Athenian Marriage

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  • I am Artemis
  • Antheia is arranged to be married as soon as she hits puberty, at around age 14. This is arranged between her father (the kyrioi) and the father of her husband to be.
  • Stage 1 of marriage - Betrothal (engue) This happens years before puberty, engue means pledge so this is a deal between the families. A witness has to be present as insurance that the agreement had been made.
  • Stage 2 - The Dowry Usually around 5-20% of the kyrios wealth, it is a kind of protection so that if the husband divorces the wife he will have to give back the dowry. If the husband dies, the dowry will be given to his sons and if he has no sons then the money will be given back to the wife's family.
  • Stage 3 - The Ceremony Lasts 3 days with 3 parts Part 1 - Proaulia This is the making of sacrifices to gods A lock of Antheia's hair and her childhood toys are given to Artemis
  • Part 2 - The Gamos Antheia is bathed in holy water and dressed in her most expensive clothes, along with a veil.
  • There is a feast in her fathers house for both families, with the men and women sitting at different tables. There are dancers and musicians there to entertain.
  • Part 3 - The Epaulia (procession) Antheia is dragged from her mother and placed in a cart with new husband. As they go to his families house her mother walks behind the cart with a torch.
  • When they reach Antheia's new home the axle of the cart is burned to show that she cannot return to her old family.
  • That evening Antheia loses her virginity after being showered with gifts. While she is losing her virginity, friends and family sing outside the bedroom.
  • The next morning she is given presents by her husbands family.
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