In The Mood For Romance? Medieval Betrothals


red hearts photo

Since our contemporary anthology ‘Propose To Me‘ is coming out soon, I thought it might be interesting to have a look at where some of our rituals come from. So the first one is:

Engagement

engagement rings photo

Did you know that, in the year 1215, Pope Innocent III decreed that there should be a waiting period between betrothal and wedding ceremony?

This also led to the two ring tradition we in the West have today. Previous to this, the custom of one ring had been prevalent for centuries. Apparently, according to some, Roman wives wore rings attached to a key, denoting their husband’s ownership. I wonder if they were engraved Property of Julius Maximus…Actually, others claim they were inscribed with the image of a key, denoting the key to half of his fortune, maybe? If anyone was around in Roman times and/or knows this, please let me know! Today rings are often inscribed with the husbands/wives names and/or date of the wedding.

The first recorded diamond ring was given in betrothal in medieval Italy, in 1477. Archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a diamond ring. This was no small investment. They were hard to come by, so worth a small fortune. Today they are easy to come by, yet cost a small fortune.

Diamonds signify enduring love because of their strength and and beauty, and I think one of the reasons they began to be popular in the 15th century was because craft tools with rotary motion had been introduced, otherwise, a jeweller was limited to polishing the rough diamond – and they can’t have been anywhere near as pretty as sapphires or rubies.

ProposeToMe

Coming Soon!

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