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The History of Marriage. Overview. Marriage in Ancient Egypt from 8,000 B.C. to 525 B.C. Marriage in Ancient Rome from 510 B.C. to 25 B.C. Marriage during the European Renaissance from 1350-1550 Marriage in America from 1900-2013 . Marriage in A ncient Egypt . Typical Marrying Age. Boys

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The History of Marriage


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    1. The History of Marriage

    2. Overview • Marriage in Ancient Egypt from 8,000 B.C. to 525 B.C. • Marriage in Ancient Rome from 510 B.C. to 25 B.C. • Marriage during the European Renaissance from 1350-1550 • Marriage in America from 1900-2013

    3. Marriage in Ancient Egypt

    4. Typical Marrying Age • Boys • 14-20 • Usually had an established job before marriage • Girls • Married at the age of sexual maturity • 12-14

    5. Sex and Marriage • Sex was considered socially acceptable outside of marriage • Virginity was irrelevant • Once a couple is married, it is expected that they will only have sex with their partners

    6. Homosexuality • There is not a lot of evidence of homosexuality of ancient Egypt • Some homosexual relationships between royalty were speculated by historians • An Egyptian myth told the story of the homosexual relationship between two men: Set and Horus

    7. Establishing a Marriage • Married for love • The man asked the girl’s father for permission • It is unclear if there was a formal engagement period • Marriages were documented in order to establish the sharing of property • Few social parameters of marriage were established • There was no formal ceremony- the couple just moved in together

    8. Married Life • The ancient Egyptians in general were very affectionate and in love with their partners • The marriage established that all possessions obtained before the marriage belonged to the individual, but possessions and property obtained after the marriage should be shared • The majority of people were monogamous, but royalty typically practiced polygamy

    9. Children • Little contraception was developed and used • The women typically got pregnant shortly after marriage • The society valued having large families • The average amount of children per family is unknown • In general, both sons and daughters were valued equally

    10. Divorce • Divorce was not an unusual occurrence • Both men and women were able to initiate the divorce • All marital properties were as evenly divided as possible • Both could be initiated for many reasons • Incompatibility • Infertility • Adultery • Many divorced people remarried

    11. Royal Marriages • Polygamy was common for kings and other men with power • Typically men would have one “principal” wife and as many as hundreds of other wives to ensure a male heir would be born to become the next king • For royalty, it was normal for siblings, cousins and even fathers/daughters to marry each other • The royal class married close relatives to makes their right to rule more legitimate • According to the myth, the ancient Egyptian Gods also married their relatives, so it was viewed as socially acceptable

    12. Marriage: Ancient Roman Empire • 3 kinds of Marriages • Confarreatio • Only legal form • Husband became her master • Usus • Similar to common law marriages • Wife stayed in her families name • Coemptio • Families sold daughters

    13. Marriage: Ancient Roman Empire • The Ceremony: • Sacrificed an animal and asked for Gods blessing • Written agreement &sealed it with a kiss • Orange wedding veil &orange shoes Belted and Bound

    14. Marriage: Ancient Roman Empire • Relating to Society • Marriage brings two household together, new property is introduced, & there is a promise of children • Responsibility of Bride’s family to pay • Once a woman got married: • Incredibly high position • Education • Public games, theatre, religious ceremony, etc. • Testify in court of even defend a case • Managed property & business

    15. Marriage: Ancient Roman Empire • Political/Public Affairs • Strictly Monogamous • Unlike today: • Marriage had no legal force • Divorce was as easy as marriage

    16. Marriage: Ancient Roman Empire • Ethical Implications: Consequences of (moral) actions • Women who engaged in Extramarital affairs: • Man of the house  Kill both women and lover • If he only killed one  Charged with murder

    17. The Renaissance “meaning birth- a cultural movement that began in the late Middle Ages of the 14th century through the 17th century” (D’elia 2004)

    18. Women in the Renaissance • The rebirth of 14th century Europe was a men’s revolution • Women were expected to marry to benefit her family’s social standing and to maker her husband proud • Women were basically considered second class citizens with very few rights compared to men

    19. Women continued • Women were married as young as 13, and their husbands were 14 years older on average • Women were considered property • Woman had to behave properly so as not to disgrace their husband

    20. Marriage • The two main reasons people get married were to • For inheritance • For property • Often a title of nobility together with land ownership was conveyed in the nuptials

    21. Marriage laws • Since the Catholic Church dominated culture during the Renaissance, they developed the start of marriage customs • In 1076, it was declared that no man could give away his daughter without a priestly blessing • In the 16th century the Council of Trent decreed a priest was required to perform the betrothal ceremony

    22. Marriage laws cont. • The church had made marriage a sacrament • They added to marriage that intercourse was for procreation and not for passion

    23. Marriage customs • A bride’s family would present the groom with a dowry • The husband had control over the land, property, or money given by the family • Women often outlived their husbands, and were dependent on them for money and security; woman were however allowed to step into their husbands roles when they died • Many women had control of the wealth of the family until the male children were old enough to take control • If a woman decided to return to her family after her husband died, the children stayed with the husband’s family

    24. Marriage customs cont. • The rising costs of the dowry throughout the renaissance caused lower class families to not afford to marry off their daughters • This led to and increase in prostitution in order for the girls to support their family. • In lower class families, when a girl’s husband died, they could not go back to their family and were forced into day labor or prostitution

    25. customs • By the late 1500’s, the concept of a marriage license was common • The lower class would still have a small ceremony and not have a license • The license served as a legal way to determine status among the upper class

    26. Divorce • Adultery by women was a serious crime and was punished severely by the court of law • Divorce was frowned upon by the Catholic church, which heavily regulated marriage • A couple had to get the permission of the pope to get a divorce, otherwise they were excommunicated from the church

    27. Childbirth • Childbirth was a great risk in Renaissance for both the mother and the child • Physicians knew nothing about the female body; it was considered “less formed” than the bodies of men • Midwives were looked down upon because of their lack of training, but were essential in childbirth

    28. Childbirth cont. • Next to health, having a baby boy was the most important thing • Well into the 1600s, it was believed that if a pregnant woman looked at the image of baby boys, this would make them have a baby boy

    29. Marriage from 1900-2013

    30. Late 19th and early 20th centuries • drive to have the wives seen as their husbands equals • Development of contraception changed marriages • More couples are deciding to not have children and can control that because of contraception

    31. Start of 20th Century • Started dating in late teens or early 20s Date for a few years before getting married Start a family • Less than 1/3 of women had sex before marriage and if they did it was usually their future husbands • Homosexual relationships were frowned upon • Gay marriages were unheard of

    32. Start of 20th Century (cont.) • Divorce was not common • Only way divorce was legal was if adultery had taken place • The social stigma attached to adultery made it very difficult to be social accepted as a divorced person • Custody of children was always given to the father • 1920’s: women were given property and inheritance rights above any children

    33. 1950’s: marriage becomes almost universal • Nuclear family is common • 4 out of 5 people surveyed said that choosing to be single is “immoral” and “sick” • 1970’s: views on marriage is more relaxed; as in independent women and social changes mean marriage is no longer “mandatory” • Divorce rates skyrocket • 1980’s: couples started cohabiting (living together) whether or not they were married • 1/3 of children were born out of wedlock • By 1990’s 1/3rd of marriages ended in divorce

    34. Today: marriage is the most powerful expression of love • Push for gay and lesbian couples to get the right to marry • More people are continuing to live together before marriage • 1st Civil partnership under the Civil Partnerships Act took place in Europe in December of 2005 • Gay marriage has obviously boomed this past year

    35. Conclusions • There is a variety of customs and public opinions towards marriage in all of the historical periods • Despite the diversity among the four historical periods we researched, there are still similarities in all marriages • Divorce was an option throughout history • Marriage was used as a bond for reproduction • Love existed throughout history

    36. References • Fathom Archive. Ancient Egyptian Society and Family Life. (Accessed 11/13/13). Http://fathom.lib.uchicago.edu/2/21701778/ • Tour Egypt. Marriage in Ancient Egypt (accessed 11/13/13) http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/marriage.htm • Seawright, Caroline. Ancient Egyptian Sexuality: Life in Ancient Egypt. (access 11/13/13) http://www.thekeep.org/~kunoichi/kunoichi/themestream/sexuality.html#.UoRKr-IUaSo • http://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/empire/weddings.html • http://www.classicsunveiled.com/romel/html/marrcustwom.html 6. D’elia, Anthony F. The Renaissance of Marriage In Fifteenth-Century Italy. 2004 Harvard College. Pg. 11-83 7. Brucker, Gene A. Love and Marriage in the Renaissance. University of California Press. 1986. pgs. 15-77 8. Huntley, Theresa. Women in the Renaissance. Crabtree Publishing company New York, NY. 2010. pgs 4-20. 9. Najemy, John M. Italy in the Age of the Renaissance : 1300-1550: 1300-1550. Oxford University Press. 2004. 10. “Marriage and Divorce.” Exploring 20th Century London. Web. http://www.20thcenturylondon.org.uk/marriage-and-divorce 11. Psychology Today Staff. “Marriage, a History.” Psychology Today.  1 May 2005: Web. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200505/marriage-history 12. The Week Staff. “How Marriage has Changed Over Centuries.” The Week. 1 June 2012: Web. http://theweek.com/article/index/228541/how-marriage-has-changed-over-centuries 13. Everitt, Lauren. “Ten Key Moments in the History of Marriage.” BBC News Magazine. 13 March 2012: Web. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17351133