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"Nuptiae", Roman Wedding

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  At Roman times, many kind of union rituals already existed, as it happens in current society.

  Different aspects and elements of Roman weddings have persisted throughout times until nowadays: matrimony proposal, wedding rings, the banquet, presents, bride’s veil, the moment when the bridegroom helps her wife to cross the new house’s doorstep...

  Although Christianity’s new ideas are on the rise in the fourth century, and patricians can already get married to plebeians, pagan rituals still get along with Late Roman nuptial.

  Wedding day has come and everything is meticulously prepared: the domus is richly decorated, the bride wears her best tunics and jewels, the pronuba takes her in every moment and acts as a ceremony guide.

  All the rituals and traditions of the wedding will start when the guests and the augur, the priest who orders the gods for their consent and favour, arrive.

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Cohors I Gallica’s Late Roman wedding. Photograph by Iñaki Insausti.

Joining of hands. Mural in a sarcophagus. Museo di Capodimonte (Naples).

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The ceremonial fire is lit to bring about the consent and favour from the gods...

...and after that the augur asks the gods for the approval of this marriage and to be benevolent with it.

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  Cohors Prima Gallica reenacts the nuptiae between Tranquilina and Marco in Late Roman time. They show different tasks and actions carried out for the great event: the sponsalia, the bride’s preparations, the omen, family and guests, the arrival to the new house…

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In the sponsalia, both families fixed the different aspects of the future marriage: they set the date, the bride’s dowry, the clauses of the marriage contract, the presents…

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The pronuba hugs the knot of Hercules

to the bride’s dress.

Using various sets, many recreations of objects and stage props, every special feature from a Late Roman marriage can be visualised dynamically. The public will enjoy closely and in an experiatial way one of the most important events of the ancient Roman society.

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Relatives and friends picking up walnuts thrown by the bridegroom as a symbol of the beginning of a new phase in his life.

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Scene of the myth of Pelops and Hippodamia.

Noheda mosaic (Cuenca)

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Cohors I Gallica in Roman Village of Veranes (Gijón - Asturias)

"¿Spondes filiam tuam uxorem filio meo?"

(Do you betroth your daughter to my son?)

 

"¡Di bene vortant!"

(May the gods dispense happiness to them!)