Salic Law

The law so called is one chapter of the Salian code regarding succession to salic lands, which was limited to heirs male to the exclusion of females, chiefly because certain military duties were connected with the holding of those lands. In the fourteenth century females were excluded from the throne of France by the application of the Salic law to the succession of the crown.

Which Salique, as I said, twixt Elbe and Sala,
Is at this day in Germany called Meisen.

Shakespeare: Henry V., i. 2.

Philippe VI. of France, in order to raise money, exacted a tax on salt, called Gabelle, which was most unpopular and most unjustly levied. Edward III. called this iniquitous tax “Philippe's Salic law.” (Latin, sal, salt.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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