Marriage, a fundamental institution in human societies, takes varying forms. This book explores the practicalities, the cultural assumptions, and the affective possibilities of marriage during the later Republic and the Principate (c. 100 BC - AD 235). It takes a fresh view of the interaction of law and reality within Roman marriage, and builds on the accumulation of legal scholarship in the field, as well as on the latest insights into Roman society. Through detailed examination of original sources (which are translated), Professor Treggiari shows that marriage affected a Roman woman's social status and might entail legal consequences. The socio-legal effect on a man as an individual was less striking but enabled him to father legitimate children, which was the main object of the institution. The creation of new family alignments, shifts in the distribution of property, and the birth of new generations were important for society as a whole. Professor Treggiari also examines the dynamics of the various influences on the choice of partner; behavioural norms; and the motives for divorce.