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Each city was politically independent, with its own laws affecting marriage. For the marriage to be legal, the woman's father or guardian gave permission to a suitable male who could afford to marry. The couple participated in a ceremony which included rituals such as veil removal but the couple living together made the marriage legal.
The ancient Greek legislators considered marriage to be a matter of public interest.
In fact the heiress, together with her inheritance, belonged to the kinsmen of the family, so that in early times a father could not give his daughter (if an heiress) in marriage without their consent.
by which a father was empowered to dispose of his daughter by will or otherwise; just as widows were disposed of in marriage by the will of their husbands, who were still considered their rightful guardians (kyrioi).
This resulted in the suggestion that, whenever a woman had no children by her own husband, the state ought to allow her to live with another man.
On the same principle, and for the purpose of preventing the extinction of his family, Spartan King Anaxandridas II was allowed to live with two wives.
But match-making among the ancients remained outside the dominion of political and legal regulation.
Marriage was usually arranged between the parents of the bride and the groom himself.In Athens, in the case of a father dying intestate and without male children, his heiress had no choice in marriage.She was compelled by law to marry her nearest kinsman not in the ascending line.The same practice of marrying in the family (oikos), especially in the case of heiresses, prevailed in Sparta; Leonidas married the heiress of Cleomenes I, as her anchisteia, or next of kin, and Anaxandrides his own sister's daughter.
Moreover, if a father had not determined himself concerning his daughter, the king's court decided who among the privileged persons or members of the same family should marry the heiress.Another was the desire felt by almost everyone, not merely to perpetuate his own name, but also to prevent his heritage being desolate, and his name being cut off, and to leave someone who might make the customary offerings at his grave.