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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

by the father, or other legal guardian, to the bridegroom. The _beweddung_ 

was a real contract of sale.[321] "Sale-marriage" was the most usual form 

of marriage. The ring, indeed, probably was not in origin, as some have 

supposed, a mark of servitude, but rather a form of bride-price, or 

_arrha_, that is to say, earnest money on the contract of marriage and so 

the symbol of it.[322] At first a sign of the bride's purchase, it was not 

till later that the ring acquired the significance of subjection to the 

bridegroom, and that significance, later in the Middle Ages, was further 

emphasized by other ceremonies. Thus in England the York and Sarum manuals 

in some of their forms direct the bride, after the delivery of the ring, 

to fall at her husband's feet, and sometimes to kiss his right foot. In 

Russia, also, the bride kissed her husband's feet. At a later period, in 

France, this custom was attenuated, and it became customary for the bride 

to let the ring fall in front of the altar and then stoop at her husband's 

feet to pick it up.[323] Feudalism carried on, and by its military 

character exaggerated, these Teutonic influences. A fief was land held on 

condition of military service, and the nature of its influence on marriage 

is implied in that fact. The woman was given with the fief and her own 

will counted for nothing.[324] 

 

The Christian Church in the beginning accepted the forms of marriage 

already existing in those countries in which it found itself, the Roman 

forms in the lands of Latin tradition and the German forms in Teutonic 

lands. It merely demanded (as it also demanded for other civil contracts, 

such as an ordinary sale) that they should be hallowed by priestly 

benediction. But the marriage was recognized by the Church even in the 

absence of such benediction. There was no special religious marriage 

service, either in the East or the West, earlier than the sixth century. 

It was simply the custom for the married couple, after the secular 

ceremonies were completed, to attend the church, listen to the ordinary 

service and take the sacrament. A special marriage service was developed 

slowly, and it was no part of the real marriage. During the tenth century 

(at all events in Italy and France) it was beginning to become customary 

to celebrate the first part of the real nuptials, still a purely temporal 

act, outside the church door. Soon this was followed by the regular 

bride-mass, directly applicable to the occasion, inside the church. By the 

twelfth century the priest directed the ceremony, now involving an 

imposing ritual, which began outside the church and ended with the bridal 

mass inside. By the thirteenth century, the priest, superseding the 

guardians of the young couple, himself officiated through the whole 

ceremony. Up to that time marriage had been a purely private business 

transaction. Thus, after more than a millennium of Christianity, not by 

law but by the slow growth of custom, ecclesiastical marriage was 

established.[325] 

 

It was undoubtedly an event of very great importance not merely for the 

Church but for the whole history of European marriage even down to to-day. 

The whole of our public method of celebrating marriage to-day is based on 

that of the Catholic Church as established in the twelfth century and 

formulated in the Canon law. Even the publication of banns has its origin 

here, and the fact that in our modern civil marriage the public ceremony 

takes place in an office and not in a Church may disguise but cannot 

alter the fact that it is the direct and unquestionable descendant of the 

public ecclesiastical ceremony which embodied the slow and subtle 


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