When Did People Marry in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, the concept of marriage was vastly different from what we know today. Marriage was not just a union between two individuals but often involved families and communities. The timing of marriage was also dependent on various factors such as social status, gender, and age.

Social status

In many ancient societies, marriage was used as a means to strengthen political or social ties between families. For instance, in ancient Egypt, the pharaohs often married their sisters or daughters to maintain their royal bloodline. Similarly, in medieval Europe, noble families married off their daughters to other noble families to forge alliances and maintain their power.


The age of marriage varied greatly depending on gender in ancient times. In most societies, women were expected to marry at a younger age than men. This was because women were seen as being more valuable as wives and mothers than as individuals in their own right.

In ancient Greece, for example, girls typically married between the ages of 12 and 15 while men married when they were in their late twenties or early thirties. Similarly, in medieval Europe, girls were often betrothed at the age of six or seven and married off when they reached puberty.

    Factors affecting the timing of marriage:

  • Social status
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Cultural practices
  • Economic factors


The age at which people got married varied greatly depending on the time period and location. In some societies, people got married at a very young age while in others they waited until they were much older.

In Ancient Rome, for example, men typically got married when they were in their mid-twenties while women got married when they were around 20 years old. In contrast, in ancient India, child marriage was common with girls as young as five years old being married off to much older men.

Religion and cultural practices

Religion and cultural practices also played a significant role in determining the timing of marriage. For instance, in ancient Judaism, boys were considered adults at the age of 13 and were allowed to marry. In Hinduism, marriage was seen as a duty and was considered an important rite of passage.

Economic factors

Economic factors such as poverty or wealth also influenced the timing of marriage. In ancient China, for example, poor families often delayed their children’s marriages until they had enough money to pay for the wedding ceremony and dowry.

In conclusion, the timing of marriage in ancient times was influenced by various factors such as social status, gender, age, religion, cultural practices, and economic factors. While these factors may have changed over time, marriage remains an important institution that continues to shape our lives today.