A Athenian Woman’s Wedding Diary

Dear Diary,

My father has finalised my marriage today. He just told me after calling a family meeting. As Kurios, he is in charge of making all the big decisions, including choosing to forge new partnerships by marriage. It’s good that he decided it for me because I have been told that I don’t really understand family politics such as this. My mother went through this process and it worked for her. I haven’t met my husband to be yet; I don’t go outside the house much except for going to the market to look at pretty jewellery or to mourn my uncle’s death at the funeral oration. My father’s skills helped him in the war. My father says that my pale skin shows that I have class and that I am the right type of girl for my new husband. As a Athenian woman, I give my children citizenship with my husband therefore I’m a better wife option for a proper Athenian man. I am a bit older than normal marriage age (14), I am 16. However in those two years, I was taught to play a flute. Apparently my  fiancé, who I have been betrothed to for 4 years, likes a woman who can play the flute as he can play the lyre as part of his musical education. It just shows how cultured he is! My father and fiancé were debating how much my dowry was. My father argued for 8% of the yearly gain but my fiancé persuaded him that the it should be higher. His arête allowed him to win and triumph over my pater. I have been told my husband-to-be is a famous upcoming politician, aged around 35. I’m not really sure what he is like but I will find out on my wedding day.

 

After Wedding day

Dear Diary,

My wedding day was yesterday. It was wonderful. It was just like what I was told it was going to be like. The day was a bit upsetting because I was with my mother. She was crying, saying that she was going to miss me because she may not see me if my husband decides to move. My mother stayed with me the entire day, while I was having the ritual bathing to cleanse myself. We had a normal day until later in the evening. The groom turned up at my house and the ceremony began. At first, my mother went along with the ceremony. But at the ceremonial ‘kidnapping’ me, my mother began to really cling to me. I think that she is afraid to be alone with my younger brothers. I normally help her and I’m sure that she is going to miss me. My groom was a bit angry but he wanted to continue the wedding. He put me in the chariot.  He and his friends started to pull me towards his house. It was terrifying; they didn’t practice pulling the chariot so the chariot was wobbling. I was afraid of falling off.  I think they went slowly because they weren’t as fit as athletes. However my groom said that he was going slowly because he didn’t want the singers and the torch bearers to fall behind. Then we made vows on his house while his friends were having a bit too much fun burning the chariot. After that, we went to bed. My friends and his friends stayed outside. My friends were singing many songs while his friends were guarding the door. In the morning, I met my mother in law in good light. She looked better in full light. My husband got the slaves to bring breakfast while his family were giving me welcoming gifts. My mother in law gave me a beautiful linen dress. I got many combs and best of all purple dyed wool for me to use to make lovely new clothes. I am looking forward to see my husband wearing clothes I have made.

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