The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0264 Monday, 3 April 2006
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.
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