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The Bride Trade In Ancient Babylon.

Once a year in every village it was customary to summon all the girls of marriageable age and gather them in one place. Crowds of young men surrounded them, and a herald made each girl stand up one by one, and the sale of brides began.

First the prettiest girl of all was put up for sale. Then, when she was sold for a lot of money, the herald would call for another, the next prettiest one after her... The very rich Babylonian bridesmaids would vyingly try to add to the price and buy the prettiest girls...

After the sale of the most beautiful girls, the herald ordered the ugliest girl or the most crippled to stand and offer her as a wife for the least amount of money, until someone would take her with the least dowry. The money was raised from the sale of beautiful girls, and in this way the beautiful girls married off the ugly and crippled girls.

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