Egypt marriage








Egypt Marriage


Egypt Marriage


In the ancient Egypt the institution of marriage was extremely similarly with the one of our days. The Egyptians, in their majority, were getting married from love, but there were also arranged marriages which were practiced in diverse situations.


Before the Greek dynasty only the pharaoh could marry with a member of the family, a sister, daughter, niece of brother or sister, a cousin or even mother.


For example, the Queen Hatshepsut married with her step brother, the pharaoh Tuthmoses II.


After his death, Hatshepsut also became pharaoh. And Ramses II married with at least four of his daughters (Meritamun, Bint-Anath, Henutmira and Nebettawi).



The pharaohs could marry from love too, like Ramses II married with Nefertari, falling in love with her although the woman was not from royal family.


But it is thought that Nefertari had origins from an old royal family; some historians think that she was even the step sister of Ramses.


The men used to take wives and the marriages were recorded from all times, even pre dynastic.


The most of the couples married young so the wife could offer descendants (especially sons) to the husband before getting old or die- what could happen in any moment.

The girls were getting married when they were very young, when they begun their puberty, around the age of 12 years.Some marriages were mad when the girls were having 8 years. The boys and the men used to marry later, the youngest bridegrooms having around 15 years.



The famous pharaoh Tutankhamun married before he was 9 years old with his step sister Ankhesnamun. The 3 babies of this couple were born premature.


There were also cases when old men were married with much younger wives. The general Horemheb was 50 years old when he married with Queen Mutnodjmet who was 25 years old. Also, Qenherkhepeshef ( a scribe from Deir el-Medina) married with a young woman of only 20 years old when he was 54 years old. If a man found a specific girl attracted, he had to go at her parents` home and to ask the father to give him the hand of the girl. Depending on the social statute of the man (especially if he was coming from a rich family) the father was giving his approval.


The girl`s mother was also asked about the marriage of the girl, and if the father was not alive, the man had to ask the girl` s hand to an uncle of her. The marriage was approved by a contract between the two parts, which was specifying very clear what contribution and claims had each of the parts, so, in case of a divorce, nobody could not pretend something else.




The contract contained: the marriage date (the year of the reign and the name of the pharaoh), the names of the future couple, the husband`s occupation, the names of the two partners` parents, the names of the witnesses and of the scribe who made the contract.



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