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Table of contents
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.1
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.2
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.3
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.4
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.5
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.6
FOOTNOTES
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.1
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.2
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.3
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.4
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.5
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.6
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.7
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.8
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.9
MARRIAGE-10.1
MARRIAGE-10.2
MARRIAGE-10.3
MARRIAGE-10.4
MARRIAGE-10.5
MARRIAGE-10.6
MARRIAGE-10.7
MARRIAGE-10.8
MARRIAGE-10.9
MARRIAGE-10.10
MARRIAGE-10.11
MARRIAGE-10.12
FOOTNOTES
THE ART OF LOVE-11.1
THE ART OF LOVE-11.2
THE ART OF LOVE-11.3
THE ART OF LOVE-11.4
THE ART OF LOVE-11.5
THE ART OF LOVE-11.6
THE ART OF LOVE-11.7
THE ART OF LOVE-11.8
THE ART OF LOVE-11.9
THE ART OF LOVE-11.10
THE ART OF LOVE-11.11
FOOTNOTES
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.1
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.2
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.3
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.4
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.5
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.6
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.7
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.8
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.9
FOOTNOTES
INDEX OF AUTHORS

indispensable complement of the other. There can be no real freedom for 

the individual in the things that concern that individual alone unless 

there is a coherent order in the things that concern him as a social unit. 

Marriage in one of its aspects only concerns the two individuals involved; 

in another of its aspects it chiefly concerns society. The two forces 

cannot combine to act destructively on marriage, for the one counteracts 

the other. They combine to support monogamy, in all essentials, on its 

immemorial basis. 

 

It must be added that in the circumstances of monogamy that are not 

essential there always has been, and always must be, perpetual 

transformation. All traditional institutions, however firmly founded on 

natural impulses, are always growing dead and rigid at some points and 

putting forth vitally new growths at other points. It is the effort to 

maintain their vitality, and to preserve their elastic adjustment to the 

environment, which involves this process of transformation in 

non-essentials. 

 

The only way in which we can fruitfully approach the question of the value 

of the transformations now taking place in our marriage-system is by 

considering the history of that system in the past. In that way we learn 

the real significance of the marriage-system, and we understand what 

transformations are, or are not, associated with a fine civilization. When 

we are acquainted with the changes of the past we are enabled to face more 

confidently the changes of the present. 

 

The history of the marriage-system of modern civilized peoples begins in 

the later days of the Roman Empire at the time when the foundations were 

being laid of that Roman law which has exerted so large an influence in 

Christendom. Reference has already been made[315] to the significant fact 

that in late Rome women had acquired a position of nearly complete 

independence in relation to their husbands, while the patriarchal 

authority still exerted over them by their fathers had become, for the 

most part, almost nominal. This high status of women was associated, as it 

naturally tends to be, with a high degree of freedom in the marriage 

system. Roman law had no power of intervening in the formation of 

marriages and there were no legal forms of marriage. The Romans recognized 

that marriage is a fact and not a mere legal form; in marriage by _usus_ 

there was no ceremony at all; it was constituted by the mere fact of 

living together for a whole year; yet such marriage was regarded as just 

as legal and complete as if it had been inaugurated by the sacred rite of 

_confarreatio_. Marriage was a matter of simple private agreement in which 

the man and the woman approached each other on a footing of equality. The 

wife retained full control of her own property; the barbarity of admitting 

an action for restitution of conjugal rights was impossible, divorce was a 

private transaction to which the wife was as fully entitled as the 

husband, and it required no inquisitorial intervention of magistrate or 

court; Augustus ordained, indeed, that a public declaration was necessary, 

but the divorce itself was a private legal act of the two persons 

concerned.[316] It is interesting to note this enlightened conception of 

marriage prevailing in the greatest and most masterful Empire which has 

ever dominated the world, at the period not indeed of its greatest 

force,--for the maximum of force and the maximum of expansion, the bud and 

the full flower, are necessarily incompatible,--but at the period of its 

fullest development. In the chaos that followed the dissolution of the 

Empire Roman law remained as a precious legacy to the new developing 


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