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Marriage In Ancient Rome

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Unlike modern weddings of today, marriage in ancient Rome was not romantic. Parents organized marriages to produce descendants to tend the ancestral spirits. The name matrimonium with its root mater (mother) shows the principle objective of the institution, the production of children who will be heirs to the father’s property.
Usually, men would marry in their late twenties, while women married in their teen age. A marriage needed the support of two families, and as such, it must offer something of value to both sides. Those who are poor and at the bottom of the class ladder had little and expected even less so it is unlikely that they arranged marriages with the needs of the parents in mind, but the aristocrats and the upper classes did, and young girls were in no position to fight their parents even on something as important as the choice of a marriage partner. Over the years, there was an increase in women’s economic power and in their status in society, but a father’s right both in theory and in practice to choose at least the first husband of a daughter remained constant throughout the Republic and the Empire.
Unlike mating which was polygamous, marriage in ancient Rome was monogamous in which a
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It was usually reserved for patrician families. In a marriage by confarreatio, the woman said: “ Quando tu Caius, ego Caia” which means “ Where you are the father of a family I shall be the mother”. These words certainly meant that the wife was willing and ready to enter the menus of her husband and by that to enter his gens (family). After that, the couple’s hands were brought together by the pronuba which was usually a married woman and represented the goddess Juno (the Roman goddess of love and marriage). Then the couple moved towards the sacrificial altar to offer the chief sacrifice themselves. In most ancient times, the sacrifice consisted of fruits, but later on, it consisted of animals. The auspex nuptiarum (the attendant priest) recited some prayers and the couple repeated them while moving around the altar. In this kind of marriage, the ceremony lasted all day. When night comes, the last stage of the ceremony begins- the deduction, which is the procession escorting the bride to her husband’s house. In addition, the grain far was baked into a special wedding cake (farreum) for the occasion; hence, the name
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