Marriages were usually arranged by the fathers of the couple, often to increase the family's finances and/or to improve their social standing; few, if any, married for love. Until a young woman was married, she was formally under the guardianship of her father. Once married, her husband became her “kyrios” (“master”).
Throughout ancient Greece, romantic love was written about extensively in philosophy and poetry. So much so, that even the belief in soulmates that many people hold today was first being kindled in Plato's Symposium.
Ancient Greeks valued Philia over all other types of love. Features of this deep feeling of friendship include loyalty, the sharing of emotions (good and bad), and a sense of shared sacrifice. Philia is a virtuous, intimate companionship that has the power to transform eros from lust to spiritual understanding. 8.
Marriage in Greece was a process of transfer, by which the kyrios ('lord' or 'controller') of a woman (normally her father; if he had died, her nearest adult male relative) gave her away to another man for the procreation of children.
Like many Western societies, the ancient Greeks and Romans were monogamous on paper (men could not marry more than one woman, for instance, nor could they live with their concubines), but not so much in practice, particularly if you were a man.
A brief history of soulmates
The Greek philosopher Plato wrote that humans once had four arms, four legs and two faces. He explained that Zeus split us in half as a punishment for our pride, and we were destined to walk the Earth searching for our other half.
Going on dates in Greece is much like going on dates anywhere else in the world. Your date may suggest going out for coffee, grabbing dinner or drinks at a bar, or taking a romantic stroll through Athens. Greeks are very proud and patriotic people that always want to show foreigners the beauty of their country.
Most young Greek women would be married at about the age of fourteen to a man roughly twice their age. Prior to the marriage ceremony the couple would probably have met only a few times, and while the bride would normally be a virgin, the husband almost certainly was not.
The average Greek man may be looking for a companion, but he is certainly not looking for an equal partner. He wants a woman to support his image, make his coffee, cook his dinner, wash and iron his clothes, raise his children, and when necessary, massage his ego so that he still feels like a man.
Since men spent most of their time away from their houses, Greek home life was dominated by women. The wife was in charge of raising the children, spinning, weaving and sewing the family´s clothes. She supervised the daily running of the household.
This seems to have been rare in practice, and adulterers were more commonly prosecuted, ransomed for money, or physically abused. The physical abuse and humiliation of adulterers is depicted in several surviving ancient Greek comedies.
Physical Contact: Greeks are generally very tactile people, comfortable with open affection. Hugging and kissing is common in public spaces. People often touch one another on the back, arm or leg to emphasise their point as they talk.
Agape, or love for everyone
Agape was later translated into Latin as caritas, which is the origin of our word “charity.” C.S. Lewis referred to it as “gift love,” the highest form of Christian love.
The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice proves forbidden love in Greek mythology because while the lovers are walking back to the upper world, Orpheus is forbidden to look back at his wife. This shows that lovers really can't resist each other. Orpheus loved Eurydice too much to even realize what he was doing.
Ancient Greek females also had body ideals to follow, softly shapen with rounded buttocks, long, wavy hair and a gentle face. In a time where many lived in poverty, to be larger and to carry extra fat on your body showed that you had wealth and could afford to eat to your satisfaction.
Greek men love to be in charge so they can provide and take care of their families. They will not be against having a partner that works, as nowadays, two salaries are better than one, but they also appreciate a woman who takes care of her home and children.
419–423 BC), ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes summed up the ideal traits of his male peers as “a gleaming chest, bright skin, broad shoulders, tiny tongue, strong buttocks, and a little prick.” Historian Paul Chrystal has also conducted research into this ancient ideal.
Most Greeks date casually in a way that is familiar to Australians. Parents rarely exercise control over their children's choice in partners, and many couples will live together for years before marrying or choose not to marry at all. However, couples have to marry to be legally recognised.
It is widely agreed that the origin of marriage dates well before recorded history, but the earliest recorded evidence of marriage ceremonies uniting one woman and one man dates from about 2350 B.C. in the Far East.
In contemporary Greece, arranged marriage, also known as “synikasion,” or “proxenio,” is no longer widely practiced. The matchmaking term proxenio originates from the word proxy. If you are looking for love today, you need go no further than your smart phone for an arranged marriage.
Greeting in Greece
Greeks are generally very expressive and friendly, so in Greece the most common way to greet a good friend is to give a big warm hug and then kiss them once on each cheek. This is the custom for both men and women, and between men and women.
Greeks exhibit higher marriage and lower Divorce rates than northern Europeans. Marriage is Monogamous, and it is forbidden between first cousins by the Hellenic Orthodox Church.
Greeks are warm and hospitable. When meeting someone for the first time, they shake hands firmly, smile, and maintain direct eye contact. Good friends often embrace; they may also kiss each other on each cheek. Male friends often slap each other's arm at the shoulder.