Page:Native Tribes of South-East Australia.djvu/317

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brother is included among those who are entitled to the bride-price, because under maternal descent he always occupies a prominent position. Under this descent the widow, her sister, and the "consobrina" are all on the same level, being sisters; and the nepos, the neptis, and the filius consobrinae are also in the relation of brother and sister. The fact that these persons, from the widow's maternal uncle down to the individual indicated by the last "joint," are all links in a line of maternal descent, most strongly suggests that this law is a vestigiary custom carrying us back to a time when the ancestors of the Franks had not emerged from that level of savagery in which descent through the mother is alone recognised. But this enumeration of successive individuals, to whom the Reippus is due, failing each predecessor, shows a strong departure in the direction of individualisation from the group, which, however, still remains in evidence in many of the laws. Such an instance is the law entitled De Chren-ceuda,[1] which provides a formal procedure by which a man might shift his share of the Wergeld for homicide from his own shoulders on to those of his paternal and maternal groups of kindred.

The second version of the law of Reippus, which I shall now quote, is the same as the one which I have given from the first up to the fourth clause. The fifth to the eleventh differ, and those of the Pactus are as follow. Diagram XXIX. is that given in Eccard's note.[2]

Diagram XXIX

1. Avunculus
2. Mater viduae
3. Soror niatris viduae
4. Frater mariti prioris 5. Vidua 6. Frater viduae 7. Soror viduae
8. Consobrinus
9. Maritus prior
10. Filius 11. Nepos viduae 12. Nepos senior 13. Neptis 14. Filius
15. Filius senior
  1. Pactus Legis Salicae, tit. lxi.; Canciani, vol. ii.
  2. Canciani, vol. ii. p. 88.