A dowry is made up of the money and property a woman brought into her marriage. It was paid by her family and was sometimes considered a gift or “bride-price” to the groom and his family. At other times, however, the dowry was preserved under the woman’s name (even if her husband had control over it during his lifetime as the head of household) so that if she was widowed or divorced, she wouldn’t become immediately destitute.
Dowry Term Timeline in The Decameron
The timeline below shows where the term Dowry appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 2: Eighth Tale
...his children’s—to Perrot and Jacques. He tells Perrot that Jacques married his sister without a dowry (the property and wealth a woman brings into her marriage), so it’s best for Jacques... (full context)
Day 5: Fifth Tale
In Fano, aged Lombard knight Guidotto da Cremona bequeaths his wealth (which includes a generous dowry for the girl’s eventual marriage) and his adopted daughter (later identified as Agnesa) to his... (full context)
Day 8: Sixth Tale
...also concerns Calandrino, Bruno, and Buffalmacco. A small country farm made up part of the dowry of Calandrino’s wife (Tessa). Every year they’re entitled to a pig, which they slaughter and... (full context)
Day 10: Seventh Tale
Day 10: Tenth Tale