Love, Sex, and Marriage in Ancient Rome

Romantic love, although recognized and praised by the poets, played little part in many marriages. Introduction Love, sex, and marriage in ancient Rome were defined by the patriarchy. The head of the household was the father (the pater familias) who had complete control over the lives of his wife, children, and slaves. This paradigm was[…]

Love, Sex, and Marriage in Ancient Mesopotamia

Marriage in ancient Mesopotamia was of vital importance to the society for the continuation of the family line and social stability. Introduction Medical texts from ancient Mesopotamia provide prescriptions and practices for curing all manner of ailments, wounds, and diseases. There was one malady, however, which had no cure: passionate love. From a medical text[…]

January Divorce Rush Dates Back to the Middle Ages

Medieval church courts in York shows that the same January divorce pattern prevailed as far back as the 14th century. January is a strain for most people. It’s dark and the festive lights don’t disguise this anymore. You’re back at work and the next holiday may be some way off. You’ve just had to spend[…]

‘A Mixture of Minds Which Cannot Unite’: John Milton and Divorce in Early Modern United Kingdom

Actual divorce allowing remarriage could only be granted by parliament. The government’s current consultation (closing on 10 December) about making ‘no fault’ divorce quicker and easier might have drawn a robust contribution from the famous seventeenth-century poet and polemicist John Milton, if he were alive today. From 1643 to 1645, in the midst of the English Civil[…]