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Kha & Meryt

Love and Marriage in Ancient Egypt

By Emily Marie ConcannonPublished 9 months ago 2 min read
Kha & Meryt
Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

I Pronounce Thee....

Many of us know about Cleopatra and her love affairs with Mark Antony and Julius Caesar. Or, we have some knowledge of the gorgeous queens Nefretit and Nefretari and their marriages to powerful pharaohs. We are familiar with the rich and powerful figures of ancient Egypt, much as we are with the lives of the same demographic today.

But, what about the "regular" people of ancient Egypt? What can we know about them? Did they love and hate as we do? Did they eat delicious comfort foods after a breakup? Did they sing each other love songs? Did they curse each other after they've been betrayed?

More practically, did they marry? Did they have elaborate ceremonies? How did they choose a spouse? Were they monogamous, or did they have many partners like the pharaohs? Did they use birth control?

There's only one way to find the answer: let's ask them.

Love and Hate in Ancient Egypt

The most well known aspects of Egyptian matrimony is of the Pharaohs and their queens. These marriages were predominantly marriages of convenience and political empowerment.

The most famous being the following marriages: Akhenaten to Nefertiti, Ramases to Nefertari, and Tutankhamun to his wife Ankhesenpaaten. These marriages, although mixed with political turmoil as well as love, were not the embodiment of Egyptian ideas of love and hate. Rather, the Egyptians felt that love was a fluid feeling.

They have their own ideas around sex and marriage that are not the committed idea Westerners historically held. Rather, marriage was a willing commitment between consenting adults which could end whenever the couple wished it to. They did not hold elaborate wedding ceremonies or feasts. When ready, two people moved in together. After this point, they were considered husband and wife.

We will break down the major aspects of love and marriage in the following segments: Sex, love, marriage, and divorce.

Sex in Ancient Egypt

Sex was a big part of ancient Egyptian life. There are erotic depictions of various sexual acts depicted all over the Egyptian tombs and papyrus texts. One of the most popular depictions of sexual experience in ancient Egypt is known as the Turin text.

The Turin text is the oldest depiction of human sexual behavior. And, it is comedically referred to as the world's first pornography. Although it is a joke, the truth is the images and writing are VERY explicit. It's not unreasonable to think that this was used as one of the earliest forms of porn in the world.

But, what does this text depict and discuss?

Just as a little warning, it's pretty graphic! But, let's dive in!


About the Creator

Emily Marie Concannon

I am a world nomad with a passion for vegan food, history, coffee, and equality.

You can find my first novel on Kindle Vella here: :) I appreciate all your support and engagement! :)

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