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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: April ::
History of RINGS?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0264  Monday, 3 April 2006

From: 		Chris Stroffolino <
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Date: 		Sunday, 02 Apr 2006 14:03:13 -0800
Subject: 	History of RINGS? (re Merchant)

Hey, I was just thinking of something that hadn't occurred to me before 
in all my research on Merchant of Venice that I did a few years back for 
my 50 page diss. chapter on that play---

But maybe somebody here could help.

Does anybody know much about the history of the custom of rings for 
engagement and marriage purposes?

My girlfriend thinks it actually might have started as a Jewish 
tradition--If that's the case, it could lend more credence to some of 
the more "subversive" (and pro-Jewish) readings of that play...

But regardless of the implications of that (I know this Merchant subject 
comes up from time to time and gets very heated), I'm just curious about 
the tradition. Not just WHO started it? But when it was started, etc?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Chris

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