Why Did People Marry in Ancient Times?

Marriage has been a crucial aspect of human society since ancient times. It is an institution that has evolved over time and has played a significant role in shaping relationships, social structures, and even politics. In this article, we will explore why people married in ancient times.

The Purpose of Marriage in Ancient Times

In ancient times, marriage was primarily a means of ensuring the continuity of the family line, passing on property and wealth to the next generation, and securing alliances between different families or tribes. It was also a way to regulate sexual behavior and ensure legitimacy for children.

Marriage for Family Continuity

One of the main reasons people married in ancient times was to ensure the continuation of their family line. In many cultures, it was essential to have children who could carry on the family name and traditions. This was especially important for men who needed heirs to inherit their property and wealth.

Marriage for Property and Wealth

Another reason people married in ancient times was to pass on property and wealth to the next generation. In many cultures, women were not allowed to own property or inherit from their families. Therefore, marriage was a way for women to gain access to property through their husbands.

Marriage for Alliances

Marriage was also used as a way to secure alliances between different families or tribes. By marrying into another family or tribe, it created a bond between them that would benefit both parties. This could be through sharing resources or protection during times of conflict.

The Role of Women in Ancient Marriages

In most ancient societies, women had limited rights when it came to marriage. They were often seen as property that could be bought or sold by their fathers or other male relatives. Women had little say in whom they married or how they lived their lives within marriage.

Marriage for Social Status

For women, marriage was often a way to improve their social status. By marrying into a wealthy or powerful family, they could gain access to resources and opportunities that would not be available to them otherwise.


In conclusion, marriage in ancient times served various purposes such as ensuring family continuity, passing on property and wealth, securing alliances between families or tribes, and improving social status. While the reasons people married may have changed over time, marriage remains an essential institution in many cultures today. Understanding the history of marriage can help us appreciate its significance in our lives today.