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The History Of Marriages

Posted by: webmaster2 on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 01:58 _PRINTPrinter friendly page  _EMAILFRIENDSend this story to a friend
The History Of Marriages

 




Though, the conation of tying the knot changed a lot since then. As viewed as a system of rules to ensure bloodline protection.


In ancient civilizations, particularly during the medieval times, women were treated as a trophy of war or barter, whose solely purpose was being traded off for dowry. The dowry was a nuptial present, consisting of money, gifts, estates, or even some noble position in society. It was paid to the bride's family and in general the couple involved didn't have any kind of influence in the marriage. That's why arranged marriages were such common ground in ancient times. Material and economic liasons were essential and love was completely unnecessary to establish a marriage at that particular time.


In ancient civilizations, particularly during the medieval times, women were treated
as a trophy of war or barter, whose solely purpose was being traded off for
dowry. The dowry was a nuptial present, consisting of money, gifts, estates,
or even some noble position in society. It was paid to the bride's family and
in general the couple involved didn't have any kind of influence in the marriage.
That's why arranged marriages were such common ground in ancient times. Material
and economic liasons were essential and love was completely unnecessary to establish
a marriage at that particular time.

In ancient Rome several ritualistic customs started to be introduced in the marriage
ritual, having major impact upon the history of sexuality. Some of these customs
are still en vogue to these days. The most remarkable tradition would be the
engagement ring, which actual purpose was to show society that the person was
married, although it has also symbolic meanings. It was believed that the roundness
of a ring represents the eternity, since a marriage was supposed to be a union
that lasts forever. It was also believed that the nerves and veins in the left-hand
ran straight to the heart. That's why we still wear the engagement ring in the
left hand.

During times of war and plague or in places where nature didn't offer favorable conditions for the constitution of societies (the Middle East for instance), the practice
of polygamy shared common ground. A woman left with children after her husband's
death was taken as a second wife by other provider, sometimes her brother-in-law.

In establishing the marriage as a sacrament St. Paul changed the concept of marriage
from being just a contract by comparing the relationship between husband and
wife to that of Christ and his church.

In and around the 1500's innumerous marriages happened without any ceremony or
witnesses. The Council Of Trent so decreed that every marriage should be celebrated
by a priest, in the presence of at least two witnesses. The wedding started
to become similar to today's rituals, although love until then wasn't a necessary
element. Marriages back then, were not o­nly a statement of monogamy, or a simple
family establishment, but for it also had a strong political impact. A marriage
could even change a nation's history. In blending two royal bloodlines from
different countries or having a different but strong social influence, people
firmly believed that they were creating an even more royal and pure dynasty.
Yet, marriages between nobles and lowborn were not accepted in order to preserve
pure bloodline.

During renaissance, marriages were pretty similar to today's ceremonies, even when
they took several weeks until the wedding itself. The previous weeks before
ceremony were dedicated to religious readings, o­nly then the whole ceremony
could take place. As it were, the couple stands in front of the priest to exchange
vows and then place the ring o­n each other's fingers. After the ceremony, there
was a celebratory feast that was actually a pagan custom adopted by the Roman
Catholic Church.






Traditions such as the bride wearing a white dress as a symbol of purity and virginity, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, or the bride not supposed to see the groom before the wedding are superstitions holdover from Celtic customs and rituals of Mitra (Hindu deity). Such an influence shows how the history of marriage had significant impact o­n sexuality and the formation of society as a whole.

 

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