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people, a more unrestricted licence. Euripides is indeed supposed to have imbibed his hatred of the sex from the persecution which he sustained under two wives : but the imputation upon Socrates, that he was married at the same time to Myrto and Xantippe, has been disputed, and in the judgment of Plutarch satisfactorily disproved".
Marriage was not contracted without offence within certain degrees of consanguinityo. The Pythagoreans P affirmed, that the discipline of the Grecian states required the interdiction of marriage with a mother, a daughter, and a sister. Socrates, from its universal prevalence, assigned the prohibition of marriage between parents and children to a natural and divine institution, of which the violation wrought its own penalty: and Plato' took up the argument of his master, and maintained the inexpedience of these marriages, in consideration of the evils which are inseparable from the disparity of age. Aristotles also condemned the community of wives, on the ground of its tendency to produce matrimonial intercourse between parents and children, and between brothers and sisters. The common feeling of Greece upon this subject may be inferred from the history of dipus, which forms the most affecting tragedy of the Grecian theatre, resulting in a yapos aymuos, an incestuous marriage which ought not to have been
Potter, b. iv. c. 11. Potter. Selden de J. Nat. et Gent. 1. v. c. 11. r Jamblich. de v. Pythag. apud Selden. Xen. Mem. Socr. I. iv. c. 4.
* De Leg. l. iv. apud Gerhard. • Politic. I. ii. apud Gerhard.
celebrated, and was in fact no marriage! Euripides makes Hermione" to speak of the intermarriage of brothers with sisters, and of parents with children, as the practice of barbarians, which their laws did not restrain, but which, according to Plato, were interdicted by the unwritten law of the conscience*. The story of Phædra and Hippolytus disproves the lawfulness of marriage with a step-mother. The Lacedemonians were forbidden to marry any of their kindred in the direct line of ascent and descent; and the same restriction was admitted by Plato, in his imaginary republic'; in which he allowed marriage in all cases, with the only exception of children and children's children, of parents and the parents of parents. The inarriage of collateral relations, as of uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews, was not interdicted ; and thus Anaxandrides married his niece, the daughter of his sister; and Dionysius gave to Dion his daughter Arete, who was the niece of Dion, the daughter of his sister Aristomache?. The marriage of brothers and sisters was utterly unlawful, and the common example of the Gods was not permitted to justify an incestuous passion. The marriage of half sisters was regulated by different laws. The Spartan law of Lycurgus allowed the marriage of those who had the same mother but different fathers; the Athenians were forbidden by Solon to marry sisters by the same mother, but not those by the same
δικαζει τον αγαμον γαμον παλαι
Soph. (Ed. Tyr. v. 1214.
g' ου γυναικα. . u In Androm. v. 173.
yopo aygapor. apud Gerhard. De Republica, 1. v. apud Selden. 2 Corn. Nep. in v. Dion. VOL. I.
father : nor was a man permitted to approach the apartment of his step-mother or her children, though living in the same house ; wbich is the reason given by Mr. Hume, why, by the Athenian laws, one might marry his half sister by the father; for as these relations had no more intercourse than the men and women of different families, there was no greater danger of any criminal correspondence between them. L'nder this law Archeptolis, the son of Themistocles, married his sister Mnesiptoleme; and Cimon married his sister Elpinice. Such marriages were entirely approved by the laws and cus. toms of Athens; they were celebrated in public, and in undisputed conformity with the manners of the country. Cornelius Nepos" expressly relates, that Cimon, in marrying his sister, was influenced, not more by love than by the practice of his country, for it is the law of Athens, that a brother may marry his sister, the daughter of his father.
At Syracuse also, Dionysius the elder gave to his son Dionysius his daughter Aristomache, who was the sister of her husband on the father's side.
The Athenian laws contained a singular exception to the prohibition of marriages upon the ground of consanguinity, which was probably derived from the Jewish law of inheritance, and which not only permitted but required the orphan heiress to marry her nearest relation. Terence bas more than once recited the substance of this law, which ordained, that women who were orphans should marry such
a Millar on the Origin of Ranks, p. 95. • Ibid. in Dione. d Numb. xxxvi. 6, 7, 8. act iv. sc. 5. Phormione, act i. sc. 2.
b In Cimone. • In Adelph.
as were nearest of kin, and that their nearest of kin should marry them. The law did not permit the heiress to marry out of her kindred, but obliged her to resign herself and her fortune to the nearest relation, whose claims were examined by judges who sat for the purpose every month, and rejected such as were not able to give sufficient credentials of their consanguinity.
The Grecian states did not allow their citizens to marry with any who were not citizens, and they enforced the law under various and heavy penalties, condemning the issue of a prohibited marriage with a foreigner to perpetual slavery; ordering the offender to be summoned before the Thesmiothetæ, and, upon his conviction, adjudging him to be sold for a slave, and his goods to be confiscated; he was also liable to a penalty of a thousand drachmæ. If a person should impose upon a citizen of Athens a foreign woman, under pretence that she was his daughter, he was liable to a sentence of ignominy, by which he was deprived of a voice in the public assembly, and of other privileges of a citizen. These laws were not always in force; when they fell into disuse they were successively revived and superseded at the instance of Pericles ; and it was ulti
'Fr. Hotman de Rit. Nupt. et Matr. c. vi. Potter, b. i. c. 26. και σε δ, ω τεκνον, και γαμοισι δη κλυω
ζυγέντα και παιδοποιαν αδοναν
mately enacted, that no persons should be citizens of Athens, either of whose parents was not free. Lawful marriage at Athens could only be celebrated between free citizens; and none but the issue of lawful marriage could inherit the father's estate. The Athenian bastard was born either of a stranger or a harlot : the characters of the legitimate son were, that he was born of a woman that was a citizen, a wife; that is, born in lawful matrimony b.
The Roman law of marriage was embarrassed with many restrictions and prohibitions ; of which some were agreeable to the primary institution, but the larger portion was founded on arbitrary principles of political expedience, very remote from the simplicity of the original rule. A cursory and superficial view of these restrictions will exhibit many curious instances of the presumption and imbecility of Roman legislation in particular, and generally of any human interference in the law of marriage. Among the Romans the validity of marriage was dependent on the several circumstances, 1. of age; 2. of country ; S. of state or condition ; 4. office or power, civil or natural ; 5. consanguinity and affinity, including adoption.
A certain age was necessary to the validity of marriage ; but espousals were permitted at an age when marriage was not lawful. Infants under the age of seven years, being incapable of assent, could not be espoused: but after that age they might, with the sanction of their parents, contract espousals;
6 οθος ο εκ ξινης και παλλακιδος .... γνησιος ο εκ γυναικος αστης και yepirns n in vousnewy you real.
Hom. Schol. Jul. Pollux. in Potter, b. i. c. 9.