Ancient Roman Marriage
We know that ancient Romans got married, but were ancient Roman marriages similar to how we view marriage
Read on to learn more about this fascinating subject. Ancient Roman marriage was not about love or shared goals
at all. In fact, it was more about financial matters and political aspirations than romance.
This was especially true for those people who were living at the higher end of the social ladder. Ancient Roman
Marriage for the Upper Classes.
It was the duty of a father to find a suitable husband for his daughter or daughters, starting beginning when
were between the ages of 12 and 14 years. The husband selected would almost always be older than his bride. This
could be a few as a couple of years older or the young lady might be expected to marry someone three times her
Normally, in matters of ancient Roman marriage, the bride-to-be was expected to have little or no input into the
choice of husband. In addition, according to the ancient Roman marriage traditions, she was expected to have
absolutely no objections to the plans being made for her life.
Some young ladies did have a bit of a say in which they would be married off to. Apparently, Cicero’s wife and
daughter made the choice of spouse for the daughter, all the while assuming that Cicero would be in agreement. He
Ancient Roman Marriage in the Lower Classes Lower class women were generally married a little later in their
lives. By later in their lives, this means that they were married in their late teens or early twenties. In this
form of ancient Roman marriage, it was not as urgent a matter, since it was not about political and economic
The Roman Engagement Ceremony
Both family and friends were invited to an engagement ceremony before the wedding. During the ceremony, the
father of the bride-to-be was asked whether he promised to give his daughter in marriage. He was expected to
respond that he did. The bride-to-be was given some gifts at the ceremony, including a ring, which was to be worn
on the middle finger.
It was thought at that time that the middle digit contained a certain nerve that ran straight to a person’s
||For most people there is nothing that will forfill us and change us like a
The Wedding Ceremony
The most formal type of wedding ceremony in ancient Rome was celebrated in front of 10 witnesses. The bride was
passed from her father's household to her new husband's. A less formal ceremony could also be conducted in front of
five witnesses. This was actually the more common form of marriage ceremony at the time.
The groom was expected to pay a penny; he received the bride in exchange. Once again, the bride becomes part of
her new husband's household. Alternatives to Marriage
Some women, known as concubines, had sexual relationships with a married man. They oftentimes would live
together. Any children of their union were considered illegitimate, since their own relationship was not
TIP! About a month before you are having your wedding, go on a
diet. On this diet, try to reduce the amount of fats, sugars and carbohydrates that you put into your
Some women became concubines of married men because their families were not able to afford to provide a dowry
for them. This was considered an embarrassment. Many slaves lived in this manner.
The relationship was not meant to be permanent; it was only supposed to last until the slaves had gained their
TIP! It's a nice gift to give the groom his own little cake.
Have the cake designer make it resemble his favorite hobbies, like carpentry or football.
Courtesans also existed at this point in time. These women lived either with their mothers and sisters or in an
apartment provided by whatever man they were involved with at the time.
Unlike prostitutes, they usually had only one lover at any given time. As you can see, there were certain
traditional rituals surrounding ancient Roman marriage. Like our society today, there were also alternatives to the