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Word Count: 2,184
Marriage A Bonding Of The Soul Or Big BusinessAccording to the encyclopedia marriage is a social institution uniting men and women Although marriage customs vary greatly from one culture to another the importance of the institution is universally acknowledged In some societies community interests in children in the bonds between families and in the ownership of property established by a marriage are such that special devices and customs are created to protect these valuesMarriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly This bit of cynical witticism was penned by the French writer Voltaire While love may in fact sometimes smile upon the cowardly it seems likely that surviving the adventure of marriage breeds courage Flexner 124The earliest known form of marriage was Marriage by Capture in which a man invaded another tribe and kidnapped a woman whom he judged to be potentially a good slave and hardy worker She was in effect bounty prey to be conquered--testimony to his valor and muscle--a trophy Although this barbarism became obsolete with the birth of Christianity it remained legal in England until the thirteenth century and occurred periodically among southern Slavs until the 1800s Seligson 19 In the first century Rome marriage was a private act which did not require the sanction of any public authority Bride and groom did not have to appear before the equivalent of a priest or justice of the peace No written document was necessary there was no marriage contract only a contract for the brides dowry assuming she had one and the whole procedure was quiet informal No symbolic act was required In fact marriage was a private event Goldhammerp 33-34The act of getting married has changed from Marriage by Capture to the Romans private ceremony into an all out social affair costing thousands of dollars The acts of marriage for most couples involve a huge wedding Marriage has now turned into a multi-billion dollar a year business If
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