PDA

View Full Version : "Droit de seigneur" and the success of R1b and R1a in Europe



kinman
10-12-2015, 04:27 PM
Hi All,
I have been thinking about this for a long time and would like some feedback on it. Although many factors probably played a role in the success of R1b and R1a men sweeping in from the steppe across all of Europe (such as domestication of the horse, better diets and health, and the genetic tendency to produce more sons than daughters), could we perhaps add to these advantages an early adoption of "droit du seigneur" by chiefs in their clans? Could this custom have begun on the steppe about 6000 years ago (and even lingered in some places during modern times)? Could this have partially fueled the "Kurgan waves" of Gimbutas, and also help explain the large numbers of R1b and R1a men in Europe in modern times?
-------------Ken

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droit_du_seigneur

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ffoucart
10-17-2015, 11:54 AM
Given there is no proof of existence of the famous "droit de seigneur" in medieval times, I doubt it.

I must add that a man of power is usually attractive by women (look how many affairs have politics).

kinman
10-17-2015, 01:38 PM
But the historian Boece says that "droit du seigneur" existed in Scotland until the medieval King Malcolm III abolished it (he reigned from 1058 to 1093). And the practice goes back at least 4000 years, and it is the basis of the story in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
My question is not whether the custom existed (it has for at least 4000 years). My question is, if this custom goes back another 2000 years before that, could that be a factor in the increase of the population of R1a and R1b haplogroups (and their expansion across Europe) between 6000 and 4000 years ago (and beyond).
-----------Ken
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Given there is no proof of existence of the famous "droit de seigneur" in medieval times, I doubt it.

I must add that a man of power is usually attractive by women (look how many affairs have politics).

rms2
10-17-2015, 02:20 PM
I doubt if droit de seigneur existed in any formal sense and certainly not among the PIEs themselves. If it was applied, it would have been applied only to subject peoples, and, personally, I doubt even that. Just my opinion, but I think the PIEs, despite having their "great men", were fairly egalitarian, which explains the success of Indo-European languages. The kurgans (I like that term because it is short and simple) were open to recruits, as long as those recruits were willing to speak IE and accept the kurgan way of life. Had they greatly abused clients by practicing droit de seigneur, they would have inspired greater resistance and fewer recruits.

Here is an appropos quote from Anthony's book, The Horse The Wheel and Language, page 118:



Immigrant elite languages are adopted only where an elite status system is not only dominant but is also open to recruitment and alliance. For people to change to a new language, the shift must provide a key to integration within the new system, and those who join the system must see an opportunity to rise within it.

What was it Henry V said about the "gentler gamester"?

ffoucart
10-17-2015, 02:56 PM
The "droit du seigneur" is a legend. I studied law, and you couldn't found any serious historian backing it.

Moreover, its basis lies on customs applied to unfree people, aka serfs or slaves. Meaning, in any case the owner/master could do whatever he wanted, as these people were his ownership.

kinman
10-17-2015, 04:25 PM
I would agree that the early proto-Indo-Europeans (let's say 6500-5500 years ago) would probably have been somewhat egalitarian. But once their populations increased and their leaders became more powerful, some of them would have become a lot less egalitarian and more self-indulgent. Even the "gentler gamesters" would have enough power to use such a custom by giviing gifts to her parents or husband-to-be (perhaps even gifts of status that Anthony might call "recruitment or alliance").
Whatever middle class there might have been among the R1b clan itself may have been able to buy a waiver, or some fathers may have actually considered it an honor (no gift needed in return) to have a virgin daughter chosen by their noble leader (either once or even permanently as a concubine). I'm not saying all R1b and R1a leaders would have done this, but some of them may have been the opposite of egalitarian to the majority of their subjects as the population increased.
-------------Ken


I doubt if droit de seigneur existed in any formal sense and certainly not among the PIEs themselves. If it was applied, it would have been applied only to subject peoples, and, personally, I doubt even that. Just my opinion, but I think the PIEs, despite having their "great men", were fairly egalitarian, which explains the success of Indo-European languages. The kurgans (I like that term because it is short and simple) were open to recruits, as long as those recruits were willing to speak IE and accept the kurgan way of life. Had they greatly abused clients by practicing droit de seigneur, they would have inspired greater resistance and fewer recruits.

Here is an appropos quote from Anthony's book, The Horse The Wheel and Language, page 118:


What was it Henry V said about the "gentler gamester"?

rms2
10-17-2015, 04:29 PM
I think polygamy was common and there is actual evidence of that, but not droit de seigneur, which would have inspired violent resistance. Of course, there is no way for us to know, but I personally strongly doubt it.

MikeWhalen
10-17-2015, 08:27 PM
I always understood that as a principle of concrete/real law, droit de seigneur never existed
...of course, bully boy local tyrants might try to 'rationalize or legitimize' their raping ways and say the right exists, but just because the boss lies, does not make it real.
Humans are humans and I don't care how big the war horses were or sharp the swords were, you start raping brides on their wedding night, and you will have unrest and rebellion pretty quick in that neck of the woods, particularly the more European and north westerly you go, whose subjects always were less servile and more resistant to tyranny
...can you imagine even the worst of the English, German, Viking or French 'tyrant' kings trying to get all his earls and dukes and knights to crawl on their bellies the length of the hall and then kiss his feet until told otherwise?
that guy would last about a week

Mike

2000
10-27-2015, 10:59 PM
It may not have been an official policy as such but one need not go back farther than the early modern period in Ireland to see the number of Mother's claiming their sprouts to be offspring of elites because of their ankle maladiees