Traditional weddings

History of Marriage

Marriage is a situation which for some people can give their life and some people don’t even want to hear.

Is it a standard for happiness or a wall in front of the freedom? Well, when was the first marriage and how did it happen? Why people needed to get married for the first place? When marriage came out? In this article we will tell you about these questions and inform you about the history of Marriage.

It is known that the history of marriage have started with history of humanity. In time, with the establishment of various civilizations, woman-man relationships differed according to traditions of these different civilizations. Here you may find some of them:

Marriage Among Sumerians

It was a tradition for Sumerian young girls to be dedicated to temples. Girls used to live with the representatives of God in these temples. Besides, marriage was bonded with legal rules. According to Sumerian Laws, father and mother had same rights on their children. However during some situations men could sell their wifes. Women who who cheated their husbands were sentenced of death.

Marriage in Ancient Egypt

In Egypt, pharaohs had a tradition of marrying their sisters. In this way, heir to the throne would be definitely from pharaoh’s blood. In time, civil people had also started to get married with their own sisters. Pharaohs also had a harem consist of most loyal girls. Divorcement in Ancient Egypt was very less. Marriage rules were good enough. Domination of women was so much.

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Marriage in Babylon

In Babylon men could live with a woman as a trial. It was a tradition that mother and father was arranging the legal marriage procedure. Fathers who had daughters at the age of marrying took their daughters and brought large centers of the cities. Men who wanted to get married were also coming that center and tried to find a girl that they wanted. Girls were chosen with veiling.

Marriage in China

Marriage in China had nothing with love. Different genders were raised far away from each other, marriage was decided by fathers and mothers and every preparation was made by them also. Chinese people wanted to get married as soon as possible to increase their population.

Marriage in Ancient Greek

In ancient eras marriage was seen as a deal. Girl’s father give her daughter dowry and groom should buy his father-in-law precious gifts. Greeks believed that love comes after marriage. during the famous poet Homeros’s era, Greek women was famous with their loyalty to their husbands. However, Greek men could not be loyal to their wifes. Despite these, marriages was good.

Marriage in Sparta

Spartan husbands could sell their wifes to the people of quality. Men’s biggest aim was to raise children who were strong and talented. The most proper age for marriage was 20 for both men and women. Marriage was arranged by families directly. However there was another tradition for the people who was more than 20 but still single: men and women who wanted to get married met at a dark, large room and men was choosing their wife without seeing them. Spartans were praising themselves about their loyalty. Divorcement was not seen too much. Famous Spartan general Lysandros was punished because he wanted to left his wife and tried to get married with a more beautiful woman.

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Marriage Among Muslims

For Muslims, marriage is considered as a holy process. As in some conditions Islam religion gives permission to each men to have 4 wifes, Muslim men can sometimes marry with several women. Men’s one word can be enough for a divorce, however it is hard for women to ask for it.

Marriage Among Jews

Jews want men and women to get married during early ages. However men should have a job and should provide comfortable life standards to their wifes. If two sides wants, divorce can be easy.

Marriage Among Christians

During old times, marriage among Christians was totally under the religious’ control. It was impossible for two people from different sects to get married. However after some time, civil marriage took the place of church marriage and people have started to get married even if they are from different sects. Rome Catholic Church is not accepting divorcement, this is why catholic people cannot have a divorce even I they want to. Even people who had divorce in front of a trial can not get married for second time. Moreover, Anglican Church also do not accept divorcements. This is why British Princess Margaret was not allowed to get married with a divorced man.

The Oldest Marriage Contract

The papyrus you can see below is the oldest marriage contract. The marriage contact was signed between Pa-igesh and Ta-ti-lyemhotep. It is written with demotic writing ( an ancient hieroglyph).

In contract, it is written that man accepts the determined money in case of a divorce in 30 days. Woman on the other hand can take the third of the assets which are specified on the contract. Lots of contracts those times include a rule of the children which will born from the marriage will be the heir of the throne. Behind the papyrus 8 witnesses’ names are written. Marriage contracts can be seen firstly in Ancient Greece BC 661. Contracts were usually prepared by men and show the rights of both sides about the assets and alimonies. According to law, it was not a must to record marriages. It was allowed for women to left their husbands. Divorcement reasons were adultery, not having a child, not liking each other and wanting to get married with another. Meanwhile, whatever the reason was, women should have asked for a economical help from their ex husbands. It was allowed for both sides to get married after divorcement.

Another claim is that the first marriage contract was found in Mesopotamia. It shows that a 14 year old girl was given in return for 6 cows.

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Wedding Cake’s History

During middle ages, bride and groom was kissing each other in a halo which is designed by breads as a tradition. During 1600s with the increase in wealth, little cupcakes and cakes was piled one after the other, the higher this cakes, the more wealth was shown.

On 1660, British King II. Charles interfere this esthetically ugly cake pile with his French cook and the cook was prepared a wedding cake with layers. From this time, multi layer wedding cakes became a tradition.

Bridal Dress and Veil

Assyrian women were getting married with a veil. In North European counties only kidnapped bride’s was using a veil. On 4th Century BC between Greeks and Romans half transparent veils became popular.

On 16th century in UK and in France, white bridal dresses become popular.

Wedding Rings

There are two different legends about wedding rings’ history. One is a theory about men bond themselves to women. According to this theory, men used to tie the women they love from their hands and feet. If men believed that women would not try to escape, they used to unrope her feet and afterwards when men trusted women completely, they unrope the hands also and left only a rope on the finger. This rope became a symbol of their love.

Other legend is telling that wedding rings history have started on 2000 BC. It is known that in Ancient Egypt some plants were shaped as rings. It is believed that this circle shape means infinity and symbolizes infinite love. During Roman era rings have started to prepared with iron instead of plants. In all civilization wedding ring is worn on left hand’s 4th finger. The reason is the vessel which passes through this finger goes directly to the heart.

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Kissing and Stepping on Foot

Kissing was seen as the seal of marriage agreement. It is also believed that bride gives part of her soul to the groom and groom gives part of his soul to bride while kissing each other.

We can still see this tradition during weddings. Moreover we have a tradition on stepping each other’s foot after marriage ceremony. It is believed that the one who can step the other one’s foot will dominate the marriage.

Honeymoon

Honeymoon really has honey in its origin. In North Europe, when a girl was run away with her life partner, she should have hid some time from her family. The only people who knew the hiding place of lovers was their friends and those friends used to bring food and honey them for eating.

Moreover, because of aphrodisiac effects, during the first months of a marriage newly wed couples used to drink wine and honey together.

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