The Ancient Library

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nt Athens was the Enguesis (syyvytfis) or betro­thal, which was in fact indispensable to the com­plete validity of a marriage contract. It was made by the natural or legal guardian (6 Kvpios) of the bride elect, and attended by the relatives of both parties as witnesses. The law of Athens ordained, that all children born from a marriage legally con­tracted in this respect should be yvrjffioi (Demosth. c. Steph. p. 1134), and consequently, if sons, fVo,uojpoi, or intitled to inherit equally or in gavel-kind. It would seem, therefore, that the issue of a marriage without espousals would lose their heritable rights, which depended on their being born e'£ aarrTJs koi eyyvrjrris yvvcuitos : i. e. from a citizen and a legally betrothed wife. The wife's dowry was also settled at the espousals. (Meicr and Schb'man, p. 415.)

But there were also several ceremonies observed either on or immediately before the day of mar­riage. The first of these were the irporeAeia yd-/.teoj/ or irpoydjuLeia (Pollux, iii. 38), and consisted of sacrifices or offerings made to the ®eot ya^Xioi or divinities \vho presided over marriage. They are generally supposed to have been made* on the day before the yd/jios or marriage ; but there is a passage in Euripides (Jpliig. in Aid. 642) which makes it probable that this was not always the case. The sacrifice!' was the father of the bride elect ; the divinities to whom the offering was made were, according to Pollux (iii. 381), Hera and Artemis, and the Fates, to whom the brides elect then dedicated the airapx^i of their hair. Accord­ing to Diodorus Siculus (v. 73) they were Zeus and Hera reAeia (Juno pronuba) ; but they pro­bably varied in different countries, and were some­times the ©eol eyx&pioi or local deities. The offerings to Artemis were probably made with a view of propitiating her, 'as she was supposed to be averse to marriage. [brauronia.] We may also observe that Pollux uses irpoyd^eia. as synonymous with Trpore'Aeia, making ydu.os iden­tical with re'Aos, as if marriage were the rc-Aos or perfection of man's being : whence reAeios con­nected with or presiding over marriage or a mar-

a house without

ried person, and So/xos ^

in the carrage



(6 e'/c rpirov 6 irapoxovfievos Trdpoxos Harpocr. s. v.}. Hence Aristophanes (Aves, 1735) epeaks of the " blooming Love guiding the supple reins," when Zeus was wedded to Hera, as the

Trdpoxos ydi.Lcai' r-Jjs r* evtiaifwvos "Upas. The nuptial procession was probably accom-

a husband or incomplete. (Horn. //. ii. 701.) Another ceremony of almost general observance on the wedding day, was the bathing of both the bride and bridegroom in water fetched from some particular fountain, whence, as some think, the custom of placing the figure of a Xovrpofyopos or " water-carrier " over the tombs of those who died unmarried. [balneae, p. 185, b.] At Athens the water was fetched from the fountain Callirrhoe, at the foot of the Acropolis (Thuc. ii. 15.). After these preliminaries the bride was generally con­ducted from her father's to the house of the bride­groom at nightfall, in a chariot (e<£' a/ua^s) drawn by a pair of mules or oxen, and furnished with a icXivis or kind of a couch as a seat. On either side of her sat the bridegroom, and one of his most in­timate friends or relations, who from his office was called irapdvv{jL^>os or vv/.i<p€vr7]s : but as he rode x^^cta) with the bride and bride­was sometimes called the


panied, according to circumstances, by a number of persons, some of whom carried the nuptial torches (S5§es vvfj.<f)iKai, Aristoph. Pax, 1318) ; and in some places, as in Boeotia, it was customary to burn the axle of the carriage on its arrival at the bridegroom's house, as a symbol that the bride was to remain at home and not go abroad. (Pint. Quaest. Rom. p. 111.) If the bridegroom had been married before, the bride was not conducted to his house by himself, but by one of his friends, who was therefore called vv^tyaycoyos. (Hesych. s. v. ; Pollux, iii. 40.)

Both bride and bridegroom (the former veiled) were of course decked out in their best attire, with chaplets on their heads (Becker, C/iarikles, vol. ii. p. 467), and the doors of their houses were hung with festoons of ivy and bay. (Plut. Amat. 10. p. 27.) As the bridal procession moved along, the Hymenaean song was sung to the accompaniment of Lydian flutes, even in olden times, as beautifully described by Homer (II. xviii. 490 ; Hes. Scut. Here. 2/3), and the married pair received the greetings and congratulations of those who met them. (Aristoph. Pax9 1316.) After entering the bridegroom's house, into which the bride was probably conducted by his mother bearing a lighted torch (Eurip. Phoen. v. 311), it was customary to shower sweetmeats upon them (/cara%y(r/uaTa) as emblems of plenty and prosperity. (Schol. ad Arislopli. Plut. 768.)

After this came the ydpos or nuptial feast, tho f) ya/j.iK-fi, which was generally (Becker, Chari-

', vol. ii. p. 469) given in the house of the bride­groom or his parents ; and besides being a festive meeting, served other and more important purposes. There was no public right whether civil or religious connected with the celebration of marriage amongst the ancient Greeks, arid therefore no public record of its solemnisation. This deficiency then was sup­plied by the marriage feast, for the guests were of course competent to prove the fact of a marriage having taken place ; and Demosthenes (c. Onet. p. 869) sa}Ts they were invited partly with such views. To this feast, contrary to the usual prac­tice amongst the Greeks, women were invited as well as mea ; but they seem to have sat at a separate table, with the bride still veiled amongst them. (Lucian, Conviv. 8 ; Athen. xiv. p. 644.) At the conclusion of this feast she was conducted by her husband into the bridal chamber ; and a law of Solon (Pint. Solon^ c. 20) required that on en­tering it they should eat a quince together, as if to indicate that their conversation ought to be sweet and agreeable. The song called the Epiihalamium (eViflaAdfuoi', sc. /.teAos) was then sung before the doors of the bridal chamber, as represented by Theocritus in his 18th Idyl, where, speaking of the marriage of Helen, he says—

Twelve Spartan virgins, the Laconian bloom, Choir'd before fair Helen's bridal room — To the same time with cadence true they beat Th« rapid round of many twinkling feet, 0-ne measure tript, one song together sung, Their hymenean all the palace rung.


On which passage the Scholiast remarks that Epi-thalamia are of two kinds ; some sung in the even­ing, and called /cara/cof^ri/ca, and others in the morning (upOpia), and called SieyepTiKd.

The day after the marriage, the first of thai

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