Today’s Romania used to be a territory of the Ottoman Empire, lying at the southeast margin of Europe as a last zone of known civilisation before the veil of the Orient settled. 1 Until the early nineteenth century, the region was theatre to many armed conflicts and a buffer zone between the Ottoman, Russian, and Habsburg empires. 2 The principality of Wallachia was a peripheral province, bordering on the Austrian Empire, enjoying a status of autonomy that had long enabled it to keep its Orthodox faith and Byzantine legal heritage while at the same time honouring its fiscal and political obligations to the Porte. 3 Wallachia thus experienced a degree of controlled freedom. Despite the slow modernisation of the peripheral Ottoman provinces and a visible Europeanisation of the elites, the provincial towns especially remained attached to tradition and custom more than to law. 4 This delay becomes evident when looking at the transfer of familial property from one generation to the next. The chapter looks at property and goods women in nineteenth-century Wallachia received upon marriage as dowry and its meaning for the individual and the family as well as its position within the distribution of wealth. 5 The chapter is based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of archival sources (inventories and dowry registers) of Argeş and Muscel counties in the north of Wallachia.