Weddings dating love customs of cultures worldwide including royalty

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"Whenever people talk about traditional marriage or traditional families, historians throw up their hands," said Steven Mintz, a history professor at Columbia University. '" The ancient Hebrews, for instance, engaged in polygamy — according to the Bible, King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines — and men have taken multiple wives in cultures throughout the world, including China, Africa, and among American Mormons in the 19th century.

Polygamy is still common across much of the Muslim world.

The first recorded evidence of marriage contracts and ceremonies dates to 4,000 years ago, in Mesopotamia.

In the ancient world, marriage served primarily as a means of preserving power, with kings and other members of the ruling class marrying off daughters to forge alliances, acquire land, and produce legitimate heirs.

Actually, the institution has been in a process of constant evolution.As the church's power grew through the Middle Ages, so did its influence over marriage.In 1215, marriage was declared one of the church's seven sacraments, alongside rites like baptism and penance. Marriage was considered too serious a matter to be based on such a fragile emotion."We now fit under the Western philosophy of marriage," said E. Graff, a lesbian and the author of In one very real sense, Coontz says, opponents of gay marriage are correct when they say traditional marriage has been undermined."But, for better and for worse, traditional marriage has already been destroyed," she says, "and the process began long before anyone even dreamed of legalizing same-sex marriage."Same-sex unions aren't a recent invention.

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