15th Century Marriage

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Sylvain 1
Bobby Sylvain
Professor Plum
World Civilizations
9 September 2009

In the years of the 15th century, men were the dominant figures in a typical household. The man has the choice of what women would best suit him and his lifestyle, but the woman has absolutely no say. The women were treated poorly and looked down upon by the elders and men of the community. However, the man did have a choice in holy matrimony, but it was the elder’s job to persuade and reason with him. Enlarging your family not only lets you have children to continue your name, but it also gives you a faithful companion to spend the rest of your life with.

When choosing a wife in 15th century Florence, there are many qualities a man looked for in a wife. For example, in Book of the Family, Lionardo states that, “In a wife we must seek beauty, family, and wealth” (page 98). Men mainly want to have kids with good qualities so their mother has to contain them too. The woman must have a strong and healthy body to bear the man’s children. An old proverb states, “As you want your children, so choose their mother.” (98) There are many opinions as to the perfect physical stature of a woman begetting children.

The woman’s qualities and features were primarily how she was chosen for marriage. However, her relatives played a major role in the man’s decision to marry her. Most marriages in Sylvain 2
The 15th century failed because of disagreements and social status between the two families. “Let them, therefore, be your equals, modest, noble, and of honorable profession.” (99) Therefore, it was the man’s job to find a woman with respectable physical and emotional qualities as well as a family of equal social status and opinions, if he wanted a successful marriage.

“You know, it has always seemed proper to me for the head of the family not only to do these things worthy of a man, but to avoid anything in which should be done by women.” (99) Another example of women having no...
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