What does the phrase jus primae noctis mean from 1984?

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timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Jus primae noctis means the "law/right of the first night."  It refers to the medieval belief that the Lord of the manor had the right to have sex with any peasant bride in his domain on the first night of her marriage.

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dedrington | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Translated literally from Latin to English, jus primae noctis means "right youthful at night."  It refers to the medieval custom where the Lord of the manor had the right to have sexual intercourse with the wives of any of his male peasants.

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parama9000 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Yes. The last answer will suit best. It is that he is entitled to a portion of the Bride's dowry and not that he is entitled to intercourse in the context.

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rmccord | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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Jus primae noctis translates to "right of the lord." It was the feudal right of the lord in medieval Europe to sleep the first night with the bride of any one of his vassals.

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pmcclure | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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Although all of the answers provided are true they are only half truths.  There is no proof of the "first night" every being actually used in Europe.  It was first intended as a sort of Bride Price which means that the Lord was entitled to a portion of the Bride's dowry. 

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