I started reading Plutarch's Lives, beginning with Theseus and Romulus. So far I learned that (according to Plutarch) a husband carrying his new wife over a threshold derives from a Roman tradition. It is intended to commemorate a time when Romulus was first settling Rome and needed more wives for his citizens. He lured Sabine citizens to a sporting event, then at a signal Roman men captured all the Sabine girls that were present and carried them away to be their wives.
According to Plutarch, in exchange for being forced into marriage with strangers, these Sabine girls were not required to perform any household labor apart from spinning. Apparently this was considered a fair deal, and says a lot both about the sensibilities of the time and how important spinning was!
@kyle Very interesting. I'll have to check it out myself. I hadn't heard that about the spinning before. For me, Plutarch's Lives and Sabine women always remind me of the movie 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers'. Anyone else?