Sankt Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek 673, p. 170

Gratian, Decretum


Nobili cuidam mulieri insinuatum quod a quodam nobili in coniugem peteretur. Assensit et illa. Quidam uero ignobilis et seruilis conditionis illius nomine se optulit et eam in coniugem accepit.  Qui primus petiuerat modo uenit eamque in coniugem petit.  Conqueritur illa se delusam et ad illum aspirat.  Vnde queritur an inter eos sit coniugium?  Secundo si cum putaret hunc esse liberum quem mox deprehensum habet seruum esse, an statim ab illo discedere possit?

A noblewoman learned that another noble's son sought her in marriage. She consented. But a non-noble of servile condition offered himself under first man's name and took her as wife. Her first choice at last arrived to seek her in marriage. She complained that she had been deceived and wanted to marry the first man. The questions here are: First, were they married?  Second, if she first believed a man was free, and later discovered he was servile, could she lawfully leave him forthwith?

John T. Noonan on Causa 29 (with translation)