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Old May 2nd, 2009, 03:09 AM   #1
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Question The History/Origins of Marriage? Does Anyone Have Resources/Books?


Just curious, where can I learn about the origins of marriage, it's purpose, and the oldest recorded history of such an event...or perhaps it goes further back than the word marriage, even ceremony?

What do you guys think?

Thanks
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Old May 5th, 2009, 10:04 PM   #2

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Re: The History/Origins of Marriage? Does Anyone Have Resources/Books?


I have no literature unfortunately, but I do believe it was originally used as a social contract.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 10:33 AM   #3

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Re: The History/Origins of Marriage? Does Anyone Have Resources/Books?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue View Post
Just curious, where can I learn about the origins of marriage, it's purpose, and the oldest recorded history of such an event...or perhaps it goes further back than the word marriage, even ceremony?

What do you guys think?

Thanks
Perhaps more importantly, when were the first recorded instances of dealing with an insufferable mother-in-law, accidentally forgetting an anniversary, or having to make sure that the toilet seat was always down?
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Old May 6th, 2009, 12:10 PM   #4

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Re: The History/Origins of Marriage? Does Anyone Have Resources/Books?


Genesis 2:23 And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man."
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

This is the view of those who believe the Bible. This selection of verses is from the first book in the Bible, Genesis. Adam is recorded as the first Man and "she" refers to the first Woman, Eve.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 12:28 PM   #5

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Re: The History/Origins of Marriage? Does Anyone Have Resources/Books?


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Originally Posted by ttanner View Post
Adam is recorded as the first Man and "she" refers to the first Woman, Eve.
If Eve was the "first woman", how come Adams' first wife was named Lillith?
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Old May 6th, 2009, 12:41 PM   #6
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Re: The History/Origins of Marriage? Does Anyone Have Resources/Books?


The only ancient civilisation I know is the egyptian one; Egyptians did not have a marriage ceremony as we know it. However some couple had a "marriage" contract.

If nobody give you the answers you are looking for, do a search with 'History of marriage',
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Old May 6th, 2009, 12:53 PM   #7

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Re: The History/Origins of Marriage? Does Anyone Have Resources/Books?


Most ancient cultures looked at 'marriage' as a business deal between the father & the potential groom: what did he offer? Often the girl had no or very little say in the matter. Just another log on the fire to think about.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 04:30 AM   #8

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Re: The History/Origins of Marriage? Does Anyone Have Resources/Books?


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Originally Posted by Chookie View Post
If Eve was the "first woman", how come Adams' first wife was named Lillith?
Never heard that before. Who teaches that?
Ge 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #9

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Re: The History/Origins of Marriage? Does Anyone Have Resources/Books?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ttanner View Post
Never heard that before. Who teaches that?
Ge 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Genesis 1:27, the Genisis Rabbah, the Zorah and the Alphabet of Ben Sirah.

Genisis 1:27
Quote:
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
This places Lilith's creation after God's words in Genesis 2:18 that "it is not good for man to be alone". He forms Lilith out of the clay from which he made Adam, but the two bicker. Lilith claims that since she and Adam were created in the same way, they were equal.

Fron Ben Sirah
Quote:
After God created Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone.' He then created a woman for Adam, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, 'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.' But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air.

Adam stood in prayer before his Creator: 'Sovereign of the universe!' he said, 'the woman you gave me has run away.' At once, the Holy One, blessed be He, sent these three angels Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof, to bring her back.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 02:08 PM   #10

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Re: The History/Origins of Marriage? Does Anyone Have Resources/Books?


Its not so much a historian that could throw light on this, but an anthropologist. However, the marriage ceremony as we know today is a recent invention. For much of the medieval and early modern period, betrothal was more important.

Marriage is a precondition (an assurance) that favours females in that it gives them protection, a supply of those things necessary to live, and support in rearing children. In exchange, males got (supposedly) regular sex and, sooner or later, domestic duties done by the woman, which was a sensible division of labour. Later, when it occurred to men that they actually had some input into the child creation business, there was an increasing insistence on chastity for the female, as no man likes the idea of rearing someone else's kids.

This, I suspect, is as old as the hills, and is making the best of a bad job. Like many already well established human habits, religion merely took marriage on board and reinforced it, simply because it is good for society.

Humans are no different than other animals, in that most mate to some extent or other, and given the long time it takes humans to rear their young, it's no surprise that marriage became formal. However, an interesting point is that divorce has replaced death in splitting up marriages: in the early modern period in England, by the time one reached 15 years old, there was only a 50% chance that both parents were still alive, and when one considers that all but the poorest got married later, then the average marriage lasted perhaps 10 years.
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