a woman who cohabits with a man to whom she is not legally married, especially one regarded as socially or sexually subservient; mistress. (among polygamous peoples) a secondary wife, usually of inferior rank.
Mostly concubines served to satisfy sexual pleasure since any children that resulted from a mistress was considered illegitimate, and unless allowed by their father, had no rights of inheritance. The rich and the ruling class almost exclusively practiced concubinage. It was popular all across Asia.
Concubines had their own rooms and would fill their days applying make-up, sewing, practising various arts and socialising with other concubines. Many of them spent their entire lives in the palace without any contact with the emperor.
In modern usage, the term concubine often denotes the status of a quasi-wife who is not legally married to a man with whom she lives. The man (but not the woman) may or may not be in an ongoing legal marriage with another person.
In the family the concubine held an intermediate place between the wife of first rank and an ordinary slave. In most cases she was a slave raised to a higher dignity by marriage to the master (Gn 16.3). The concubine held position as a wife of inferior or secondary rank.
Lady Yehenara, otherwise known as Empress Dowager Cixi, was arguably one of the most successful concubines in Chinese history. Cixi first entered the court as a concubine to Xianfeng Emperor and gave birth to his only surviving son, who later became Tongzhi Emperor.
Adultery VS Concubinage
Adultery is committed by a wife and should be charged together with the other man, while concubinage is committed by a husband and should be charged together with the other woman or concubine.
The masculine form of the term, concubinus, is frequently explained as the term for a young male slave used for sexual release until his master married. Usually no other possibilities are given. This is very often exactly what the term refers to.
Unlike in the crime of adultery where both guilty partners may be imprisoned, the imposable penalty for the concubine is only destierro or banishment.
Background of the Concubine
It is usually translated into English as “concubine” and understood to refer to a wife or sexual partner of secondary status. Although certain men in the Hebrew Bible have both wives and concubines, no wives or additional concubines are referred to in Judges 19.
Jang Hee-bin is the only case in which a concubine came from a non-noble family and became queen. Ironically, King Sukjong changed the law so that no concubine could ever become a queen after she was dethroned.
It is true that the Old Testament discusses cases in which a man might marry one of his female slaves, who would then become his concubine as well. It is also true, as you noted, that a man could marry one of his wife's female slaves as a concubine.
To be a concubine was a highly coveted honour and concubines were formally recognised in a ceremony much like a marriage. Geisha and courtesans on the other hand were (and are) part of the demi monde.
It comes from the Arabic ḥarīm, which can mean "a sacred inviolable place", "harem" or "female members of the family". In English the term harem can mean also "the wives (or concubines) of a polygamous man."
concubinage. noun. con·cu·bi·nage kän-ˈkyü-bə-nij. : the relationship between persons who are cohabiting without the benefit of marriage. used especially in the civil law of Louisiana compare common-law marriage.
Concubinage resembled marriage in that concubines were recognized sexual partners of a man and were expected to bear children for him. Unofficial concubines (Chinese: 婢妾; pinyin: bì qiè) were of lower status, and their children were considered illegitimate.
She is referred to as "Satan's Concubine" and the mother of Demons, her ultimate goal is to groom Sabrina to take her place in Satan's army so she will sit beside him as the Queen of Hell. In Netflix's fourth season of Lucifer, the demon Mazikeen (Maze) refers to Lilith as the mother of demons, including herself.
Most modern Muslims, both scholars and laypersons, believe that Islam no longer accepts concubinage and that sexual relations are religiously permissible only within marriage. Concubinage was a custom practiced in both pre-Islamic Arabia and the wider Near East and Mediterranean.
Surprisingly, said Croutier, harems still exist, partially because of the current wave of Moslem fundamentalism. 'Polygamy has been outlawed in Turkey and China, the two greatest harem nations, but is still a flourishing practice in the Middle East and Africa,' she says.
Polyandry is a form of polygamy in which a woman takes two or more husbands at the same time. For example, fraternal polyandry is practiced among Tibetans in Nepal, parts of China and part of northern India, in which two or more brothers are married to the same wife, with the wife having equal “sexual access” to them.
Polygamy is most often found in sub-Saharan Africa, where 11% of the population lives in arrangements that include more than one spouse. Polygamy is widespread in a cluster of countries in West and Central Africa, including Burkina Faso, (36%), Mali (34%) and Nigeria (28%).
A paramour. The word has the added advantage of not being sex-specific.
Further, the penalty on the wife under adultery is heavier than on the husband under concubinage. Worse, the marital indiscretion of the husband is not treated as a felony unless attended by the circumstances enumerated in Article 334.
It's called alienation of affection. Cathy Meyer is a certified divorce coach, marriage educator, freelance writer, and founding editor of DivorcedMoms.com.