J.L. Vives: De officio mariti
Edited by C. Fantazzi and C. Matheeussen. Translated by C. Fantazzi
This treatise is a sequel to Vives’ On the Education of the Christian Woman, published in Brill’s series, Selected Works of J.L. Vives. It studies the institution of marriage from a male vantage point, with interesting observations on female psychology, anticipating his later work, De anima. Vives insists more here on the weakness and instability of the woman than in the previous treatise, relying on the biological tenets of Aristotle and Galen. Much attention is given to the choice of a wife and to the husband’s role as tutor of his spouse and disciplinarian. The marriage debt is regarded as a necessary evil, as in St. Paul, while the spirituality of the union is exalted. The book was often printed together with the De institutione feminae Christianae and even considered as a fourth book of that work.