Marriage in old Ages

Marriage in old ages had its own cultures and traditions, distinct to today’s. People in those times used to practice certain marriage traditions that may have lost their hold today but were significant indeed.

Marriage by love developed slowly. By the 9th or 10th century the women had the right to choose or refuse their marriage partners. Marriage by force evolved in primitive culture. The tribal people were aggressive to each other. Marriage by purchase was also in practice. The bride was stolen first and compensation was later offered to her family.

In the Old Age, the Roman marriages had many marriage traditions. The majority of those still form to be the source for today’s traditions.

Marriage Preparations

Generally, a Roman girl got married at the age of 14. Her father selected a husband for her. The girl wore a ring on the third finger of left hand symbolizing engagement. Marriages were scheduled on a lucky day to avoid all ill omens. They considered June as a favored month for marriage in old ages.

On the wedding ceremony day, the bride got dressed in white wedding gown and a veil with the help of her mother. The wedding dress was a straight tunic in one piece. It had to be long and often reached her feet. The ‘knot of Hercules’ belt was most important as Hercules was the god of marriage.

All the arrangements were made by girl’s father, including the dowry and scheduled at his house. The girl brought all the goods that her family could give her, including slaves, furniture clothing, jewels, etc. These things became the belongings of the groom after marriage.

Marriage ceremony

The marriage in old ages ceremony involved religious elements. The marriage contract was signed. Just the three acts of expressing acceptance of marriage were important. At least ten witnesses to the wedding ceremony were important to make it legal.

The bride showed consent to the wedding by coming in public with her would be husband, holding hands. In the ceremony, the bride and groom stood before the priest. The bride again showed her consent by saying the words of consent in public. The words were more like a chant. The same was to be said by the groom in the ceremony of marriage in old ages. The bride would state: “Quando tu Gaius, ego Gaia”, meaning When and where you are Gaius, I then and there am Gaia.

Once the words of consent were exchanged, the bride and groom sat together facing alter on stools. The god Jupiter was offered some special eatable, which was made of cake generally. After the priest made this offering, the bride and groom also had the cake.

Post marriage ceremonies

The ceremony of marriage in old ages was followed by a feast for everyone present there, including the friends, relatives and business companions of the bride and groom’s families. Dinner was concluded by distributing the pieces of wedding cake, the similar tradition as today.

After the dinner party, the bride escorted her husband to his house. Reaching there, she again recited the consent chant in front of an open door. The groom carried the bride over the threshold and doors were shut against the general people.