I don’t know if this is relavant or not, but I just got to thinking the other day about how generations before (correct me if I’m wrong) most marriages were arranged. It seems from most of the history I’ve studied that was the case in most parts of the world. However, history focusses most on the rich and groups all of the lower classes together (I’m talking mostly about 18th century and before).
So, were arranged marriages pretty much the norm up until recently?
Then, as pertains to that, is our idea of falling in love with someone and marrying them for love a new concept? I know that there are a gazillion examples in litterature of people falling in love, but was it the same idea?
Short answer: yes, but it was different for evey social class. Basically, if your family had any wealth, you married in order to secure or improve your family’s wealth; if you or your family had no money at all, (or if you were a younger son!)you couldn’t marry or support a family at all.
It is an old concept look up ‘courtly love’
- probably an Arab thing from the Crusades - circa 1100
Arranged marriage probably only goes back a few thousand years. Sexual attraction goes back to the origin of our species and beyond. Arranged marriage has never been universal.
The gandharva marriage (गन्धर्वविवाह gandharvavivāha) in the ancient Sanskrit Manusmrti (Laws of Manu) was “a marriage proceeding entirely from love without ceremonies and without consulting relatives” (allowed between Kshatriyas, the warrior caste).
As for love itself, it’s in the Bible.