Marriage in Ancient Babylonia Essay Sample

10 October 2017

Both common and royal matrimonies were indispensable to Babylonian society. though they differed in their intent and design. The cardinal intent of matrimony between common mans was to keep the population together. functioning as a mechanism to keep work forces accountable for their actions and guaranting that all households were provided for financially. On the other manus. the chief intent of royal matrimonies established an mutuality between Babylonia and Egypt. a strategic confederation shaped by political motives and dynastic concerns. Royal matrimonies normally consisted of a Pharaoh get marrieding one of a Babylonian prince’s close relations. As evidenced by the Amarna letters. this connexion allowed Babylonian male monarchs to hold contact with Egyptian Pharaoh so as to larn from their cultural thoughts and more closely bind the two states together. Marriage within Babylonian society had a few intents. all of which strengthened and grew the community. One intent was to propagate. In a society that relied on manual labour. matrimony promoted population growing and therefore supported economic activity. Culturally. households prided themselves on the figure of kids produced. carry throughing their societal and civic duties. Because polygamy led to more offspring. the pattern found widespread support.

A figure of Torahs in the Code of Hammurabi facilitated matrimony. Paragraph 138 of the codification. for illustration. advocated adult females to happen a 2nd hubby if the first one died or if he was captured. If the hubby returned. nevertheless. the adult female must return to him. When the man’s married woman died. he normally remarried instantly. which indicates the value of remaining married. In a manner. all the Torahs sing matrimony in the Code of Hammurabi led to work forces holding many kids with multiple married womans. which was critical in increasing the population. Marriage resulted in an heritage. as stated in the codification. which assured that all twosome had the resources to construct a household. The married woman brought in her dowery provided by her male parent. and the boy had his ain heritage from his male parent.

After the male parent died. he divided his wealth every bit among all of his boies so that they could get down their ain households. Marriage held both work forces and adult females accountable for their actions. Several Torahs prohibited adultery. It would be damaging to hold illicit kids in society because they would be difficult to care for and most likely deficient subscribers to society. Men received terrible penalties for their misbehaviors. Marriage besides held work forces accountable because they had to care for their households. Not merely was a adult male tied to his married woman. but besides to her offspring. Although there is no direct grounds towards this. it is implied that work forces needed to be function theoretical accounts for their kids. which in bend prevented misbehavior. Marriage held the community together. and as a consequence. people were more responsible.

By contrast. royal matrimonies served a wholly different intent than matrimony within Babylonian society. As the Amarna letters indicate. royal matrimonies established political and cultural ties to Egypt. The 2nd Amarna missive. by the Babylonian King. Kadasman-Enlil II. informs Amenhotep III. an Egyptian Pharaoh. that his girls are readily available. but their Egyptian hubbies must be of royal blood. and that given the quality of his lineage. he himself deserves a few Egyptian princesses without payment. It’s a dialogue: Kadasman-Enil hopes to restrict the sum of gold he is holding to pay for the royal girls of Egypt. Though the male monarch referred to the Pharaoh as “brother” in his letters. the Pharaoh ne’er considered the male monarch to be his equal. which was the cardinal ground for many of their differences. This was a repeating subject in about all of the Amarna letters between different coevalss of male monarchs. merely a few coevalss of which letters survive. Both the Pharaoh and the male monarchs were unsated with the gifts that they received. invariably positioning themselves for a better deal. Kadasman-Enlil II tells the Pharaoh that he is unhappy with merely having 30 mynas of gold as a salutation gift because he besides requested a royal bride.

The pharaoh responds: “ [ S ] hould I. possibly. since you did non direct me a adult female. decline you a woman… ? But my girls being available I will non decline [ one ] to you” ( EA 4. ) The tone in which they argue as two household members in a minor bicker. helped guarantee peaceable dealingss between the states and protected Babylonia from the unsafe aspirations of a possible enemy province. Royal brides had no voice in these affairs and faced great hazard if they departed from their function as valuable trade goods for exchange. The Middle Assyrian Palace Decrees were addressed to a little group of people that worked in the women’s quarters of the castle. If royal adult females even challenged these edicts. the punishment was normally decease. “If a castle adult female is standing with a adult male by herself. with no 3rd individuals with them. if they are acting in even a coquettish mode. they shall kill them” ( MAPD 19. ) A tribunal attender could non come within seven gaits of a castle adult female.

These Draconian edicts. no more severe than the Mosaic jurisprudence of Deuteronomy. jealously guard royal matrimony and the evident value of a “clean” Babylonian princess to the Pharaoh. who doubtless would experience humiliation if his new bride had contaminated herself by lying with a common man. That embarrassment would greatly damage the strategic usage of royal matrimony Babylonian male monarchs employed to win over Egyptian favour. Marriages within Babylonian society promoted population growing and restrained behaviour that strayed from accepted relationships. strengthened households and supplied the economic system with workers to carry through societal demands. Royal marriages served a different intent. There were tactical and strategic concerns back uping royal brotherhoods that tied Egypt closer to Babylonia. strengthening Babylonia against a possible enemy province. In other respects. nevertheless. royal matrimonies served an of import societal involvement by heightening the nation’s security. and therefore served a similar intent to matrimonies between ordinary citizens: protecting and beef uping the province as a whole.

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