In ancient Roman society, there existed three distinct types of marriages as per the archaic Roman law. The first was known as "confarreatio," a marriage primarily reserved for Patricians or the upper class of Roman society. This type of union was often accompanied by a ceremonial sharing of a cake made from spelt wheat, symbolizing a sacred bond.
The second type of marriage was referred to as "coemptio" or marriage by purchase. In this arrangement, the husband would symbolically buy his wife from her father, signifying a transfer of authority and ownership. While it might seem archaic to us today, it was a prevalent practice during that time.
The third type of marriage was called "usus," which was established through mutual cohabitation. According to this practice, if a woman resided continuously in her de facto husband's home for one year, she would be recognized as his legal wife. However, an intriguing aspect of this type of marriage was that if the woman absented herself from her husband's home for three consecutive nights at least once a year, she could avoid her husband establishing complete legal control over her.
It is important to note that these three types of marriages reflected the social and cultural norms of ancient Rome. While they may appear peculiar or even oppressive from a modern perspective, they played a significant role in shaping the marital institution during that period.