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[personal profile] aemilia
I thought I'd start this thing off by spending a little time on Edessan marriage. Marriage is the cornerstone of the Edessan family, a sacred institution and the beating heart of Edessan culture. Present them with any kind of legislature protecting marriage and they would sign it. Except for the ridiculous business limiting it to one man and woman, which is a concept as baffling as it is amusing to the Edessans.

How it works:

Husbands are the dominant partner in any marriage. That's how the gods intended it to be. The gods, however, weren't specific on what gender a husband should be. About 50% of the husbands in Edessa are female.

Wives can be either male or female, as well, and are obedient to their husbands.

As if that weren't complicated enough, Edessans are also polygamous. They use marriages to seal political alliances and business deals -- one marriage isn't going to cut it. The system also serves to keep wealth and lands within a family (rather than splitting them among sons, say).

There's no official limit to the number of wives a husband can have, but wealth limits how many they can support. The wealthiest can have anywhere between five and a dozen. The middle class generally have between two and four. The poor are practically monogamous.

A terminology note: the terms “husband” and “archon” are interchangeable for the most part. “Husband” referring to the dominant individual within a marriage and “archon” referring to the dominant individual in a household. An archon does not have to be married, but a husband does have to be the archon of a household (or immediate heir) in order to marry.

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