Influence of Culture over Marital Love and Fidelity in Ancient Rome and Ugboha of Edo State

By Aneni, Monica Omoye | Canadian Social Science, March 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Influence of Culture over Marital Love and Fidelity in Ancient Rome and Ugboha of Edo State


Aneni, Monica Omoye, Canadian Social Science


Abstract

This paper, interrogated the roles and pressures of culture over marital love and fidelity and vice-versa in both societies. The study employed historical and comparative methodologies to highlight the influence of culture over marital love and fidelity in both societies. Sources utilised on Ancient Rome were classical and modern authors. Inscriptions from the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL) were also utilized. For Ugboha, information was gathered from literary works, and oral interviews. The data were subjected to content analysis. This paper argued that culture which has the capacity to influence people's actions with regard to marriage, tended to become partial and in times of change, becomes dynamic in order to suit the needs of contemporary times. This paper concludes by saying that in spite of the Hamitic hypothesis, culture and people of a society can grow and develop independent of each other.

Key Words: Marital love; Influence; Culture; Ancient Rome; Ugboha

INTRODUCTION

In antiquity, marriages were contracted according to the exigencies of the culture. The custodians of this culture were the ruling elite; the kings and later the consuls. Other bodies involved in the leadership of the State also contributed to the establishment and interpretations of the traditions of the land. During this period the male gender handled most of the political and social issues, and so were largely the ruling elite. This was also the norm among the pre-colonial and colonial people of Ugboha in Esan land. This exclusion from decision making may have led to the relegation of women to the background during these periods. It was to such an extent that the female citizens almost shared the same status as slaves, but for the fact that they were citizens. The reason may be adduced to the fact that females were not combatants in both societies. Therefore, important governmental decisions with regard to strategies at war could not have been made by women. All of these may have become glaring in the face of the perception by both societies of women as the weaker sex. Therefore, the culture relegated them to that sphere and so when laws were established women were placed under the authority of men, who were combatants, who made decisions for the welfare and progress of their societies and who were the authors of culture. On ancient Rome, the works of some Classical and contemporary authors who discussed the issue of culture and its effect in the society prove useful for this study. While some examined women's roles and place in the society of the ancient Romans, others viewed relationships between the Ugboha people and their environs, royalty and some aspects of culture among them.

Titius Livius popularly known as Livy in his History of Rome, wrote about the foundation of the empire and her consolidation. While writing about the wars and the victories achieved by the Roman State, the social and economic structure of the society were mentioned. Gaius in his Institutes, stated laws that guided the people in the society, laws relating to contractual affairs such as marriage, laws relating to citizenship, slaves, freedmen, women, children and laws relating to adoption. Aspects of Plutarch's writings which records lives of leaders and other great men of ancient Rome such as Caesar, Coriolanus, Cicero and many others were utilized. Other Classical authors examined in the course of this study all wrote and mentioned people and their attitudes and stance about the ancient Roman Empire. Their works provide insights into relationship between couples in antiquity. Modern authors on antiquity such as Grimal Pierre and Dupont Florence were able to examine relationships among couples and how life was lived daily in ancient Rome. On the Ugboha some works have proven useful. They include; Okoduwa (2002), Okoruwa (2004), Eimionoria (2005), Ogbenbe (2012), Izibili (2012), Ebhota and Imuanmhonzohu (2012) and Ebaluneigbeifoh (2012). …

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