It is not often realized that women held a high place in southern European societies in the 10th and 11th centuries. As a wife, the woman was protected by the setting up of a dowry (彩礼). Admittedly, the purposeof this was to protect her against the risk of desertion, but in reality its function in the social and family life of the time was much more important. The dowry was the wife’s right to receive a tenth of all her husband’s property. The wife had the right to with hold consent, in all transactions the husband wouldmake, and more than just a right; the documents show that she enjoyed a real power of decision, equal to that of her husband. In no case do the documents indicate any degree of difference in the legal status of husband and wife.
The wife shared in the management of her husband’s personal property, but the opposite was not always true. Women seemed perfectly prepared to defend their own inheritance against husbands who tried to exceed their rights, and on occasion they showed a fine fighting spirit. A case in point is that of Maria Vivas. Having agreed with her husband Miro to sell a field she had inherited, for the needs of the household, she insisted on compensation. None being offered, she succeeded in dragging her husband to the scribe(法学家) to have a contract duly drawn up assigning her a piece of land from Miro’s personal inheritance. The unfortunate husband was obliged to agree, as the contract says, “for the sake of peace.” Either through the dowry or through being hot-tempered, the wife knew how to win herself, with the context of the family, a powerful economic position.ric illnesses including depression often do not manifest themselves until the late teens or early 20s.
Choose correct answers to the question:
1. A decimum was ________.
A. the wife's inheritance from her father
B. a gift of money to the new husband
C.a protection of the wife’s right
D. a written contract
2. In the 10th and11th centuries in southern European, women’s social position was ______.
A. higher than men’s
B. as high as men’s
C. lower than men’s
3.The purpose of mentioning the case of Maria Vivas_____
A.to show women had the same rights as,if not more than,their husband
B.to prove hot-tempered woman held a powerful economic position
C.to tell the readers the real situations in some countries
D.to show the fight spirits of woman
4.Could a husband sell his wife's inheritance?
A. Yes, if she agreed.
B. No, under no circumstances.
C. Yes, whenever he wished to.
D, Yes, if his father-in-law agreed.
5. Which of the following is NOT mentioned as an effect of the dowry system?
A. The husband had to share the power of decision in marriage.
B. The wife could manage her husband’s personal property.
C. The wife gained a powerful economic position.
D. The wife would not be deserted by her husband.
1.[C] 词义推断题。第1段第2句指出了 decimum的作用，即与“彩礼”相当，作为保护妇女的工具。第4句以 “The decimum was...”的句式指出其定义，综合这两句，可断定选项C正确。
4.[A]推理判断题。本题考査从例子的推断。根据Maria Vivas的例子可确定答案，而且从第2段第4句中的Having agreed with her husband可推断售卖妻子继承的财产必须先征得妻子的同意，因此选项A正确。