At What Age Did Girls Marry in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, the age at which girls got married varied greatly depending on the culture and region. However, the concept of child marriage was prevalent in many societies.

Ancient Greece: In Ancient Greece, girls were usually married off between the ages of 12 and 15. It was considered important to marry a girl off at a young age as it ensured virginity and purity. Moreover, marrying a girl off early meant that she could bear children while still being physically strong.

Rome: In Rome, girls could be betrothed as young as seven years old but they could not legally marry until they were 12. By law, a girl’s father had complete control over her until she got married.

India: In ancient India, child marriage was practiced widely. Girls were often married off before they reached puberty and sometimes even before they were born. This was done to ensure that girls remained pure and chaste until marriage.

China: In ancient China, girls were usually married off between the ages of 14 and 20. However, during the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE), some girls were given in marriage as young as ten years old.

Maya Civilization: In the Maya civilization, girls were often married off at a very young age. It is believed that some girls got married as young as eight years old.

It is important to note that child marriages were often arranged by parents without their daughter’s consent. This led to many problems such as forced labor, poor health outcomes for both mother and child, lack of education for the girl child and perpetuation of patriarchal social norms.

Conclusion:

The practice of marrying off young girls has been prevalent throughout history in many cultures around the world. While it was considered normal in those times it is not considered acceptable in modern society.

The consequences of child marriage are well documented and can be detrimental to the physical, mental and emotional health of young girls. It is important to educate people about the harmful effects of child marriage and work towards eradicating this practice.

  • References:
    • https://www.history.com/news/child-marriage-facts
    • https://www.bbc.com/news/world-41408142
    • https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/world/americas/guatemala-child-marriage.html