to the husband, while in Germany the gift was made by the husband to the wife.
There was indeed in the Roman law what was termed donatio propter nuptias, a gift from the family of the husband, but this was only required if the dos were brought on the part of the wife. So too in the special instance of a widow of a husband rich at the time of his death, an ordinance of the Christian Emperor Justinian secured her the right to a part of her husband's property, of which no disposition of his could deprive her; the general establishment of the principle of dower in the customary law of Western Europe, according to Maine, is to be traced t