Page 118


Wedding of Peleus and Thetis

Marriage held an important place in the ancient society and was protected by law. The creation of family was serving different purposes, such as the production of offspring, the bequeathing of the property, the caretaking of the parents as well as the creation of alliances and production of powerful families. The single man after his 35 years of age would pay a fine. The appropriate age for marriage was between 25-30 for the man and 12-16 for the woman. Marriages were held during the full moon usually in the winter at the month of «Gamelion» (mid January to mid February), devoted to the goddess Hera, the protector of the institution of marriage. The process of marriage begun with the “enguesis» something like a nowadays engagement, where the presence of the bride was not necessary. There was an agreement before witnesses about the dowry, that amount to one tenth of her father’s wealth (money, clothing, valuable objects, and servants). The wedding ceremony was completed in three phases, the “proaulia” the actual wedding and the “epaulia”. The proaulia begun with sacrifices in the altars of both families. The bride dedicated to the goddess Artemis one curl of her hair and her favorite toys. The purification ceremony followed with water being carried in a special vessel the “loutrophoros”. The bride aided by the nymphokomo and nympheutria (nowadays brides maids playing important role in the wedding’s organization), is adorned taking off the belt of the unmarried woman and wearing the bridal veil covering her face. Her hair is decorated with flowers and a diadem. The two families' homes are decorated with laurel and olive branches. The groom is dressed in white and adorned with flowers. He is accompanied by


Final study of CulMe-WeOnCT project