The Art of Making Love in Roman Culture, Parts 7 and 8

The three books of “Ars Amatoria” were composed by the Roman poet Ovid around the second century A.D. It was a popular collection of poems depicting the life of the ancient Roman aristocracy. The books demonstrate that the wealthy of the Roman Empire once lived in elegance and comfort. They enjoyed entertaining themselves with hedonistic pleasures and the adventures of making love.

Beautiful and insightful advice for men and women alike on how to search for and retain a lover can be found throughout Ovid’s verses on love, which he wrote. The books educate readers on how to pursue, entice, and make love with a partner in an amorous relationship.

Later on, “Ars Amatoria” was translated into English as “The Art of Love” and quickly rose to prominence among educated individuals in other nations. The books became literary classics, frequently cited by scholars who study love. When they were translated into English in 1885, they were literal prose translations, not the original poetry.

In 2001, Anthony Kline, an English poet and translator, translated his version of these Ovid’s books.

I think that even though modern men and women live in different cultures, they can still find these old Roman books interesting. Several passages from these books have been taken and reproduced in other articles that I’ve written about… What Is His Task” (Part 1), “How to Find Her” (Part 2), “Search for Love While Walking” (Part 3), “Search for Love while at the Theatre” (Part 4), “Search for Love at the Races or Circus” (Part 5), “Triumphs that Are Good to Attract a Woman”(Part 6).

Here is Part 7, telling Roman men how… Look for Love around the Dinner-Table

“The table laid for a feast also gives you an opening:

There’s something more than wine you can look for there.

Often rosy Love has clasped Bacchus’s horns,

drawing him to his gentle arms, as he lay there.

And when wine has soaked Cupid’s drunken wings,

he’s stayed, weighed down, a captive of the place.

It’s true he quickly shakes out his damp feathers:

though still the heart that’s sprinkled by love is hurt.

Wine rouses courage and is fit for passion:

care flies, and deep drinking dilutes it.

Then laughter comes, the poor man dons the horns,

then pain and sorrow leave, and wrinkled brows.

Then what’s rarest in our age appears to our minds,

Simplicity: all art dispelled by the god.

Often at that time girls captivated men’s wits,

and Venus was in the vine, flame in the fire.

Don’t trust the treacherous lamplight overmuch:

night and wine can harm your view of beauty.

Paris saw the goddesses in the light, a cloudless heaven,

when he said to Venus: ‘Venus, you win, over them both.’

Faults are hidden at night: every blemish is forgiven,

and the hour makes whichever girl you like beautiful.

Judge jewellery, and fabric stained with purple, judge a face, or a figure, in the light.”

Kline, A. S. (2001). Translation of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria: The Art of Love.

Here is Part 8, Telling Roman Men how… Look for Love on the Beach

“Why enumerate every female meeting place fit for the hunter?

The grains of sand give way before the number.

Why speak of Baiae, its shore splendid with sails,

where the waters steam with sulphurous heat?

Here one returning, his heart wounded, said:

‘That water’s not as healthy as they claim.’

Behold the suburban woodland temple of Diana,

and the kingdom murder rules with guilty hand.

She, who is virgin, who hates Cupid’s darts, gives people many wounds, has many to give.”

Kline, A. S. (2001). Translation of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria: The Art of Love.

The Art of Making Love in Roman Culture, Part 6, Our Triumphs Are Good to Attract a Woman

The three books of “Ars Amatoria” were written around the 2nd century A.D. by the Roman poet Ovid. It was a popular collection of poems portraying the life of the aristocracy in ancient Roman culture. The books show that the wealthy people in the Roman Empire used to live in style and comfort. They liked to entertain themselves with hedonistic pleasures and amorous adventures.

Ovid’s beautiful verses about love are full of good and smart advice for both men and women about how to find and keep a partner. The books teach how to seduce and treat someone in a love relationship.

Centuries later, “Ars Amatoria” was translated into English as “The Art of Love” and became well-known by educated people in other countries. The books also became classics of writing, often cited by scholars who study love. When they were translated into English in 1885, it was just a literal translation into prose, rather than the original poetry.

 In 2001, English poet and translator Anthony Kline translated these books of Ovid again.

I believe the book written many centuries ago in Roman culture can still be interesting for modern men and women despite differences in cultural contexts.

Several excerpts from these books were published in my other articles about… What Is His Task” (Part 1), “How to Find Her” (Part 2), “Search for Love While Walking” (Part 3), “Search for Love while at the Theatre” (Part 4), “Search for Love at the Races or Circus” (Part 5).

Here is Part 6, telling Roman men how…

Triumphs Can Be an Excellent Way to Attract a Woman! 

“Behold, now Caesar’s planning to add to our rule

what’s left of earth: now the far East will be ours.

Parthia , we’ll have vengeance: Crassus’s bust will cheer,

and those standards wickedly laid low by barbarians.

The avenger’s here, the leader, proclaimed, of tender years,

and a boy wages war’s un-boy-like agenda.

Cowards, don’t count the birthdays of the gods:

a Caesar’s courage flowers before its time.

Divine genius grows faster than its years,

and suffers as harmful evils the cowardly delays.

Hercules was a child when he crushed two serpents

in both his hands, already worthy of Jupiter in his cradle.

How old were you, Bacchus, who are still a boy,

when conquered India trembled to your rod?

Your father’s years and powers arm you, boy,

and with your father’s powers and years you’ll win:

though your first beginnings must be in debt to such a name,

now prince of the young, but one day prince of the old:

Your brothers are with you, avenge your brothers’ wounds:

your father is with you, keep your father’s laws.

Your and your country’s father endowed you with arms:

the enemy stole his kingship from an unwilling parent:

You hold a pious shaft, he a wicked arrow:

Justice and piety stick to your standard.

Let Parthia’s cause be lost: and their armies:

let my leader add Eastern wealth to Latium.

Both your fathers, Mars and Caesar, grant you power:

Through you one is a god, and one will be.

See, I augur your triumph: I’ll reply with a votive song,

and you’ll be greatly celebrated on my lips.

You’ll stand and exhort your troops with my words:

O let my words not lack your courage!

I’ll speak of Parthian backs and Roman fronts,

and shafts the enemy hurl from flying horses.

If you flee, to win, Parthia, what’s left for you in defeat?

Mars already has your evil eye.

So the day will be, when you, beautiful one,

golden, will go by, drawn by four snowy horses.

The generals will go before you, necks weighed down with chains,

lest they flee to safety as they did before.

The happy crowd of youths and girls will watch,

that day will gladden every heart.

And if she, among them, asks the name of a king,

what place, what mountains, and what stream’s displayed,

you can reply to all, and more if she asks:

and what you don’t know, reply as memory prompts.

That’s Euphrates, his brow crowned with reeds:

that’ll be Tigris with the long green hair.

I make those Armenians, that’s Persia’s Danaan crown:

that was a town in the hills of Achaemenia.

Him and him, they’re generals: and say what names they have, if you can, the true ones, if not the most fitting.”

Kline, A. S. (2001). Translation of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria: The Art of Love.

Search for Love at the Races or Circus

The trilogy “Ars Amatoria,” or “The Art of Love,” by Roman poet Ovid is well-known among educated people and scholars studying love. The books show how the aristocracy in the ancient Roman Empire lived a life of sophisticated style and pleasure.

The author’s beautiful words about love are full of good and clever advice for men about how to look for a woman and for women about how to keep a man. The books also teach the art of amorous seduction and intrigue.

I think that some of his ideas are still useful and would be interesting for you to know.

When Ovid’s books were translated into English in 1885, they were translated literally into prose instead of poetry. When their most recent translation of the books came out in 2001, these were poetic translations of verses. I posted some excerpts from those in my earlier articles about… What Is His Task” (Part 1), “How to Find Her” (Part 2), “Search for Love While Walking” (Part 3), “Search for Love while at the Theatre” (Part 4).

Here is Part 5, telling Roman men and women how to…

Search for Love While at the Races or the Circus

“Don’t forget the races, those noble stallions:

the Circus holds room for a vast obliging crowd.

No need here for fingers to give secret messages,

nor a nod of the head to tell you she accepts:

You can sit by your lady: nothing’s forbidden,

press your thigh to hers, as you can do, all the time:

and it’s good the rows force you close, even if you don’t like it,

since the girl is touched through the rules of the place.

Now find your reason for friendly conversation,

and first of all engage in casual talk.

Make earnest enquiry whose those horses are:

and rush to back her favourite, whatever it is.

When the crowded procession of ivory gods goes by,

you clap fervently for Lady Venus:

if by chance a speck of dust falls in the girl’s lap,

as it may, let it be flicked away by your fingers:

and if there’s nothing, flick away the nothing:

let anything be a reason for you to serve her.

If her skirt is trailing too near the ground,

lift it, and raise it carefully from the dusty earth:

Straightaway, the prize for service, if she allows it,

is that your eyes catch a glimpse of her legs.

Don’t forget to look at who’s sitting behind you,

that he doesn’t press her sweet back with his knee.

Small things please light minds: it’s very helpful

to puff up her cushion with a dextrous touch.

And it’s good to raise a breeze with a light fan,

and set a hollow stool beneath her tender feet.

And the Circus brings assistance to new love,

and the scattered sand of the gladiator’s ring.

Venus’ boy often fights in that sand,

and who see wounds, themselves receive a wound.

While talking, touching hands, checking the programme,

and asking, having bet, which one will win,

wounded he groans, and feels the winged dart,

and himself becomes a part of the show he sees.

When, lately, Caesar, in mock naval battle,

exhibited the Greek and Persian fleets,

surely young men and girls came from either coast,

and all the peoples of the world were in the City?

Who did not find one he might love in that crowd? Ah, how many were tortured by an alien love!”

Kline, A. S. (2001). Translation of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria: The Art of Love.

The Art of Making Love in Roman Culture, Part 4, Search for Love at Theatre

Ovid’s trilogy “Ars Amatoria,” or The Art of Love, is well-known among love scholars for depicting the hedonistic and refined lifestyle of the aristocracy in the ancient Roman Empire at the time.

The poetic words of the author offer smart love advice to men and women in their loving affairs. Some of his suggestions, I believe, are still relevant today and would be interesting for you to learn.

In 1885, the English translation of Ovid’s books included a literal prose translation rather than the original poetry. Their most recent translation and publication, in 2001, made their poetic translation available.

Ovid Suggested “Search while you’re at the Theatre”

“But hunt for them, especially, at the tiered theatre:

that place is the most fruitful for your needs.

There you’ll find one to love, or one you can play with,

one to be with just once, or one you might wish to keep.

As ants return home often in long processions,

carrying their favourite food in their mouths,

or as the bees buzz through the flowers and thyme,

among their pastures and fragrant chosen meadows,

so our fashionable ladies crowd to the famous shows:

my choice is often constrained by such richness.

They come to see, they come to be seen as well:

the place is fatal to chaste modesty.

These shows were first made troublesome by Romulus,

when the raped Sabines delighted unmarried men.

Then no awnings hung from the marble theatre,

the stage wasn’t stained with saffron perfumes:

Then what the shady Palatine provided, leaves

simply placed, was all the artless scene:

The audience sat on tiers made from turf,

and covered their shaggy hair, as best they could, with leaves.

They watched, and each with his eye observed the girl

he wanted, and trembled greatly in his silent heart.

While, to the measure of the homely Etruscan flute,

the dancer, with triple beat, struck the levelled earth,

amongst the applause (applause that was never artful then)

the king gave the watched-for signal for the rape.

They sprang up straightaway, showing their intent by shouting,

and eagerly took possession of the women.

As doves flee the eagle, in a frightened crowd,

as the new-born lamb runs from the hostile wolf:

so they fled in panic from the lawless men,

and not one showed the colour she had before.

Now they all fear as one, but not with one face of fear:

Some tear their hair: some sit there, all will lost:

one mourns silently, another cries for her mother in vain:

one moans, one faints: one stays, while that one runs:

the captive girls were led away, a joyful prize,

and many made even fear itself look fitting.

Whoever showed too much fight, and denied her lover,

he held her clasped high to his loving heart,

and said to her: ‘Why mar your tender cheeks with tears?

as your father to your mother, I’ll be to you.’

Romulus, alone, knew what was fitting for soldiers:

I’ll be a soldier, if you give me what suits me.

From that I suppose came the theatres’ usual customs:

now too they remain a snare for the beautiful.”

Kline, A. S. (2001). Translation of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria: The Art of Love.

In other posts, I quoted some excerpts from the first, second, and the third parts of the book.

The Art of Making Love in Roman Culture, Part 3, Search for Love While Walking

The Roman poet Ovid is well-known among love scholars for his trilogy “Ars Amatoria” or The Art of Love. The three books of Ars Amatoria show the hedonistic and sophisticated life of the Roman aristocracy of that time.

His poetic words give clever love advice to men and women in their amorous relationships. I believe some of his advice can be relevant today and can be interesting to learn.

In 1885, the English translation of Ovid’s books included a literal prose translation rather than the original poetry. Their most recent translation and publication, in 2001, made their poetic translation available.

Ovid Suggested “Search while you’re out Walking”

“Just walk slowly under Pompey’s shady colonnade,

when the sun’s in Leo, on the back of Hercules’s lion:

or where Octavia added to her dead son Marcellus’s gifts,

with those rich works of foreign marble.

Don’t miss the Portico that takes its name

from Livia its creator, full of old masters:

or where the daring Danaids prepare to murder their poor husbands,

and their fierce father stands, with out-stretched sword.

And don’t forget the shrine of Adonis, Venus wept for,

and the sacred Sabbath rites of the Syrian Jews.

Don’t skip the Memphite temple of the linen-clad heifer:

she makes many a girl what she herself was to Jove.

And the law-courts (who’d believe it?) they suit love:

a flame is often found in the noisy courts:

where the Appian waters pulse into the air,

from under Venus’s temple, made of marble,

there the lawyer’s often caught by love,

and he who guides others, fails to guide himself:

in that place of eloquence often his words desert him,

and a new case starts, his own cause is the brief.

There Venus, from her neighbouring temples, laughs:

he, who was once the counsel, now wants to be the client.”

Kline, A. S. (2001). Translation of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria: The Art of Love.

In other posts, I quoted some excerpts from the first, second, and the next fourth parts of the book.

The Art of Making Love in Roman Culture, Part 2, How to Find Her

The Roman poet Ovid is well-known for his trilogy “Ars Amatoria,” which English-speaking scholars are familiar with as “The Art of Love.” The poems in these books of ancient Rome gave men and women practical advice on how to make love.

The hedonistic, sophisticated life of the Roman aristocracy was depicted in Ovid’s Ars Amatoria. I believe Ovid’s advice is still relevant today despite its context, being old-fashioned, and ironical style. Men still learn something about how to find and keep a woman. On the other hand, the books help women win and keep a man’s love.

The English version of Ovid’s books in 1885 included a literal prose translation rather than the original poetry. Their poetic translation was made available in the most recent translation and publication in 2001.

In the other post, I quoted some excerpts from the first book. Let us look further into Ovid’s advice. You should keep in mind the specific context of the ancient Roman Empire.

What Ovid Told about How to Find Her

While you’re still free, and can roam on a loose rein,

pick one to whom you could say: ‘You alone please me.’

She won’t come falling for you out of thin air:

the right girl has to be searched for: use your eyes.

The hunter knows where to spread nets for the stag,

he knows what valleys hide the angry boar:

the wild-fowler knows the woods: the fisherman

knows the waters where the most fish spawn:

You too, who search for the essence of lasting love,

must be taught the places that the girls frequent.

I don’t demand you set your sails, and search,

or wear out some long road to discover them.

Perseus brought Andromeda from darkest India,

and Trojan Paris snatched his girl from Greece,

Rome will grant you lots of such lovely girls,

you’ll say: ‘Here’s everything the world has had.’

Your Rome’s as many girls as Gargara’s sheaves,

as Methymna’s grapes, as fishes in the sea,

as birds in the hidden branches, stars in the sky:

Venus, Aeneas’s mother, haunts his city.

If you’d catch them very young and not yet grown,

real child-brides will come before your eyes:

if it’s young girls you want, thousands will please you.

You’ll be forced to be unsure of your desires:

if you delight greatly in older wiser years, here too, believe me, there’s an even greater crowd.

Kline, A. S. (2001). Translation of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria: The Art of Love.

The Art of Making Love in Roman Culture, Part 1, What Is “His Task”

Many love scholars have heard of Ovid, the Roman poet of the ancient Roman Empire.He is famous for his series of three books, “Ars Amatoria” (The Art of Love). The books presented the poems with practical advice for men and women on how to make love.

Ars Amatoria presented a fascinating depiction of the hedonistic and sophisticated life of the Roman aristocracy of that time. Ovid’s advice can still be interesting to know for modern people. The books instructed men on how to find and keep a woman. The books also gave women advice on how to win and keep a man’s love.

The translation and publication of Ovid’s books in 1885 presented just a literal English translation in prose, not in its original poetic form. However, the recent translation and publication of 2001 provided their poetic translation.

Let’s take a look at some excerpts from the first book. Its content is mostly about how to find a woman and how to keep her (Kline, 2001, Translation of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria: The Art of Love). Ovid suggested learning how to love by reading his lines. He explains that love is led by art. Then he presents several examples. They are difficult to read without understanding the context of Roman culture at the time. Nevertheless, let’s try:

“Should anyone here not know the art of love,

read this, and learn by reading how to love.

By art the boat’s set gliding, with oar and sail,

by art the chariot’s swift: love’s ruled by art.

Automedon was skilled with Achilles’s chariot reins,

Tiphys in Thessaly was steersman of the Argo,

Venus appointed me as guide to gentle Love:

I’ll be known as Love’s Tiphys, and Automedon.

It’s true Love’s wild, and one who often flouts me:

but he’s a child of tender years, fit to be ruled.

Chiron made the young Achilles perfect at the lyre,

and tempered his wild spirits through peaceful art.

He, who so terrified his enemies and friends,

they say he greatly feared the aged Centaur.

That hand that Hector was destined to know,

was held out, at his master’s orders, to be flogged.

I am Love’s teacher as Chiron was Achilles’s,

both wild boys, both children of a goddess.

Yet the bullock’s neck is bowed beneath the yoke,

and the spirited horse’s teeth worn by the bit.

And Love will yield to me, though with his bow

he wounds my heart, shakes at me his burning torch.

The more he pierces me, the more violently he burns me,

so much the fitter am I to avenge the wounds.

Nor will I falsely say you gave me the art, Apollo,

no voice from a heavenly bird gives me advice,

I never caught sight of Clio or Clio’s sisters

while herding the flocks, Ascra, in your valleys:

Experience prompts this work: listen to the expert poet:

I sing true: Venus, help my venture!

Far away from here, you badges of modesty,

the thin headband, the ankle-covering dress.

I sing of safe love, permissible intrigue,

and there’ll be nothing sinful in my song.

Now the first task for you who come as a raw recruit

is to find out who you might wish to love.

The next task is to make sure that she likes you:

the third, to see to it that the love will last.

That’s my aim, that’s the ground my chariot will cover:

that’s the post my thundering wheels will scrape.”

Kline, A. S. (2001). Translation of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria: The Art of Love.

In another post, I quoted some other excerpts from the next part of the book.

What Did Ovid Advise on the Art of Making Love?

The Roman poet of the ancient Roman Empire is well known by many love scholars for his “Ars Amatoria” (The Art of Love)-an instructional series in three books of poems about what is love and how to make love with the art of seduction and intrigue. Ovid’s very practical instructions on making love have been quite popular among educated and aristocratic people throughout centuries.

Who was Ovid?

Ovid was a famous Roman poet who lived between 43 BCE and 17 CE in the ancient Roman Empire.He was well known for his Metamorphoses, a collection of mythological and legendary stories that he told in chronological order, from the beginning of the world until the 1st century BCE.

The Ars Amatoria, written by Ovid in three books, presented a fascinating depiction of the sophisticated and hedonistic life of the Roman aristocracy. The books advised men on how to find a woman and how to keep her. The books also gave women advice on how to win and keep the love of a man.

How Did Ovid Advise Men and Women to Love?

 Ovid was a very good observer and psychologist. He knew a lot about modern women’s and men’s natures.

The primary purpose of Ovid’s “Ars Amoris” was to teach men how to out-trump the presumably natural cunning of women. Nevertheless, he did not forget the female readers. He provided them with many tips on the effective means of enticing fickle men.

In the Remedia Amoris, Ovid described a variety of remedies for curing Cupid’s wounds. Many of them are still suitable today. Ovid’s Elegies and Heroides are full of modern references and insights into the meanings of love.

Several of these points are briefly mentioned below.

How Ovid Depicts Female Sexuality and Passion

Ovid’s poems frequently describe the images of female sexuality and passion as excessively gross and malicious. They are, however, not so crude and cynical as those of Martial and Catullus, two other great Roman poets of that time.

Ovid’s poems still frequently express frivolity that may mislead the current generation’s aesthetic judgment. They still support the myth that Virgil and Horace are better poets than Ovid. Nevertheless, Ovid appears by far the best in terms of originality and inventiveness.

Ovid was unquestionably the first poet who had a conception of the high possibilities of love. According to Henry Finck’s judgment, he was the greatest and the only great love-poet before Dante. Even so, he was wholly devoted to the ancient sensual side of love. His genius enabled him to anticipate and depict the modern images of love (Finck (1887/2019, p. 91).

Some of Ovid’s Advice on Making Love

Roman women in Ovid’s poems often display their coyness in a crude way, as if to a savage. However, it doesn’t seem like all of them understood its full value. So, the poet often gives them advice on how to use it in a more subtle way. One of his rules for women was that if they hurt a man’s feelings, the best way to make him forget it is to hurt themselves. This will bring things back into balance.

Another passage shows that when women are aware of their beauty, this makes them brave, coy, and cruel.

Ovid also knew that a short absence favors and a long absence kills passion.

He warns men against feigning love, which can spark real passion.

Men are told that having courage and confidence is half the battle when it comes to making love.

Ovid also said that disappointed lovers should know that failure can be a good thing if it makes people feel sorry for them and lets love come in as friendship. 

How Ovid Depicts Mixed Feelings in Love

Ovid tends to use emotional exaggeration and depict the mixed feelings that come with love.

He compares the number of love’s tortures to the number of berries on the trees or the number of shells on the beach. He says that true love always causes pain and suffering. He said that “the sweetest torture on earth is women.”

The two things that go with Cupid’s love arrows are flattery and illusion. “

But “even if the beloved misleads me with false words, hope itself will give me great pleasure” could only have been written by someone who knew that love is also creative. In another part of the poem, the poet says that intellectual culture must replace the charms of youth that have worn off.

Does a Happy Wife Really Make a Happy Life?

The saying “Happy Wife, Happy Life” has been popular for quite a while among many American couples. It vividly explains the psychological know-how of happy marital love and life. This old adage tells a husband that the emotional state of his wife is more important to a satisfactory relationship than his own.

What Marriage Therapists Think About “Happy Wife, Happy Life”

Some marriage and family therapists, like Diane Gleim, disagree with this approach. Diane thinks that this saying is baloney and quotes the opinion of one wife who said:

“I appreciate all that my husband does for me but I will admit there are times I want him to push back.”

That woman was aware that “getting her way” did not make her satisfied with her marital relationship. Instead, she felt negative consequences.

Does Research Support the Saying “Happy Wife, Happy Life”?

Theoretically, the adage “Happy wife, happy life” sounds plausible and can be explained both from evolutionary and social psychological perspectives. As Professor Emily Impett from the University of Toronto Mississauga explains,

“Evolutionary perspectives might suggest that women have evolved psychological mechanisms that make them especially attuned to the quality of their relationships—to help them select an optimal mate”

“And there is also a social psychological perspective. The social performance of gender roles requires women to attend to the needs of their partners and take responsibility for maintaining relationships. So, their views about the relationship would be more likely to affect couple dynamics. But that is not what we found at all. We found that both men and women have equal power to shape the future of their relationship.”

There aren’t many studies that have looked into this premise and thoroughly tested it. And those which did tended to have small sample sizes and therefore were not very convincing.

New Studies Test Whether the Saying “Happy Wife, Happy Life” Is True

Recent research also puts the saying “Happy Wife, Happy Life” into question, as Ty Burke showed

As Emily Impett explained:

“People experience ups and downs in their romantic relationships. Some days are better than others, and it is widely believed that women’s relationship perceptions will carry more weight in predicting future relationship satisfaction”
“This idea that women are the barometers of relationships is captured in expressions like ‘happy wife, happy life.’

What Studies Actually Show about the Phenomenon of “Happy Wife, Happy Life”

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Canadian researchers Impett, Johnson, and their colleagues tested this old adage. They analyzed data collected in 9 samples from Canada, the United States, and Germany. Their study included relationship satisfaction reports from 901 couples. Researchers asked them to keep a daily diary for up to 21 days. Also, researchers asked 3,405 couples how happy they were in their relationships annually for five years.

Emily Impett commented on the conclusion researchers drew from the studies, saying,

“The relationship satisfaction of both men and women was equally strong predictors of their own future satisfaction and of their partner’s—whether it was day-to-day or year-to-year.”

“Men’s satisfaction matters equally, in terms of how they feel and how their partner feels about the relationship in the future.”

“Just think about what happens in the daily lives of couples. When one partner is having a particularly bad day, that lingers in the relationship. On the flip side of that, when one partner is feeling particularly good about the relationship, both partners reap the benefits of that. We see the same pattern over longer periods of time too, from one year to the next. Relationship satisfaction forecasts future satisfaction. “

What Is Really Important for Satisfaction in Relationships  

Overall, the findings emphasize how important it is for both spouses to be aware of and take the necessary steps to cultivate satisfaction in relationships. As Emily Impett explains,

“Many couples wait too long to seek help for issues in their relationships, but people know when they are experiencing more negativity than positivity, and they have the potential to try to shift things.”

“We already know the things that couples can do to maintain relationship satisfaction. Be responsive to a partner’s needs, support them when they are down, share in their good news, and cultivate gratitude. It is important for people to be aware of their own satisfaction and its fluctuations. Knowing how you can impact your own relationship satisfaction matters for you, and it matters for your partner too.”

Love in the Aryan Caste Culture

In scholarly literature, the term “Aryan culture” has frequently referred to the “Indo-European” cultures of the past associated with ancient Indo-Iranian languages. These prehistoric cultures existed many centuries ago. The Indo-Aryan migration occurred approximately between 2000 and 1500 BCE. The early Aryans were nomad warriors who colonized northern India around 1500 BCE. These ancient people with fair skin settled in Iran and northern India in those times. Initially, the Aryans were hunter-gatherers. As they migrated to India, they learned agriculture and constructed settlements and cities, thereby initiating the Aryan civilization. Literature, religion, and social structure have had a significant impact on Indian culture.

Through the centuries, the Aryan cultures have experienced a very long history of cultural evolution. This evolution has been reflected in social and personal relationships between people. At various epochs of Aryan culture in India, gender relations and the position of women differed greatly, and the attitudes towards love varied substantially.

The Transition of Aryan Culture to Brahminism

The Aryan culture during the period of Indo-Aryan migration in the 2000s–1500s BCE was very conducive to free interpersonal relationships and love in the modern sense. Prior to the introduction of Brahminism, women were held in high regard, granted various privileges, and permitted to engage in free social relations with men. For many Aryans, monogamy was the accepted form of marriage.

However, during the Late Vedic Period (c. 1100-500 BCE), Brahmanism developed as a belief system, asserting that Brahman is the supreme being. Since then, Brahmanism has continued to have a significant impact on Hinduism. The various tenets of Brahmanism influenced the development of Hinduism in India. Brahmanism encouraged inequality and supported the brutalization of the lower classes. They emphasized the elite position of Brahmins. They introduced and maintained the caste system in Indian society.

The Aryan Caste Culture

In Ancient India, the caste system was a very important aspect of the Aryan culture of that period. According to Brahmanism, it was believed that people were born into their caste for the rest of their lives. Their caste determined the work they did, the man or woman they could marry, and the people they could eat with.

 The importance of cleanliness and purity was also emphasized. Those deemed the most impure due to their work as butchers, gravediggers, and trash collectors lived outside the caste structure. They were dubbed “untouchables” because even their presence jeopardized the ritual purity of others. They had no rights and were unable to advance or marry outside of their caste.

According to Schweiger Lerchenfeld (1846–1910), the Austrian scholar familiar with world history, instead of the monogamy of previous centuries, the Brahmins introduced polygamy. They set an example when a person sometimes married an entire family, “old and young, daughters, aunts, sisters, and cousins.” One Brahmin was known to have had 120 wives. In such cultural conditions, a man or a woman subordinated family feelings to caste considerations.

The Strange Cultural Beliefs of Brahmanism on Conjugal Love

The Brahmins also introduced the custom of “Suttee”, the burning alive of widows on the funeral pyre of the deceased husband. It was performed through a sophisticated interpretation of ancient laws. This practice was sometimes viewed as the apogee of conjugal love. However, actually it was merely what modern psychology calls an “epidemic delusion.” This cultural belief represented the poor women who were willing to sacrifice themselves and die in this manner particularly meritorious and voluptuous. On the other hand, those who refused to be immolated were treated as social outcasts. They were not permitted to marry again or adorn themselves in any way.

The Poor Status of Women in the Laws of Manu

The way the laws of Manu, or the Manusmṛiti, also known as the Mānava-Dharmaśāstra describe the roles of women in society demonstrates how badly they were thought of in Indian society of that cultural period. Here are some of the sayings that this book presents:

“A woman is the cause of dishonor, the cause of hatred, and the cause of a boring life. Because of this, women should be avoided. “

“A girl, a young woman, or a wife must never do anything on her own, not even in her own home.”

“A woman should serve her husband her whole life and stay true to him even after she dies. Even if he lies to her, loves someone else, or has no good qualities, a good wife should still respect him as if he were a god, and she shouldn’t do anything to make him unhappy, either in life or after she dies. “

According to the text, the women’s lives got so bad that Indian mothers “often drowned their female children in the sacred streams of India” to protect them from what life had in store for them.

(cited by H. Finck, 1887/2019, p. 77).

As Charles LeTourneau, the 19th century sociologist and ethnographer of Indian culture, commented,

“Hindu laws and manners have been based on the sacred precepts right up to the present day.”

It wasn’t proper for a woman to be able to read or dance. The Bayadere, an Indian courtesan, was to fulfill these futile social duties.

(cited by H. Finck, 1887/2019, p. 77).