When Did Marriage Become so Hard?
To understand marriage. Today we thought it best to go back to a time and place when marriage was very different. Well i've been studying the history of family for many many years. But i specifically got interested in marriage as we got into these debates. About what traditional marriage was that. Stephanie coons. She's a professor at the evergreen state college and the author of the book marriage a history. Stephanie says the earliest marriages had nothing to do with the feelings of two people or their attraction to one. Another as you probably know marriage was much more about economics and acquiring powerful inlaws marriage originally arose in more egalitarian ban level societies as a way of sharing resources and establishing a peaceful relations with groups. That you might otherwise only see occasionally and you might not know if they were going to be friends or enemies It was a way of circulating obligations and goods. Mary my child off to you and that means you owe me things. But i also you things. Stephanie brought up a famous example from history. The union between cleopatra of egypt and mark antony of rome elizabeth taylor as cleopatra siren of the niles this is from a nineteen sixty three film version. Richard burton as mark antony impetuous leader once in pinson legion dreaded adversary on the field of battle. The hollywood version of the story portrays cleopatra and antony as being very much in love but stephanie paints a slightly different picture. I think the theme song for that Relationship could have been what's love got to do with it. They may have been passionate but it was more passion for power than a sexual. Although sexual probably entered into it to cleopatra and antony marriage was primarily about strategy wrong egypt with the two most powerful empires in the world so getting them anybody who got them together and the gotten alliance between them would be unstoppable.