11 Feb 2020
'In actuality, husbands are not only subordinate to their wives, but also subordinate to their concubines.'By Author Douglas Galbi: Concubines rank lower than wives in most societies’ social structure. But what about men’s status? The learned and eloquent ancient Roman orator Cicero described the desperation of husbands suffering from their wives’ abuse. In early-eleventh-century Baghdad, the rich merchant ibn Jumhūr had to endure torrents of abuse from his concubine Zād Mihr. In actuality, husbands are not only subordinate to their wives, but also subordinate to their concubines.
A coherent medieval collection of prayers spanning all stations of society documents the struggle against men’s subordination to their concubines. The collection begins by acknowledging the failures of all:
Let us pray for every status in the Church!
All have gone astray. Together they are made hurtful. There is none who would do good, no, not one.