Definition of Salic law in US English:

Salic law


  • 1A law excluding females from dynastic succession, especially as the alleged fundamental law of the French monarchy.

    • ‘The succession to the throne is currently based upon the principle of male primogeniture, embodied in the Salic law, according to which male heirs take precedence and the right of succession belongs to the eldest son.’
    • ‘Under Salic law (which prohibits succession in the female line), Ernst would be the British king rather than just the Prince of Hanover.’
    • ‘The Salic law was also implicitly introduced in Navarre in 1620 when Louis XIII, king of France and Navarre proclaimed a perpetual union of the two kingdoms.’
    • ‘Instead they consisted of general principles such as the inalienability of the royal domain, the Salic law of succession (through the direct male line), and, after the conversion of Henri IV in 1593, that the king should be a Catholic.’
    • ‘There was no attempt to impose Salic law (all-male succession): since the extinction of the House of Hanover in 1837, we have been ruled by women for 117 years, by men for 51 years, but never by a Catholic.’
  • 2A Frankish law book extant in Merovingian and Carolingian times.

    • ‘There are signs that early Frankish villages - or groups of villages - had local courts, run by local judicial experts called rachimburgi, who knew an oral version of Salic law, and could be instructed to ‘speak’ it by litigants.’
    • ‘Historically, Salic law was a collection of local Frankish laws and customs, and had nothing to do with questions of succession.’
    • ‘The so-called Salic law (Pactus legis salicae in Latin), was modelled on the Roman Law and incorporated elements of Frankish traditions.’


Salic law