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MATRIMO´NIUM, NU´PTIAE (γάμος), marriage.


The history of the marriage relation among the Greeks takes us back to some of the very earliest forms of the connexion between the sexes. In many of the wild tribes that surrounded the Greek world we are told that the sexes mingled promiscuously--e. g. the Massagetae (Hdt. 1.126), the Nasamones (Hdt. 4.172), the Ausenses (Hdt. 4.180, &c.); and legends recount the same of the earliest times in Athens itself. “At Athens, Cecrops was the first person who married a man to one wife only, whereas before his time connexions had taken place at random, and men had had their wives in common” (Clearchus of Soli, ap. Ath. 13.2). Absurd as it would be to treat such a tradition as authentic history, it is possible that it embodies a true reminiscence of an early development; and it is curious to find that according to a quite separate legend (quoted from Varro by St. Augustine, de Civit. Dei, 18.9) the exclusion of women from public assemblies at Athens, and therewith their definite political subordination, is placed in the time of Cecrops. And indeed there are other reasons which lead us to believe that the institutions of Athens were, from the first, singularly averse to feminine predominance. Athenian mythology has no Antigone, not even a Helen; Athenian history has no Sappho, no Corinna. Aspasia herself was a Milesian.

In the rest of Greece, the marital tie developed more slowly, and with somewhat different results. The fierce stories of the Lemnian women, the Danaides, the Amazons, indicate that in the primeval times, amidst the frail organisations that then constituted society, women were occasionally capable of successfully contending against the stronger sex. Taking a step downwards in history, we come to the Homeric period; but before speaking of this, it will be expedient to notice a form of society which, though we meet with it at a later date, bears the mark of an earlier stage in the process of growth. This is the custom, which Herodotus (1.173) and other authorities attribute to the Lycians, of reckoning families according to descent on the mother's side, and of giving to the wife and daughter much of that predominance (especially as to the inheritance of property) which is generally given to the father and son. It is clear that this custom was a survival from those times when paternity was uncertain, and when the only known relationships were through the mother; but it continued, in some few instances, among peoples who, we have every reason to believe, were monogamists, according to the ordinary Greek acceptation of that term. Besides the Lycians, the Epizephyrian Locrians are stated by Polybius (12.5) to have reckoned descent through the mothers; and Nicolaus Damascenus (p. 160) says of the Sarmatians (to whom Herodotus in bk. 4.110-114 attributes a descent on the mother's side from the Amazons) that they obeyed their wives in everything (ταῖς δὲ γυναιξὶ πάντα πείθονται ὡς δεσποίναις). Those who wish to know more on this curious development of the conjugal bond may consult the learned and eloquent work of Bachofen (Das Mutterrecht), whose enthusiasm on behalf of the “government by women” transcends sober bounds; or the more moderate theories of McLennan (Studies in Ancient History, 1876).

It will be worth while remarking, in passing, that polygamy just touches the confines of Greece, in Thrace (Hdt. 5.5, 16; Eur. Andr. 215); as indeed the court of Priam, though Hecuba alone appears to have enjoyed the title of his wife, bore much resemblance to that of a polygamous monarch. We now come to the Greek society described in Homer.

The Iliad and Odyssey describe a society in which monogamy, and on the whole a pure monogamy, is the rule. No doubt “concubines” are mentioned, as well as “wedded wives” (e.g. Odyss. 14.203); yet Laertes is said to have abstained from the bed of his favourite maidservant, “fearing the anger of his wife” (χόλον δ᾽ἀλέεινε γυναικός, Odyss. 1.433): Agamemnon refrains from Briseis, even though he had taken her from Achilles (Il. 9.133); and the beautiful lines 340-343 of the same book assume monogamy as the natural condition. The strict ideas of modern times would not permit us to describe Ulysses as wholly faithful to Penelope; but he would seem to have had little choice in the hands of Circe and Calypso, and he was clearly faithful at heart. No queen could have more royal offices assigned to her than Arete, the queen of king Alcinous (Odyss. 6.310; vii. [p. 2.131]69-74, 142). Moreover, though women as well as men suffered from the roughness of the times, women were under no peculiar disadvantages; they were not forbidden to appear in the open streets. McLennan (op. cit.) gives reason to think that the relationship through mothers, already noticed as of predominant importance in Lycia in a later age, was in the Homeric period esteemed as superior to the relationship through fathers over the whole of Greece; and this would account for the comparatively high position attributed to women in Homer. (See Il. 21.95, where the epithet ὁμογάστριος is pointedly used to express a closer tie than brotherhood on the father's side.) In itself, the fact that the Homeric chiefs bought their wives, instead of receiving a dowry with them, might suggest a lower state of society. But the absence of any mention of divorce in Homer is in favour of the view here taken. [DOS]

In reference to these early states of society, two remarks of Aristotle, interesting in their connexion, should be borne in mind: first, that “among the barbarians, the female element and the servile element are in the same rank” (Pol. 1.2); secondly, that “the greater number of military and warlike races are governed by their women” (Pol. 2.9). In the Homeric society the latter or chivalrous condition is predominant; but it is difficult to be sure that the “barbarian” estimate of women was nowhere prevalent in early times in Greece; and it may be a part explanation of the decline in the position of women which took place over so large a portion of Greece afterwards.

In the main, however, this decline was due to other causes. In treating of it, the topic of the “wife” must for a short space be merged in the broader topic of the “woman.” The great distinction between the Homeric age and the historic period of Greece is the importance to which the “city” had attained in the latter period; the city being a community governed by laws (even though it might sometimes fall under the sway of a tyrant), self-centred, and priding itself on its independent existence. It seems certain that this city life, with its public deliberations, its collections of laws, and the large intellectual element which these demanded, was one to which women in that stage of the world's history were unequal. They fell still more behind than they had done in the merely warlike Homeric society. And other causes co-operated. Athens was from the first the type of this city life; now it was from Athens that the Ionian cities in Asia (and in many of the Aegean islands) were founded; and we are told (Hdt. 1.146) that these colonists did not take their wives with them, but married Carian women, so that from the first their wives started as on an inferior footing, and with antagonistic feelings to their husbands, which Herodotus implies continued more or less in subsequent generations. Further, these Ionian colonies were in direct contact with the Asiatic monarchies, in which women occupied a very inferior position. And as a final point, it must be noted that both in Athens and Ionia (as elsewhere) the city life, implying as it did a body of citizens, required a clear means of discrimination as to who was and who was not a citizen; and as citizenship was mainly handed on from father to son, purity of race assumed an importance unknown before. Achilles might marry his Phrygian captive Briseis with no complaint on the part of his Myrmidons; but the son of Pericles by the Milesian Aspasia could not be accounted a citizen of Athens without a special vote of the people. If then in a large city, such as Athens or Miletus, swarming with traders from all parts of Greece, an accurate distinction was to be kept up between citizens and aliens, it was necessary that the matrons of the city should be clearly severed off from all others, and also that they should be preserved from temptation; both of which ends were crudely but to a certain extent effectively secured by their comparative seclusion. From all these causes (and probably from other deep veins of character hard to trace), across that middle belt of the Greek world which extended from Athens to Ionia,--a belt containing the most advanced and cultivated cities of Greece,--the female sex was lowered from the position which it held in the time of Homer, and regulated by customs approximating to those which have always existed in the East.

It was impossible that other parts of Greece should be uninfluenced by such a result; and besides, some of the causes which acted in Attica and Ionia would be forcible elsewhere. Thus, though about 500 B.C. Corinna and other poetesses enjoyed an honourable publicity at Thebes, yet in 379 B.C. we find it a breach of etiquette for Theban women to walk freely about the streets (Plut. de Genio Socr. 32). The Aeolian colonies of Lesbos and the adjacent coast of Asia Minor resisted the tendency for a time; and Sappho and her brilliant compeers, about the beginning of the 6th century B.C., raised the female sex to the highest glory in respect of imaginative power, and perhaps attempted social changes as well. But the phenomenon was a transitory one; perhaps, even, not a favourable one for steady development: the Mytilenaeans had an honourable history after this, but we hear no more of their women. Argos, half-way between Athens and Sparta, shows also an intermediate character as regards its female population. We can hardly wholly reject the story of its heroic defence by Telesilla the poetess and the other women against the Spartans, about 510 B.C., after the slaughter of the Argive army by Cleomenes (Plut. de Mulierum Virtutibus; Paus. 2.20.7); but in the succeeding century the city lost to a great degree its Dorian character, and of its women too we scarcely hear anything more.

We may assume then that, by the middle of the 5th century B.C., the restriction of the liberty of free-born citizen women, which had begun some centuries earlier, attained its full development in Northern Greece. The most celebrated of the Greek colonies in Asia, most of the islands of the Aegean, and the northern part of the Peloponnesus itself, were subject to the same influence.

But there were parts of Greece that never in the smallest degree succumbed to this influence. In Sparta, from the first moment of its history down to the death of king Cleomenes in B.C. 220 (if not later), women enjoyed an authority, a distinction, rarely accorded to them even in modern times. With Sparta, Crete and Cyrene may, though in a minor degree, be reckoned; [p. 2.132]and here, too, the population was Dorian. But Cyrene and Crete will only enter into a small portion of the following observations.

As to the original cause of this lofty position of women among the Dorian race--and the observation is true of Argos also, down to about 500 B.C.--Müller conjectures (Dorians, 1.4.9) that it arose from the fact that the Dorians took their wives and children with them in their original emigration from the north to the south of the Corinthian gulf. Such a cause is certainly adequate, implying, as it does, association in perilous adventure; and it is difficult to conjecture another equally strong. The causes, moreover, which depressed the position of women elsewhere, existed very sparingly at Sparta. There was not there, as at Athens, any great influx of strangers; Sparta was not a commercial city; and those who came were at any time liable to be expelled by the authorities. [XENELASIA] Hence the strain of citizenship was easily kept pure at Sparta, without the seclusion of the wives. And Spartan husbands were the reverse of jealous; of which more presently. And since Spartan men were unable under the institutions of Lycurgus to make free use of wealth, the dowries of wives were large, and there were many heiresses. Aristotle tells us (Pol. 2.9) that two-fifths of the soil of Laconia was possessed by women. Hence ensued a condition of which the concise answer of Gorgo, wife of Leonidas, is the proud expression: “Why,” she was asked by a foreign lady, “do you Lacedaemonian wives, unlike all others, govern the men?” “Because we alone are the mothers of men.” (Plut. Lac. Apophtheg.

Exaggeration, however, must be avoided, both as to the extent of liberty allowed to wives at Sparta, and as to the goodness of the result. The laws of Sparta bound women as well as men: perhaps, because they bound men more than elsewhere, they bound women less; but with the detailed accounts of Xenophon and Plutarch before us, we cannot believe, with Aristotle (l.c.), that Lycurgus tried to legislate for women, and failed. Undoubtedly, however, there was much singularity in the legislation. Before marriage, the Spartan girl passed an open-air life of continuous exercise; she wrestled, she raced with her equals (Xen. de Rep. Lac. 1.4); intercourse with young men was not forbidden to her, and she was present at the public games. All this was allowed with a view to marriage; the girl would as a matter of course be given in marriage by her parent or κύριος (guardian); the youth who did not marry was liable to severe penalties (Pollux, 8.40; Plut. Lyc. 15). The form of marriage was a mock capture, a reminiscence of the time when wives were really captured with the strong hand; after marriage the bridegroom did not at once take his bride home, lest they should be soon tired of each other, but visited her in her parents' house clandestinely, and this secret intercourse sometimes continued till children were born to them (Plut. l.c.). When at last the husband took his wife home, he often took her mother with her (cf. Müller's Dorians, 4.4.2). The married woman was forbidden to attend gymnastic contests (Paus. 5.6.5); and when she went out of doors, wore a veil (Plut. Lac. Apophthegm., anecdote of Charillus). The custom of the newly-wedded wife remaining in her parents' house prevailed in Crete also (Strabo x. p.482); and the object there is stated to have been that she might learn housekeeping. Müller (l.c.) after Hesychius explains the word παρθένιος as meaning a son born during this period of quasi-secret marriage (cf. Hom. Il. 16.180).

More singular than the method of wooing among the Spartans was the regulation that permitted polyandry. The production of children was so far regarded by the legislator as the main end of marriage, that if a woman had no children by her husband, it was common for her, with full consent of her husband, to admit another man to her bed; and this might take place even if she had children by her husband, so that a wife might be the mother of two separate families (Plut. Lycurg.; Xen. Rep. Lac. 1.9). It would appear, too, that several brothers might share one wife (Plb. 12.6). Yet we know no specific case of this last; and as far as our information goes, the husband was always recognised as such, whatever intercourse with his wife he permitted on the part of others. Once, and only once in the history of Sparta, was bigamy permitted on the part of the man: this is the case of king Anaxandridas (Hdt. 6.39, 40), who for love of his first wife refused to put her away, but was obliged by the ephors to take a second for the sake of posterity. (One other case of bigamy is recorded among genuine Greeks, that of Dionysius of Syracuse, according to Aelian, Ael. VH 13.10.) It may be inferred from the case of Anaxandridas, and from the narrative in Hdt. 6.61, that the divorce of a wife on the ground of barrenness was sanctioned by Spartan law.

While connexions which we consider irregular were thus legalised at Sparta, illicit vice was very rare, and affection between husband and wife was often very tender. (See the lives of Agis and Cleomenes in Plutarch, especially the beautiful story of Chelonis, the wife of Cleombrotus.) The Spartan women were by far the finest and handsomest in Greece (Aristoph. Lys. 78-84); and their sayings and deeds recorded in Plutarch (especially in the Apophthegmata), though sometimes stern, are always striking. (One of them anticipated the celebrated speech of Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi.) The Athenians, as was natural, criticised their freedom (e. g. Eur. Andr. 595 ff.); and we can hardly refuse to admit, on the joint authority of Plato (Legg. i. p. 637) and Aristotle (Aristot. Pol. 2.9), that after the great successes of Sparta in the Peloponnesian wars, they, as well as the Spartan men, lost some of their virtue. But noble women are found among them even then: it is harsh to blame them severely for the single occasion on which they lost their nerve and showed timidity, when Epaminondas with his great army of 40,000 or 70,000 men was threatening the unwalled city of Sparta; and when Aristotle alleges (Pol. 2.9) that they caused the depopulation of Laconia by keeping the extensive tracts, of which they were the mistresses, uninhabited, we cannot but remember that the incessant military exercise of the Spartans and the practice of infanticide (which all the Greeks sanctioned) were much more probable causes of diminution of the population than that which [p. 2.133]Aristotle suggests. (He says that Sparta fell through her ὀλιγανθρωπία: an interesting, and in itself doubtless a true, observation.)

But it is necessary to hasten to that Greek state of which, after all, we know very far the most; the antipodes of Sparta--Athens. At Athens, as has been stated, both the unmarried girl and the wife lay under restrictions greater than anywhere else in Greece. It must be admitted, that even as regards Athens, there is a great deal which we do not know; and one of the problems of the case is to reconcile the recurring statements of the obscurity and weakness of women, as well as the unfeeling tone in which they are treated by the orators (but see, for an exception, and in a very unlikely place, [Dem.] c. Neaer. p. 1364.56), with the striking and elevated female characters that so often appear in the pages of the Greek tragedians. Some experience, one would think, Sophocles must have had of a free and noble maiden, when he drew Antigone; and Euripides of a noble wife, when he drew Alcestis. Even in Aristophanes, Lysistrata, in spite of the indecency of the play named after her, acts an essentially honourable part. Haemon, in Sophocles, is a lover of the high chivalrous type. And it is justly remarked by Becker, that we do know of one actual case in which a wealthy Athenian married for love--Callias, who married Elpinice, Cimon's sister (Plut. Cim. 4). But the balance of evidence is on the unfavourable side. Perhaps the Andria of Terence will give us the best idea of the possibilities and actualities of Athenian marriage. The plot of that play is romantic: each of the lovers marries his beloved. But the ethos of the play is totally against such a successful result, which happens by pure accident. Evidently, the father's will, and not the lover's passion, is the real animating cause which produces marriage in any ordinary case. “All lovers,” says Simo, one of the fathers, “feel it a sad grievance that a wife should be assigned to them” (Act i. scene 2). The wife, then, was not generally the beloved. And the unlimited obedience professed by Pamphilus, Simo's son (5.3), leaves him wholly in his father's power, at the risk of unspeakable misery to the object of his affections. Not less absolute is the obedience promised by the profligate son in the Trinummus of Plautus (5.3, 8): “Ego ducam, pater, etiam si quam aliam jubebis.” Evidently these are meant to be moral sentiments; but to us it is repellent, that a man's individuality should have no rights assigned to it in such a matter, and that duty should be held to consist in mere external obedience to another. The plain prose of the matter is expressed by the author of the speech against Neaera (p. 1386.122): “We have female companions (ἑταίρας) for our pleasure, concubines for daily attendance on our persons, but wives in order that we may beget legitimate children and that we may have a faithful guardian of our households.” The low morality of such a remark is the more palpable when we remember that it is in part intended to be the acknowledgment of a certain duty to the state.

Strictly speaking, the Athenians did not think meanly of marriage; but they did think meanly of the wife. The most honourable side of their conception of it was that which concerned the family; the necessity that a man should prevent his “heritage being desolate, and his name being cut off” (ὅπως μὴ ἐξερημώσουσι τοὺς σφετέρων αὐτῶν οἴκους); that some one should make offerings at his grave (ἀλλ᾽ ἔσται τις καὶ ἐναγιῶν, Isaeus, de Apoll. Hered. § 30): a feeling which is eloquently-expressed by Plato in the Laws (vi. p. 773 B), “We must take hold of the eternal nature by providing to God ministers to stand before him in our stead, the descendants whom we leave behind us.” Even this very praiseworthy sentiment was sometimes abused through the practice of unlimited adoption (for instances of which, see the speech of Demosthenes against Leochares).

Of the three most celebrated Greek writers who have treated of the subject of marriage--Plato, Aristotle, and Xenophon--Plato is the one who comes nearest to touching the real error of Athenian sentiment respecting marriage. In the beginning of the speech in the Laws just referred to, he clearly shows that reciprocation of vital influences is the root of the beneficent effects of marriage. Had he seen that this reciprocation lies in the interchange of noble thought and feeling between husband and wife personally, he would have penetrated to the secret of the whole. And he cannot have been far from seeing it: for he thought better of the capacities of women than any of his contemporaries. But he falls short, partly because the reciprocation which he commends is contemplated by him in too physical a manner, and partly because, when he does regard it spiritually, it is the wife's family in its entirety that he looks upon as. influencing the husband. His faith in womanhood is imperfect: hence there is a vagueness in his conception, though it is a noble one. A similar defect appears in his lofty sentiment that marriage should be entered into for the good of the community, and not for the pleasure of the individual; he is not aware that there are moments when personal sentiment has supreme rights. Aristotle (Eth. Nic. 8.14) gives a picture of marriage, beautiful of its kind; he insists on the elements of affection, and of a common interest, which it involves: but the idea of a reciprocal influence in it is not present to him in any considerable degree. He is aware indeed that there is a sphere in which the wife ought to rule the husband (Pol. 1.12); but he clearly regards that sphere as a superficial one, Xenophon, in the quaintly tender narrative of the Oeconomicus, shows a somewhat similar appreciation of the wife; she comes to her husband's house as an untamed creature, who has to be made pliable and taught the duties of housekeeping; beyond the household her sphere does not extend; she is recommended, though not absolutely enjoined, to keep indoors. Yet he assigns to her a share in the education of the children (7.12); she is to be a friend to the whole household; and what is still more valuable, Xenophon has a deep sense that the husband should esteem her, nay possibly look up to her. Akin to this is the reverence for a mother inculcated by Socrates in the Memorabilia (2.2). It is the universal assumption that the husband will be considerably older than the wife: Plato puts the age of marriage for the [p. 2.134]man at from 25 or 30 to 35, for the wife at from 16 to 20 (Legg. iv. p. 721; vi. pp. 772, 785), and he affixes penalties for the man who does not marry before the highest age mentioned; Aristotle recommends 35 as the best age of marriage for the husband, 18 for the wife (Pol. 7.16).

Let us now consider what is laid down in the Athenian law concerning marriage. Monogamy is, of course, assumed. Marriage, we are told, was made compulsory by Solon (Plut. de Amore Prol. 2); but if so, the law fell into disuse; and in later days bachelors were subject to no disadvantages in Athenian territory (cf., e.g., Demosth. c. Leoch. p. 1083.10). A youthful citizen was not allowed to marry until his name was entered in the tribal register (ληξιαρχικὸν γραμματεῖον). The restrictions as to whom he might marry differed from those imposed in modern times, being in part looser, in part more severe. Prohibitions on, the ground of consanguinity were less numerous than with us. A man might not marry a direct ancestor or descendant; nor might he marry stepmother or stepdaughter, mother-in-law or daughter-in-law; nor, with an exception to be noticed, his sister. It may be difficult to prove the existence of these prohibitions in every single case; but compare Eur. Andr. 174-177, Lysias in Alcib. 1.28; also the list of allowed relationships in Plato, Legg. xi. p. 925 C; and with respect to the mother-in-law, Andocid. de Myst. § 124, may be referred to, though not absolutely demonstrative. It is worth also referring to the well-known passage in St. Paul (1 Cor. 5.1), though of so late a date. The marriage of Oedipus was looked on with horror, and the fact that it was accidental was not regarded as an alleviation. On the other hand, the marriage of a brother with a half-sister on the father's side did sometimes occur (Dem. c. Eubul. p. 1304.20; Plut. Themist. 32). Marriage with a niece was common; with an aunt naturally less so, but there was nothing to forbid it.

The prohibition of marriage between a citizen and an alien belongs to a different class from the prohibition by reason of relationship. It would hardly seem to have existed in the early period of Athenian history; Megacles (Hdt. 6.130) and Miltiades (Hdt. 6.39) both married foreigners; the mother of Themistocles was a foreigner (Plut. Themist. 1). The influx of foreigners into Athens in the time of Pericles was doubtless the cause that necessitated a more stringent law; namely, that both the parents of a citizen must be citizens; whence it resulted that marriage with an alien was forbidden (Plut. Per. 37; Schol. ad Arist. Vesp. 717). Infringement of this law took place; hence it was re-enacted in the archonship of Eucleides (B.C. 403), with the reserve that the re-enacted law was not to be retrospective (Dem. c. Eubul. 1307.34). Timotheus, son of Conon, whose mother is said to have been a Thracian woman (Athen. 13.577 b), may probably have owed his citizenship to this saving clause. According to the Scholiast to Aeschines (c. Timarch. § 39), the law had to be re-enacted yet a third time. Clearly then the application of it was irregular; and we may infer this on other grounds. The speech against Neaera shows that it was not a dead letter; and the penalties for the breach of it there stated ([Dem.] c. Neaer. pp. 1350, 1363) are very severe. So, too, the plot of the Andria of Terence largely turns upon this law. Yet on the other hand we find such a singular case as that of Phormion, the freedman and afterwards the successor of the banker Pasion, who while still an alien married Pasion's widow, a female citizen; and though Apollodorus, Pasion's son, was vehemently incensed at the marriage, and brought divers actions at law to prove that Pasion's will, under which the marriage was sanctioned, was a forgery, yet he did not, until more than ten years had elapsed, allege this ground, which would so greatly have helped his case, that the marriage was intrinsically illegal. At last he did put forward this ground (Dem. c. Steph. ii. p. 11.32.13), but by that time Phormion had received the citizenship by a vote of the people. By way of important exception to the law, it should be noted that the right of intermarriage was granted by the Athenians at various times to other peoples: to the Thebans shortly before the battle of Chaeronea (Dem. de Cor. p. 291.187), to the Plataeans (Isocrates, Plat. § 51), to the Euboeans (Lysias, ὑπὲρ τῆς πολιτείας, § 3).

Marriage at Athens took place in two ways; either by ἐγγύησις or by ἐπιδικασία. Ἐγγύησις was the ordinary method, and meant the act of the father or guardian (κύριος) of a maiden in giving her in betrothal to her future husband. The act was a solemn one, the relatives of either side being witnesses. Whenever any woman had a κύριος, marriage could take place by no other method than this. If, however, a woman were left an heiress (ἐπικληρος) without having a κύριος (and according to the law given in Dem. c. Steph. p. 1134.18, only the father, the brother born of the same father, and the grandfather on the father's side, could discharge this office by virtue of natural relationship), then the next of kin might claim her in marriage (Isaeus, de Pyrrh. hered. § 78), preference being given to kindred on the father's side; such a claim was called ἐπιδικασία, and was brought in the first instance before the archon. [EPICLERUS] The public interest in such a claim being allowed lay in the danger of dissensions being caused by rival suitors, of which Aristotle (Aristot. Pol. 5.4) gives instances. If the heiress were poor (θῆσσα), it was likely that no claimant would come forward; in this case the archon was bound to compel the next of kin either himself to marry the heiress or to portion her and give her in marriage (Dem. c. Macart. p. 1067.51). It is to be inferred that the next of kin was regarded as κύριος of the heiress in such a case as this. Legitimate children at Athens were invariably the offspring of a marriage ratified according to one of these forms.

At the time of the betrothal the dowry of the bride was settled; and this indeed was a most important point for her future welfare. For--and, among the many points which show that Athenian law looked upon the wife as a sort of foreigner in the family, this is one of the most remarkable--the wife was reckoned to have no claim at all on her husband's property. Supposing her husband died, even the most distant cousin might inherit from him; but the [p. 2.135]wife, never. Nay, she might not even continue to reside in his house after his death, unless she pleaded pregnancy; in that case she would come under the protection of the archon, and would remain undisturbed until the child was born (Dem. c. Macart. p. 1076.75). Thus in Dem. c. Boeot. p. 1010.6, the wife of Cleomedon leaves her husband's house, and is portioned out again by her brothers. If in Dem. c. Phaenipp. p. 1047.27, this does not happen, the reason is that the two women there mentioned are the wards of their own sons, who maintained them out of their dowries. Neither could a mother inherit from her own children (Isaeus, de Hagn. hered. § 12). Hence the dowry was the only security to the wife against extreme poverty, in the event of her husband's death, or if she were divorced; the husband therefore had to give a guarantee for its return in the shape of some piece of landed property. [DOS] We find that wealthy men would sometimes portion the daughters of their poorer neighbours (Lysias, de bonis Aristoph. § 17). It would, however, be incorrect to suppose that the dowry would ever become the wife's absolute property; it would in the case supposed revert to her κύριος, who would either support her from it, or give her in marriage again. But as against her husband or his creditors, it was absolutely hers. The dowry, as has been said, did not exist in Homer's time, and was a gradual growth; Plato disapproved of it (Legg. 6.774 A) as tending to produce avarice; in early times it was small. The law which Plutarch attributes to Solon (Plut. Sclon, 100.20) restricting the amount of dowry to three garments and some household utensils (for dowry is what Plutarch clearly means, though he uses the word (φερνὴ and not the more usual προῒξ) is a highly probable one; and highly probable also is it that it should have fallen into desuetude. Attempts to legislate against the unavoidable tendencies of society are a very familiar feature of history; and there seems no reason for depriving Plutarch's statement of all its meaning by supposing the φερνὴ to mean simply wedding presents. Even in later times the dowry was not an absolute necessity (Plaut. Trinummus, 2.2, 97-102): though the want of it might entail difficulty and discredit.

It is again very notable that, in spite of the formal betrothal and marriage, the husband was no more κύριος, over his own wife than before. The father, or whoever had been the previous protector, retained his office. Thus in Dem. c. Spud. p. 1029, we find the father taking away his daughter from the husband to whom he had given her in marriage, and marrying her to another husband. This would not have been sanctioned by Roman law. Nay, even if the father died, the husband did not become κύριος, unless he had been adopted by the father: as we see from the case of the daughter of Aristarchus (Isaeus, de Arist. her. § 27), whose husband dared not claim the property which was due to his wife, because the next of kin threatened to take away his wife if he raised difficulties. Isaeus (de Pyrrh. hered. § 78) tells us that many husbands had been deprived of their wives in this way. If, however, the father had left his daughter by will in marriage to anyone, the husband so constituted became κύριος over his wife. In default of any special provision either in this way or by the husband being adopted into the house of his father-in-law, the protectorship over the wife, after her father's death, would belong to her brother, or perhaps grandfather; and whoever was κύριος, had the entire disposal of the wife, just as if she had been unmarried. (Cf. Dem. c. Eubul. p. 1311.40.) Supposing, however, the husband was κύριος over his wife, he had then rights as anomalous, to our thinking, as his want of rights was in the other case; in his office of κύριος he could give her in marriage to another person just as if he had not been her husband (Dem. pro Phorm. p. 953.28; Isaeus, de Menecl. hered. § § 7, 8). And, as a matter of course, he could direct by his will that she should be married to another person. In short, a woman, whether maiden, wife, or widow, was always under guardianship, always at the disposal of another. Her own sons, if two years past the age of manhood, would be her guardians, supposing she were left a widow without any other κύριος.

Those who regard the catalogue of wrongs (if it is fair to say that the absence of rights constitutes a wrong) suffered by women at Athens, as recapitulated in the last two paragraphs, will not think that the Athenians had any reason for pluming themselves over the Spartans as respects their treatment of the weaker sex. The plaintive lament in the Tereus of Sophocles, “We women are nothing: happy indeed in our childhood, for then we are thoughtless; but when we arrive at maidenhood, driven away from our homes, sold as merchandise, compelled to marry and to say, ‘All's well’ :” and the more vigorous invective of Medea against the oppression of her sex (Eur. Med. 230-266), doubtless had their prototypes in some, at any rate, of the suffering Athenian women. It is curious, however, to find that Medea complains of the dowry as a wrong. “We have to buy ourselves a husband,” she says. With much more reason does she complain of the terrible risk to which women are subjected, without any choice when a husband is forced upon them; of the tedium of the life indoors, debarred from that general society which the husband enjoyed; and still more of the worst possible injury, if that happened, when the husband left her and sought the bed of another. The poets, like the philosophers, had sympathies in which the legislators and orators of Athens were wanting; and Euripides (who was very unjustly, as far as we can tell, termed a woman-hater) seems even to have thought that a woman should not marry a second time (Troad. 656-671), and therefore of course that she should not be compelled so to marry. If it cannot be inferred from Alcestis, 328-331, that he disapproved of a man marrying a second time, the lines are at any rate remarkable.

The provision for heiresses marrying their next of kin, mentioned above, was a single example of a customary practice; to marry within the family was common; whether it was equally salutary may be doubted. It had its points of convenience, of course. (Compare the Hebrew law, Numbers 27.1-11, and the example of it in Ruth iv.) But there were professional matchmakers called προμνηστρίδες [p. 2.136]or προμνηστρίαι (Xen. Mem. 2.6, 36; Pollux, 3.31), who, however, did not stand in high esteem (Plato, Theaet. p. 150 B).

The marriage ceremonial at Athens, among the higher classes, was more elaborate than with us. The consecration of all girls to Artemis, when they were ten years old, at the festival Brauronia, stood in intimate relation with it. [BRAURONIA] When the marriage itself drew near, the sacrifice to the tutelar gods of marriage (θεοὶ γαμήλιοι) took place. This was performed by the father, and might take place some days before the marriage (Eur. Iph. in Aul. 718), or on the day itself (Achill. Tat. 2.12). As to who the tutelary deities were, custom appears to have varied. Diodorus Siculus (5.73) names Zeus and Hera; but Pollux names Hera, Artemis, and the Fates (3.38): Artemis is also mentioned in relation to Boeotia and Locris in Plut. Arist. 20; and the Nymphs are mentioned in Plut. Amat. Narr. 1. The sacrifice itself was called προτέλεια γάμων, or προγάμεια, and it was regarded as a dedication of the bride to the deities named, some locks of the bride's hair (ὰπαρχαὶ) being offered as a symbol of the dedication (Pollux, l.c.). On the wedding day itself, bride and bridegroom bathed in water drawn from a particular fountain of running water: at Athens this was the fountain Callirrhoë, also called ἑννεάκρουνος (Thuc. 2.15). The water from this fountain was carried either by a boy (Harpocration) or a girl (Pollux, 3.43); from which custom was probably derived that other custom of placing over the tombs of those who died unmarried the image of a girl carrying water (Dem. c Leoch. pp. 1086, 1089). Sometimes the pitcher of water alone was carved (Eustath. ad Iliad. 23.141). Late in the evening of the wedding day, the bridegroom fetched his bride from her parents' house, on a car (ἅμαξα) drawn by horses, mules, or oxen; on either side of her sat the bridegroom and his “best man” (παράυνμφος or πάροχος, Arist. Av. 1735). In front of the car went the torch-bearing procession (δᾷδες νυμφικαί), the nuptial torch having been lit by the mother of the bride (Eurip. Iph. in Aul. 732) or of the bridegroom (Eur. Med. 1027; Phoeniss. 344); bride and bridegroom were crowned with chaplets, and clothed in festal attire, as also were the attendants, the bride being covered with a long veil; congratulations were poured out by relations, friends, and well-wishers, and the cry Ὑμὴν Ὑμέναι᾽ resounded to the sweet playing of flutes (Aristoph. Peace 1316-1356; Hom. II. 18.490, Odyss. 6.27; Plut. Amat. 26; Harpocration). On their reaching the bridegroom's house, a peculiar custom prevailed in Boeotia: the axle of the car was burnt, to symbolise the irreversible step taken. Yet be it observed, that the bridegroom who had been married before could not bring his bride home in this exultant way; a friend (νυμφαγωγός) in that case brought the bride to him from her house. At the entrance to the bridegroom's house, sweetmeats (καταχύσματα) were poured upon the wedded pair (Schol. ad Arist. Plut. 768): the doors of the house were covered with garlands, as were those of the bride's house. Then followed the wedding-feast (θοίνη γαμική), usually in the house of the bridegroom,--one of the most important parts of the entire ceremonial; for the guests were in fact witnesses to the marriage, and their testimony was the final and single proof that it had taken place, since documentary evidence was not looked for or provided (Dem. c. Onet. p. 869.20; Athen. 5.185 a). At the wedding-feast women were allowed to be present, though at different tables from the men (Lucian, Conviv. 8; Athen. 14.644 a; Eurip. Iph. in Aul. 722). Sesame-cakes, symbolical of a fertile marriage, formed a part of the feast (Schol. ad Arist. Pax, 869). At the conclusion of the feast, the bride was conducted veiled into the bridal chamber; the bridegroom closed the door; and a law of Solon enjoined that the bride and bridegroom should eat a quince together, to symbolise the sweetness of their conversation (Plut. Solon. 20). The epithalamium was then sung before the door of the bridal chamber by a chorus of maidens, and the song was accompanied with dancing (Theocr. Idyll. xviii.). But the Scholiast on this passage tells us that some epithalamia were sung in the early morning to wake the wedded pair, the two kinds being called κατακοιμητικὰ and διηγερτικὰ respectively.

On the day after the marriage (according to Harpocration) the bride for the first time showed herself without a veil, and the gifts which she on that day received from her relatives were thence called ἀνακαλυπτήρια or ὀπτήρια. Hesychius, however, says that these presents were made not on the second but on the third day; and this may be correct: for Pollux (3.39) mentions that the gifts made on the day after the marriage were called ἀπαύλια, and that among them was a garment (ἀπανλιστηρία) presented by the bride to the bridegroom, who on the succeeding night did not sleep with his bride, but in his father-in-law's house, the bride being unveiled, and the ἀνακαλυπτήρια presented the day after.

An offering to Aphrodite was made by the wedded pair, either on the wedding-day (Plut. Amrator. 26) or on the day after (Aeschin. Ep. 10, p. 681). Another ceremony observed after marriage was the sacrifice which the husband offered up on the occasion of his bride being registered among his own phrateres (Dem. c. Eubul. pp. 1312.54, 1320.84; Isaeus, de Pyrrh. hered. § 45).

Marriages generally took place in the winter (Arist. Polit. 7.16); and the month Gamelion (our January) derived its name from the favour in which it was held for this purpose. The fourth day of the month, according to Hesiod (Op. 800), was the most favourable day; and as in a lunar month this would be the day on which the first crescent of the new moon appeared, the interpretation of Proclus seems correct, that the day when sun and moon met in the same quarter of the heavens was the day when man and woman might best meet in wedlock. Pindar, however (Isthm. 7.44), and Euripides (Iph. in Aul. 717) prefer the full moon.

After marriage the wife lived with the other female inmates of the house in the γυναικωνῖτις, or women's apartments: in a large house these would be a separate building, connected by a passage with the men's rooms; but in the little house mentioned in Lysias (de caed. Erastosth. [p. 2.137]p. 92) the women's rooms were on the upper floor, the men's rooms below: for the convenience and safety of the wife, however, the two sets were changed, and the husband lived upstairs. The wife then had the superintendence of the entire household: she had charge of the education of the boys till they were put under a master, of the girls till they were married; she tended the sick, whether free or slave; the kitchen, the furniture, the stores, came under her; and last, not least, the ταλάσια ἔργα (Xen. Oecon. 7.6), all that related to the spinning and weaving of wool, and the making of clothes--for it must be remembered that the clothes of an ancient household were mostly made within the house itself. If the establishment were a large one, the wife would have a housekeeper (ταμία) to assist her. If the husband were alone, the wife would dine with him, and familiar jesting would pass between them (Lysias, l.c.), or perhaps even serious conversation on the doings of the Assembly (Dem. c. Neaera, p. 1382.142); but if the husband had other male friends with him, it was thought indecorous for the wife to appear.

It will be seen that the wife had no lack of duties, but they were duties that would naturally be felt to be monotonous; and it is curious to find that religious exercises were then, as in later times, one of the chief resources to which she betook herself. Thus the husband in Menander's Misogynist (fragm. 3 and 4) complains: “ ἐπιτρίβουσιν ἡμᾶς οἱ θεοὶ
μάλιστα τοὺς γήμαντας: ἀεὶ γάρ τινα
ἄγειν ἑορτήν ἐστ᾽ ἀνάγκη:

What amount of liberty had the wife? The young maiden had practically none; ὀχυροῖσι παρθενῶσι φρουροῦνται καλῶς, says Euripides of them (Iph. in Aul. 738). But the wives were on a some what different footing; and the question divides itself into two parts: Whom might they converse with? and, Where might they go? The clearest answer to the first of these questions is supplied by Euripides, Iph. in Aul. 819-852. In that scene Clytemnestra meets Achilles, having been informed that her daughter, Iphigenia, was about to be married to that hero; and though she had never met him before, treats him familiarly on the ground of that supposed connexion, and offers to greet him by clasping his hand. Achilles, however, knowing nothing of any such alliance (which was a fiction imposed on Clytemnestra by Agamemnon), declares that he is ashamed to converse with a woman, tries to get away, and rejects her proffered hand. An explanation then takes place, and Clytemnestra, quite overcome, declares that now for her part she is ashamed to look at him. This passage proves clearly, that a woman might in the time and country of Euripides hold familiar conversation with any near male relative, but not with any other male person. A similar conclusion on the positive side appears to be deducible from Dem. c. Spud. p. 1033.17, where we find Spudias commissioning his wife to represent him on the occasion of her father making his will, when clearly other male relatives were present; a commission which, it may be remarked in passing, shows that an Athenian woman might and probably would be able to read and write, and was sometimes by no means incapable in business matters.

But how far had an Athenian matron freedom of locomotion--how far might she go out of doors? This is by no moans so simple a question as the former. Nevertheless, as far as the latter period of the Athenian commonwealth, and as far as the city of Athens, are concerned, a very clear and exact answer seems to be given by Hypereides (ap. Stob. 74.33): “The woman who goes out of her own house ought to be in that time of life when the men who meet her will ask, not, Whose wife is she? but, Whose mother is she?” We may fairly suppose then that a woman of fifty (or perhaps one still younger) might without censure walk about Athens in the middle of the 4th century B.C., provided she were accompanied by an attendant. This would apply to women in the highest rank (though these, it is likely, would not wish to leave their homes much); in lower ranks there would be greater freedom, and really poor women, as Aristotle expressly tells us (Pol. 4.15, 6.8), were obliged to go out to purchase necessaries. Thus, too, we find citizen women selling in the market (e. g. Aristoph. Thes. 448), and in Dem. c. Eubul. p. 1308.30, a law is referred to which made it an offence to reproach them for so doing. There is, however, some reason to think that this law was annulled or forgotten afterwards; for in [Dem.] c. Neaera, p. 1367.67, another law is quoted which certainly casts a slur on such occupation. On the whole, the passages bearing on the question do not favour the idea that Athenian wives acquired greater liberty as time went on. Solon, it should be observed, laid down a law that a woman must not go out at night except in a vehicle and with a lantern in front of her (Plut. Sol. 21), from which we gather that a woman might go out at night under these conditions, and might sometimes go out in the day-time without complying with these conditions. This gives a very different idea of the liberty of women from that implied in the well-known passage of the orator Lycurgus (c. Leocrat. § 40), in which, after the defeat at Chaeronea, the Athenian women are described as cowering in a panic at their house-doors, inquiring after the safety of those dear to them, “being gazed upon in a manner unworthy of themselves and of the city.” It is true, however, that the comparative smallness of Athens in the time of Solon may have made it less dangerous for a woman to be seen in the public ways then. It may be inferred from some expressions in Xenophon's Oeconomicus, that women enjoyed more liberty in the country than in the town, as would indeed be expected. When, in Athens, they would leave their houses to join in processions at the festivals, and also to witness the tragedies at the theatres (see the evidence on this point in the excursus on theatre-going in Becker's Charikles); on other occasions seldom, except for causes of real necessity. And in a similar way, for a man to intrude into the γυναικωνῖτις was a very unseemly act (Lysias, c. Simon. § 6); nay, a friend of the family might not enter the house in the absence of its master, even for the sake of helping the family against assailants (Dem. c. Euerg. p. 1157.60). Numerous other passages might be [p. 2.138]quoted bearing on this question, but these will be sufficient. [See also GYNAECONOMI] The subjects of divorce and adultery are treated under the articles DIVORTIUM, ADULTERIUM.

Athenian law did not concern itself, as far as we know, about the marriage of the μέτοικοι (resident aliens). Slaves, of course, were incapable of marriage; but we find the author of the Oeconomicus, attributed to Aristotle (1.5), recommending that they should be allowed to beget children, as they will thus be more faithful to their masters. It is then to be inferred that they would be allowed generally to retain their children as their own.

Besides the works of Bachofen and McLennan, referred to in an early part of this article, the following works may be referred to on the subject treated of:--Müller's Dorians, for the Spartan customs. Becker-Göll, Charikles, iii. pp. 308 ff. (the excursus on the Women contains more general information on the subject than any other modern work). Van den Es (de Jure Familiarum apud Athenienses, 1864); the fullest book on the law of the subject. For the philosophy, Newman's Aristotle, vol. i. pp. 168-198 (Oxford, 1887). For the Homeric period, Lenz's Geschichte der Weiber im heroischen Zeitalter, may be consulted. Mahaffy (Social Life in Greece, pp. 170-194) has some interesting remarks on the relation of the poets to the question, especially as regards Euripides.


2. Roman

Marriage, an institution regulated by law, but to a great extent beyond the domain of law, was among the Romans a complete union for life between a man and one woman, an intercommunion of sacred and human law (Dig. 23, 2, 1), which had for its main object the procreation of children (liberum quaesundum gratia). To marry and beget children, who could keep up the sacra familiaria, was a religious duty of a Roman (Fustel de Coulanges, La Cite Antique, pp. 41-54), and also a duty to the commonwealth. [LEX JULIA ET PAPIA POPPAEA]

On account of its religious and social importance, marriage was attended with many rites and observances, which were not necessary for its legal formation. In the first part of this article it is proposed to confine the reader's attention for the most part to the legal aspect of marriage as regards its formation and consequences, and in the latter part to describe the nature of marriage rites and observances.

The only marriage recognised in early Roman law was that which was conformable to the Jus Civile, and which was called Justae Nuptiae, in later times also Justum Matrimonium. (Ulpian, 5.1, 2.) To this marriage of Jus Civile the matrimonium juris gentium, or marriage according to gentile law, came to be opposed (Gaius, 1.87). The word matrimonium seems to have been used originally to signify a marriage which was not a civil marriage, the child of such marriage following the condition of his mother instead of that of his father, as would have been the case if he had been born from justae nuptiae.

A Roman civil marriage was either cum conventione uxoris in manum viri, or it was sine in manum conventione (Ulpian, 26.7). The marriage cum conventione in manum differed from that sine conventione, in the effect which it had on the condition of the wife.

By the marriage cum conventione, the wife came into the power (manus) of her husband, or, if he were a filiusfamilias, of his paterfamilias; leaving her own familia, she passed into the familia of her husband, and was to him in the relation of a filiafamilias (Cic. Top. 3, 14; “filiae loco est,” Gaius, 2.159). In marriage sine conventione the wife did not pass into the power of her husband; she was, as it were, a stranger (extranea) in his household, her relation to her own family remaining as before the marriage; she did not share in the familiaria sacra of her husband, and was no civil relation to her own children.

A marriage cum conventione was a necessary condition to make a woman a materfamilias in the strict sense of the word. In the marriage sine conventione the wife was merely uxor; that is, a wife and nothing more. Thus Cicero (l.c.) says: “Uxor is a genus of which there are two species ( ‘duae formae,’ Quint. Inst. 10.62): one is materfamilias, ‘ quae in manum convenit ’ the other is uxor only.”

The term “materfamilias” would only be applicable to a woman “quae in manum convenit,” when her husband was sui juris, not if he were a filiusfamilias. Gellius (18.6) also states that the above was the old meaning of materfamilias. Matrona was properly a wife not in manu, and equivalent to Cicero's tantummodo uxor (Gellius, 18.6, 8). But these words are not always used in their original and proper meanings (cf. Voigt, XII. Tafeln, 2.158, n. 4). As an uxor sine conventione was not a member of a patriarchal family, but a stranger in her husband's household, it seems probable that in the most ancient Roman family law such a wife was not recognised, and that manus was a necessary consequence of marriage; from an early time, however, justae nuptiae could exist without manus being attached to them, and this freer kind of marriage being preferred by women and their families gradually supplanted marriage with manus, and came into general use. In the time of Gaius marital manus, which had long ceased to be common, was almost obsolete, and soon afterwards it altogether disappeared from the law.

A Roman civil marriage may be viewed, first, with reference to the capacity for entering into it; secondly, with reference to the mode in which it was contracted; thirdly, with reference to its legal consequences.

The right of entering into a valid civil marriage, uxoris jure ducendae facultas (Ulp. Frag. 5, 3), is called the Jus Conubii. The Jus Conubii belonged only to Roman citizens; the cases in which it at any time existed between parties not both Roman citizens, were exceptions to the general rule. “Roman men citizens,” says Ulpian (Fragm. 5, 4, 11), “have conubium with Roman women citizens (Romanae cives), but with Latinae and Peregrinae only in those cases where it has been permitted. With slaves there is no conubium.

Originally there was no conubium between the patricians and plebeians, and it is a question whether previous to the Servian reforms plebeians could enter into justae nuptiae among themselves, since they first became cives under the Servian constitution (cf. Liv. 4.2), and civitas was a condition of justae nuptiae. But though [p. 2.139]before this change patricians may not have recognised plebeian marriage by purchase as being on the same footing with their own marriage by confarreation, marriage had long been established by the plebeians, and had been a means of acquiring patria potestas.

By the Lex Canuleia, conubium between the patricians and plebeians was declared. A female gentilis could not, as a rule, marry anyone outside her gens--ecnuptio gentis--by which the number of gentiles would be diminished, unless with the consent of the gens. (Mommsen, Röm. Forsch. i. p. 10: see Muirhead, Roman Law, 3.26, n. 3.)

The division of the inhabitants of the Roman empire into Cives, Latini, and Peregrini, which existed in the time of the classical jurists, though without any ethnological significance, and the rule, which was subject to various exceptions, that justae nuptiae could only be contracted between cives, made the law of status, as it is described by Gaius and Ulpian, extremely complicated. We may see by a comparison of the first book of Gaius with Justinian's Institutes how much the liberal extension of oivitas in the interval between these works simplified the law.

The Lex Julia et Papia Poppaea placed certain restrictions on marriage as to the parties between whom it could take place. [LEX JULIA ET PAPIA POPPAEA; INFAMIA.] Thus certain marriages were prohibited on account of disparagement, as marriages between a senator and freedwomen (Dig. 23, 2, 31). The lex allowed freeborn persons (ingenui) to marry freedwomen (libertinae) (Dig. 23, 2, 23). Persons within certain prohibited degrees of relationship could not intermarry. A union of persons within the prohibited degrees was an incestuous one. Relations who had the jus osculi, or right of kiss with one another, could not marry one another. (Klenze, Das Familienricht der Cognaten und Affinen nach Röm. u. verwandten Rechten, p. 16. See Muirhead, Roman Law, iii. p. 26.)

In early times there could be no marriage between cognates within the seventh degree, but subsequently the prohibited circle was made less wide. There could be no marriage between ascendants and descendants, whether the realtion was natural or by adoption; and a man could not marry an adopted daughter or granddaughter, even after he had emancipated her. Brothers and sisters, whether of the whole or half blood, could not marry, but a man might marry a sister by adoption after her emancipation, or after his own emancipation. It became legal to marry a brother's daughter after Claudius had set the example by marrying Agrippina; but the rule was not carried further than the example, and in the time of Gaius it remained unlawful for a man to marry his sister's daughter (Gaius, 1.62; Tac. Ann. 12.5; Sueton. Claud. 26). Constantine prohibited a marriage between a man and his brother's daughter. Marriages between first cousins were recognised, but Ulpian (5.6) says that at one time the impediment to marriage between collaterals reached the fourth degree--that is, first cousins--but it had receded to the third.

The marriage of Domitius, afterwards the Emperor Nero, with Octavia, the daughter of Claudius, seems at first sight somewhat irregular. Nero was adopted by Claudius by a Lex Curiata (Tac. Ann. 12.26), but he was already his son-in-law; at least the fact of his being so is mentioned before the adoption (Tac. Ann. 12.9). There seems to be no rule of law which would prevent a man from adonting his son-in-law; though if the adoption took place before and existed at the time of marriage, the marriage would be illegal, as stated by Gaius. There was also no right of intermarriage between persons within certain relations of affinity, as between a man and his socrus, nurus, privigna, and noverca. [AFFINITAS.]

When marriage was dissolved, the parties to it might marry again, but public opinion made it improper for a woman to marry again, a second marriage being regarded as showing a want of pudicitia. (Fest. 242, 31; Liv. 10.23, 5, 9; V. Max. 2.1, 3; Quint. Decl. 306.) A woman was required by religious usage to wait ten months, and subsequently a year, which was her period of mourning, before she contracted a second marriage; otherwise she incurred a religious penalty and also infamia.

There were some absolute impediments to marriage. Thus, as the procreation of children was a main object of marriage, physical incapacity prevented a person from contracting a valid marriage. Hence impuberes and persons who had certain bodily imperfections, as eunuchs and others, who from any cause could never attain to puberty, could not marry. But the law did not inquire whether persons were past the age of begetting or bearing children: persons of any age above puberty might marry, though if they had reached a certain age they did not by their marriage escape the disabilities of the Lex Julia et Papia Poppaea. (Ulp. Fragm. 16.4.) Insanity was a bar to marriage.

Betrothal (sponsalia) was the proper and usual preliminary of marriage, though it was not legally necessary. “Sponsalia,” according to Florentinus (Dig. 23, 1, 1) “sunt mentio et repromissio nuptiarum futurarum.” In sponsalia a maiden was promised in solemn form to a man as his bride. Such promise was not made by the maiden herself, but by her paterfamilias, or if she was not under patrias potestas by her tutor, who were said spondere, the betrothed becoming sponsa (Plaut. Aul. 2.2, 79 f.; Poen. 5.3, 38; Ter. And. 1.1, 72 f.; Liv. 38.57, 6: cf. Voigt, XII. Tafeln, 2.682); the promise was accepted by the man, or by his paterfamilias if he were under potestas, who in so doing were said despondere, according to the strict sense of this word. (Donat. in Ter. And. 5.6, 16; Serv. in Aen. 10.79: cf. Voigt sup.) It is to be noticed that there was no reciprocal promise on the part of the man to the person who promised the bride, as there seems to have been according to Latin custom. Gellius has preserved (4.4) an extract from the work of Servius Sulpicius Rufus de Dotibus, which defines the Latin as distinguished from the Roman custom on this subject. (Compare Varro, L. L. 6.70.) In that part of Italy called Latium sponsalia, according to Servius, was a contract by stipulationes and sponsiones, the former on the part of the future husband, the latter on the part of him who gave the woman in marriage. The woman who was [p. 2.140]promised in marriage was accordingly called sponsa, which is equivalent to promissa; the man who engaged to marry was called sponsus. The sponsalia then was an agreement to marry, made in such form as to give each party a right of action in case of non-performance, and the offending party was condemned in such damages as to the judex seemed just. This was the law (jus) of sponsalia, adds Servius, to the time when the Lex Julia gave the civitas to all Latium.

But according to Roman usage, corresponding in this respect to Greek, the sponsalia consisted simply in a unilateral promise on the side of the woman, and did not create any legal obligation, neither party to the sponsalia having a right of action in the event of a refusal to marry. It was always possible for the person who had entered into the sponsio on account of the maiden to renounce it--repudium renuntiare, renuntiare (Plaut. Aul. 4.10, 53, 69; Ter. Phorm. 4.3, 72; Dig. 23, 1, 10). The renunciation was generally made by means of a nuntius (Brisson, de v. s. nuntius). If a man made a gift to his betrothed with a view to future marriage (propter nuptias donatio), and he broke off the match, he lost the right of recovering what he had given (Cod. 5, 3, 15). If a person entered into double sponsalia at the same time, he was liable to infamia. [INFAMIA] Persons might be betrothed who were below the age of puberty, if they were not under seven years of age. By a regulation of Augustus, comprised in the Lex Julia et Papia, it was declared that no sponsalia should be valid if the marriage did not follow within two years, but this rule was subject to various exceptions. (Sueton. Aug. 34; D. C. 54.16, and the note of Reimarus; Gaius, Dig. 23, 1, 17.)

Voigt suggests the following as the form of the sponsalia:--

Spondesne Gaiam tuam filiam (or, if she were pupilla), Gaii, Lucii filiam filio meo, (or) mihi, uxorem dari?
Dii bene vortant! Spondeo.
Dii bene vortant.

Marriage carried into effect the object of betrothal. The essence of marriage was consent, and the consent, says Ulpian, “both of those who come together and of those in whose power they are” ; and “marriage is not effected by sexual union, but by consent.” The consent of the man and woman was necessary, and was commonly shown at the time of the marriage by the acts of the parties, as by dextrarum junctio, and in later times by the subsignatio tabularum, but the subject members of a family were bound to marry at the bidding (jussus) of their paterfamilias (Gel. 2.7, 18), and without his consent they could not marry. Thus a filiusfamilias was given a wife by his paterfamilias (aliquam filio uxorem dare: cf. Ter. Phorm. 5.8, 32 f.; Liv. 42.24, 3), and a bride was given in marriage by her paterfamilias, or if not in patria potestate she may possibly have been given away at one time by her agnatic tutor, but in later times persons sui juris, women as well as men, married of their own accord. If a paterfamilias refused his consent to the marriage of those subject to him without proper ground, he might be compelled to allow their marriage by order of a magistrate.

The marriage cum conventione in manum differed from that sine conventione, in that the ordinary mode of entering into it was formal, whereas marriage without manus only required consent, however informally expressed.

A marriage cum conventione might be effected by confarreatio, coemptio, or usus. Confarreatio was a form of marriage peculiar to the patricians, while coemptio seems to have been originally confined to the plebeians; but when conubium was extended to the plebeians, coemptio became a common form of intermarriage between the two orders. Confarreatio or farreum was a religious form of marriage, which principally consisted in an offering, with solemn words, of panis farreus to Jupiter Farreus, in the presence of ten witnesses, the Pontifex Maximus and Flamen Dialis taking part in the ceremony. Its formalities are described in the latter part of this article. (Gaius, 1.112; Ulp. 9.1.) The form seems to have been in use among other Latin races.

Patrician women were unwilling to marry in this way, because its effect was to give their husbands manus over them, and hence this form of marriage fell into disuse. It was necessary, however, to maintain it to some extent, because certain priestly offices, viz. those of flamines. majores and reges sacrorum, could only be held by those who were born of parents who had been married by this ceremony (confarreati parentes), and the holders of these offices had themselves to be married by confarreatio (Gaius, 1.112). In order to induce persons to enter into confarreate marriages, so that these priestly offices might be filled up, a change in the law was instituted by Augustus, and fully carried out by Tiberius, to the effect that manus should no longer be a consequence of confarreatio except quoad sacra. (Gaius, 1.136; see note in Muirhead's ed. Tac. Ann. 4.16; Suet. Aug. 31.) Gaius informs us that this form of marriage was in use in his time, as required for the above religious offices.

Coemptio was a form of mancipation (mancipium) or conveyance by fictitious sale; and was probably a survival of the early form of marriage by sale or purchase (McLennan, Primitive Marriage; Rossbach, Ehe, p. 198). The woman was mancipated in marriage to the man by her paterfamilias, or, if she were a filiafamilias, possibly by her tutor. According to some ancient authorities, there was not only a mancipation of the woman to the man in a coemptio, but also a mancipation of the man to the woman (Servius in Aen. 4.103, in Georg. 1.31; Boethius, in Cic. Top. 2.3, 14; Isid. Or. 5.24, 26: cf. Muirhead, Roman Law, Appendix B); and accordingly several modern writers of repute maintain that there must have been such a double mancipation. It is objected to this view of the nature of coemptio, that it supposes a person could mancipate himself to another, whereas it is clear from the nature of mancipium, and especially from the description given of it by Gaius, that besides the object of sale a vendor (coemptionator) and a purchaser were necessary as parties to the conveyance. Gaius in 1.113 says, “emit is mulierem, cujus in manum convenit,” but there is no direct legal authority in support of the view that there was a purchase of the man, though Boethius cites Ulpian as having asserted it. It is also to be [p. 2.141]noticed that the authorities for a double mancipation wrote long after coemptio had become obsolete. The coemptio seems to have comprised, besides the mancipation, a reciprocal form of question and answer, in which the consent of the parties to the marriage was expressed. (Boeth. in Cic. Top. 3, 14; Serv. in Aen. 4.214; Isid. Or. 5.24, 26: cf. Voigt, XII. Tafeln, § 159, n. 24.) The coemptio was the only surviving way of acquiring manus over a wife when Gaius wrote; but it had probably become obsolete in practice. Coemptio was either matrimonii causa or fiduciae causa. This latter kind of coemptio, which was the mancipation of a woman to a man not her husband, is considered under TESTAMENTUM and TUTELA Manus could also be acquired according to the law of the Twelve Tables by usus. If a woman lived with a man continuously for a whole year as his wife, she came in manum viri by virtue of this matrimonial cohabitation, just as ownership of a movable thing was acquired by a year's possession [USUCAPIO]. The law of the Twelve Tables provided that a woman should not come into the manus of her husband in this manner, if she absented herself from him annually for three nights (trinoctium), and so interrupted the period of usus (Gellius, 3.2; Gaius, 1.111). Married women generally availed themselves of this means of escaping manus, and after a time usus fell into desuetude (Gaius, 1.111). It was obsolete when Gaius wrote.

It is probable that in the time of Cicero marriage without the manus had become the usual marriage of Roman law. No forms were requisite in marriage: the consent of two persons capable of marrying to live together matrimonii causa, i.e. as husband and wife, being alone sufficient to constitute marriage, cohabitation was not necessary to complete it, but the best evidence of marriage was cohabitation matrimonii causa. The fact that the parties had cohabited with affectio maritalis, or as husband and wife, and not with the intention of living in concubinatus, which was a union recognised to some extent by the law, might be proved by various kinds of evidence, e. g. by production of the dotal instruments, commonly executed at the time of marriage [DOS]. But though consent was the only condition required for marriage, some act of personal union between the parties was necessary for the expression of such consent, or, in other words, marriage could not be entered into simply by letter or by means of a messenger (nuntius).

The bringing of the bride (uxorem ducere, γυναῖκ ἄγειν) from her father's house to her husband's house (in domum deductio) was customary among the Romans, as among the Greeks and others: if this was done, it was sufficient to constitute marriage, although the bridegroom might be absent. Thus, according to Pomponius in Dig. 23, 2, 5, a woman might marry a man, who was absent, by letter or through a messenger, if she was brought to his house (in domum ejus deduceretur), but a man could not marry an absent woman in a corresponding way, because it was not required by custom to bring the man to the house of the woman--“deductione enim opus esse in mariti, non in uxoris domum, quasi in domicilium matrimonii.” A marriage required consent for its continuance as well as for its formation, and so might be put an end to at any time by the renunciation (repudium) of either party. [DIVORTIUM]

As regards the consequences of marriage, the position of a wife married cum conventione differed materially from that of one married sine conventione. In the first kind of marriage, as already observed, the wife ceased to belong to her family [CAPUT Vol. I. p. 360 b], and became a subject member of her husband's family, being in the position of a daughter to her husband; or if her husband was in the power of his father, she became to her husband's father in the relation of a granddaughter. All her property passed to her husband or to his father by a universal succession (Gaius, 2.96, 98); and whatever she acquired during the marriage, she acquired for the person into whose manus she had come. The succession did not carry with it any liability for the antenuptial debts of the wife, and the wife herself could not be sued on them, according to civil law, but the praetor gave the creditors rights of action against her, and ordered execution against the property acquired by the succession, putting the creditors into possession of it (Gaius, 3.84; 4.38, 80).

Manus, though a consequence of certain modes of marriage, belonged to its acquirer as paterfamilias and not as husband. But though the conceptions of manus and of marriage are distinct, manus could not, it seems, be put an end to during marriage by emancipation. A husband might, however, put an end to his manus by a fiduciary coemption of his wife to some third person, in which case their marriage would continue as if it had been entered into sine conventione. If a woman was married cum conventione to a filiusfamilias, and he was emancipated or given in adoption, she would remain subject to the manus of his father as before, and would not on the death of the latter come into the manus of her husband, since he would belong to a different familia. A woman married by confarreatio could only be divorced by diffarreatio, and this put an end to manus as well as to marriage. A woman married by coemptio might be divorced by simple renunciation, but the manus over her could only be put an end to by a remancipation, which required the same formalities as the original coemption. Thus manus might continue after marriage had come to an end. In the time of Gaius a woman was entitled to a remancipation and manumission if there had been a renunciation of the marriage (Gaius, 1.137). When marriage was without manus, as it came to be in all cases, a married woman enjoyed a remarkable degree of independence in respect of her husband. The woman remained a member of her own family, her legal status continuing as it was before; if she was not in the power of her father, she was capable of acquiring and holding property, and of bringing actions as if she were a single woman; she had for all purposes a legal personal existence independently of her husband, and consequently her property was distinct from his; between husband and wife there was no community of property in Roman law. The husband acquired no right by marriage to the property of his wife: the dos which his wife [p. 2.142]usually brought to him he acquired not by act of law, but under the dotal instrument, and during the marriage he was sole owner of the dos. Under the edict of the praetor and imperial legislation husbands and wives had certain rights of inheritance to each other's property. The relations of husband and wife with respect to property belong to the heads of DOS, DONATIO PROPTER NUPTIAS, DONATIO INTER VIRUM ET UXOREM, HERES.

A husband was bound to provide a maintenance for his wife. The husband might inflict slight chastisement on the wife for violating the respect (reverentia) which she owed him. Each party to a marriage had a right to the society of the other while the marriage continued. For the liabilities of either of the parties to the punishments affixed to the violation of the marriage union, see ADULTERIUM and DIVORTIUM Justae nuptiae had an important effect on the position of the children of the marriage, since only those who were born from such marriage were cives, and subject to the patria potestas. [CIVITAS; PATRIA POTESTAS.] At Rome, the justae nuptiae was originally the only marriage. But under the influence of the Jus Gentium, a cohabitation between Peregrini, or between Latini, or between Peregrini and Latini and Romani, which in its essentials was a marriage, a consortium omnis vitae with the affectio maritalis, was recognised as such; and, though such marriage had not all the effects of justae nuptiae, it had its general effect in this, that the children of such marriage had a father, and so were legitimate. The wife of such a marriage could bring an action for the recovery of her dos (Cic. Top. 4, 20; Muirhead, Roman Law, § 42); and she was liable on account of adultery. In the system of Justinian, the distinction between a civil and gentile marriage ceased to have any importance, on account of the division of free persons into Cives, Latini, and Peregrini having been abolished [CIVITAS]. (Dig. 23, 1, de Sponsalibus; 23, 2, de Ritu Nuptiarum;--Gaius, 1.56-65; Inst. Just. 1, 10, de Nuptiis; Cod. 5, 4; Fr. Hotman, de Ritu Nupt. et Jure Matrimon. 1.490 ff.; A. Rossbach, Untersuch. über die römische Ehe; O. Karlowa, Die Formen der röm. Ehe und Manus; E. Hölder, Die röm. Ehe; Voigt, XII. Tafeln, 2.321 ff., 680 ff.) [E.A.W]

It remains to describe the actual ceremonies of Roman marriage: and it must be premised (1) that there was some difference according to the precise form of marriage adopted, though this distinction gradually disappeared (see above); (2) that, as was said above, the greater part of marriage formality was voluntary, and that then, as in our own day, there might be weddings of a far simpler character. When therefore the complete ceremony of the most elaborate kind is described, it must be understood that a great deal of it was often omitted, and the marriage rites narrowed to little beyond the deductio in domum. In the choice the wedding-day superstition played a large part. May (as by many even now) and the first half of June were unlucky for marriages (Ov. Fast. 5.487; 6.225). The reason was that the month of May took its general character from the festivals of the Lemuria [LEMURIA], and also from the Argean offering: in the early part of June came dies religiosi connected with the worship of Vesta. Besides these periods, it was necessary to avoid the dies parentales, Feb. 13-21 (Ov. Fast. 2.555); the first half of March (Ov. Fast. 3.393); the three days of the opening of the lower world (mundus patet), viz. Aug. 24, Oct. 5, Nov. 8; and also the days of Kalends, Ides, and Nones.

At the sponsalia (see above), besides the formal words of the parent or guardian, “Spondesne? spondeo” (Plaut. Aul. 2.2, 78), the bridegroom gave the bride a present, as an earnest or pledge (arra, pignus, Capitol. Maxim. jun. i.; Juv. 6.27), which was often a ring (Plin. Nat. 33.12; Tertull. Apol. 6), placed on the fourth finger of the left hand (our “ring finger” ), which Gellius (10.10) states to be connected by a nerve with the heart.

On the day before the marriage the bride put aside her toga praetexta (Propert. 5.11, 33), which, with other belongings of childhood, was laid before the Lares (Varro, ap. Non. p. 538), and put on the tunica recta, or regilla (Fest. p. 286), which was woven in one piece in the old-fashioned way at the upright loom [TELA]. (See also Blümner, Technologie, i. p. 122.) The bride wore this dress also at the marriage, and a flame-coloured veil ( “flammeum,Lucan 2.361 ; Plin. Nat. 21.46), with which she was said nubere caput. The dress was fastened by a woollen girdle (cingulum) in the noduts Herculeus, as to the significance of which there is some difference of opinion. It has been explained by some as intended to secure a fruitful marriage, because Hercules had many children (Fest. Ep. p. 63): Marquardt (Privatleben, p. 44) and Göll take it to be an amulet against the evil eye (fascinum). But may we not be nearer the truth in taking it to be the symbol of a stable marriage, and perhaps the original of the “true lovers' knot” ? Hercules (in his own name the god of the enclosed homestead) was undoubtedly identified with the Sabine deity Semo Sancus (=Dius Fidius), the protector of matrons in their married life, as well as the deity of good faith and stable treaties (see Preller, Röm. Myth. pp. 655 ff.). Pliny, on Varro's authority, tells us (H. N. 8.194) that the spindle and distaff of Tanaquil (or Gaia Caecilia), who was regarded as the ideal of a Roman wife, were kept in the temple of Semo Sancus, and the bridal dress (tunica recta) is in the same passage traced back to her. From these considerations we may be justified in taking the “Herculean knot” to have been so called because of an ancient belief that Hercules (or Semo) was the guardian of the married life. The hair was arranged in six locks (sex crines) parted by the point of a spear (hasta caelibaris), and held in place by vittae or bands (Fest. p. 62; Ov. Fast. 2.558). Hence the words crines and vitta are used by poets as a synonym for marriage. (Plaut. Mostell. 1.3, 69; Mil. Glor. 3.1, 195; Ov. Trist. 2.252; Propert. 5.3, 15.) The custom of parting it with a spear is perhaps a relic of the old marriage by capture, and may convey the idea of the word δορίληπτος. The bride had also a wreath of flowers and sacred herbs (verbenae) gathered by herself, and the bridegroom wore a similar wreath (Plut. Pomp. 55). As an account of the dressing of the bride, the passage in Claudian, VI. Cons. Hon. 523-528, [p. 2.143]is worth reading, as well as for its own merit.

In the house of the bride, which was decked with garlands (Juv. 6.227; Stat. Silv. i. 2, 230), were assembled the relations, friends, and clients, as an officium (Juv. 2.132). Then the omens were taken and announced by the auspices (Cic. Clu. 4, 14; Juv. 10.336), with the sacrifice of a sheep (cf. Verg. A. 4.56). It had always been the custom to begin the sacred ceremony of confarreatio by consulting the omens, and the practice probably was as a rule extended to all marriages (Cic. de Div. 1.1. 6, 28; Plaut. Cas. Prol. 85; Plin. Nat. 10.21). Valerius Maximus (2.1, 1) says that in his time the auspices formed in name part of the attendance, though no auspicia for marriage were taken any longer. After these preliminaries, the omens being favourable, the marriage ceremonies began. They were in four main parts: (1) the contract; (2) the giving away of the bride, with whatever sacred rites were used; (3) the conducting (deductio) to her husband's house (the only invariable part); (4) her reception there. First the marriage tablets (tabulae nuptiales or dotales) were signed before witnesses (signatores), though the marriage was valid without this formality (see above; and Quint. Inst. 5.11, 32). When the form of marriage called coemptio was adopted (when either or both were plebeians), the formalities of an imaginary sale were gone through before not less than five witnesses, and a libripens (who held the scales at a sale): questions and answers as to the willingness on both sides followed, and with that ended this distinctive part of the nuptiae per coemptionem; the other ceremonies followed which were usual in all marriages. On the legal significance and origin of the marriage by coemptio and its gradual disuse, see above. After the coemptio, or, where that was not used, after the signing of the tabulae nuptiales, a married woman (who must have been married only once, Serv. ad Aen. 4.166) acting as pronuba led the bride up to the bridegroom and joined their right hands. It seems probable that there was always some formal expression of willingness to marry; in the old patrician rite of confarreatio the set form of response from the bride was “quando tu Gaius, ego Gaia,” which form of words was used also in the coemptio (Cic. pro Muren. 12, 27). When the rite of confarreatio was followed, the bloodless offering was made: a cake of spelt (farreum libum) was offered by the Pontifex Maximus and the Flamen Dialis to Jupiter: ten witnesses were present (Gaius, 1.109-112; Serv. ad Georg. 1.31). Marquardt thinks that this form of marriage was originally performed not in the house of the bride's father, but in the sacellum of the Curia, and that the ten witnesses originally represented the ten gentes of the Curia. This is a probable explanation of the number ten, but as regards the place we lack evidence that the marriage was ever anywhere but in the bride's home. There is no mention of any passing from the house before the deductio to her new home. With the offering to Jupiter, a prayer was recited by the Flamen, to Juno as the goddess of marriage, and the deities of the country and its fruits,--Tellus, Picumnus, and Pilumnus (cf. Verg. A. 4.166, and Serv. ad loc.; Non. p. 528). During this ceremony the bride and bridegroom sat together upon two seats which were placed side by side and covered with the skin of the sheep sacrificed before for the auspices (Serv. ad Aen. 4.374): they sat to the left of the altar in the Atrium and looked towards it: meanwhile a camillus, i.e. an attendant boy who was patrimus et matrimus [CAMILLUS], held (perhaps) all that was required by the priest for the offering in a covered basket called cumerus (Varr. L. L. 7.31; Fest. Ep. p. 63). The latter authority has rather complicated the question by saying that the cumerus contained “nubentis utensilia,” and what that means it is impossible to say; that the basket held materials for spinning, as Becker thinks, seems improbable. We may leave the matter with Varro, who says that he does not know what the contents were. In Ovid, Ov. Fast. 2.650, the boy in an ordinary sacrifice holds a canistra with fruges for the mola salsa [CAMILLUS]. The legal aspect of the confarreatio and its history is given in the first part of this article. Sir John Lubbock suggests that the wedding-cake cut by the bride is a survival of the farreum in this rite; but the original for that will be found, if anywhere in the Roman matrimonium, in the mustaceum. The rite of confarreatio suggests rather the sacramental view of marriage.

In all that follows, marriages in general of all forms are described. The prayer where there was no confarreatio (and therefore no Flamen Dialis) was pronounced by the auspex, and, according to Plutarch (Q. R. 2), was addressed to five deities,--Jupiter, Juno, Venus, Suadela, and Diana. It would seem that, sometimes at least, a victim was here offered (besides that offered for the auspicia); for Varro (R. R. 2.4, 9) speaks of a pig offered by the newly married pair, and Tac. Ann. 11.27 seems to point the same way (cf. Sen. Oct. 700). There was next a formal congratulation from the wedding-guests in the word “feliciter” (which, if there was no sacred rite, came directly after the contract; so Juv. 2.119, “Signatae tabulae, dictum feliciter” ). Then (as in Juv. l.c.) came the cena nuptialis, which was certainly, as a rule, given by the bride's father, and therefore before the procession (Catull. 62, 3; D. C. 48.44; Capitol. Ant. Pius, 10; and, by implication, Plaut. Aul. 2.4, 15). But, as in modern weddings, the place of the wedding-feast might be altered from considerations of space, economy, &c., and it seems sometimes to have been in the bridegroom's house (Cic. ad Q. Fr. 2.3, 7; Juv. 6.200). The wedding-cake (mustaceum), which was made of meal steeped in must and placed on bay-leaves (Plin. Nat. 15.127), was cut up and distributed to the guests (Juv. l.c.). Afterwards came the procession (deductio), the invariable part of the matrimonium (see above, page 141). This took place usually at dusk, whence arose the custom of having torches (Catull. 62, 1; Serv. ad Ecl. 8, 29). The bride was taken with simulated force from her mother's arms (Fest. p. 289; Catull. 61, 3; Macrob. 1.15, 21): clearly a survival of the marriage by capture; or, as the Romans themselves put it, a reminiscence of the Sabine marriage (cf. Lubbock, Origin of Civilization, pp. 82 ff.; and, for the similar Greek usage, supr. p. 132). Flute-players and torch-bearers went in front [p. 2.144](Ter. Adelph. 5.7, 5; Fest. p. 245). The bride was conducted by three boys patrimi et matrimi, two leading her by the hand, the third carrying a torch of whitethorn for luck (Plin. Nat. 16.75; cf. Ov. Fast. 6.129). In the procession, besides the general crowd, there came also the camillus with his cumerus; and the bride's spindle and distaff were carried after her (Plin. Nat. 8.194). Plutarch (Q. R. 31) makes her carry them herself. Fescennine songs were sung during the procession (Catull. 61, 126), with interjections of Talasse (Mart. 12.42; Catull. 61, 134, &c.). As to this deity of the marriage day, reference may be made to Marquardt, Privatl. p. 54; Preller, Röm. Myth. p. 584 ff. He appears as Talasius, Talasio, Talassus, Thalassius, Thalassio. Livy (1.9) gives us as bearing that name a companion of Romulus prominent in the rape of the Sabines, and derives the cry Talasse from him: but Talus (Fest. p. 359) is an old Sabine name, and Talassius may have been a Sabine deity of marriage: Varro connects him with τάλαρος, a work-basket: θαλάσσιος as equivalent to Consus is suggested, which at first sight has something plausible about it; but it seems doubtful if Consus had really any connexion with Neptune or the sea, and moreover it is unlikely that the word should be borrowed from Greek. On the whole a Sabine origin is most probable. The part of the bridegroom in the procession was to scatter nuts for the boys in the crowd (Verg. Ecl. 8, 30; Catull. 61, 131). Though Catullus says that it shows the putting away of childhood, it is much more likely that the nuts symbolised fruitfulness of marriage and plenty (cf. Plin. Nat. 15.86). The custom, which may be compared with the Greek kataxu/smata (supra, p. 136 a), has its representative in the throwing of rice at the present day. When the bridal train reached the bridegroom's house, the bride bound the doorposts with wool, probably as dedicating her work to it; and anointed them with oil or fat to signify health and plenty (Pliny, 28.148, says wolf's fat, which in the Roman nation has a totem appearance). All these actions were, so to speak, personified in a Dea Iterduca, Domiduca, and Unxia (Martian. 2, 149). The bride was lifted over the threshold (Plaut. Cas. 4.4, 1; Catull. 61, 166; Lucan 2.359 f.), which, according to some, symbolises the marriage by capture: others (as Preller) suppose the object to be the prevention of the bad omen which would be caused by her stumbling on it. Sir John Lubbock (op. cit. p. 97) adopts the former view, and finds a similar custom among such widely divided races as the American Indians, the Chinese, and the Abyssinians. At the entrance she repeated the formula “ubi tu Gaius, ego Gaia;” and the husband met her bearing fire and water, to signify that he admitted her to a share in the family hearth and the family lustral rites (Varro, ap. Serv. ad Aen. 4.104; Dionys. A. R. 2.30): the bride on her part brought three coins; one she gave as symbol of the dos to her husband, another to the Lares of the house, a third was dropped in the neighbouring street as an offering for the Lares compitales. The torch of whitethorn seems to have been scrambled for by the guests as a lucky possession (Serv. ad Ecl. 8.29), and the ceremonies were over. The lectis genialis had been prepared by the pronuba in the atrium [LECTUS p. 19 a.] On the following day the second wedding-feast called repotia was given to the friends and relations in the new home (Hor. Sat. 2.2, 60; Gel. 2.24, 14, where it is said that Augustus tried to limit the expense), and the bride as a matrona offered at the family shrine (Macrob. 1.15, 22). See further Marquardt, Privatleben, pp. 42-57; Becker-Göll, Gallus, ii. pp. 25-49; Preller, l.c.; Rossbach, Böm. Hochzeits-u. Ehedenk., Leip. 1871.


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