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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

nations, but its influence was inextricably mingled with that of 

Christianity, which, though not at the first anxious to set up marriage 

laws of its own, gradually revealed a growing ascetic feeling hostile 

alike to the dignity of the married woman and the freedom of marriage and 

divorce.[317] With that influence was combined the influence, introduced 

through the Bible, of the barbaric Jewish marriage-system conferring on 

the husband rights in marriage and divorce which were totally denied to 

the wife; this was an influence which gained still greater force at the 

Reformation when the authority once accorded to the Church was largely 

transformed to the Bible. Finally, there was in a great part of Europe, 

including the most energetic and expansive parts, the influence of the 

Germans, an influence still more primitive than that of the Jews, 

involving the conception of the wife as almost her husband's chattel, and 

marriage as a purchase. All these influences clashed and often appeared 

side by side, though they could not be harmonized. The result was that the 

fifteen hundred years that followed the complete conquest of Christianity 

represent on the whole the most degraded condition to which the marriage 

system has ever been known to fall for so long a period during the whole 

course of human history. 

 

At first indeed the beneficent influence of Rome continued in some degree 

to prevail and even exhibited new developments. In the time of the 

Christian Emperors freedom of divorce by mutual consent was alternately 

maintained, and abolished.[318] We even find the wise and far-seeing 

provision of the law enacting that a contract of the two parties never to 

separate could have no legal validity. Justinian's prohibition of divorce 

by consent led to much domestic unhappiness, and even crime, which appears 

to be the reason why it was immediately abrogated by his successor, 

Theodosius, still maintaining the late Roman tradition of the moral 

equality of the sexes, allowed the wife equally with the husband to obtain 

a divorce for adultery; that is a point we have not yet attained in 

England to-day. 

 

It seems to be admitted on all sides that it was largely the fatal 

influence of the irruption of the barbarous Germans which degraded, when 

it failed to sweep away, the noble conception of the equality of women 

with men, and the dignity and freedom of marriage, slowly moulded by the 

organizing genius of the Roman into a great tradition which still retains 

a supreme value. The influence of Christianity had at the first no 

degrading influence of this kind; for the ascetic ideal was not yet 

predominant, priests married as a matter of course, and there was no 

difficulty in accepting the marriage order established in the secular 

world; it was even possible to add to it a new vitality and freedom. But 

the Germans, with all the primitively acquisitive and combative instincts 

of untamed savages, went far beyond even the early Romans in the 

subjection of their wives; they allowed indeed to their unmarried girls a 

large measure of indulgence and even sexual freedom,--just as the 

Christians also reverenced their virgins,[319]--but the German marriage 

system placed the wife, as compared to the wife of the Roman Empire, in a 

condition little better than that of a domestic slave. In one form or 

another, under one disguise or another, the system of wife-purchase 

prevailed among the Germans, and, whenever that system is influential, 

even when the wife is honored her privileges are diminished.[320] Among 

the Teutonic peoples generally, as among the early English, marriage was 

indeed a private transaction but it took the form of a sale of the bride 


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