Are you curious about polyamorous societies and how they function as civilizations? You've come to the right place! Here, we'll explore polyamorous civilizations throughout history and examine their relevance to the modern world. Grab your explorers' hats and embark on a fascinating journey through time.
Polyamorous Civilizations Table of Contents
A Brief History of Polyamorous Civilizations
Back in ancient Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, it was common for powerful men to have multiple wives and concubines. Polygamous relationships were seen as a status symbol and a way to build wealth, power, and alliances.
In ancient Egypt, pharaohs were known to have numerous wives and concubines, with some even having hundreds of them. This was done to ensure a strong dynastic lineage and reinforce royal authority. Aside from the royals, polyamorous relationships were also practiced by the upper class and nobility.
Ancient Greece and Rome
While ancient Greek and Roman civilizations did not embrace polygamy outright, extramarital affairs and relationships were relatively common - especially among nobles. They regarded these relationships as a way to achieve and maintain political and social status.
Before Europeans arrived in the Americas, many indigenous societies practiced a form of polyamory known as group marriage, where a man would have several wives, and each wife would have a husband of her own. These societies valued communal living and cooperation among all members.
Mormonism and Modern-day Polygamy
The Early Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
In the early days of the Mormon faith, founder Joseph Smith Jr. revealed a divine commandment to practice polygamy, creating the concept of "plural marriage." This doctrine was actively practiced among church members between 1843 and 1890, when it was officially discontinued. However, some adherents continue to practice polygamy today, often referred to as Fundamentalist Mormons.
New Age and Modern Polyamory Movements
New Age Spirituality
In the 1960s and '70s, New Age spirituality emerged, advocating for a freer lifestyle, more egalitarian relationships, and alternative family structures. This period saw the emergence of communes, many of which embraced polyamory as part of their communal lifestyle.
The Modern Polyamory Movement
Today's polyamory movement is more focused on personal autonomy, consent, and open communication, with the term "polyamorous" being coined in the 1990s. The contemporary polyamorous movement embraces the idea that love, intimacy, and commitment can be shared among multiple partners without hierarchy or exclusivity.
Lessons from Polyamorous Civilizations
- Power dynamics: Similar to monogamous societies, polyamorous civilizations highlight the importance of power dynamics in relationships and how they can shape individual and collective experiences.
- Flexible family structures: These societies demonstrate the need for flexibility and adaptability in relationships, showcasing that there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to love and family.
- Cultural and historical context: Examining polyamorous civilizations underscores the importance of understanding and respecting cultural and historical context as we view and discuss different types of relationships.
Polyamorous Civilizations Example:
Imagine a hypothetical society in which polyamorous relationships are the norm. People freely enter into and release from multiple committed relationships throughout their lives. Communal living is valued, prioritizing strong relationships and collaboration among all members. This society could draw on lessons gleaned from polyamorous civilizations, creating a culture of openness, flexibility, and respect for individual autonomy.
With this portrayal of polyamorous civilizations, we hope to pique your curiosity about different relationship constructs and inspire further exploration on the topic. Remember, human relationships are complex and multifaceted - let's continue learning and appreciating our diverse histories. Share this article with friends and dive into more captivating guides here on The Monogamy Experiment.