When and what is the first official marriage in the world?

24 Nov 2023·12 min to read
When and what is the first official marriage in the world? 01

The first official marriage in the world is a topic of debate in today's world. For religious people, marriage first originated in the garden of Eden, therefore, Adam and Eve are considered the first couple to ever got married in the history of the world as it is the belief that all humans came originally from Adam and Eve, as it is written in the scriptures: Genesis 2:24. A men must turn away from his parents and cling to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.

God established marriage after creating the first woman and giving the man this amazing gift, becoming one new entity from two people. The most fundamental human relationship in God's created universe is between one man and a woman. A man will abandon his mother and father while remaining steadfast to his wife. She is now his most essential commitment under God. In the same way, the lady departs from her father's home (Psalm 45:10) in order to start a new family with her husband. He is now her most essential commitment under God.

The first book of the Bible, Genesis, introduces the topic of marriage. Why? According to Genesis 1:27, God made male and female apart from one another when he created humanity in his likeness. Because it was "not good for man to be alone," he made Eve, and he joined them in marriage. He declared marriage to be the most personal type of interaction on earth, in which a husband and wife complement one another.

The first marriage is described in Genesis 2:22–24:

Then, the Lord God transformed the man's rib into a lady and gave her to him. And the man declared: This one will be called "woman" because she was taken from a man because she is made of my bone and my flesh.

This is the reason a man separates from his parents and bonds with his bride, becoming one flesh. According to Genesis 1 and 2, a marriage is a committed, monogamous, covenantal, and complementary union between a man and a woman.).

The Evolution of Marriage

According to non-religious beliefs, marriage was socially acquired within the context of cultural progress; God did not found it, nor did it exist from the beginning. According to Robert Havemann, everyone was treated equally in prehistoric cultures, including males and women. Although there were no matrimonial unions, there were group marriages. There were no restrictions on who could engage in sexual activity within these organizations. Similar to this, it is expected that a matriarchy (Latin mater = mother; women governing) will eventually give way to patriarchy (Latin pater = father; men ruling).

In reality, the institution has been evolving constantly. Pair-bonding was first used in the Stone Age to structure and regulate sexual behavior as well as to give families and everyday tasks a solid framework. But that fundamental idea has been expressed in a variety of ways throughout history and across cultures.

Marriage was a civil matter handled by imperial law in ancient Rome. Church courts assumed control following the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century and elevated marriage to a holy union. Through the Middle Ages, the church's influence over marriage rose along with its power. However, it wasn't until the 16th century that the church enacted a rule requiring priests to officiate weddings in front of witnesses and in public.

The subjugation of wives to husbands has been mandated by law and custom for thousands of years. However, as the movement for women's rights grew in power in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, wives gradually started to demand that they be treated as equals rather than as their husbands' property. According to Marilyn Yalom, author of A History of the Wife, by 1970, Western democracies had gender-neutral marriage laws.

When and what is the first official marriage in the world? 02

First Marriage ever recorded in the history of the world

The earliest known marriage was in Mesopotamia in 2350 B.C. Evidence implies that marriage has existed for about 4,350 years. It is unknown who the first couple was, but marriage spread throughout the ancient world among the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans.

The Hebrews, in ancient times, were permitted to marry multiple wives. While the wives were required to stay at home and take care of the home, married Greeks and Romans were free to satisfy their sexual needs with prostitutes and young male partners.

Men were permitted to give their wives back and remarry if they were unable to become pregnant.

Later than you would anticipate, couples were brought together for the most part throughout human history for pragmatic reasons rather than out of love. Many married couples eventually experienced love and devotion. However, the concept of romantic love as a motivating factor for marriage only exists in the Middle Ages. 

Naturally, a lot of academics think the French "created" the idea. It took as its model the knight who experienced profound love for another man's wife, as was the case with Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere, the wife of King Arthur. The advice literature of the twelfth century advised men to woo the object of their passion by complimenting her lips, hair, and eyes.

Another theory of the first marriage ever recorded in the world is Shiva and Parvati. The first marriage in human history is not explicitly 

mentioned. However, according to a number of religious beliefs, the union of Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati marked the beginning of love marriages both in this world and throughout the cosmos.

After performing Tapasya at the Gauri Kund for years, Parvati was able to persuade Lord Shiva to take her as his wife. According to mythology, Shiva asked Parvati to marry him at Guptakashi, and they later exchanged vows at Triyuginarayan.

When and what is the first official marriage in the world? 03

Ancient Rome and Greece

For the establishment of heterosexual marriage in ancient Greece, simply mutual consent and the requirement that the pair treat one another as husband and wife were necessary. Typically, women marry in their teens and males in their 20s. According to some theories, the Greeks chose these ages because, by the time males reached their late 20s, they were often out of the military or financially secure and because life expectancies were much shorter, marrying a young girl gave her plenty of opportunity to become pregnant. In ancient Greek society, married women had few rights and were expected to take care of the home and children.

Greeks wedded in the winter in honor of Hera, and it was believed that being married during a full moon was lucky. A lady whose father passes away without leaving any male heirs could be obliged to marry her closest male relative, even if she had to divorce her spouse first because inheritance was more important than feelings.

In ancient Rome, there were various kinds of unions. A ceremony with witnesses was necessary for the traditional form known as conventio in manum, which was also dissolved with a ceremony. In this kind of union, a lady gives up her former family's inherited rights and gains them with her new one. There existed the so-called sine manu free marriage.

With this arrangement, the wife preserved her inherited rights from her first family and did not acquire any with the new one. She also continued to be a member of her first family. For girls, the legal marriage age was twelve.

Earliest recorded marriage agreement in history

The oldest marriage license ever discovered was a Jewish document from the fourth century B.C., which was discovered in Egypt. A 14-year-old girl was to receive six cows as part of a contract but it is believed this may not be correct.

According to some historians, the oldest marriage contract was actually found in Maresha Israel in 1993. Corresponding to the date according to the Seleucid era, the marriage contract written down on the ostracon was created by the Edomite community of Maresha in June 176 BCE. The Elephantine records from the fifth century BCE and the writings from the first and second centuries CE from the Judean Desert are separated by the discovery of this marriage contract, which is the oldest one ever found in Israel.

The document's format is quite reminiscent of contemporaneous Akkadian-written marriage contracts from Babylon. The bridegroom speaks in the first person there as well, as though in a conversation, and in the end, the father of the bride presents the groom his daughter as his wife. The contract's usage of phrases like "of his own free will" confirms its resemblance to Babylonian contracts.

The terms of the contract are in the bride's favor, and her sons were pledged to be the father's heirs. It is impossible to tell whether these expressions refer to a custom that was common in Israel during the Hellenistic era since there are no analogs in the Land of Israel.

In 1993, seven pieces of an ostracon with an Aramaic document engraved on it were discovered in a passageway in a sizable underground complex in the Lower City at Maresha. The ceramic vessels, the majority from the Hellenistic period and the remainder from the Persian period were found beside the recovered fragments in an earth fill. After Maresha was destroyed in the latter part of the 2nd century BCE, it is conceivable that some earth fell into the complex.

There are myths from many different civilizations about how marriage came to be. Depending on the culture or population of the time, marriage rituals, laws, and consequences have evolved over time, just like the institution itself.

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