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I’ve been posting quite often about the differing types of cultures throughout history and how their ideas of love, life, relationships and judiciary issues are much different than our own in the West. Starting with regard to relationships, today in the West we are programmed with Judeo Christian-centric views on love and marriage, which is monogamy by default (even though there are a litany of cases in the Bible of polygamy). People are vehemently angry when I question that this form of relationship is not quintessential, nor will it lead us to the ultimate bliss among those looking for a meaningful relationship. They’re angry and threatened, because this is all they know or have been taught. When we say a ‘Traditional Family’ we instantly think of a nuclear family, with one man and one woman, living together and loving each other for life. Even though the divorce and infidelity rates are sky-high (which I will detail further at the end of this blog), we still cling to this failed institution of lifelong monogamy.
There are always exceptions to every rule, but the majority of couples will eventually separate. Over 90% of all monogamous relationships will fail (I’ll get more in depth on the actual statistics at the end of this). You’re not likely to marry your high school sweetheart or the first person you date. There are exceptions, but this isn’t the rule. Though it’s a ubiquitously understood colloquialism that marriages end over half the time, many still believe they are capable of maintaining a relationship with one person for life. This is a huge problem and I believe there must be a solution. I believe it starts in opening our minds to different cultures and ideals on these major issues. I’m of the persuasion that many relationships or marriages fail because of rigidity and formality. Humans are not rigid creatures! We are evolving and fluid creatures.
As Bruce Lee said, “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
We see many monogamous relationships crack more oft than naught, because of this very reason. The expectations for your partner are so high, that it can turn you into a literal controlling, overly emotional psychopath or sociopath. When things are relaxed and flow naturally, that’s when relationships succeed, no matter what form they’re in. Bruce Lee also said to be like water, adapting, moving through the cracks, finding your own path and being free. We are constantly evolving and growing. Does this mean that we leave everything in the past, including people, objects, memories, etc..? No, but to believe they will always be as meaningful in our lives as they are at this current moment, just isn’t reality.
We should (and will) use them as a spring-board to propel us forward, to gain mastery in our next set of trials and tests in life. As it pertains to relationships and love, most often, we are not going to find ourselves with the same set of people for life. They come and they go, like a flowing stream, we pass by many new rocks and ravines as we move forward, each of them very ‘meaningful’. This filters through every part of our lives, whether it be our jobs, friends, geographical location, the cars we drive, etc.. we are constantly growing and moving forward, which means, we will inevitably leave certain things behind. You may still be friends with those you grew up with or went to High School with, for example, but you’ll eventually move to a new city and make new friends who are more involved and pertinent to where you are at that moment in time.
“Self-knowledge involves relationship. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. Relationship is a process of self evaluation and self revelation. Relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself – to be is to be related.”
― Bruce Lee
“Time means a lot to me because you see I am also a learner and am often lost in the joy of forever developing.”
― Bruce Lee
I wanted to set the precedent with this, before I delve more deeply into this topic, not only to show how different our culture is from others, but to show how mankind has evolved and to broaden your mindset on how ‘things should be.’ We have all been conditioned by a certain set of standards, rules and restrictions, but I don’t believe we should be this way. That’s the main purpose in creating this blog, not necessarily about the subject matter at hand, but the objective in getting you to evolve and step outside of the ‘box’ we’re all forced to be in, considering there just may be a ‘better way(s)’.
With that said, I’ll get back on topic. I also want to note that I don’t advocate all of these practices within the cultures I’m about to discuss, but we tend to be conditioned with the idea that our default morals / mores are the best way to live. I think we should look at a broad spectrum of ideas, evaluate what works and what doesn’t, then take what’s useful and discard the rest! Going through antiquity, you’ll find that many cultures (even some today throughout the world) were much more loosely open about sexuality, love and relationships or marriage. Before the Bible or Koran were created and all three Abrahamic faiths dominated much of society, we had many religions before them, and they were highly sexual and much more open about romance.
From the Indians (In India) – Hindus, to Egypt to Greece to Rome and even the Native Americans before the white man came, they were engaging in every form of sexuality possible (homosexuality, polyamory, orgies, bisexuality, etc..), and even left us with carvings of their sexuality in caves (hieroglyphs), monuments, pottery and statues (including sex toys). I want to give you some examples on how different many ancient cultures were about these topics, including laws for certain types of behavior that we’d see as strange or not as strict, in today’s standards.
1ST EXAMPLE : NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES
There are over 500 officially recognized Native American Tribes, so none of this is a Panacea of every one of them, but there were certainly similarities between the groups. Many Native Tribes were very polyamorous and more egalitarian. While sex was a part of traditional Native American marriage, marriage was not about sex. Prior to marriage, young people were expected to engage in sexual activities. Sex was not confined to marriage. The Europeans, and particularly the missionaries, had a great deal of difficulty in understanding that women had power in Indian society and that they had the right to sexual freedom. Indian societies were not organized on the patriarchal, monogamous norms of European society. Christian missionaries were deeply shocked and offended by the fact that Indian women were allowed to express their sexuality. At the same time, many of the European men were delighted by this.
How egalitarian the Tribes were, was one of the things that bothered many of the early Christian Missionaries, particularly the Jesuits in New France, as they viewed marriage as a relationship in which the woman subjugated herself to the man. In Indian marriages, men and women were equals. Polygyny (the marriage of one man to more than one woman at the same time) was fairly common throughout North American Tribes. In some cases a man would marry sisters – a practice that anthropologists call ‘sororal polygyny.’
Weyodi O’Clerc Stern says this about her own Comanche Tribe :
“My tribe, the Comanches, for instance were traditionally polyamorous, with both women and men free to take more than one spouse. As it was explained to me by my elders when a woman married a man she also married his brothers. Instead of the hokey “blood brother” (which is actually a European tradition) nonsense a Comanche man would be considered the brother of any man who had had sexual relations with his wife. Women also made men brothers without their consent. Even when approaching the other man for redress of wrongs in such a case, the first husband had to address his wife’s paramour as “brother”. The deed was done, the men would be brothers for the rest of their lives. On the other side women were sisters who had sexual relations with the same man and when a man married a woman he also married her sisters. When speaking to my husband my grandmother consistently referred to my sisters as “your other wives” and to my sisters and me she would indiscriminately refer to any one of her grandson-in-laws as “your husband”. I always had to ask her ‘Which one?’” (end quote)
Former Navajo tribal chairman Peter MacDonald explains Navajo polygyny this way:
“A man would marry a woman, then work hard for his family. If she had a sister who was not married, and if the man proved to be caring, a good provider, and a good husband, he would be gifted with his wife’s sister, marrying her as well.” (end quote)
In the Cherokee Tribe, personal autonomy for women was akin to modern, U.S. women, in that they were more-or-less free to hump whomever they chose, as long as it wasn’t incestuous. Cherokee historian James Adair also understood Cherokee women to be allowed the honor of promiscuity, noting that there were no punishments for adulterous women. In fact, most Cherokee men wouldn’t argue over adulterous women because it was deemed to be “beneath” them (Louis-Philippe). Cherokees were matrilineal, meaning children were NOT part of their father’s family. This is a very foreign subject to most modern “Western” people today. Your mother’s brother was basically your father and the most important person in your life. In a way your biological father was just the person that happened to be having sex with your mother. Sexual encounters would, indeed, occur in the bean-fields and other places of a relatively private nature. I really recommend the book entitled, “Cherokee Women” by Theda Perdue. She’s one of the top scholars in this field.
The Seneca tribe of the Iroquois Nation is one of the many indigenous societies to practice polygamy and polyandry as the standard for human relationships. It was normal for men and women to have more than one life partner, creating a family structure that wasn’t simply dependent upon two-parent child-rearing or relationships, but rather a network of support between all partners. Having more than one husband or wife wasn’t simply about sexual relations, as many contemporary critics of polygamy and polyandry tend to assume. But rather it was about love, partnership, and sex being experiences that didn’t have to remain restricted between two individuals. And yes, women valued these experiences too. For more on the Iroquois, read Barbara Mann’s book entitled, “Iroquoian Women.”
Among many of the tribes, a widow often married her deceased husband’s brother – a practice which anthropologists call the levirate. When a man’s wife died, he would often marry one of her sisters – a practice which anthropologists call the sororate. Many of the tribes also practiced exchanging wives. One man might become infatuated with the wife of another and propose an exchange. If this was agreeable, the two men would exchange wives from time to time. Among the Lakota Sioux Tribe, for example, two men who have pledged devotion to each other may express this relationship by marrying sisters and by exchanging wives on certain occasions. Among the Pawnee Tribe, brothers sometimes shared wives. It was not uncommon for two or more brothers to set up a joint household, sharing their wives and their property.
Polyandry (the marriage of one woman to more than one man at the same time) was found among many of the tribes. This practice was often not recognized by Europeans, including many ethnographers, as it seemed so alien to them. The Pawnee, for example, practiced a form of temporary polyandry. When a boy reached puberty, his mother’s brother’s wife would take charge of him and initiate him into sex. He would continue having sex with her until he married. For a period of four or five years, the young man, and perhaps his brothers as well, would be a junior husband for this woman, creating a temporary state of polyandry. Polyandry also occurred as a form of an anticipatory levirate.
In Native American cultures, marriage was neither religious nor civil. There was usually no religious ceremony involved, only a public recognition of the fact of marriage. In most cases there was no formal ceremony. The couple simply started living together. In most Native American cultures, nearly all adults were married, yet marriage was not seen as permanent. It was recognized that people would be together in a married state for a while and then separate. Divorce was accomplished easily since the couple did not own property in common. Each partner simply picked up his or her personal property and left. Divorce was neither a civil nor a religious concern-this was a private matter among the people involved. While some American commentators bemoan the negative impact of divorce upon children, in Native cultures, each child had many fathers, many mothers, and many siblings. A child was not property but a member of a large family and thus had rights. Since divorce was accepted and the raising of the child was the responsibility of many relatives, not just the biological mother and father, divorce does not appear to have had negative impact on the children.
Informal polyandry is a feature of some hunter-gatherer societies, such as the Inuit of northern North America, or the Yanomamo of the Orinoco river basin in South America.
The Western concept of marriage did not exist among the indigenous tribes of Hawai‘i either (Sahlins, 1985, pp, 22-25), and even if a common definition of marriage is applied (Malinowski, 1962, p. 252; Ford and Beach, 1951, pp. 187-192), sexual/genital interactions were socially accepted in many “nonmarital” and non-committed relations. The concepts of premarital and extramarital sexual activities were absent, and it was probably true of Hawai‘i, as it was said to have been true of much of Polynesia, that “there are no people in the world who indulge themselves more in their sensual appetites than these” (Ellis, 1782, Vol. 2, p. 153).
Few cultures are as sexually liberated as those of the ancient Amazon rainforest. Nearly 70 percent of the tribes practiced multiple paternity, in which all of a woman’s sexual partners were fathers to her children. It was commonplace for people to be open about having multiple sexual partners in the ancient Amazon. Open sexual arrangements were socially accepted, even expected, according to anthropologist Robert Walker. And these multiple attachments were anything but casual. Men acted as father figures to the children of any and all of their partners. A woman could marry one man, making him the primary father to her children, but all the other men in her life would be considered vital secondary fathers.
As Walker explains, this was partly because of the ancient Amazonians’ rather unique take on genetics:
“In these cultures, if the mother had sexual relations with multiple men, people believed that each of the men was, in part, the child’s biological father. It was socially acceptable for children to have multiple fathers, and secondary fathers often contributed to their children’s upbringing. In some Amazonian cultures, it was bad manners for a husband to be jealous of his wife’s extramarital partner. It was also considered strange if you did not have multiple sexual partners. Cousins were often preferred partners, so it was especially rude to shun their advances.” (end quote)
For children, having as many fathers as possible had its advantages. More dads meant more gifts and support for the child, which is known to increase a youngster’s odds of reaching adulthood. Besides, it was a rather pragmatic solution to a basic fact of life in a culture where warfare was all too common and brutal. If a child’s primary father died, he or she would have other males around to step in and act as father figures, easing the newly widowed mother’s burden.
Men also benefited from this system. Sharing paternity brought men together, cementing bonds and friendships (basically, just like Three Men and a Baby, just with less Steve Guttenberg). Indeed, one of the best ways for two men to cement an alliance was to share wives, often in a family – brothers were some of the most frequent wife-sharers According to Walker’s new research, of 128 indigenous groups in lowland South America, 53 are known to practice multiple paternity, while only 23 are known to practice single paternity. The remaining 52 don’t have clear conception beliefs, making it difficult to know whether they once possessed this custom. That means at least 40% and perhaps as much as 70% of these groups once practiced multiple paternity, which definitely means it was a common feature of Amazonian civilization.
The Moche Tribe existed along north coast of Peru from 200 AD to 850 AD. It was a complex, state level society that covered a large geographical area. Their cities, temples, and agriculture dotted the northern Peruvian coastline in what are considered two factions of the Moche: the Northern and Southern. The Moche are probably best known and recognized for their complex pottery styles. One of those styles was their erotic pottery, which can be seen below.
The Moche erotic pottery is characterized by the various sexual acts depicted, which include acts of oral, vaginal, and anal sex as well as masturbation. These acts are most commonly shown between a man and a woman, although male on male homosexual acts are present, too. Although heterosexual sexual relations are the most common it is interesting to note that vaginal sexual acts are the most rarely depicted. Common sexual acts demonstrated in Moche erotic pottery are (in order of most common to least common) heterosexual anal sex, acts of masturbation, and heterosexual oral sex. There are also several vases that portray males with their erect penises. These pieces are known as phallic libations. These are functional ceramics used as pouring vessels, with the erect penis being used as the spout. More pictures of their pottery below :
There are some other oddities in Latin America when it comes to mating. A small village in Brazil called Mehinaku is a place where size really does matter. This refers not to the size of your package, but rather the size of your catch. There, men compete for partners and sex by presenting women with fish. The man with the largest fish wins the girl. Among those in the Guajiro tribe of Colombia, much like singles in the US, this indigenous group scores on the dance floor. The Guajiro ladies catch a fella by tripping him during their ceremonial dances. If she trips him, they must have sex.
I want to interject my own thought in here for a second. You have these New-Agers out here, with their dream catchers, crystals, feather head-dresses, practicing Native mysticism with their sage sessions, etc.., but with a Judeo-Christian mindset towards polyamory and open sexuality (claiming poly sexuality is “low vibration or low archonic energy” that create karmic soul ties, which need to be purged), etc.. yet, not being aware that the majority of Native Tribes were into orgies, every form of polyamory, wife swapping / swinging (the concept of adultery was petty and “beneath them”), nephews using their uncles’ wives as their initiation into sex for many years, etc.., and just overall, being more casual with sexuality than the flower children Hippies, smoking the ganja at Woodstock 1969. Ain’t that some shit! The 3-headed Abrahamic Monster has infected many pagan beliefs too. The biggest Cult is CULTure.
We also find that many of the North American Tribes had what was known as ‘Two Spirit’ people. Basically it was a person who is androgynous. “Two Spirit” is not interchangeable with “LGBT Native American” or “Gay Indian”, this title differs from most western, mainstream definitions of sexuality and gender identity in that it is not so much about whom one is sexually interested in, or how one personally identifies; rather, it is a sacred, spiritual and ceremonial role that is recognized and confirmed by the Elders of the Two Spirit’s ceremonial community. Third and fourth gender roles traditionally embodied by two-spirit people include performing work and wearing clothing associated with both men and women. Not all tribes/nations have rigid gender roles, but, among those that do, the most usual spectrum that has been documented is that of four genders: feminine woman, masculine woman, feminine man, masculine man. The term ‘Two Spirit’ was adopted by consensus in 1990 at an Indigenous lesbian and gay international gathering to encourage the replacement of the outdated, and now seen as inappropriate, anthropological term ‘berdache.’
Author Brian Gilley, who wrote the book entitled, “Becoming Two-Spirit: Gay Identity and Social Acceptance in Indian Country” and anthropologist Will Roscoe, claim that over 130 Tribes had the presence of male-bodied two-spirits. However, as I said before, there were no Pan-Native terms. Not all Native Tribes ascribed to this view. The Ojibwe journalist named Mary Annette Pember argues that this depiction threatens to homogenize diverse Indigenous cultures, painting over them with an overly broad brush, potentially causing the disappearance of “distinct cultural and language differences that Native peoples hold crucial to their identity.”
Don Pedro Fages was third in command of the 1769–70 Spanish Portolà expedition, the first European land exploration of what is now the U.S. state of California. At least three diaries were kept during the expedition, but Fages wrote his account later, in 1775. Fages gave more descriptive details about the native Californians than any of the others, and he alone reported the presence of homosexuality in the native culture. The English translation reads:
“I have submitted substantial evidence that those Indian men who, both here and farther inland, are observed in the dress, clothing and character of women – there being two or three such in each village – pass as sodomites by profession…. They are called joyas, and are held in great esteem.”
Nowadays, some Zapotec natives from Mexico are born as males, but later cross dress as women and practice all activities associated to the female gender. Such people are known as muxe. Among the Iroquois, there is a single report from Bacqueville de la Potherie in his book published in 1722, Histoire de l’Amérique septentrionale, that indicates that an alternative gender identity exists among them. This may have also been the case among the Incas and the Aztecs, but sources show that the missionaries from Europe destroyed any artifacts or beliefs within these cultures, thus, allowing for Christian influences to flourish there.
The Jesuits and French explorers told stories of Native American men who had “Given to sin” and “Hunting Women” with wives and later, the British returned to England with similar accounts. George Catlin said that the Two Spirit tradition among Native Americans “Must be extinguished before it can be more fully recorded.” In keeping with European prejudices held against Natives, the Spanish Catholic monks destroyed most of the Aztec codices to eradicate traditional Native beliefs and history, including those that told of the Two Spirit tradition. In 1530, the Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca wrote in his diary of seeing “soft” Native Indian males in Florida tribes dressing and working as women. Just as with all other aspects of the European regard for Indians, gender variance was not tolerated. Europeans and eventually Euro-Americans demanded all people conform to their prescribed two gender roles.
As Europeans forced their way into North America, colonial governments eagerly formed white power structures, land grabbed from Natives and implemented the genocidal conversion tactics that has defined the relationship between Native Americans and Euro-American governments. When Christopher Columbus encountered the Two Spirit people, he and his crew threw them into pits with their war dogs and were torn limb from limb. The inhuman treatment Christians offered was only the beginning of the Native American holocaust.
As Europeans and subsequently Euro-Americans moved from east to west, they spread diseases and imposed European culture and religions onto Natives. In the 20th century, as neurotic prejudices, instigated by Christian influences, increased among Native Americans, acceptance of gender diversity and androgynous persons sharply declined. Two Spirits were commonly forced by government officials, Christian representatives or even their assimilated Native communities to conform to standardized gender roles. Those who felt they could not make this transition either went underground or committed suicide.
A Spanish Friar named Bartolome de Las Casas eventually wrote about the horrors of the white Christians inflicted upon the Natives. Here are quotes of his below from his diary :
“And never have the Indians in all the Indies committed any act against the Spanish Christians, until those Christians have first and many times committed countless cruel aggressions against them or against neighboring nations.
More than thirty other islands in the vicinity of San Juan are for the most part and for the same reason depopulated, and the land laid waste.
We can estimate very surely and truthfully that in the forty years that have passed, with the infernal actions of the Christians, there have been unjustly slain more than twelve million men, women, and children. In truth, I believe without trying to deceive myself that the number of the slain is more like fifty million.
After the wars and the killings had ended, when usually there survived only some boys, some women, and children, these survivors were distributed among the Christians to be slaves.
And of all the infinite universe of humanity, these people are the most guileless, the most devoid of wickedness and duplicity, the most obedient and faithful to their native masters and to the Spanish Christians whom they serve.
These people are the most devoid of rancors, hatreds, or desire for vengeance of any people in the world. They are the most guileless and most patient, humble and caring people you will find anywhere.
The reason for Christians killing and destroying such an infinite number of [Native] souls is that the Christians have an ultimate aim, which is to acquire gold, and to swell themselves with riches in a very brief time and thus rise to a high estate disproportionate to their merits.
It should be kept in mind that their insatiable greed and ambition, the greatest ever seen in the world, is the cause of their villainies.
With my own eyes I saw Spaniards cut off the nose and ears of Indians, male and female, without provocation, merely because it pleased them to do it. …Likewise, I saw how they summoned the caciques and the chief rulers to come, assuring them safety, and when they peacefully came, they were taken captive and burned.
They laid bets as to who, with one stroke of the sword, could split a man in two or could cut off his head or spill out his entrails with a single stroke of the pike.
They took infants from their mothers’ breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them headfirst against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw them into the rivers, roaring with laughter and saying as the babies fell into the water, “Boil there, you offspring of the devil!”
They attacked the towns and spared neither the children nor the aged nor pregnant women nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughter house.
They made some low wide gallows on which the hanged victim’s feet almost touched the ground, stringing up their victims in lots of thirteen, in memory of Our Redeemer and His twelve Apostles, then set burning wood at their feet and thus burned them alive.
With still others, all those they wanted to capture alive, they cut off their hands and hung them round the victim’s neck, saying, “Go now, carry the message,” meaning, Take the news to the Indians who have fled to the mountains.
They made a grid of rods which they placed on forked sticks, then lashed the victims to the grid and lighted a smoldering fire underneath, so that little by little, as those captives screamed in despair and torment, their souls would leave them.
The Indians were totally deprived of their freedom and were put into the harshest, fiercest, most horrible servitude and captivity which no one who has not seen it can understand. Even beasts enjoy more freedom when they are allowed to graze in the field.” (end)
– Bartolome de Las Casas
The imposition of Euro-American marriage laws invalidated the same-gender marriages that were once common among tribes across North America. The Native American cultural pride revivals that began in the 1960s / Red Power movements brought about a new awareness of the Two Spirit tradition and has since inspired a gradual increase of acceptance and respect for gender variance within tribal communities. It was out of this new tribal and self respect that encouraged the shedding of the offensive “Berdache” term that was assigned by Europeans.
I will leave the last words to the late Lakota actor, Native rights activist and American Indian Movement co-founder Russell Means: “In my culture we have people who dress half-man, half-woman. Winkte, we call them in our language. If you are Winkte, that is an honorable term and you are a special human being and among my nation and all Plains people, we consider you a teacher of our children and are proud of what and who you are.”
P.S. Here is more from the diary of Las Casas and also the diary of Christopher Columbus :
“As soon as I arrived in the Indies (they thought they were in India, but really they were in the Americas), on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts, and in that way they soon understood us and we them, whether by word or by sign; and they have been very useful to us.
– Christopher Columbus Captain’s Log, 1492
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2ND EXAMPLE : THE GREEKS AND ROMANS
The Greeks were a sexually promiscuous society in every way. Even their pantheon of gods and goddesses were seen engaging in every sexual act possible. We see this same thing in certain points of Roman history as well. In many Greek myths we see them transforming themselves into animals to have sex with humans or vice-versa. For example, Dionysus, God of Wine, was always accompanied by fauns, half-human, half-goat creatures famous for their sexual energy.
During the Dionysiac festivities, the high priest or Phallophoroi would wear a penis ornament while the other priests would carry milk and torches. They would go on a procession carrying a basket filled with phallic-shaped fruit that represented the God. These festivities were carried out during March and December, and during the theatrical performances, sexual rituals would be carried out, which would allude to the sacred episodes of Dionysus’ life.
Another Greek deity known for his sexual exploits was Zeus, who did the impossible to satisfy his desires. For instance, he transformed into golden rain to possess Danae, who had been locked away by her father. In one myth he even took the shape of a bull to abduct Europa (mother of King Minos of Crete, a woman with Phoenician origin of high lineage, and after whom the continent Europe was named) and in another he morphed into a swan to lie with Leda (Aetolian princess who became a Spartan queen). His shapeshifting abilities knew no bounds, he even turned into a serpent to have sex with his own daughter Persephone (daughter of Demeter and Queen of the underworld with King Hades).
Let’s start with some of the oldest Greek aspects of life, love and sexuality, which would be in Sparta (existed from 900BC to circa 300BC). Greek Historian Xenophon (4th Century BC Greek Historian) in his historical annals “Constitution of the Lacedaemonians”, on the training of Spartan women and wives. Read below :
“It was not by imitating the customs of other states, but by knowingly doing the opposite to most of them, that Lycurgus made his fatherland pre-eminently successful.
(1.3) To begin at the beginning, here is his legislation about the procreation of children. Other people raise the girls who will bear the children and who are supposed to have a good upbringing with the most limited portions of food and the smallest possible amount of delicacies. They make sure they abstain from wine completely or give it to them mixed with water.
The other Greeks think that girls ought to sit in isolation doing wool work, leading a sedentary existence like many craftsmen. How could they expect that girls raised in this way could produce significant offspring? (1.4) By contrast, Lycurgus thought that slave women could make a sufficient quantity of clothing.
But as far as free women were concerned, because he thought childbearing was their most important function, he decreed that the female sex ought to take bodily exercise no less than the male. He established competitions of running and of strength for women with one another, just as he did for the men, because he thought that stronger offspring would be born if both parents were strong.
(1.5) As for a wife’s sexual relations with her husband, Lycurgus saw that men in other cultures during the first part of the time had unlimited intercourse with their wives, but he knew that the opposite was right. He made it a disgrace for the husband to be seen approaching or leaving his wife. As a result it was inevitable that their desire for intercourse increased, and that as a result the offspring (if there were any) that were born were stronger than if the couple were tired of each other.
(1.6) In addition, he stopped men from taking a wife whenever they chose and decreed that they marry when they were in their prime, because he thought that this was better for their offspring. (1.7) He saw that in cases where it happened that an old man had a young wife, the men were particularly protective of their wives, and he knew that the opposite was right. He required that the older man bring in a man whose body and mind he admired and have him beget the children. (1.8) But in case a man did not want to cohabit with his wife, but wanted worthy children, he made a law that he could beget children from a woman who was noble and had borne good children, if he could persuade her husband. (1.9) He agreed to allow many such arrangements, for the wives who wanted to have two households and husbands who wanted to acquire brothers for their children, who had blood and powers in common, but did not inherit their property.
Thus Lycurgus had different ideas about the begetting of children, and anyone who wishes to may judge whether or not he succeeded in producing in Sparta men who were superior in height and strength from the men in other states!”
Plutarch (2nd Century AD Roman Historian and Biographer) in his historical annals “Life of Lycurgus” (Lycurgus was the lawgiver in Sparta, living circa 9th Century BC), further explaining how women in Sparta should be, as well as the marriage life between men and women.
“As for education, he considered it to be a lawgiver’s most significant and noblest work. For that reason he began first off by considering legislation about marriage and childbirth. For Aristotle is wrong when he says that it was because he tried and failed to make the women chaste that he gave up the idea of controlling the freedom and dominance the women had acquired because they were compelled to be in charge because of their husbands left them behind [while they were on campaign] and so were more considerate of them than was appropriate, and addressed them as ladies.
Rather it was that Lycurgus took particular care about the women as well as the men. (14.2) He made the young women exercise their bodies by running and wrestling and throwing the discus and the javelin, so that their offspring would have a sound start by taking root in sound bodies and grow stronger, and the women themselves would be able to use their strength to withstand childbearing and wrestle with labour pains. He freed them from softness and sitting in the shade and all female habits, and made it customary for girls no less than boys to go naked in processions and to dance naked at certain festivals and to sing naked while young men were present and looking on.
(14.3) On occasion the girls made good-natured jokes about young men who had done something wrong, and again sang encomia set to music to the young men who deserved them, so as to inspire in the young men a desire for glory and emulation of their deeds. The man who was praised for his courage and was celebrated by the girls went away proud because of their praise. But the sting of their jokes and mockery was as sharp as serious admonition, because along with the other citizens the kings and the senators attended the spectacle. (14.4) There was nothing shameful in the girls’ nakedness, because it was accompanied by modesty and self-control. It produced in them simple habits and an intense desire for good health, and gave the female sex a taste for noble sentiments, since they shared with the males virtue and desire for glory. As a result they tended to speak and think the kind of thing that Gorgo, the wife of king Leonidas, is reported to have said. When (as it seems) a foreigner said to her, ‘You Spartans are the only women who rule over their men’, she replied, ‘Because only we are the mothers of men’.
(15.1) These customs also provided an incentive for marriage. I mean the naked processions of maidens and competitions in full view of the young men, who were attracted to them not (as Plato says) ‘by sexual rather than logical inevitability’. In addition, Lycurgus attached disgrace to bachelorhood; bachelors were forbidden to watch the naked processions (15.3) Men married the girls by kidnapping them, not when they were small and immature, but when they had reached their full prime. Once the girl had been kidnapped a so-called bridesmaid cropped her hair close to her head, clothed her in a man’s cloak and sandals, and left her lying on a pallet in the dark. The bridegroom, not drunk or debauched, but sober, and after having dined as usual at the common table, came in and undid her belt and carried her off to the marriage bed.
(15.4) After spending a short time with his wife he went off in a dignified way to his usual quarters, in order to sleep with the other young men. He kept on doing like this from then on: he would spend his days and sleep at night with his comrades, go to his wife secretly and cautiously, because he was ashamed and afraid that someone would discover him in her room, and meanwhile his wife was devising and planning with him how they might devise opportunities for secret meetings. (15.5) They carried on like this for some time, so long that some of them had children before they saw their wives in the daylight.
Such interviews not only provided opportunity to practise self-control and moderation, but kept their bodies fertile and always fresh for loving and eager for intercourse, because they were not satisfied and worn out by continual intercourse, but had always some remnant of an incentive for their mutual passion and pleasure.
(15.6) By endowing marriage with such restraint and order, he was equally able to dispel empty and womanish jealousy, by ensuring that although they removed unworthy offences from marriage, they could share the begetting of children with their fellows, and they made fun of anyone who turned to murder or war on the grounds that they could not share or participate in such practices. It was possible for an older man with a younger wife, if he was pleased with and thought highly of one of the virtuous young men, to bring him to his wife and having filled her with noble seed, to adopt the child as his own. Similarly it was possible for a good man, who admired the chaste wife of another man, to persuade her husband to let him sleep with her, so that he could plant his seed in a good garden plot and beget good children, to be brothers and kin to the best families … (15.9) His physical and political program at that time was very far from the laxity among the women that was said to have developed later, and there was no thought of adultery among them.
(16.1) Fathers did not have authority over raising their offspring.
Instead, the father took his child and brought it to a place called Lesche,  where sat the elders of the tribe. They examined the child, and if it were well-formed and strong, ordered it to be raised, and gave it one of the nine-thousand lots.
But if the child were ill-born and maimed, they discarded it in the so-called Apothetae, a kind of pit near Mt. Taygetus, (16.2) on the grounds that it was not profitable for it to live, either for itself or for the state, if it were not well-framed and strong right from the start. This is why [Spartan] women washed infants not in water but in wine, in order to test their strength. For it is said that undiluted wine causes convulsions in babies who are epileptic or weak, and that healthy babies are tempered by it and their frames strengthened.
(16.3) Their nurses took special care in their craft, so that they were able to raise infants without swaddling cloths around their limbs, and left their figures free, and the babies were contented with their regime, and not fussy about food, and not scared of the dark or afraid to be left alone, and free of ignoble irritability and whining. For this reason certain foreigners purchased Spartan nurses for their children. They say that Amycla, the nurse of the Athenian Alcibiades, was a Spartan.” (end)
So you see, they engaged in many abnormalities according to today’s standards. From homosexuality, bisexuality, polyamory, pedophilia, threesomes and even played games where the man would have to ‘sneak’ in to have sex with his wife (thinking this would keep the passion strong between the couple over the long haul). The men also shared wives with the strongest, most virile males available. We see depictions of some of these practices through their artifacts and pottery, such as these below
The 2nd Greek pot above, was painted around 500 BC. It is actually a wine-cooler designed to be used at an elite Athenian drinking party. The “symposium” as it was called, enabled men to leave their wives at home and let their hair down together. But it also offered opportunities for them to drink too much and end the evening in the arms of a prostitute. The half-man, half-horse creatures depicted here warn against the loss of dignity (humanity even) that too much fun can bring, and underline why the god of wine, Dionysus, had to be worshiped. Their antics proved so shocking that at the end of the nineteenth, beginning of the twentieth century the erection of the kneeling satyr was painted out by museum curators leaving his drinking cup hovering.
Both in Greece and Rome, we see erotica all over the place, from art, artifacts, statues, coins, monuments, even lamps or streetlights with sexual insignia (after the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum were excavated, from being completely inundated with ash when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79AD, there were nothing but these sexual relics and sites found). Pompeii had highly explicit mosaics and paintings, from nude sculptures to figurines of penises and vaginas. You can watch a short clip on the archaeological finds in Pompeii in the link below :
As a matter of fact, several phallic necklaces were used as a sign of manhood, virility, and power. They were passed from soldier to soldier as a token of good luck during battle. Phallic statuettes were also displayed in infant burials to protect the deceased on their way to the underworld. It’s said that Romans believed in some sort of demonic figures who haunted men, so they would put a phallic artifact with strange shapes and motifs to scare those evil spirits trying to harm them. Here is a picture of those artifacts below
We like to think that the sexual feature of human nature has always been seen the same way as we understand it today. Each society and culture, with their own world views, looks back at the past and constructs their own interpretation of it. A sculpture such as that of Pan making love to a goat plunges us back into darkness and uncertainty, and makes the chasm of two millennia feel as abyss-like as ever. We will never be able fully to comprehend what the sculpture meant to the Romans who first saw it. Where we see smut or rape, perhaps they saw comedy or even tenderness. All we can say with certainty is that their attitudes towards sex and violence differed radically from ours. Understanding the past is an elusive, ever-changing quest.
(The god Pan having sex with a goat, found in Herculaneum ; shown in picture below) :
The Etruscans were an early, wealthy Italian (later Roman ; beginning around 3rd Century BC) tribe, who lasted from 800 BC to circa 260 BC. They were said to be very open sexually as well. Greek Historian Theopompus (4th Century BC) wrote in his historical annals ‘Histories’ about Etruscan family life. Several features of the libertine conduct attributed by Theopompus to the Etruscans occur also in Plato’s ideal State and in Xenophon’s (4th Century BC Greek Historian) description of Sparta. Read below :
“Sharing wives is an established Etruscan custom. Etruscan women take particular care of their bodies and exercise often, sometimes along with the men, and sometimes by themselves. It is not a disgrace for them to be seen naked. They do not share their couches with their husbands but with the other men who happen to be present, and they propose toasts to anyone they choose. They are expert drinkers and very attractive.
The Etruscans raise all the children that are born, without knowing who their fathers are. The children live the way their parents live, often attending drinking parties and having sexual relations with all the women. It is no disgrace for them to do anything in the open, or to be seen having it done to them, for they consider it a native custom. So far from thinking it disgraceful, they say when someone ask to see the master of the house, and he is making love, that he is doing so-and-so, calling the indecent action by its name.
When they are having sexual relations either with courtesans or within their family, they do as follows: after they have stopped drinking and are about to go to bed, while the lamps are still lit, servants bring in courtesans, or boys, or sometimes even their wives. And when they have enjoyed these they bring in boys, and make love to them. They sometimes make love and have intercourse while people are watching them, but most of the time they put screens woven of sticks around the beds, and throw cloths on top of them.
They are keen on making love to women, but they particularly enjoy boys and youths. The youths in Etruria are very good-looking, because they live in luxury and keep their bodies smooth. In fact all the barbarians in the West use pitch to pull out and shave off the hair on their bodies.” (end)
We also find that many of the laws in ancient Italy, were very different from our own as well. For example, Gortyn was a municipality on the island of Crete. It amalgamated into Rome in the 1st Century BC, but before then, it had a Code of Law of its own. Here are excerpts from the Gortyn Law Code circa 450 BC (inscr. Creticae 4.72, cols. ii.3-27, ii. 45-iv.54, v. 1-9. vi.31-46, vi.56-vii.2, vii.15-viii.19, xi. 18-9. G)
“The various laws recorded on this long and beautifully incised inscription differ in many respects from Athenian practice (cf. nos. 80 and 81). In Gortyn women appear to have somewhat more independence: instead of a dowry, daughters have a specific portion of the inheritance equal to half of that of a son; under certain (perhaps only remotely possible circumstances) even an heiress might be able to choose her husband; a women can keep her own property (rather than having her dowry returned to her father or kyrios) and half of the cloth she has woven during the course of the marriage.
(ii.3-27) If a person rapes a free person, male or female, he shall pay 100 staters, and if [the victim] is from the house of an apetairos, 10 staters; and if a slave rapes a free person, male or female, he shall pay double. If a free man rapes a serf, male or female, he shall pay 5 drachmas. If a male serf rapes a serf, male or female, he shall pay five staters.
If a person deflowers a female household serf, he shall pay 2 staters. If she has already been deflowered, 1 obol if in day-time, 2 obols if at night. The female slave’s oath takes precedence.
If anyone makes an attempt to rape a free woman under the guardianship of a relative, he shall pay 10 staters, if a witness testifies.
If someone is taken in adultery with a free woman in her father’s house, or her brother’s or her husband’s, he is to pay 10 staters; if in another man’s house, 50 staters; if with the wife of an apetairos, 10 staters. But if a slave is taken in adultery with a free woman, he must pay double. If a slave is taken in adultery with a slave, 5 staters.
Disposition of property in divorce
(ii.45-iii.16) If a husband and wife divorce, she is to keep her property, whatever she brought to the marriage, and one-half the produce (if there is any) from her own property, and half of whatever she has woven within the house; also she is to have 5 staters if her husband is the cause of the divorce. If the husband swears that he is not the cause of the divorce, the judge is to take an oath and decide. If the wife carries away anything else belonging to the husband, she must pay five staters and whatever she carries away from him, and whatever she has stolen she must return to him. About what she denies [having taken], the judge is to order that she must sear by Artemis before the statue of [Artemis] Archeress in the Amyclean temple. If anyone takes anything from her after she has made her denial, he is to pay 5 staters and return the thing itself. If a stranger helps her to carry anything away, he must pay 10 staters and double the amount of whatever the judge swears that he helped her to take away.
(iii.17-44) If a man dies and leaves children behind, if the wife wishes, she may marry, keeping her own property and whatever her husband gave her according to an agreement written in the presence of three adult free witnesses. If she should take anything away that belongs to her children, that is grounds for a trial. If the husband leaves her without issue, she is to have her own property and half of whatever she has woven within the house, and she is to get her portion of the produce in the house along with the lawful heirs, and whatever her husband may have given her according to written agreement. But if she should take away anything else, it is grounds for a trial.
If a woman dies without issue the husband is to give her property back to her lawful heirs and half of what she has woven within and half of the produce if it comes from her property. If the husband or wife wishes to pay for its transport, it is to be in clothing or twelve staters or something worth 12 staters, but not more.
If a female serf is separated from a male serf while he is alive or if he dies, she is to keep what she has. If she takes anything else away, it is grounds for a trial.
Provisions for children in case of death or divorce
(iii.45-iv. 54) If a wife who is separated from her husband should bear a child, it is to be brought to the husband in his house in the presence of three witnesses, If he does not receive it, it is up to the mother to raise or expose the child. The oath of relatives and witnesses is to have preference, if they brought it.
If a female serf should bear a child while separated [from her husband], she is to bring it to the master of the man who married her, in the presence of two witnesses. If he does not received the child, it is to be long to the master of the female serf. but if she marries the same man again before the end of the year, the child shall belong to the master of the male serf. The oaths of person who brought the child and of the witnesses shall have preference.
If a divorced woman should expose her child before presenting it according to the law, she shall pay 50 staters for a free child, and 5 for a slave, if she is convicted. If the man to whom she brings the child has no house, or she does not see him, she shall not pay a penalty if she exposes the child.
If a female serf who is not married conceives and bears a child, the child shall belong to the master of her father. If the father is not alive then to the masters of her brothers.
The father has power over the children and division of property, and the mother over her own possessions. So long as [the father and mother] are alive, the property is not to be divided. But if one of them is fined, the person who is fined shall have his share reduced proportionately according to the law.
If a father dies, the city dwellings and whatever is inside the houses in which a serf who lives in the country does not reside, and the cattle which do not belong to a serf, shall belong to the sons. The other possessions shall be divided fairly, and the sons shall each get two parts, however many they are, and the daughters each get one part, however many they are.
The mother’s property shall also be divided if she dies, in the same way as prescribed for the father’s. But if there is no property other than the house, the daughters shall receive their share as prescribed. If the father during his lifetime should give to a married daughter, let him give her share as prescribed, but not more. The daughter to whom he gave or promised her share shall have it, but no additional possessions from her father’s property.
(v.1-9) If any woman does not have property either from a gift by her father or brother or from a pledge or from an inheritance given when the Aithalian clan consisting of Cyllus and his colleagues [where in power], these women are to have a portion, but it will not be lawful to take away gifts given previously.
(vi.31-46) If a mother dies leaving children, the father has power over the mother’s estate, but he should not sell or mortgage it, unless the children are of age and give their consent. If he marries another wife, the children are to have power over their mother’s estate.
Determination of social status
(vi.56-vii.2) If a slave goes to a free woman and marries her, the children shall be free. If a free woman goes to a slave, the children shall be slaves.
(vii.15-viii.19) The heiress is to marry the oldest of her father’s living brothers. If her father has no living brothers but there are sons of the brothers, she is to marry the oldest brother’s son. If there are more heiresses and sons of brothers, the [additional heiress] is to marry the next son after the son of the oldest. The groom-elect is to have one heiress, and not more.
If the heiress is too young to marry, she is to have the house, if there is one, and the groom-elect is to have half of the revenue from everything.
If he does not wish to marry her as prescribed by law, the heiress is to take all the property and marry the next one in succession, if there is one. If there is no one, she may marry whomever she wishes to of those who ask her from the same phratry.  If the heiress is of age and does not wish to marry the intended bridegroom, or the intended groom is too young and the heiress is unwilling to wait, she is to have the house, if there is one in the city, and whatever is in the house, and talking half of the remaining property she is to marry another of those from the phratry who ask her, but she is to give a share of the property to the groom [whom she rejected].
If there are no kinsmen as defined for the heiress, she is to take all the property and marry from the phratry whomever she wishes.
If no one from the phratry wishes to marry her, her relations should announce to the tribe ‘does anyone want to marry her?’ If someone wants to, it should be within thirty days of the announcement. If not, she is free to marry another man, whomever she can.
Restrictions concerning adoption
(xi. 18-19) A woman is not to adopt [a child] nor a man under age.” (end)
Since the Jews and then the Christians were both under the auspices of Greece and then later, Rome, we should also include that many Jews and even some Christians, believed that polygyny was acceptable within the confines of their religious beliefs. It was the Greek utopian reformer Solon who instituted strict marital monogamy in Greek culture in 600 B.C., the first prohibition of polygamy in world history. Economists like David D. Friedman, (Price Theory, Ch. 21) can show mathematically that polygamy by itself benefits females, assuming voluntary marriages to benefit from increased choice. But there is no evidence that Solon created strict monogamy to reduce women’s choices, instead it was for the opposite side, to reduce competition among men. In order to facilitate the change, several cultural conditions were created or solidified, such as state sponsored prostitution, support for homosexuality, belief that marriage was only for procreation, as well as a cultural belief that romantic love was only between men.
By the time of Christ, pagan Greek culture had practiced centuries of strict marital monogamy, as well as did the pagan Roman culture they influenced. The first six Roman emperors had 25 wives between them, but all by serial monogamy of divorcing one to marry the next. So even the Roman emperors were bound by the power of their pagan cultural taboos. Even Napoleon divorced his wife Josephine and married another, despite continued mutual affection, only because she could not bare him a child. The Solonic taboo continued from pagan Greece, to pagan Rome, to Catholic Rome, to atheist France, where even leaders dared not break it.
So what of Jews under the rule of Greeks and then Romans? I’ll let George Joyce provide the answer in his “Christian Marriage: An Historical and Doctrinal Study” (1933):
“When the Christian Church came into being, polygamy was still practiced by the Jews. It is true that we find no references to it in the New Testament; and from this some have inferred that it must have fallen into disuse, and that at the time of our Lord the Jewish people had become monogamous. But the conclusion appears to be unwarranted. Josephus in two places speaks of polygamy as a recognized institution: and Justin Martyr makes it a matter of reproach to Trypho that the Jewish teachers permitted a man to have several wives. Indeed when in 212 A.D. the lex Antoniana de civitate gave the rights of Roman Citizenship to great numbers of Jews, it was found necessary to tolerate polygamy among them, even when though it was against Roman law for a citizen to have more than one wife. In 285 A.D. a constitution of Diocletian and Maximian interdicted polygamy to all subjects of the empire without exception. But with the Jews, at least, the enactment failed of its effect; and in 393 A.D. a special law was issued by Theodosius to compel the Jews to relinquish this national custom. Even so they were not induced to conform.”
Here we see the interesting case that pagan Rome restricted and persecuted polygamy and the Jews for practicing it, including Diocletian, an equally infamous persecutor of Christians. And then this pattern even continued with the Christian emperor Theodosius. After this period, Christian Roman Emperors would continue the pagan Roman pattern of increasing the punishment for polygamy so that Emperor Justinian outlawed polygamy to the degree that only a few of the wealthiest Jews were able to avoid coerced divorce and keep their wives by paying a fine of ten pounds of gold in 535 A.D. By the ninth century, polygamy brought the death penalty. In order to end over eight centuries of persecution, Judaism in Europe under Rabbi Gershom decided to self-monitor among European Judaism and prohibit it among their own in the 11th Century.
[Note that Sephardic Jews, those who were not under the governments influenced by pagan Greco-Roman taboos never gave up polygamy and still practice polygamy to this day.]
This is similar to what happened to Mormons in America. The persecution of them became so great they would become the first religion to claim to receive a message from God suspending polygamy. They likewise began rigorous self-policing and persecution of their own fundamentalist sub-sects who refused to give up polygamy and divorce their wives.
But this does not address the New Testament for Christians, and how Christians came to generally oppose polygamy. Many centrally influential Christian writers admitted that the New Testament did not prohibit polygamy, including Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Martin Luther, who wrote:
“I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict the Scripture. If a man wishes to marry more than one wife he should be asked whether he is satisfied in his conscience that he may do so in accordance with the word of God. In such a case the civil authority has nothing to do in the matter.” De Wette II, 459, ibid., pp. 329–330.
But still others made and still make a claim that it is prohibited by a few different Biblical arguments. First is a claim already disproven by the history above, that polygamy was already not practiced by Jews of the first century, and so didn’t require specific opposition. Next is an argument based on the parallels in Paul’s phrase, “Let each man have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” However, the English of this phrase hides a detail from the Greek that proves and defends polygamy was assumed and allowed.The phrase uses two different words for “own”: heautou and idios. The difference is to clarify that a husband has a wife exclusively that he cannot share. The wife has a husband using a collective “own”, such as in the phrase “Every one return to his own city”. (Luke 2:3) In this case, a man does not exclusively own the city in opposition to other citizens as co-owners, just as a wife’s ownership of her husband does not prohibit other wives co-owning him as husband.
The argument that Adam had only one wife, as if prohibitive of polygamy, was not a true in Biblical times, or Biblical examples, or Biblical interpretation, and so to try to reinterpret it so now requires intellectual dishonesty. At the least, intellectual negligent ignorance, but the more intelligent the person is, the more dishonest the argument becomes. Further, this type of “judicial activist” reinterpretation is what put Germany on the course of theological liberalism, allowed them to argue that Jesus was an Aryan, and all the Nazi evils that naturally followed from the theologically liberal authority to change hermeneutical methods of interpretation.
The final argument is the phrase used for a qualification for elders, “husband of one wife” in most English translations. However, the Greek is mias gunaikos andra. The word mias can mean either “one” or “first”. Context should decide, but in church history, a cultural bias colored the interpretation from the beginning. Gentile converts to Christianity, coming from Greco-Roman opposition to polygamy would assume it mean “one”. But Jewish converts to Christianity would assume this is requiring a man who would keep and not divorce his first wife. Indeed, even though John Calvin opposed polygamy, he acknowledged that the early Jewish Christians continued in polygamy.
Consider Abimelech. “When God reproved Abimelech, king of Gerar, for his intended adultery with, Sarah, wife of Abraham, he did, at the time, approve of his polygamy; for Abimelech said, “In the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.” “Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself, said, He is my brother.” And God said, “I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart:” “now, therefore, restore the man his wife.” “And God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maid-servants.” God could allow him to live in open polygamy, without reproof, and “in the integrity of his heart,” but could not allow him to commit adultery, even ignorantly.” (The History And Philosophy of Marriage; James Campbell, 1869).
Whether one accepts the Jewish or pagan Greek method of interpretation of mias gunaikos andra depends on if one contemplates Jesus statement, “Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law.” In other words, the Old Testament’s concepts and definitions of marriage are used with Jesus correcting misinterpretation. Jesus is not creating replacement definitions.. In contrast to this is the gnostic approach which tries to argue that the Law was evil and materialistic, as was God in the Old Testament, and Jesus was trying to oppose the Old Testament God. In this, official Gentile Christianity orthodoxy, at least through Imperial decrees and laws, chose, perhaps partly by accident, partly by excessive anti-Jewish bias, to follow the gnostic approach to argue against polygamy, even if it was generally critical of gnosticism.
Another issue is an attempt to reinterpret Old Testament texts claiming support for monogamy, such as Adam having only one wife, or Abraham’s second wife causing conflict. But yet, if these did not imply a strict monogamy then, then they can’t be correctly interpreted later to do so. Take the example of Abraham, the example of faith, lived with at least a third wife and unnamed concubines without any implied wrongness.
Although many women enjoyed certain perks in society, they were not always well thought of by Greco-Roman society. Here are a few examples. Hesiod (Greek Poet, living around 700BC), has two extant works, one of which is entitled, “Works and Days” and the other is entitled, “Theogony.” He writes in the latter, that after humans received the stolen gift of fire from Prometheus, an angry Zeus decides to give humanity a punishing gift to compensate for the boon they had been given. He commands Hephaestus to mold from earth the first woman, a “beautiful evil” whose descendants would torment the human race. After Hephaestus does so, Athena dresses her in a silvery gown, an embroidered veil, garlands and an ornate crown of silver. This woman goes unnamed in the Theogony, but is presumably Pandora, whose myth Hesiod revisited in Works and Days. When she first appears before gods and mortals, “wonder seized them” as they looked upon her. But she was “sheer guile, not to be withstood by men.” Hesiod elaborates (590–93):
“From her is the race of women and female kind: of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who live amongst mortal men to their great trouble, no helpmates in hateful poverty, but only in wealth.”
Hesiod goes on to lament that men who try to avoid the evil of women by avoiding marriage will fare no better (604–607):
“He reaches deadly old age without anyone to tend his years, and though he at least has no lack of livelihood while he lives, yet, when he is dead, his kinsfolk divide his possessions amongst them.”
Hesiod concedes that occasionally a man finds a good wife, but still (609) “evil contends with good.”
In the ‘Works and Days’ version of the myth (lines 60–105), Hesiod expands upon her origin, and moreover widens the scope of the misery she inflicts on humanity. As before, she is created by Hephaestus, but now more gods contribute to her completion (63–82): Athena taught her needlework and weaving (63–4); Aphrodite “shed grace upon her head and cruel longing and cares that weary the limbs” (65–6); Hermes gave her “a shameful mind and deceitful nature” (67–8); Hermes also gave her the power of speech, putting in her “lies and crafty words” (77–80) ; Athena then clothed her; next Persuasion and the Charites adorned her with necklaces and other finery (72–4); the Horae adorned her with a garland crown. Finally, Hermes gives this woman a name: Pandora – “All-gifted” – “because all the Olympians gave her a gift”. In this retelling of her story, Pandora’s deceitful feminine nature becomes the least of humanity’s worries. For she brings with her a jar (which, due to textual corruption in the sixteenth century, came to be called a box) containing “burdensome toil and sickness that brings death to men” (91–2), diseases (102) and “a myriad other pains” (100). Prometheus had (fearing further reprisals) warned his brother Epimetheus not to accept any gifts from Zeus. But Epimetheus did not listen; he accepted Pandora, who promptly scattered the contents of her jar. As a result, Hesiod tells us, “the earth and sea are full of evils” (101). One item, however, did not escape the jar (96–9):
“Only Hope was left within her unbreakable house, she remained under the lip of the jar, and did not fly away. Before [she could], Pandora replaced the lid of the jar. This was the will of aegis-bearing Zeus the Cloudgatherer.”
Hesiod does not say why hope (elpis) remained in the jar.
Hesiod closes with this moral (105): “Thus it is not possible to escape the mind of Zeus.”
Hesiod also outlines how the end of man’s Golden Age, (an all-male society of immortals who were reverent to the gods, worked hard, and ate from abundant groves of fruit) was brought on by Prometheus, when he stole Fire from Mt. Olympus and gave it to mortal man, Zeus punished the technologically advanced society by creating woman. Thus, Pandora was created as the first woman and given the jar (mistranslated as ‘box’) which releases all evils upon man. The opening of the jar serves as the beginning of the Silver Age, in which man is now subject to death, and with the introduction of woman to birth as well, giving rise to the cycle of death and rebirth.” (end)
The next example comes from Semonides of Amorgos (Greek Poet : Lived in 7th Century BC). His poem is entitled, ‘WOMEN’ is based on the idea that Zeus created men and women differently, and that he specifically created ten types of women based on different models from the natural world. Of the ten types of women in the poem, nine are delineated as destructive: the dirty woman comes from a pig; the cunning woman originates from a fox, the incessantly curious and high-maintenance woman comes from a dog, the lazy or apathetic woman comes from earth or soil, the capricious woman of mood swings comes from seawater, the stubborn woman comes from an ass, the untrustworthy and uncontrollable woman comes from a weasel or skunk (depending on the translation), the overly proud woman comes from a mare, and the worst and ugliest type of woman comes from an ape or monkey. Only the “Bee Woman” (who is dismissed as an impossible ideal) is regarded as virtuous. The bee reference is considered homage to the earlier poem of Hesiod entitled Theogony, which uses the metaphor of women and men as bees in one part.
Here is his poem ‘WOMEN’ in its entirety below :
1 From the start, the gods made women different.
One type is from a pig–a hairy sow
whose house is like a rolling heap of filth;
and she herself, unbathed, in unwashed clothes,
5 reposes on the shit-pile, growing fat.
Another type the gods made from a fox:
pure evil, and aware of everything.
This woman misses nothing: good or bad,
she notices, considers, and declares
10 that good is bad and bad is good. Her mood
changes from one moment to the next.
One type is from a dog–a no-good bitch,
a mother through and through; she wants to hear
everything, know everything, go everywhere,
15 and stick her nose in everything, and bark
whether she sees anyone or not.
A man can’t stop her barking; not with threats,
not (when he’s had enough) by knocking out
her teeth with a stone, and not with sweet talk either;
20 even among guests, she’ll sit and yap;
the onslaught of her voice cannot be stopped.
One type the gods of Mount Olympus crafted
out of Earth–their gift to man! She’s lame
and has no sense of either good or bad.
25 She knows no useful skill, except to eat
–and, when the gods make winter cold and hard
to drag her chair up closer to the fire.
Another type is from the Sea; she’s two-faced.
One day she’s calm and smiling–any guest
30 who sees her in your home will praise her then:
“This woman is the best in all the world
and also the most beautiful.” The next day
she’s wild and unapproachable, unbearable
even to look at, filled with snapping hate,
35 ferocious, like a bitch with pups, enraged
at loved ones and at enemies alike.
Just as the smooth unrippled sea at times
stands still, a joy to mariners in summer,
and then at times is wild with pounding waves–
40 This woman’s temperament is just like that.
The ocean has its own perplexing ways.
Another type is from a drab, gray ass;
she’s used to getting smacked, and won’t give in
until you threaten her and really force her.
45 She’ll do her work all right, and won’t complain;
but then she eats all day, all night–she eats
everything in sight, in every room.
And when it comes to sex, she’s just as bad;
she welcomes any man that passes by.
50 Another loathsome, miserable type
is from a weasel: undesirable
in every way–un-charming, un-alluring.
She’s sex-crazed, too; but any man who climbs
aboard her will get seasick. And she steals
55 from neighbors, and from sacrificial feasts.
Another type a horse with flowing mane
gave birth to. She avoids all kinds of work
and hardship; she would never touch a mill
or lift a sieve, or throw the shit outside,
60 or sit beside the oven (all that soot!).
She’ll touch her husband only when she has to.
She washes off her body every day
twice, sometimes three times! then rubs herself
with perfumed oil. She always wears her hair
65 combed-out, and dressed with overhanging flowers.
Such a wife is beautiful to look at
for others; for her keeper, she’s a pain
–unless he is a king, or head of state
who can afford extravagant delights.
70 Another type is from an ape. I’d say
that Zeus made her the greatest pain of all–
his gift to man! Her face is hideous.
This woman is a total laughingstock
when she walks through the town. She has no neck,
75 no butt–she’s all legs. You should see the way
she moves around. I pity the poor man
who holds this horrid woman in his arms.
She’s well-versed in every kind of trick
just like an ape; what’s more, she has no shame
80 and doesn’t care if people laugh at her.
She’d never think of doing something kind
to anyone; she plots the whole day long
to see how she can do the greatest harm.
Another type is from a bee. Good luck
85 in finding such a woman! Only she
deserves to be exempt from stinging blame.
The household that she manages will thrive;
a loving wife beside her loving man,
she’ll grow old, having borne illustrious
90 and handsome children; she herself shines bright
among all women. Grace envelops her.
She doesn’t like to sit with other women
discussing sex. Zeus gratifies mankind
with these most excellent and thoughtful wives.
95 But by the grim contrivances of Zeus
all these other types are here to stay
side by side with man forever. Yes,
Zeus made this the greatest pain of all:
Woman/ If she seems to want to help
100 that’s when she does her keeper the most harm.
A man who’s with a woman can’t get through
a single day without a troubled mind.
He’ll never banish Hunger from his house:
unwelcome, hateful lodger, hostile god.
105 Just when a man seems most content at home
and ready for enjoyment, by the grace
of god or man, that’s when she’ll pick a fight,
her battle-helmet flashing, full of blame.
A household with a woman is at a loss
110 to give a decent welcome to a guest.
The wife who seems the most restrained and good,
she’s the most disastrous of them all;
for while her slack-jawed husband gapes at her
the neighbors laugh at how he’s been deceived.
115 Each man will diligently praise his own
and blame the next man’s wife; we just don’t see that we all share alike in this hard luck. For Zeus made this the greatest pain of all
and locked us in a shackle hard as iron
120 and never to be broken, ever since
the day that Hades opened up his gates
for all the men who fought that woman’s war.” (end)
The last example is from Juvenal (55AD-138AD), who was a Roman Satirist. In his 6th Satirical Work “Satire VI” (“Satura VI”) is a verse satire, written around 115 CE. The poem laments what Juvenal sees as the decay of feminine virtue, and uses a series of acidic vignettes on the degraded state of female morality (some would say a misogynistic rant), purportedly to dissuade his friend Postumius from marriage. It is the longest and one of the most famous (or infamous) of his sixteen satires.
The poem opens with a parody of the golden age myths and of the Ages of Man (in the Golden Age no one feared a thief, the Silver Age marked the first adulterers, and the remaining crimes arrived in the Iron Age). The goddesses Pudicitia (Chastity) and Astraea (Justice) then withdrew from the earth in disgust. He questions his friend Postumius’ plans for marriage when there are alternatives, such as committing suicide or just sleeping with a boy.
Juvenal then relates a series of examples of why women and marriage should be avoided. He describes the notorious adulterer, Ursidius, who wants a wife of old-fashioned virtue, but is insane to think he will actually get one. He then gives examples of lustful wives, such as Eppia, a senator’s wife, who ran off to Egypt with a gladiator, and Messalina, wife of Claudius, who used to sneak out of the palace to work at a brothel. Although lust may be the least of their sins, many greedy husbands are willing to overlook such offences for the dowries they can receive. He argues that men love a pretty face not the woman herself, and when she gets old, they can just kick her out.
Juvenal then discusses pretentious women, and claims he would prefer a prostitute for a wife over someone like Scipio’s daughter, Cornelia Africana (widely remembered as a perfect example of a virtuous Roman woman), since he says virtuous women are often arrogant. He suggests that dressing and speaking Greek is not at all attractive, especially in an older woman.
He then accuses women of being quarrelsome and of tormenting the men they love in their desire to rule the home, and then they just move on to another man. He says that a man will never be happy while his mother-in-law still lives, as she teaches her daughter evil habits. Women cause lawsuits and love to wrangle, covering their own transgressions with accusations of their husbands’ (although if a husband catches them at this, they are even more indignant).
In days gone by, it was poverty and constant work that kept women chaste, and it is the excessive wealth that came with conquest that has destroyed Roman morality with luxury. Homosexuals and effeminate men are a moral contamination, especially because women listen to their advice. If eunuchs guard your wife, you should be sure they really are eunuchs (“who will guard the guards themselves?”). Both high- and low-born women are equally profligate and lacking in foresight and self-restraint.
Juvenal then turns to women who intrude into matters that pertain to men, and are constantly blathering gossip and rumours. He says that they make terrible neighbours and hostesses, keeping their guests waiting, and then drinking and vomiting like a snake that has fallen into a vat of wine. Educated women who fancy themselves as orators and grammarians, disputing literary points and noting every grammatical slip of their husbands, are likewise repulsive.
Rich women are uncontrollable, only making any attempt to look presentable for their lovers and spending their time at home with their husbands covered in their beauty concoctions. They rule their households like bloody tyrants, and employ an army of maids to get them ready for the public, while they live with their husbands as though they were complete strangers.
Women are by their nature superstitious, and give complete credence to the words of the eunuch priests of Bellona (the war goddess) and Cybele (the mother of the gods). Others are fanatic adherents of the cult of Isis and its charlatan priests, or listen to Jewish or Armenian soothsayers or Chaldaean astrologers, and get their fortunes told down by the Circus Maximus. Even worse, though, is a woman who is herself so skilled at astrology that others seek her out for advice.
Although poor women are at least willing to bear children, rich women just get abortions to avoid the bother (although at least that prevents the husbands from being saddled with illegitimate, half-Ethiopian children). Juvenal contends that half of the Roman elite is made up of abandoned children whom women pass off as those of their husbands. Women will even stoop to drugging and poisoning their husbands to get their way, like Caligula’s wife, who drove him insane with a potion, and Agrippina the Younger who poisoned Claudius.
As an epilogue, Juvenal asks whether his audience thinks he has slipped into the hyperbole of tragedy. But he points out that Pontia admitted to murdering her two children and that she would have killed seven if there had been seven, and that we should believe everything the poets tell us about Medea and Procne. However, these women of ancient tragedy were arguably less evil than modern Roman women, because at least they did what they did out of rage, not just for money. He concludes that today there is a Clytemnestra on every street.
Although frequently decried as a misogynistic rant, the poem is also an all-out invective against marriage, which Rome’s decaying social and moral standards at that time had made into a tool of greed and corruption (Juvenal presents the options available to the Roman male as marriage, suicide or a boy lover), and equally as an invective against the men who have permitted this pervasive degradation of the Roman world (Juvenal casts men as agents and enablers of the feminine proclivity toward vice).
The poem contains the famous phrase, “Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” (“But who will guard the guards themselves” or “But who watches the watchmen?”), which has been used as an epigraph to numerous later works, and refers to the impossibility of enforcing moral behaviour when the enforcers themselves are corruptible.” (end)
Many high ranking Roman Politicians had similar sentiments and tried to oppress or suppress all of these openly loose ideas about emancipating women, love, romance and free sexuality. Read this quote by Cato The Elder below :
“Woman is a violent and uncontrolled animal… If you allow them to achieve complete equality with men, do you think they will be easier to live with? Not at all. Once they have achieved equality, they will be your masters….. All mankind rules its women, and we rule all mankind, yet our women rule us.”
– Cato The Elder (around 195BC ; Rome)
During the second Punic War in 215BC, Rome passed a law called ‘Lex Oppia.’ Cato argued that the law removed the shame of poverty because it made all women dress in an equal fashion. Cato insisted that if women could engage in a clothes-contest, they would either feel shame in the presence of other women, or on the contrary, they would delight in a rather base victory as a result of extending themselves beyond their means. He also declared that a woman’s desire to spend money was a disease that could not be cured, but only restrained. Cato said that the removal of Lex Oppia would render society helpless in limiting the expenditures of women. Cato pronounced that Roman women, already corrupted by luxury, were like wild animals, who have once tasted blood, in the sense that they can no longer be trusted to restrain themselves from rushing into an orgy of extravagance. The law was repealed in 195BC, but this just goes to show that everything we’re dealing with right now is not something brand new. When society becomes more gentrified, women gain more power, gynocracy takes hold and then the nation either collapses from within (providing too many services for women and children, at the expense of the family unit and men), OR they are taken over by more patriarchal nations.
Strabo (the Greek Historian, Geographer and Philosopher ; living from 64BC – 24AD) said this:
“The multitude are restrained from vice by the punishments that the gods are said to inflict upon offenders, and by those terrors and threatenings which certain dreadful words and monstrous forms imprint upon their minds. For it is impossible to govern the crowd of women, and all the common rabble, by philosophical reasoning, and lead them to piety, holiness and virtue – but this must be done by superstition, or the fear of the gods, by means of fables and wonders; for the thunder, the aegis, the trident, the torches (of the Furies), the dragons, etc.. are all fables. These things the legislators used as scarecrows to terrify the childish multitude.”
Essentially, they used religion as a way to terrify people (mainly women), so that society would be held in check. It’s important to note that just reading the history of the Roman Empire brings such glaring similarities with our own civilization, it is as if human social dynamics are literally stuck in a cycle that repeats every couple thousand years. But moving on here.
Augustus Caesar reigned as Emperor in Rome from 27 BC to 14 AD. He declared that unmarried men were worse than robbers and murderers. Most men in Rome were denied the right to vote, had no realistic opportunity to hold public office, and owned little or no property. In addition, men were conscripted into military service. The exploitation of ordinary men, common throughout history, was not just a feature of Roman public life. Roman men also evidently found their family obligations toward women to be oppressive. By about 18 BC, a large share of Roman men were reluctant to marry. To encourage men to marry, Roman Emperor Augustus passed a series of laws penalizing unmarried men and rewarding men who married and had at least three children.
The disabilities imposed on unmarried men included social devaluations. Unmarried men were forbidden to attend public games and banquets. Unmarried men were also forced to sit in less desirable seats in the theatre. These sorts of laws point to broader processes of social control. Social strategies of shaming and dishonoring have powerfully affected men’s lives throughout history. The status of men in any society cannot be adequately understood merely by literal reading of formal law and simple demographic analysis of office-holding.
Coercing men into marrying is not a historical aberration. In his ideal state, Cicero had state magistrates prohibit men from remaining unmarried. According to Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, Lycurgus, the famous law-giver of the Spartans, penalized bachelors:
“Lycurgus also put a kind of public stigma upon confirmed bachelors. They were excluded from the sight of the young men and maidens at their exercises, and in winter the magistrates ordered them to march round the market-place in their tunics only, and as they marched, they sang a certain song about themselves, and its burden was that they were justly punished for disobeying the laws. Besides this, they were deprived of the honour and gracious attentions which the young men habitually paid to their elders.”
In his Roman History, Cassius Dio wrote of Emperor Augustus separating the Roman aristocracy into married men and unmarried men. The married men were “much fewer in number.” Augustus praised the married men for following the examples of their fathers and perpetuating their class. Augustus demeaned the unmarried men:
“O — what shall I call you? Men? But you are not performing any of the offices of men. Citizens? But for all that you are doing, the city is perishing. Romans? But you are undertaking to blot out this name altogether.”
Unmarried men, according to Augustus, were immoral beasts:
“You talk, indeed, about this ‘free’ and ‘untrammelled’ life that you have adopted, without wives and without children; but you are not a whit better than brigands or the most savage of beasts. For surely it is not your delight in a solitary existence that leads you to live without wives, nor is there one of you who either eats alone or sleeps alone; no, what you want is to have full liberty for wantonness and licentiousness.”
Under Augustus, the Leges Juliae Law of 18–17 BC attempted to elevate both the morals and the numbers of the upper classes in Rome and to increase the population by encouraging marriage and having children (Lex Julia de maritandis ordinibus). They also established adultery as a private and public crime (Lex Julia de adulteriis). To encourage population expansion, the Leges Juliae offered inducements to marriage and imposed disabilities upon the celibate. Augustus instituted the “Law of the three sons” which held those in high regard who produced three male offspring. Marrying-age celibates and young widows who wouldn’t marry were prohibited from receiving inheritances and from attending public games.
The Lex Iulia de Adulteriis Coercendis Law (17 BC) punished adultery with banishment. The two guilty parties were sent to different islands (“dummodo in diversas insulas relegentur”), and part of their property was confiscated. Fathers were permitted to kill daughters and their partners in adultery. Husbands could kill the partners under certain circumstances and were required to divorce adulterous wives. Augustus himself was obliged to invoke the law against his own daughter, Julia (relegated to the island of Pandateria) and against her eldest daughter (Julia the Younger). Tacitus adds the reproach that Augustus was stricter for his own relatives than the law actually required (Annals III 24).
The Lex Papia was a Roman law introduced in 9 AD to encourage and strengthen marriage. It included provisions against adultery and celibacy and complemented and supplemented Augustus’ Lex Julia de Maritandis Ordinibus of 18 BC and the Lex Iulia de Adulteriis Coercendis of 17 BC. The law was introduced by the suffect consuls of that year, Marcus Papius Mutilus and Quintus Poppaeus Secundus, although they themselves were unmarried. In order to promote marriage, various penalties were imposed on those who lived in a state of celibacy after a certain age. Caelibes could not take an hereditas or a legacy (legatum); but if a person was celibate at the time of the testator’s death, and was not otherwise disqualified (jure civili), he might take the hereditas or legatum, if he obeyed the law within one hundred days, that is, if he married within that time (Ulp. Frag. xvii.1).
If he did not comply with the law, the gift became caducum (subject to escheat). The Lex Julia allowed widows a term of one year (vacatio) from the death of a husband, and divorced women a term (vacatio) of six months from the time of the divorce, within which periods they were not subject to the penalties of the lex: the Lex Papia extended these periods respectively to two years, and a year and six months (Ulp. Frag. xiv). A man, when he attained the age of sixty, and a woman, when she attained the age of fifty, were not included within certain penalties of the law (Ulp. Frag. xvi); but if they had not obeyed the law before attaining those respective ages, they were perpetually bound by its penalties by a Senatus-consultum Pernicianum. A Senatus-consultum Claudianum so far modified the strictness of the new rule as to give a man who married above sixty the same advantage that he would have had if had married under sixty, provided he married a woman who was under fifty; the ground of which rule was the legal notion that a woman under fifty was still capable of having children (Ulpian, Frag. xvi; Sueton. Claud. 23). If the woman was above fifty and the man under sixty, this was called Impar Matrimonium, and by a Senatus-consultum Calvitianum it was entirely without effect as to releasing from incapacity to take legata and dotes. On the death of the woman, therefore, the dos became caduca.
The law also imposed penalties on orbi, that is, married persons who had no children (qui liberos non habent, Gaius, ii.111) from the age of twenty-five to sixty in a man, and from the age of twenty to fifty in a woman. By the Lex Papia, orbi could only take one half of an hereditas or legatum which was left to them (Gaius, ii.286). It seems that an attempt had been made to evade this part of the law by adoptions, which a Senatus-consultum Neronianum declared to be ineffectual for the purpose of relieving a person from the penalties of the law (Tacit. Ann. xv.19).
Link 7 :
Link 8 :
Link 10 (Justin Martyr Dialogue to Trypho chapter 134) :
OTHER EXAMPLES : They range from ancient Mesopotamia, Assyria, Egypt, India, Nepal, to 18th and 19th Century China, and more all have differing ideas about dating, relationships, marriage and sex. Here are a few of those in a little more detail.
In Talmudic literature, the ancient Egyptians are known for their liberal sexual lifestyles and are often used as the prime example of sexual debauchery. Rashi (1040-1105AD – medieval French rabbi and author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud and commentary on the Tanakh) describe an Egyptian practice for women to have multiple husbands. Maimonides (1135-1204AD – was a medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages. In his time, he was also a preeminent astronomer and physician), refers to lesbianism as “the acts of Egypt”.
The Egyptians had their own ways and means of getting around the fact that sex produced children as well. They had both contraceptives and abortions, mostly these were prescriptions that were filled with unpleasant ingredients such as crocodile dung. Here is one of the nicer ones: Prescription to make a woman cease to become pregnant for one, two or three years: Grind together finely a measure of acacia dates with some honey. Moisten seed-wool with the mixture and insert it in the vagina.
— Ebers Medical Papyrus (Tyldesley, J.A. 1995, Daughters of Isis: Women of Ancient Egypt, p. 62)
The Egyptian sacred ‘prostitute’ (who was probably a highly regarded as a member of Egyptian society because of her association with different gods or goddesses (such as Bes and Hathor), rather than the street walker that the modern mind imagines) advertised herself through her clothing and make up. Some of these women wore blue faience beaded fish-net dresses. They painted their lips red, and tattooed themselves on the breasts or thighs and even went around totally nude. There is no evidence that these women were paid for these fertility-related acts, so some believe that word ‘prostitute’ is probably an incorrect term for these women. In fact, the Victorian era theory that these women were prostitutes is not backed up by evidence at all. All archaeological evidence for women with such tattoos shows them to have been New Kingdom female musicians or dancers.
Another idea pointed out to me by Daniel Kolos, an Egyptologist academically trained at the University of Toronto, is that this premarital sexual activity might be a prerequisite for marriage. One of the theories that disassociates these women from being prostitutes, is that their sexual activity could be part of a “coming-of-age ritual”, just as circumcision was one for males. With Egypt’s heavy emphasis on fertility as the defining nature of a man or a woman, this idea is a highly likely probability.
Other theories could be that the young virgin girls joined itinerant performing groups – dancers, singers and the like – and during their time with these groups they experienced their first sexual encounters. If a girl became pregnant, she would probably leave the troupe to head home to her family with proof of her fertility. (Motherhood was venerated, giving a woman a much higher status in society, so pregnancy was something to be proud of in ancient Egypt.)
These travelling groups of women were strongly linked with midwifery and childbirth-related deities. The goddesses Isis, Nephthys, Meskhenet and Heqet disguised themselves as itinerant performers, travelling with the god Khnum as their porter. Carrying the sistrum and menat instruments – instruments with sexual overtones – they showed it to Rawoser, the expectant father. Knowing that his wife, Raddjedet, was having a very difficult labour, he told these women – the disguised goddesses – about his wife’s troubles, and at their offer of help, he let them in to see her.
These women do not seem to be pay-for-sex prostitutes, instead they seem to be a link with the divine, a helper of expectant mothers and singers, dancers and musicians. This is not to say that there were no pay-for-sex prostitutes in ancient Egypt, it it just that there is little evidence of this found. Considering Egypt’s very different image of sexuality, the modern concept of both sexuality and prostitution do not fit this ancient society. Women operated under a totally different cultural imperative than women today, thus ancient Egyptian sexuality must be looked at without modern prejudices. It seems that these female performers, these ‘prostitutes’, were treated with courtesy and respect, and there seemed to be a well established link between these travelling performers and fertility, childbirth, religion and magic.
Side Note : This is no longer the case, but in ancient Egypt they believed the Nile’s flow was powered by God’s masturbation. People would ejaculate into the Nile as a ritual to bring forth a good harvest. During the festival of the god Min, men would masturbate in public. Let’s not forget how openly sexual the Egyptians were. From artifacts to hieroglyphs on walls, caves and pyramids, we get a glimpse of how open they were about things. Here are a few pictures below
The Cambodian Kreung tribe does not allow divorce, so if you’re going to get married, you must know what you’re getting into. That’s why, when girls reach their mid-teens, their parents build them a love hut. The girl then proceeds to bring men back to her love hut and have her way with them as much as possible, often more than one a night, until she finds the one she wants to marry.
Link 7 :
http://www.thekeep.org/~kunoichi/kunoichi/themestream/sexuality.html#.W42l-y2ZNAY#ixzz5Q4qo21RG © Caroline Seawright
With all of that said, I wanted to get into some of the statistics today as well as some of my own opinions. After studying science, biology, anthropology and evolution, I’ve come to the conclusion that trying to institute monogamy upon society, is the extreme of fighting human and mammalian nature. This really isn’t an opinion, this is FACT. I want to preface all of this by saying that I’m not trying to convince you of anything. YOU SHOULD ALREADY BE CONVINCED! The high divorce and high infidelity numbers are already there plainly for everyone to see! Over 90% of monogamous relationships fail. What I want to do is explain WHY it happens from a biological and anthropological angle. Anyone who is predisposed to seeing things from a logistical or analytical viewpoint will have an easy time comprehending this. We oftentimes hear that you should get into a relationship with or marry a ‘good’ person. But this isn’t about a person being good or bad, it’s about them (and YOU) being uneducated about your biological imperatives as a mammalian species. People are heavily conditioned to go against their biology and when it backfires, they can be seen as a terrible person, when it really has nothing to do with the credibility of their character.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I believe that the entire institution of LIFELONG MONOGAMY is one of the biggest SCAMS ever perpetuated upon humanity (aside from religion). Push your ‘feelings’ to the side and become a ‘Statistician’ and ‘Anthropologist’ on this entire issue with me for a second. Here are the raw numbers. Over a 40 year period, 67% of FIRST marriages end in divorce, with most not reaching their 10th year anniversary. This doesn’t include the couples still together in misery, living like roommates with no sex life, fucking other people on the side, wanting to get a divorce, but can’t, because kids are involved or divorce is too expensive (among other circumstances such as fearing being shamed by family and friends). Look at the cartoons, movies, media, religion (fearing punishment for sex outside of marriage) and music (99% of songs are all about monogamous relationships and ‘romantic love’). They’ve gone to extreme lengths to condition us to be this way.
The famous propagandist known as Edward Bernays (uncle was Sigmund Freud) said this below :
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons, who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
– Edward L. Bernays – 1928 (Propagandist and nephew of Sigmund Freud)
I remember the movie ‘THEY LIVE’ from the 1980s with Roddy Piper. He puts on the glasses and sees things for how they really are. In one scene he looks at a sexy beautiful woman in a bikini on a beach. He puts the glasses on and it says ‘GET MARRIED AND REPRODUCE.’ We are completely brainwashed with this whole idea of lifelong monogamy as the quintessential relationship between people. But the numbers just do not bear this out. That’s why we OOOOOO and AHHHHH when we hear of a couple making it to a 50 year anniversary. It’s always been rare.
Divorce isn’t just an American phenomena either! Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, and Hungary are the worst off with divorce rates higher than 60%. Belgium has the highest rate of divorce at a staggering 70%. These are more Westernized nations, where people are freely given a choice to stay or leave their partners. Other places with lower divorce rates may have religious stigmas tied to divorce, where a woman can be stoned to death if she commits adultery or wants to divorce. I think looking at the Western cultures alone should be the only way to really gauge how people naturally are with one another.
If given the choice, most couples WILL separate. The only way you can keep a monogamous relationship alive for most couples, is to terrify them whether through acts of violence against them in this life, or threatening hell-fire in the next life. But most couples will separate when given a chance to, because monogamy is not natural for us. Most people are SERIAL monogamists, not true monogamists. They will have monogamy with one partner for a few years and then move on to the next and have a new monogamous relationship with another. There are only a slim few who can actually maintain a monogamous relationship with one person for life. The MAJORITY will simply not be able to stick to a code of true monogamy. I hope for a day to come when we will all realize all this.
Also, we have this idea that people who fail at relationships or marriages (or fail to even get into a relationship) are basement dwellers, who are TFL (True Forced Loneliness) types, who are unattractive, have no career, no status, no money, etc.. but it’s actually the opposite. The highest divorce rates are among those in the public eye. Celebrities divorce at 2 TIMES the rate than the common citizen divorces at (and they get divorced much quicker than the average person too!). So relying on looks, status, fame or money as a gauge on how successful your relationship or marriage will be, is counter-productive in this scenario as well! Here is the biggest problem I have with monogamy (and so should YOU) is that it leaves no room for GROWTH. You may be compatible with your partner right now, but in 5, 10, 15+ years, you don’t know if you will be! Most people will evolve and grow apart. I’m not the same person I was even just a couple years ago, due to new information.
If you read the book ‘SEX AT DAWN’ by Cacilda Jetha and Christopher Ryan, they give heavy, in-depth research that prove before the Agricultural Age over 10,000 years ago, people were more polyamorous and this makes the most sense from a biological standpoint. Our closest animal relatives are the chimps and bonobos (who share around 98% the same DNA as humans). They are highly polyamorous and masturbate a lot as well. While there are even some stark differences between chimps and bonobos, this one thing (being poly) is not only a consistency between these two mammalians but over 97% of ALL mammals are polyamorous ! Humans are proving to be not much different in this regard! Another study was done on testosterone levels of males. It showed that when a man was introduced to a new female and had a conversation with her, his testosterone levels went up by 30% ! It also showed that while single men have higher testosterone levels than men in monogamous relationships, the men who were in polyamorous relationships had higher testosterone than BOTH single men and men in relationships / marriage!
Here’s a little tidbit on our evolution as males, which is the smoking gun proof of all this. When a man has an orgasm, he will shoot 5 to 7 shots. The first shot is filled with antigens and chemical compounds that are designed to kill sperm inside the vagina that are NOT HIS. The last shot is filled with antigens and chemical compounds to protect his own sperm. The penis head is shaped in such a way to create suction and pull other sperm out as well. If you’ve had enough sex, you’ll have run into a female who PUSSY FARTS. This suction is like a vacuum taking sperm out that are not your own. So our human male bodies evolved with the presumption that women would have MANY SEX PARTNERS and it was giving your own sperm a chance to propagate your own progeny!When we try to force ourselves to be monogamous, we are fighting evolution and biology on a magnificent scale!
The ASHLEY MADISON hack of millions upon millions of people sleeping around behind their spouse’s back, was just one example of how we (after a certain period with only one mate) have a propensity to seek other mates. When the fairytale, fable, myth of monogamy wears off (i.e. bonding chemicals such as oxytocin, which are only there to trick us into mating and propagating the species), people are unable to handle the reality of it, so they feel trapped and they eventually break under the pressure by having a side fling and/or getting divorced.
Look at the lengths by which they’ve had to brainwash people into a ‘monogamous box’ because it’s so unnatural for us as a species! Through media, movies, cartoons, music and even religion! The controllers of society know anthropology and human dynamics. It’s to the Elite’s advantage to keep people in disarray with monogamy. They knew it would fail on a grand scale. The old adage, “It’s a village that raises the child’ comes to mind. They want people broken up into these little units of one man with one woman, so they are segregated from their friends and community. And when the relationship breaks down, now the man is a wage slave to the state and the woman is dependent upon the state for her sustenance in MOST cases. It all works in the favor of the Elites.
I hear people all the time claiming how despicable it is for folks to sleep around without being in a ‘loving relationship.’ But really, you should be MORE worried and disgusted by the masses of people who are able to stand up in front of a priest, before their family, friends and loved ones and make a VOW to the LIVING GOD (which is ironic in and of itself if you’re a Christian, read Matthew 5:33-37) that they’ll stay together forever (in sickness and health, for better or for WORSE, until death do them part), but within a few years, are able to nonchalantly divorce and move on like they never knew each other (and in most cases it’s worse, with the two hating each other). Not only that, but even have no qualms of doing it all over again and make those same wedding vows with someone new! It’s like listening to one of your favorite songs and having it on repeat. Eventually, that song wears on you and it doesn’t stimulate you as much as it did when you first heard it, so you go listen to another new favorite song. This is an example of how ‘VARIETY’ is coded and deeply embedded into our DNA as humans and primate mammalians!
This is complete MADNESS! And since we’re on the topic of religion and God here, I’d like to give a friendly reminder to you Jews and Christians that many of your Biblical HEROES such as Abraham, Moses, Jacob (Israel), Solomon, David, etc.. were all poly (polygyny in their case) where they not only had more than one wife, but they also had CONCUBINES (women on the side used for sexual purposes). And in King David’s case, it was GOD HIMSELF (according to your Bible) who gave him those wives and concubines. When David had sex with Bathsheba and then killed Uriah (her husband), God (speaking through Nathan the prophet) asked David why he did that, when, all David had to do was ask God for more (in context, more wives or concubines) and God would’ve given them to him!
I started breaking free from all the manipulation and mind control within the last few years through extensive research. Look up MK-Ultra and the Monarch Butterfly Project. Look up Project Bluebird and Project Artichoke. Look up Edward Bernays. Look up how Nazis perfected propaganda. Then research how after WW2 we had Operation Paperclip and brought the brightest Nazi scientists and propagandists over here to America to continue those mind control programs. I started looking at the raw data and numbers, and realized that many things did not add up!
Someone once told that you can’t get anymore special or ‘high’ than sex with that one lifelong partner. I responded saying, “Right, because meaningful sex with that one ‘special’ person was the golden key to unlock eternal bliss and ‘security’ within the framework of all these relationships and marriages that have failed. If the sex was so ‘special’ and gave such a ‘high’ then why are all these marriages and relationships failing more OFT than naught? It’s because it’s not special. That’s the fairytale you’ve been taught, but eventually, biology will win the battle and that sex will be just as dull as it would’ve been with anyone else. Most couples end up not having sex anymore (or they’re screwing other people on the side too), so how is sex more sacrosanct with one than multiple? Sex with one person for life is not natural. That’s not me saying that, the statistics already say that. I’m just the weatherman here reporting it to you! Why? So you don’t end up getting pelted with golf-ball sized hail-stones in a Tropical Storm ⛈ like MOST couples have (or eventually will)!”
At every wedding their should be Advisory Billboards up everywhere saying, ‘This Marriage has a 67% of failure of the next 8 years!” Studies also show that the less you spend on a wedding, the longer it tends to last. So much for ‘getting what you pay for!’ Now-a-days, pregnancy lasts longer than the relationship with the baby’s daddy! Some of you may squeak through the cracks and make it, but not many. Folks can spend thousands on a ring, they can get their family and friends to travel from all over the world to come to their $100,000+ wedding, paying for all the accoutrements for the reception, the expensive honeymoon, etc.. and you’d THINK with all that investment (even making a VOW to the BIG GUY upstairs that they’ll stay with each other until death) this would be enough to push through any difficulty, yet, around 70% of them will divorce before their 8th year anniversary. And even worse many will marry AGAIN, yet the divorce rate is HIGHER on 2nd, 3rd, 4th marriages than the first try
They’ve turned us into robots with monogamy! We were meant to be parts of whole tribes of people, loving each other, having sex with each other, growing food together, taking care of each other’s kids, etc.. Instead, they split us up into these small nuclear family units of one man and one woman KNOWING IT WOULD FAIL (they know anthropology and how humans weren’t evolved to be monogamous!), to separate us from our tribe and community.
One of the biggest issues of all was this topic on relationships and why they fail so often. I studied history and saw how Tyrants and Elites had everything to gain by segmenting the populace into these small family units. This goes all the way back to Ancient Rome for example. They placed bachelor taxes on single men as well as penalizing and shaming them in every way possible for being unmarried. They are still trying hard to corral us all like cattle.
To end this, the biggest issue I have with monogamy is GROWTH. After you’ve lived a good while on earth, you realize that you won’t be the same person you were in the past. And how rapidly you are prone to change after learning and studying more (not only scholastically, but also, through experience). Most people will not grow at the same speed. The likelihood of people growing together is the biggest hardship I can think of in any given relationship. I’m not Anti-Monogamy, you can believe and do whatever you want. But I feel it necessary to show you what you’re facing. You’re going against biology, evolution, science and nature. The biggest of all is you’re going against Personal Development. Every person will change and most of the time, the person you’re with will change at a different speed and in a different way than you will. If you’re up to the challenge of facing all those uphill battles, then be my guest, but the numbers don’t lie. MOST COUPLES will fail at all these things and the majority won’t last to their 10th Anniversary (8 years is the average).
One must also keep in mind how much money is made off of ignorance on the topic of relationships. From Viagra to couples therapy, you have no idea how nefarious it is. Mentors, gurus and therapists will usually never tell you the TRUTH about this. Eventually, biology will win the battle in MOST of your relationships. Only a few can weather the storm of fighting their evolutionary imperatives. That lizard part of the brain is stronger than we give it credit for! I know that ‘outside-the-box-thinkers’ like me are fighting against a lifetime of SOCIETAL INDOCTRINATION. Things don’t filter through a person overnight, but eventually, they’ll say to themselves, ‘YOU KNOW SOMETHING…, HE IS RIGHT!’
Before the White man came with their Bibles and their form of puritanical Christianity, the Native tribes were highly Polyamorous (as I showed), and many of the cultures from the ancient world, such as the Indians (from India), Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Aztecs, Babylonians, etc.. were highly sexual. They had no taboos and engaged in everything from homosexuality, bisexuality, orgies, etc.. They left us with many statues, hieroglyphs and monuments (including ancient sex toys), showing how sexual they were (which I also showed).
So you see, it wasn’t natural for us to be monogamous or sexually repressed in the ancient world either. I just love how people use a solipsistic appeal to themselves or their surroundings when discussing these topics. They think just because it’s not the case for THEM or people THEY KNOW, that they’ve refuted my claim. But there is a bigger world out there than YOU. Exceptions never negate any rules, the exceptions only confirm the RULE! And that fact is, MOST couples will not see their 10th marriage anniversary. The divorce rate doesn’t include people who are together in misery, with no sex life, living like roommates, fucking other people on the side and want a divorce but can’t because it’s too expensive and/or kids are involved. Look up the ASHLEY MADISON hack a few years ago. Millions upon Millions of married people were busted. The divorce numbers and cheating numbers are high enough as it is, but the infidelity rate would be even higher if we knew the many who are able to hide their cheating. You ignore all of this at your own peril.
HERE ARE THE RAW DATA FACTS ON HOW OFTEN DIVORCE TAKES PLACE IN THE U.S.
1. Every 13 seconds, there is one divorce in America.
2. That equates to 277 divorces per hour, 6,646 divorces per day, 46,523 divorces per week, and 2,419,196 divorces per year. That means:
3. There are 9 divorces in the time it takes for a couple to recite their wedding vows (2 minutes).
4. More than 554 divorces occur during your typical romantic comedy movie (2 hours).
5. 1,385 divorces happen during the average wedding reception (5 hours).
6. There are 19,353,568 divorces over the course of an average first marriage that ends in divorce (8 years).
7. Over a 40 year period, 67 percent of first marriages terminate.
8. Among all Americans 18 years of age or older, whether they have been married or not, 25 percent have gone through a marital split.
9. 15 percent of adult women in the United States are divorced or separated today, compared with less than one percent in 1920.
10. The average first marriage that ends in divorce lasts about 8 years.
Median duration of first marriages that end in divorce:
Males: 7.8 years
Females: 7.9 years
Median duration of second marriages:
Males: 7.3 years
Females: 6.8 years
11. People wait an average of three years after a divorce to remarry (if they remarry at all).
12. In 2011, only 29 out of every 1000 of divorced or widowed women remarried.
*(Christians making wedding *VOWS* is fantastic irony! Their Master Jesus told them not to make ANY VOWS / OATHS / PROMISES! Not by heaven, earth or the city of the great king! But they non-chalantly make these vows to be with each other until death and most of them won’t keep their vow for more than a few years! Apparently Christians didn’t get the memo about what Jesus said to the Pharisees for following and teaching the “Traditions of Men.”)*
One final thought.
The good thing about what I’m sharing here in regard to human evolution is that when you realize we are polyamorous creatures by default, you’ll let all that envy and jealously flee your heart and mind. Also, how many times have you heard parents ‘sigh’ out of exhaustion because of the demands of their children??!! Two parents (let alone single parents) are just not enough to take care of them, which is why poly relations are pretty much NECESSARY to raise them.
This one ex of mine cheated on me, and I took her back. She was so paranoid after that because she thought I would do it back to her, even though I never did. She went through my phone, she would drive by my house at random times, etc. It eventually ended thankfully, but the whole thing just seems so petty and childish to me now. Had I known back then, what I know now, I would’ve sat her down and used it as an opportunity to talk about opening our relationship up to more than one person.
Ironically and paradoxically, when you’re open about this stuff and even open to the idea of casually being with other people, you can strengthen the bond between you and your MAIN partner. Nothing will ever be hidden between the both of you and you can share secrets that you otherwise wouldn’t. I’m seriously free of all jealousy.
No matter who I’m with or how much love I have for a woman, nothing she can tell me would surprise me or make me hate her. This type of freedom doesn’t have a price tag on it. These seeds I’ve been tossing out there have been planted in your heart and mind for a reason. Maybe one day, you’ll enjoy the fruit from this tree of freedom as I do. That’s really the original intent of all these posts lately. But because 99.9% of people out there are ‘programmed’ against their nature and evolutionary imperatives, you’ve gotta take precautions and protect yourself.