Views on marriage in the early Middle Ages

In the early Middle Ages attitude toward marriage is rarely associated with romance and love.Early Christians generally had a marriage rather vague and contradictory idea.

predominated three common point of view.According to the first of them, a marriage - it is a gift of God, and its purpose - procreation.At the same time there were different interpretations of it, such as the assertion that the creation of a large family - a sacred duty of the spouses.

second view was that marriage - it is a necessary evil, it is better to marry than to burn from the passion of love.The idea of ​​meeting passion through marriage based on a realistic awareness of intimacy as a natural human need that needs to be some way to legitimize.And today many marriages of young people emerging from adolescence, based on such representations of intimate life.

third opinion about the marriage came down to the fact that it should be completely avoided.This view gained currency in anticipation of many early Christians a close seco

nd coming of Christ.They believed that it was necessary to be free from conjugal duties to devote himself entirely to religion.And now there are still people who avoid marriage for the same reason, in the same position, which excludes family relations, are men and women who refuse a marriage for the sake of career or other similar reasons.

In the period of early Christianity, many marriage laws were radically changed.For example, were banned polygamy and levirat1.Polygamy patriarchs of the Old Testament was declared a cultural necessity as a means to populate the world of the "chosen people."The influential writer of that time Tertullian (... 160-230 years BC) quipped that if the Lord would encourage polygamy, he would not have stopped at one Adam's rib to create Eve he would take probably a few ribs and would createAdam more wives.

Ideas about marriage have undergone major changes, due to which in the II century BC.e.Christianity is gaining momentum intensified his criticism.Marriage was branded, recognized "the case of Satan," as the focus of evil was considered a woman's body.The same Tertullian said that a woman - a beautiful church, built over a large chasm.

Woman, you - the gates of Satan,

you stray from the true path

Togo, whom he could not hit open.

development of monasticism (about 370 AD. E.) Has given nothing to correct religious beliefs about marriage.The church, which had a huge impact, consistently opposed the sexual pleasure and the marriage itself.Even couples Church called to give up sex life for the sake of chastity.

These views on marriage persisted almost throughout the Middle Ages.


At the end of the V century BC.e.The Western Roman Empire was conquered by the northern tribes of barbarians (476).The word "barbarian" was used by the ancient Romans and Greeks to all foreigners, to any person not belonging to their culture.These tribes are constantly invaded and shook the Roman Empire during the IV and V centuries.Accordingly, each tribe brought their own ideas about marriage, their marriage ceremonies.

For example, in accordance with the traditions of the Germanic tribes marriage was monogamous, infidelity and both husband and wife severely punished by law and morality.The Frankish tribes, on the other hand, approved of polygamy and allowed the sale of brides.Moreover, almost all of the barbarian tribes believed that marriage exists for the sake of the whole family, for the sake of economic and sexual convenience.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the era, later received the name "Middle Ages" or "Middle Ages."

transition from tribal to national unity lasted for several centuries.With increasing royal power feudal tribal leaders gradually lost their absolute power, including the right to decide about the marriage of his vassals and serfs.Marriage became possible based on the voluntary union of the spouses.At the same time there was also a more liberal view of marriage, despite the fact that the church was still in the early Christian position and in every woman, Eve's daughter, saw the personification of the evil inclination.

At the end of the early Middle Ages, a new romantic direction.Refined, or courtly love of the troubadours of Southern France's efforts to popularize it in his works, has spread in the royal courts of England, France and Germany.Code of courtly love was the same everywhere, and refined: the chaste, beautiful and usually inaccessible illustrious lady adored, burning with love, as noble, gallant and brave knight.The principles embodied in the courtly love of medieval works as an allegorical "Legend of the Rose", and in the history of the life of the French philosopher, theologian, poet Pierre Abelard (1079-1142) and his beloved Eloise.

Abelard and Eloise ignored by church law, for which they were severely punished.Abelard tonsured as a monk, after it went to the monastery and Eloise.However, throughout his life, they exchanged passionate letters.This long-standing love correspondence has continued to support the unquenchable fire of their tragic love.

Inspired by similar stories, representatives of chivalry and court circles idealized and romanticized war and women.Often, they are generally combined them together, assuming that the noble deeds accomplished by them solely for the glory of a beautiful lady.This is above all among the knights worshiped selfless loyalty, courage, justice and temperance, especially because usually beloved was married and therefore inaccessible.An integral part of the code of chivalry were considered Christian virtues, preaching Christianity and anti-Islam.

In the same era romantic attitude towards women was attacked by many scientists.For example, the philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), whose works had a great influence on the minds of medieval Europe, adapting early works of Aristotle, saw a woman just like a spoiled version of men.Accordingly, he believed that children should be brought up in great reverence to the father rather than the mother, and wives punished provide men clean clothes, warm them a good fire in the hearth, washing their feet, follow the stockings and shoes, to cook delicious food and drinks, to givea lot of attention, prepare a comfortable bed with white sheets, a night-cap and fur blankets and bring others joy, intimate and secret pleasure.