In doing some reading for school, (yes, I can hear you all say: "Lauren? Actually doing schoolwork? :eek:) I came across a small tidbit that might shed some light on the “right of the first night”, if not that it occured, but where the story comes from.
Lactantius, a Christian historian of the Late Roman empire, is a horribly horribly biased source. He slanders the non-Christian emperors (especially the ones that persecuted Christians) terribly. He says about Galerius: “nor did he ever sup without being spectator of the effusion of human blood.” (just to give you an idea)
Now the relevant tidbit. Whan talking about Maximin Daia, he says:
While I sincerely doubt the veracity of these claims, I think it’s important that this was used as a way to denigrate him. Could it have been used the same way with medival kings?