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94

There is a name in the medical community for those who rely on withdrawal as a contraception method - such people are referred to as "parents". Your average high school health textbook will give you the success rate for various types of pre-modern contraception. (Remember that artificial contraception was illegal in some countries). Childhood mortality ...


87

One key lies in their treatment of illegitimacy, or bastardy. In Roman society, as is typical of the West in general, illegitimate children had no formal link to their fathers. This was true from the earliest times, and lasted well into the Imperial period before a softening of the laws occurred in the second and third centuries.1 In the Roman setting, ...


40

Is this something that predates back many civilizations ago? Or is this a relatively newfound trend? In general, it is a relatively new trend of the last few centuries, and many old cultures have/had no such concept or tradition. Keep in mind that surnames in many cultures are a relatively new trend. There was no name to drop upon marriage if you didn't ...


37

Not really. Generally speaking, most European women since married in their early to mid twenties, to men in their mid to late twenties. The age gap for the commoners, i.e. the vast majority of the population, were typically not large. Unfortunately the question declined to define how much younger is "much younger" supposed to mean, but most Europeans ...


24

You are right to say that 14 children is larger than most families of the period, particularly if they all had the same mother. Death in childbirth was not uncommon at that time. One of my Victorian ancestors had 12 siblings, all with the same mother. Another ancestor was one of 11 children, but the father had re-married after his first wife died in ...


19

It was probably always the norm, at least in a way that also tolerated concubines. The Ancient Greeks were of course descended from Proto-Indo-Europeans. As early as 1864, French historian Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges reasoned in his magnus opus, La Cité antique, that marriages were monogamous from the earliest days of the Indo-European peoples. The ...


11

As far as we can tell, Medieval French families were significantly bigger than modern western families - averaging perhaps around five to six. In contrast, modern France has an average household size of 2.38. However, they remained relatively small scale, and somewhat nuclear families of mostly two generations. Note the standard disclaimers apply: pre-modern ...


11

One influence on families in "Victorian" times was Queen Victoria herself. She had nine children, despite having been an "only" child. This was despite the fact that she had access to any birth control that was available. She was nicknamed the "Grandmother of Europe" because of her 42 grandchildren, but that represents an average of "only" 4.7 children to ...


10

This is a case of survivorship bias. Your great-...-greatparents had lots of children so some survived and some of those who survived had lots of children, and of those some had children and some survived etc. It looks like everybody's grand-...-parents had a lot of children because those who did not have lots of children do not have descendants to be ...


9

(I assume this question relates to the traditions of Great Britain and its former colonies such as the Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.) The woman does not "drop" her maiden name. If she is a Christian or a Jew, she assumes the name of her husband because in both beliefs the act of marriage joins the two inseparably as one. By ancient ...


8

The Romans had two institutions that the Eastern rulers lacked: monogamy, and primogeniture. Monogamy meant that even wealthy Romans would have only one wife. One might have plenty of mistresses on the side, but these weren't "wives. Which led to the next thing, primogeniture. That is, inheritance of the family line by the one and only oldest son, begotten ...


7

According to Legacy.com his said his parents were dead Morrison's official Elektra biography stated his parents were deceased. He told acquaintances he was an orphan. On the song "The End," he sang about killing his father to have a relationship with his mother. But George and Clara Morrison were not dead and, in fact, outlived their son by many years. ...


7

Normally, there was no sense in adopting girls. There are only two known examples, and both took place under very specific circumstances. Livia Drusilla was formally adopted by Augustus' testament, so she got the name of Augusta in AD 14. On the first day of the Senate he allowed nothing to be discussed but the funeral of Augustus, whose will, which was ...


6

It's a big question, so I'll mostly just point you to some sources that would help you develop a more complete answer. The main point I would emphasize is that the whole concept of "stay at home mother" is a very modern one. Through most of US history, it was taken for granted that (at least for white women) motherhood was a full time occupation. Until ...


6

[Note: I took the thrust of the original question to be about the origin of patrilineal naming conventions, but that is a step removed from what is actually asked. I leave the answer anyway, as I don't feel it is entirely without merit.] Since you ask the "why", it's worth pointing out that, similar to the wheat and chessboard problem, if neither partner ...


5

Why is it that the maiden name is traditionally dropped when a woman is getting married? Is this something that predates back many civilizations ago? Or is this a relatively newfound trend? Inheritable family names may be considered a relatively new trend, only dating back to the dawn of the Renaissance in Europe, that is, their use on a large scale (say, ...


5

You mention both Greeks and Romans, so I treat each separately below, identifying exactly when they switched to monogamous laws (in the case of the Romans) as you ask: Marriage Under the Greeks Greek society was always monogamous. For example, in the Odyssey, one of the oldest Greek works which was originally transmitted orally, Odysseus has only one wife ...


5

Others have already provided excellent information and cites. There are a couple other things to look at. There may actually be a proxy that you can use to fill in data that you can't directly obtain: the number of children a woman bears should be related to her marriage age. The larger the family size, the younger the marriage age. Another proxy might be ...


5

There's likely no such thing. Different societies have different ways of doing things, regardless of how relatively "primitive" they are. That's why we call them "cultures". Take your topic of the roles and status of women. It varies by culture, and is ultimately fairly random. There will usually be a division, as men will likely insist on taking the more ...


5

The Durants' work is not history, or anthropology, or archaeology. The claims made are unknowable, in part due to bad theory and method on the part of the Durants; and, in part as the elements of the claims are unknowable. Scholars can use burials or camp structures to look at the gendered division of labour in preliterate societies. To the extent that ...


5

Obviously at some level it's a degenerate question, because ultimately every human on earth is related. So given that we are really good at genealogy these days, it probably shouldn't be surprising that there are oodles of them that we know of. Looking over the link provided by Lars in the comments, it looks like the closest related triple were Madison, ...


4

This is a little complicated as women’s rights depended on age and / or marital status and / or canton. It would also have depended on the individual husband , guardian or father. Generally speaking, for the specified period 1900 – 1905, married women and women yet to achieve majority (until 1912 this was 20 or 21 years of age, depending on canton) were ...


3

There is a strong correlation between women's equality, specifically access to education, and the number of children they bear. See for example this article. There is a nice chart further down which displays the correlation. There is no need for access to specific contraceptives in order to avoid having 14 children (maybe condoms are helpful, but careful ...


3

Converting from comment to answer: Genesis 11:29 Mainstream medieval French Jewish commentator, Rashi, holds that Sarah (Abraham's wife) is the same as his niece, Iscah. 19:2 Abraham tells Abimelech that Sarah is his sister. (In a a similar incident,in Egypt, Abraham tells Sarah to say this, implying that it is a fabrication, or at least misleading) 20:12 ...


3

While the Roman emperors were no doubt a happy bunch, they certainly weren't homosexual. They had wives, children, extra-marital affairs (often to the horror of the court), concubines, the works. But what they didn't have was a big building full of sex slaves, gathered as loot during military campaigns and taken into their household in exchange for favours ...


3

Bundling was a technique of separating two people of the opposite sex by textile devices to allow intimate contact without the possibility of intercourse during courtship. It is thought to have originated in the British Isles in the 17th century. Further information can be found at Wikipedia and Atlas Oscura.


2

I'm surprised to hear of women marrying so late, since having children late could be an issue. But maybe they married late due to the fear of death in childbirth. I would also like to know what the differences could be in the different classes. Surely the age of marriage for the aristocracy could well be different to those of the peasant class. I don't ...


2

As Brian Z points out, the whole concept of "stay at home mother" is a very modern one. Through most of US history, it was taken for granted that (at least for white women) motherhood was a full time occupation. To which I would add, not only in the United States, but in most, if not all, the world - certainly in Latin America and Europe at the very ...


2

It was not entirely the case that couples in Victorian times had more children than their ancestors a few generations earlier (although better general health and well being perhaps did improve fertility). However it was the case during the Victorian period that improvements in nutrition, health, sanitation etc ensured that far more children survived the ...


2

According to both the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry site representing La Succession Saint Exupéry – d’Agay and the 1994 Stacy Schiff biography Saint-Exupéry, he did not have any children even though he had often expressed a desire to start a family. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's marriage (1931 - 1944) to Consuelo Suncín was childless. Earlier, in 1923, he had been ...


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