This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1893 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER VI. WIVES. Under Roman law before Christianity had gained control of the empire, a form of marriage existed known as "Usus," which secured much freedom to wives. It was entered into without the terrifying re DEGREES) ligious ceremonies which made 'Confarreatjoj DEGREESprac DEGREES DEGREES-H tically indissoluble and the wife the veritable slave of /' the husband, who held power even over her life.J V Neither did it possess the civil formality of "Coemptio" under which the bride purchased entrance into the marriage duties and her husband's household by the payment of three pieces of copper.1 "Coemptio" like "Confarreatio" gave the husband entire power over/ the person and property of the wife, while "Usus," a DEGREES form of simple consent, lett the wife practically free, DEGREES keeping her own name and property. The real origif of this form of marriage is not fully known. Maine declared it to be as old as or even older than the Twelve Tables, under which woman possessed the right to repudiation in marriage. These laws, a compilation of still older ones, were afterwards incorporated into statutes by a woman of Athens, and were received by the Romans as extremely pure natural laws.2 Plato 1. He bought his bride of her parents according to the custom of antiquity, and she followed the coemption by purchasing with three pieces of copper a just introduction to his treasury and household duties. Gibbon.— Rome, 4; 395. 2. By the law of the Twelve Tables woman possessed the right of repudiation in marriage. These tables were a compilation of still older laws or customs, a refers to an early Athens entirely ruled by women, its laws of pre-eminently just character. Tradition, whose basis is half forgotten, half remembered history, attributes the origin of Athens to the ancient...