The origin and significance of the wedding ring is much disputed. One school of thought maintains that the modern ring is symbolic of the fetters used by uncivilized peoples to tie a bride to her husband’s home. If that is true, today’s double ring ceremonies fittingly express the recent equality of the sexes.
The other school of thought focuses on the first actual bands exchanged in a marriage ceremony. A finger ring was first used in the Old Kingdom of Egypt, around 2800 B.C. To the Egyptians, a circle, having no beginning or end, signified eternity – for which marriage was binding.
Rings of gold were the most highly valued by wealthy Egyptians, and later Romans. Among numerous two-thousand-year-old rings dug up at the site of Pompeii is one of a unique design that would become popular throughout Europe centuries later, and in America in the ‘60s and ‘70s. That gold marriage ring which has survived to this day (of the type now called a friendship ring) has two carved hands clasped in a handshake.
There is evidence that young Roman men of moderate financial means often spent all their money for their future brides. One Christian priest, writing in the second century A.D., observed that “most women know nothing of gold except the single marriage ring placed on one finger.” In public, the average Roman house wife proudly wore her gold band, but at home, according to the priest, she “wore a ring of iron.”
In earlier centuries, a ring’s design often carried meaning. Several Roman bands which exist today bear a miniature key on them. Not that the key sentimentally suggested a bride had unlocked her husband’s heart. Rather, it symbolized a central principle of the marriage contract: that a wife was entitled to half her husband’s wealth, and that she could, at will, help herself to a bag of grain, a roll of linen, or whatever rested in his store house. Two millennia would pass before that civil attitude would reemerge.
I have several questions and would like to make sure if my thought is correct or not.
#1 Does is much disputed mean “there are currently many arguments and discussion about that?”
#2 Does One school of thought and The other school of thought mean a group of people having the same opinion on one issue? In this case, there are two groups having the opinions about the origin of the wedding ring
#3 Are bands finger rings in this case?
#4 Does which in for which suggest eternity? So dose it mean “marriage was binding for eternity?”.
#5 Why is one of a unique design not “one of unique designs?”
#6 Is “That gold marriage ring has two carved hands clasped in a handshake” “That gold marriage ring has two carved hands which are(will be) clasped in a handshake?”
#7 Is the expression In earlier centuries common? Probably in this case, it means Roman era but why earlier, compared to what?
#8 What does would mean in “Two millennia would pass before that civil attitude would reemerge?”
I think the first would mean the sentence “Two millennia will pass before that civil attitude reemerge” become past tense. Seeing from the point of past, it happened in the future. I mean, I think you can write it as “Two millennia had passed before that civil attitude reemerged?”
Why is the second would used? I think it is wrong because in the adverbial clause you cannot use the future will even for expressing future things.