Marriages, even in the Middle Ages, were a source of endless problems and disputes that provided much business for the church courts. Many of the difficulties arose from the fact that marriage, besides being a sacrament, was also a legal contract. It was the existence of this contractual factor that was so very often used to promote a marriage for purely secular and worldly purposes. In its attempt to codify and regularize the law concerning matrimony, the Church had to take account of a number of factors.! These were

partly inherited Jewish traditions to which was added the ceremonial observances prescribed in Roman Law and the different types of marriage therein allowed; and also the tenacious Germanic customs that varied in each tribal area.