How Was the Marriage in Ancient Times?

Marriage is a social institution that has existed since ancient times. The concept of marriage has evolved over time, and the way it was practiced in ancient times was vastly different from what we know today. In this article, we will explore how marriage was in ancient times.

Marriage in Ancient Times

In ancient times, marriage was not just a union between two individuals but also a union between families. Marriage was an essential part of society, and it was often arranged by parents rather than the individuals themselves.

Arranged Marriages

Arranged marriages were the norm in ancient times. The bride and groom had little say in who they would marry. The decision was made by their parents or other family members based on factors such as social status, wealth, and political alliances.

The bride’s family would often provide a dowry to the groom’s family as part of the marriage agreement. A dowry could consist of money, property, or other valuable items.

Ceremonies and Rituals

Wedding ceremonies varied greatly depending on the culture and region. In some cultures, weddings were elaborate affairs that lasted for days with many rituals and ceremonies involved.

For example, in ancient India, weddings were considered to be one of the most important events in a person’s life. The ceremony involved several rituals and lasted for several days. It included exchanging garlands between the bride and groom as a symbol of acceptance of each other, tying knots as a sign of commitment to each other, and lighting the sacred fire to seek blessings from God for their new life together.

Roles of Men and Women

In most ancient societies, men were considered superior to women. In marriages, men held more power and authority than women. The wife’s role was primarily to bear children and take care of the household while the husband went out to work and provide for the family.

However, there were exceptions. In ancient Egypt, women had more rights than in other societies.

They could own property and inherit from their parents. They could also divorce their husbands if they were unhappy in the marriage.


Polygamy, the practice of having multiple spouses, was common in many ancient societies. In some cultures, it was acceptable for men to have multiple wives as long as they could provide for them.

In ancient China, for example, wealthy men often had multiple wives or concubines. The first wife held the highest status and was considered the legal wife, while the other wives were considered secondary wives or concubines.


Marriage in ancient times was vastly different from what we know today. It was often arranged by parents and involved many rituals and ceremonies. Men held more power and authority than women, and polygamy was common in many societies.

While some aspects of ancient marriage may seem outdated or even oppressive to us today, it is important to understand how marriage has evolved over time and how it has shaped our society into what it is today.