The approach I take is legal-historical: I want to understand these concepts as legal concepts in their historical context. The rest of this introduction provides the context for unequal marriages in European dynasties and in German society.
I then provide and analyze definitions of these concepts (1), and describe their joint history (2).
It was part of what came to be known as Privatfürstenrecht, the private law of princes; a body of law that was heterogeneous and hybrid: in-between private and public, based on individuals acts, group practice, and court rulings.
Another peculiarity of Germany was its basic feudal law, of Germanic origin, which prescribed equal division of lands among male siblings.
They have in common that, in almost all cases, they were written rules edicted by a sovereign.