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Thread: Marriage Institution: When and how did it start!

  1. #1
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    Marriage Institution: When and how did it start!

    What does history tell us about how the marriage institution started..... and when did it start?

    We are often made to believe that marriage is a 'natural' phenomenon and humans have always had 'marriage', but surely there are no concrete evidences to prove that --- while there are enough evidences to show otherwise.

    What do you guys think? Also, is there an expert opinion on this?

  2. #2
    You possess 'enough' negative evidence that marriage didn't exist throughout human history.

    Well, let's hear it then. I'm sure this will revolutionize the field.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    You possess 'enough' negative evidence that marriage didn't exist throughout human history.

    Well, let's hear it then. I'm sure this will revolutionize the field.
    No, I really want to know what scientists have found out about the marriage institution, and what they teach at sociology etc. before I can use my analysis on them.

    Clearly, it has existed for long enough.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    You possess 'enough' negative evidence that marriage didn't exist throughout human history.

    Well, let's hear it then. I'm sure this will revolutionize the field.
    It seems you're quite insecure about the established scientific information. Well, I'd be too, if I were you, considering the mounting evidence against it.

  5. #5
    Marriage predates history. Here is some reading of early marriage contracts in Mesopotamia.

    http://ehistory.osu.edu/world/articl...iew.cfm?AID=58

  6. #6
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    If you've read the site, can you provide a gist of it. I don't have a printer, and don't want to read it on my computer as it strains my eyes.

  7. #7
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    Is that roughly 3000 BC or more?

  8. #8
    The gist is that women were property. A male would negotiate a contract with the future father-in-law. The contract was a guarantee from the wife's family, that the husband would have a mate from their family, or the wife's family would have to give back everything that was agreed upon. If the husband were to die, his family would be required to give a replacement male or give up all the things that was agreed upon. Woman were the binding entity that joined a contract between two households.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddha1
    Is that roughly 3000 BC or more?
    The information is based on numerous documents from the Sumerian period 2500 BC.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddha1
    If you've read the site, can you provide a gist of it. I don't have a printer, and don't want to read it on my computer as it strains my eyes.
    You wimp. Or are you just lazy?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayleew
    You wimp. Or are you just lazy?
    Jaylee, I hope we maintain the respect we have shown for each other!

    I asked you to provide the gist in a friendly spirit, for I really don't see why we have to see each other as enemies when we discuss from opposite points of views.

    But its true that I'm hesitant to read a lot of material. I do prefer, and that I hope is one reason why I use internet discussions, for they are a source of ready information. People share what they have read and know, and you don't have to wade through loads of text.

    I don't care for 'external links' unless I have reasonable doubts that the other person is making up information --- which I have never seen happening.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddha1
    Jaylee, I hope we maintain the respect we have shown for each other!
    I'm kidding with you, hence the.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayleew
    I'm kidding with you, hence the.
    Sure thing Pal

  14. #14
    The gist is that women were property. A male would negotiate a contract with the future father-in-law. The contract was a guarantee from the wife's family, that the husband would have a mate from their family, or the wife's family would have to give back everything that was agreed upon. If the husband were to die, his family would be required to give a replacement male or give up all the things that was agreed upon. Woman were the binding entity that joined a contract between two households.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddha1
    I asked you to provide the gist in a friendly spirit, for I really don't see why we have to see each other as enemies when we discuss from opposite points of views.
    We're not entirely on opposite ends since the last thread. You opened my eyes to realize my warped western society. I love America, but you provided yet another reason to combat the influences of the media, which propagates heterosexual relations.

  16. #16
    in my opinion marrige institutions started when somebody figured out they could make money off it.

  17. #17
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    So we have evidence of marriage in 2500 BC. Are there evidences for it before that!

  18. #18
    Valued Senior Member River Ape's Avatar
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    I think it is to anthropology rather than to history that you must look for the origins of marriage. When Europeans made contact with the stone age people of Africa, the Americas and Australasia in the past several centuries, they observed marriage ceremonies in diverse communities and cultures. Sometimes, of course, missionaries tried to revise things, so that the man did not assume sexual rights over his bride's sisters as well (or whatever), or that the chieftain or warrior class did not enjoy a general 'droit de seigneur'.

    However, I think we can assume that societies sought to govern the relations between men and women by exclusive arrangements of one sort or another way back before the dawn of civilisation. There is no need to believe that our own stone age ancestors were much different from the stone age people of more recent time. (I use 'stone age' to refer to the level of technology.)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by River Ape
    When Europeans made contact with the stone age people of Africa, the Americas and Australasia in the past several centuries, they observed marriage ceremonies in diverse communities and cultures. Sometimes, of course, missionaries tried to revise things, so that the man did not assume sexual rights over his bride's sisters as well (or whatever), or that the chieftain or warrior class did not enjoy a general 'droit de seigneur'.
    Histories written by missionaries are to be taken with a pinch of salt --- considering their own history of destroying evidences that went against their own 'values' and of misrepresenting facts.

    When you say stone age --- it means 'stone age'. You can't refer to tribal people living in the medieval times --- 'stone age'.

    Missironaries are known to have affected many behaviours and customs of these tribal people --- including their 'nakedness' and way of worshipping --- when they sought to change them to 'Christianity'.

    Quote Originally Posted by River Ape
    However, I think we can assume that societies sought to govern the relations between men and women by exclusive arrangements of one sort or another way back before the dawn of civilisation. There is no need to believe that our own stone age ancestors were much different from the stone age people of more recent time. (I use 'stone age' to refer to the level of technology.)
    I don't think how you can assume that so easily. Afterall, 'marriage' like behaviour is not witnessed in any other mammalian species, so their is no basis to assume that marriage is 'natural', in that sense.

    Unless, of course you have evidence to the contrary.

  20. #20
    Valued Senior Member River Ape's Avatar
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    The following passage describes marriage among the San (bushmen) of southern Africa. They are among the few societies still following the hunter-gatherer lifestyle that was typical of the life led by the ancestors of all of us, and their traditions may be unchanged in thousands of years. Descriptions by European explorers and missionaries of other (now modernised/urbanised) tribal societies often gave similar accounts. It does seem reasonable to suggest that our own hunter-gatherer forebears adhered to similar rituals and practices in regard to exclusive domestic/sexual arrangements.

    San marriages can be polygamous, but a man rarely has more than one wife, as it is simply not practical in a hunter-gatherer lifestyle where additional adults and young children would place further demands on the individual family and on the group as a whole. Both boys and girls are permitted to marry only after they have gone through initiation. The girl's initiation takes place at the time of her first menstruation, when the celebratory "eland dance" is performed by the women to the accompaniment of the ageless "eland music" of the ancestors. The boy is initiated only after he has proved himself as a hunter. Incestuous relationships are not allowed and usually the parents arrange a marriage, but this is not enforced if the girl is against the idea. However, husbands are chosen with care as it is usual for a man to join his wife's community and a good hunter is a great asset. The marriage ceremony is a simple procedure, during which the bride's face is painted with red ochre mixed with eland fat and the groom presents the bride's parents with an animal he has hunted and killed. The couple then build their own shelter with their own campfire.

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