The problem with Basques, Equal Succession and the AI

King Anund

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I've observed in my game as Navarra that some of my Basque vassal dukes were leaving Male preference Succession for Equal Succession. To confirm it I run some observer games and I saw that AI Navarra always adopts Equal Succession just a few days after game starts. Apparently the AI does so because it is set for Basque characters (and only Basque characters) to prefer Equal succession in the game files:

Crusader Kings III\game\common\laws\01_title_succession_laws.txt
Lines 504-512:
Code:
        ai_will_do = {
            if = {
                limit = {
                    primary_title.tier > tier_county
                    has_culture = culture:basque
                }
                value = 2
            }
        }

Apparently it is like that because some claim that the Basques set heirs regardless of gender. However, that was not the case historically in the Middle Ages. From the three Basque political entities, the Kingdom of Navarra, the Lordship of Biscay and the Duchy of Vasconia, none followed that alleged custom but instead practiced Male Preference even in their earlier history.

Kingdom of Navarra
List of kings
824-851 Iñigo Arista
851-882 García Íñiguez
882-905 Fortún Garcés
905-925 Sancho I Garcés
925-970 García I Sánchez
970-994 Sancho II Garcés
994-1000 García II Sánchez
1004-1035 Sancho III Garcés
1035-1054 García III Sánchez
1054-1076 Sancho IV Garcés
1076-1094 Sancho V Ramírez
1094-1104 Pedro I
1104-1134 Alfonso I
1134-1150 García V Ramírez
1150-1194 Sancho VI
1194-1234 Sancho VII
1234-1253 Teobaldo I
1253-1270 Teobaldo II
1271-1274 Enrique I
1274-1305 Juana I
1284-1305 Felipe I Iure uxoris
1305-1316 Luis I
1316 Juan I
1316-1322 Felipe II
1322-1328 Carlos I
1328-1349 Juana II
1328-1343 Felipe III Iure uxoris
1349-1387 Carlos II
1387-1425 Carlos III
1425-1441 Blanca I
1425-1479 Juan II Iure uxoris and usurpation
1441-1461 Carlos IV (Beaumontian claimant)
1461-1464 Blanca II (Beaumontian claimant)
1479 Leonor I
1479-1483 Francisco I
1483-1517 Catalina I
1484-1516 Juan III Iure uxoris
Genealogical tree of the kings

The Fuero General, somewhat of a Constitiution of the Kingdom of Navarra complied circa 1250, explicitly sets Male preference as the norm for both the king and the aristocracy (original text and translation below):

Page 47:
TITULO IV

De heredat et de particion

[FGN, 2, 4, 1]. Capitulo I. Quoales de los fijos del rey o de richombre deve heredar el regno o el castieyllo, et quoales el mueble, et con consejo de quoales deve casar el rey.
E fue establido pora siempre, por que podiesse durar el regno, que todo rey que oviere fijos de leyal coniugio dos, o tres, o mas, o fijas, pues que el padre moriere, el fiyo mayor herede el regno, et la otra hermandat que partan el mueble quoanto el padre avia en el dia que morio, et aquel fijo maior que case con el regno, et asignar arras con consejo de los richos hombres de la tierra, o .XII. savios; et si aquest fiyo mayor casado oviere fijos de leyal coniugio, que lo herede su fijo mayor, otrossi, como el fezo. Et si por aventura muere el qui regna sen fijos de leyal coniugio, que herede el regno el mayor de los hermanos que fue de leyal coniugio. Otrossi, tal fuero es de los castieyllos de richombre quoando los padres no han sino solo un castieyllo.

[FGN, 2, 4, 2]. Capitulo II. Como puede rey o richombre partir regnos, villas o heredades de conquista a sus fijos, et si sen partirlos mueren como deven partir los fijos.
Establimus encara, que si algun rey ganare o conquiriere de moros otro regno o regnos, et oviere fijos de leyal coniugio, et lis quisiere partir sus regnos, puedelo fer et asignar a cada uno quoal regno aya por cartas en su Cort, et aqueyllo valdra, porque eyll se los gano; et si por aventura aviene cosa que aya fijas de leyal coniugio, et regnos, puedelas casar con de los regnos como li ploguiere; et si viene cosa que non los vuia partir et muere, deven los fijos ytar suert, et heredar et firmarse los unos a los otros, por fuero. Otrossi, assi es de todo richombre o fidalgo que aya castieyllos o villas. Et si muere el rey sin creaturas o sin hermanos o hermanas de pareylla, deven levantar rey los richos hombres et los yfanzones cavaylleros et el pueblo de la tierra. Et esto no es assi de castieyllos, nin de villas, nin de infanzones, que han a seguir fuero de tierra.

Translation:

TITLE IV

About inheritance and partition

[FGN, 2, 4, 1]. Chapter I. Who of the King's sons or of a lord [literal translation: wealthy man] has to inherit the kingdom or castle, and who the moveable property, and who has to counsel de king about marriage.
And was established forever that, so that the kingdom may endure, that every King who had sons of legitimate union two, three or more, or daughters, after the father is dead, the eldest son inherits the throne, and the rest of the children will divide the moveable property that the father had the day he died, and that eldest will marry with [the consent] of the kingdom, and to assignate the dowry with the coucil of the lords of the land or 12 wise men. And if this married eldest son had sons of legitimate union his eldest son will inherit it, as it had happened to him. And if the one that reigns dies without sons of legitimate union the eldest of the brothers of legitimate union will inherit. Also this custom is for the castles of the lords when the parents don't have but one castle.

[FGN, 2, 4, 2]. Chapter II. How can the king or lord distribute kingdoms, towns or lands of conquest to their sons, and if he dies without distributing them how should their sons divide them.
We establish now that if any king should get or conquer from the moors another kingdom or kingdoms and had sons of legitimate union and would like to divide his kingdoms between them he can do it and assign to each one the kingdom that has by charter of the Court, and that will be legal because he won them. And if he had daughters of legitimate union and kingdoms he can marry them with the kingdoms as he pleased. And if it happens that he didn't want to divide and dies the sons have to draw lots and inherit and sign one another by law. Also that is for every lord or noblemand who has castles or towns. And if the king dies without children or brothers or sisters of couple, the lords, the gentry, the knights and the people of the land have to rise [Means: elect] a king. This does not apply to castles, towns nor gentry, who have to follow the law of the land.

History confirms that indeed Male preferences was followed, as no daughter took part in inheritance if her father had any son. As examples:

- García Sánchez I (c. 919-970): became king over his older sister Urraca.
- Sancho Garcés III "el Mayor" (c. 992-996-1035): when dividing his titles upon succession (Partition) gave the kingdom of Pamplona to his firstborn García Sánchez III, the county of Castille to Fernando(the father of the famous three Jimena brother kings in 1066), the county of Sobrarbe and Ribagorza to Gonzalo and the county of Aragon to his bastard son Ramiro. His daughter Jimena, was not taken into account and got nothing.

Under the French dynasties Male preference was also the norm:
- Teobaldo II (1239-1270) became king over his older sister Blanca.
- When Teobaldo II 1270 died without children his younger brother Enrique became king over all their older sisters.
- Charles II (1349-1387) inherited over his older sisters Maria and Blanche.
- Charles III (1387-1425) became king over his older sister Mary.
- The children of Gaston (1445-1470) became monarchs of Navarra over the ones of his older sister Maria.

Later kings also followed Male preference.

Navarre has had several Queens: Juana I de Champagne, Juana II Capet, Blanca I d'Evreux, Leonor I de Trastámara, Catherine I of Foix. They all got to the throne because they had no male brothers. None of the queens changed the succession law of sons having preference over daughter. Iure uxoris was practiced in Navarra like in the rest of Europe, to the point that Juan II (1441-1479) was able to usurp the throne to his son, Charles, just by having been the husband of the former Propietary Queen.

Lordship of Biscay
List of Lords
1040-1077 Íñigo López Ezkerra
1077-1093 Lope Íñiguez, son of Íñigo López
1093-1124 Diego López I the White, son of Lope Íñiguez
1124-c. 1131 Íñigo Vélaz
c. 1131-1155 Ladrón Íñiguez Navarro, son of Íñigo Vela
1155-1162 Vela Ladrón, son of Ladrón Íñiguez
1162-1170 Lope Díaz I, the one from Nájera, son of Diego López I
1170-1214 Diego López II the Good, son of Lope Díaz I
1214-1236 Lope Díaz II Brave Head, son of Diego López II
1236-1254 Diego López III, son of Lope Díaz II
1254-1288 Lope Díaz III, son of Diego López III
1288-1289 Diego López IV the Young, son of Lope Díaz III
1289-1295 María Díaz I the Good (first), daughter of Lope Díaz III
1295-1310 Diego López V the Intruder, son of Diego López III
1310-1322 María Díaz I the Good (second)
1322-1326 Juan de Castilla y Haro the One-eyed, son of María Díaz I de Haro
1326-1333 María Díaz I the Good (third)
1333-1334 Alfonso XI of Castile,
1334-1350 Juan Núñez III de Lara, great-grandson of Diego López III de Haro, jointly with wife María Díaz II de Haro, 1334-1348, daughter of Juan de Castilla y Haro
1350-1352 Nuño Díaz de Lara, son of Juan Núñez de Lara and María Díaz II de Haro
1352-1359 Juana de Lara, daughter of Juan Núñez and María Díaz II
1359-1361 Isabel de Lara, daughter of Juan Núñez and María Díaz II
1366-1370 Tello Alfonso, widower of Juana de Lara
John I of Castile, 1370-1379

The Lordship of Biscay also followed Male preference. For example, Nuño Díaz de Haro (1348–1352) became Lord of Biscay over his older sister Juana de Lara. There were 18 historical Lords of Biscay (I'm not counting usurpations or the husbands of the Ladies) while only 4 Ladies, all of them got the Lordship because they had no male brothers to get the title before them. The first Lady was Maria Diaz de Haro in 1289, who got the title after the death of her brother without issue and she even had to contend with her uncle Diego López V de Haro for the title of Lord of Biscay.

Duchy of Vasconia
List of Dukes

There were no Duchesses of Vasconia, which confirms that the succession for the Duchy was either Male preference of Male only (Agnatic or Agnatic-Cognatic) as it is highly unlikely that for generations every firstborn was a man.

Higher and lower nobility of the Kingdom of Navarra
There is a study in Spanish about the customs of nobility in the kingdom of Navarra in the Late Middle Ages : Eloísa Ramírez Vaquero, Solidaridades nobiliarias y conflictos políticos en Navarra, 1387-1464, Gobierno de Navarra,1990. In its study of Navarrese linajes (noble dynasties) it is noteworthy that every one of them, high or low, followed a succession of either Primogeniture or Partition but always with male sons having preference over daughters.

Jesús María Usunáriz Garayoa, Mayorazgo, vinculaciones y economías nobiliarias en la Navarra de la Edad Moderna, Iura vasconiae: revista de derecho histórico y autonómico de Vasconia, ISSN 1699-5376, Nº. 6, 2009, págs. 383-424. In Page 387 mentions that Male preference was indeed the norm since the Middle Ages all through the Early Modern Period for Noble titles.

Burghers and peasants
Sources of the Medieval period, in fact, point to Male preference being practiced in non-noble families too. The Books of fires (libros de fuegos), books that registered every household head in the Kingdom of Navarra and the amount of taxes that should pay, only has women as house heads if they are widows or single-women and never were a significant part. For example, in the Merindad (one of the six administrative unites of the kingdom) of Sangüesa (which covered part of the Pyrenees) in 1428 only 9% of the heads of the households were women, all widows but for three who were single women. A pretty low percentage if you consider that 14% were clergymen and 17% noblemen. Source, page 12.

Iñaki Bazán Díaz, La civilización vasca medieval: vida(s) contidiana(s), mentalidad(es) y cultura(s), Revista internacional de los estudios vascos = Eusko ikaskuntzen nazioarteko aldizkaria = Revue internationale des ètudes basques = International journal on Basque studies, RIEV, ISSN 0212-7016, Vol. 46, Nº. 1, 2001, págs. 105-201. In page 140 has the testimony of Viscayan woman Elvira de Gorizabala in a court case that states that indeed Male preference was practiced:
"because that same father [of Elvira] had a male son to whom according to the Law of Viscaya used and keeped left all of his property and he had the said Elvira and other daughters to whom he left nothing so that from her said father she expected no more than the said 1000 maravedíes [a currency] and that he left for her and he ordered nothing to be given to the rest [of the daughters] because all of his property he had given to his son and he did not consider that he had to leave any property to any daughter if he had an heir"

Iñaki García Camino, Basque archaeologist, claims in this interview (in Spanish) that 'Is fundamental to stop functioning based on myths, many created in the XVI century, and start working with realities. The archaic and egalitarian society [of the Basques] didn't exist. Neither it was a matriarchy, another myth.'

Impact on gameplay
This behavior of AI Basques not only is historically incorrect but also is an obstacle for dynastic strategy. While being Basque you see titles slide out of your dynasty and culture because they enact Equal succession and a non-matrilineally married woman gets the throne instead of her brothers so the kingdom becomes of another dynasty and culture in a generation. Also your vassals start being of other cultures because of the same issue. This makes growing your dynasty and getting them titles quite a bit frustrating and unfullfilling while playing as Navarra or any Basque ruler. Right now the best option is to convert away from the Basque culture as soon as possible and that should not be the case.

I see no problem with Equal Succession being available to Basque rulers if the player wants to change to that Succession (as happen to Occitan, Catalan and Aragonese with Visigothic Codes Innovaton). However, in order to have the most historical experience AI Basque rulers should not choose to change their Succession from Male preference to Equal, as they did not do that in History. The only exception I can think of is if the character follows a religion with Equal or Female dominated Doctrines, but that is a topic of Alternate History. To the Devs of CK3, please mend this.

[EDIT: Added an entry for the Duchy of Vasconia (Gascony), present in the 867 Bookmark, and a link to the genealogical tree of the Kings of Navarra. Added sections for Lower Nobility, Burghers and Peasants]
 
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I like the idea that Basque AI goes for Equal succession, historical or not. Navarra was my favourite country to play in CK2 because of the equal succession.
But the AI not being able to handle it is a big problem and needs fixing asap.
 
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SMiki Lorebringer

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Could be tweaked so that only Basque women change succession to equal (unless zealous in male-dominated religion) while Basque men stick with male preference (unless switch to equal religion and are zealous in it).

AI not understanding matrilineal marriages is another issue and should be patched. If women can inherit, AI should matrimarry at least the first daughter; and if women are actually preferred, then AI should always try to matrimarry daughters. It's a bit unfair when the player can build up powerful dynastic legacies while AI doesn't care about dynastic continuity at all.
 
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Giving Basques the option to change isn't a problem, there's a reasonable historical case that could have happened based on some inheritance customs practiced in families. I agree that it didn't actually happen among the nobility and probably Basque AI should not do it unless their religion has gender equality.

The real problem here is that the AI is totally incapable of dealing with gender equality in succession because they never matrilineally marry.
 
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iirc werent cathars based out of the same general region historically? so maybe thats why the association with Basque and Cathars with equality got made in CK2? they were in the same region and were given similar traits so that when one or the other becomes both, theyre more weighted to actually use the mechanic?

also could do with giving some variety to play, since most of the game was either male-preference france or male-only iberia, and here was basque in the middle and an opportunity for an interesting mechanic?

i mean, lots of cultures are portrayed very ahistorically, usually so they have *something* other than just a name
 
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iirc werent cathars based out of the same general region historically? so maybe thats why the association with Basque and Cathars with equality got made in CK2? they were in the same region and were given similar traits so that when one or the other becomes both, theyre more weighted to actually use the mechanic?

It doesn't have to do with Cathars, rather some familial inheritance customs among Basques where daughters could inherit more property than in other cultures. Like OP said those customs were not really practiced among the nobility, but I think it makes for plausible alternate history.
 
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If they solve the issue with AI not marrying matrilineally unless you yourself keeps sending your knights to marry out your vassals' daughters, that would solve your main problems (dynasties/cultures changing every other inheritance).

I really hope they prioritize solving the "what is matrilineal marriage, my liege?" and Catholic fervor dropping like a stone bugs as soon as possible, because those things are making the game waaaay more taxing than properly enjoyable as of now.
 
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iirc werent cathars based out of the same general region historically? so maybe thats why the association with Basque and Cathars with equality got made in CK2? they were in the same region and were given similar traits so that when one or the other becomes both, theyre more weighted to actually use the mechanic?

As far as I remember cathars became a thing after crusaders took Constantinople. There they met followers of Bogumilism "heresy" and imorted their ideas.
 

Zhetone

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the weird idea that the Basque practiced some form of gender equality in succession is very weird, and I don't get why Paradox keeps propagating it. Make it available, sure, but why does the AI feel the need to change to it? Especially when the rest of Europe will not often want matrilineal marriages, meaning they handicap themselves in the case of having a female heir. That, plus the stupidity of the AI when it comes to marriages at the moment, just means they commit suicide
 
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SchwarzKatze

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BTW the Chinese characters in 867 also have equal succession for some reason. While Tang Dynasty did have more women in positions of power, there doesn't seem to be any case of female succession. Not even Wu Zetian have considered making one of her influential daughters succeed her, and there wasn't any female Jiedushi even after some of the military posts became hereditary.
 
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King Anund

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I like the idea that Basque AI goes for Equal succession, historical or not. Navarra was my favourite country to play in CK2 because of the equal succession.
Navarra it's also my favourite country to play and i know much of its History. That's why the sight of it devolving into a Historically Inauthentic mess hurts me in a personal way. I'm not against having that option for the player, that is totally fine. But an AI Character with a Male dominated Faith should not change it to Equal, at least for historicity's sake.
Or if their firstborn is female and a genius. :D
Could be tweaked so that only Basque women change succession to equal
Navarre has had several Queens: Juana I de Champagne, Juana II Capet, Blanca I d'Evreux, Leonor I de Trastámara, Catherine I of Foix. None of them changed the succession order. A different story would be if they weren't Catholic and a more Equal religion. Also iure uxoris was practiced in Navarra like in the rest of Europe, to the point that Juan II (1441-1479) was able to usurp the throne to his son, Charles, just by having been the husband of the former Propietary Queen, which doesn't point exactly to a gender egalitarian society.

Giving Basques the option to change isn't a problem, there's a reasonable historical case that could have happened based on some inheritance customs practiced in families
Some alleged inheritance customs, and there are not many studies for the Spanish Basques (in fact, I could not find one), from rural peasant families in France in the XIX century does not make it the norm for the nobility in the Middle Ages. Sources of the Medieval period, in fact, point to that not being practiced even in peasant families. The Books of fires (libros de fuegos), books that registered every household head in the Kingdom of Navarra and the amount of taxes that should pay, only has women as house heads if they are widows or single-women and never were a significan part. For example, in the Merindad (one of the six administrative unites of the kingdom) of Sangüesa (which covered part of the Pyrenees) in 1428 only 9% of the heads of the households were women, all widows but for three who were single women. A pretty low percentage if you consider that 14% were clergymen and 17% noblemen. Source, page 12.

There is a study in Spanish about the customs of nobility in the kingdom of Navarra in the Late Middle Ages : Eloísa Ramírez Vaquero, Solidaridades nobiliarias y conflictos políticos en Navarra, 1387-1464, Gobierno de Navarra,1990. In its study of Navarrese linajes (noble dynasties) you can see that every one of them, high or low, followed a succession of either Primogeniture or Partition but always with male sons having preference over daughters. A custom that was not part of even the lower nobility would never become part of the higher one or royalty.

But the AI not being able to handle it is a big problem and needs fixing asap.
AI not understanding matrilineal marriages is another issue and should be patched. If women can inherit, AI should matrimarry at least the first daughter; and if women are actually preferred, then AI should always try to matrimarry daughters. It's a bit unfair when the player can build up powerful dynastic legacies while AI doesn't care about dynastic continuity at all.
Yeah, that is definitely a problem. However, even if they fixed that it would still be Historically Inauthenit for Basques to switch to Equal Succession. Some of us like a bit of closeness to reality in our games. Specially when you know the History of the Basques quite closely to know that this was as far from happening as in the rest of Europe.

also could do with giving some variety to play, since most of the game was either male-preference france or male-only iberia, and here was basque in the middle and an opportunity for an interesting mechanic?

i mean, lots of cultures are portrayed very ahistorically, usually so they have *something* other than just a name
That may be what the one who introduced that to the code may have thought. However, the Basques are not some obscure culture which may have been more equalitarian than the rest of the world. There is quite a lot of Bibiliography, although much of it in Spanish, and a huge amount of Medieval documentation (at least in the Kingdom of Navarra, which was highly centralized) about their Medieval History and Customs to know that this was pretty far from reality for all the Middle Ages.

It may be very entertaining when others' cultures are being misrepresented to add diversity. However, when it's your culture the one being misrepresented it stops being funny.
I’m a basque and this is ruining my experience in changing history and turning Spain into Euskaldunak!
I am from Navarra and a researcher of the History of the Medieval Kingdom of Navarra so I know how you feel. My first game in CK3 was as Sancho Garces IV in 1066 only to find this, which has kind of ruined playing as Navarra for me, which means quite a lot of the game as I do a Navarra campaign quite frequently. It breaks immersion and historical believability quite a lot for me, which adds even more to the frustration of the AI not being able to handle Female rulers.

Just to clarify. The option of Basques having access to Equal Succession isn't an issue as long as Catholic AI doesn't to take that option, as it was in CK2. Just for the players, or an Equal religion AI Character which would make it kind of believable. But if the Catholic AI controls the title it should be Male preference and not change to Equal Succession.
 
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Admiral Fischer

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This issue is also causing a 867 campaign issue where one certain Onneca, who is married to an Umayyad prince, semi-regularly inherits the crown because of Equal Succession and thus turn the Kingdom over to the Andalusians.
 
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I am from Navarra and a researcher of the History of the Medieval Kingdom of Navarra so I know how you feel. My first game in CK3 was as Sancho Garces IV in 1066 only to find this, which has kind of ruined playing as Navarra for me, which means quite a lot of the game as I do a Navarra campaign quite frequently. It breaks immersion and historical believability quite a lot for me, which adds even more to the frustration of the AI not being able to handle Female rulers.
Truly the Basque people have had a tragic history. Yesterday being split by European powers, today erased by Swedish game developers to make room for medieval proto-feminism. :p
In all seriousness, that choice by Paradox makes me uncomfortable. It's one thing to put forward women in history, it's another to practice erasure on a whole people.
 
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Bumping because this should come in the 1.1.1
 
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Where people got that idea from? (that basques had equal succession)

It's on Wikipedia of course:
The Basques of the Kingdom of Navarre transmitted title and property to the firstborn regardless of sex;[9] their higher nobility and free families in the early and high middle ages followed this custom.[9] The Navarrese monarchy, however, was inherited by dynasties from outside of Navarre, which followed different successional laws, usually male preference primogeniture. Eventually only the Basque lower nobility and free families of the Basque country and other regions continued to follow this custom, which persisted as late as the 19th century.[9]

Cited source is:
Arrizabalaga, Marie-Pierre (2005). "Succession strategies in the Pyrenees in the 19th century: The Basque case". The History of the Family. 10 (3): 271–292. doi:10.1016/j.hisfam.2005.03.002
 
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