POLYANDRY. As a rule, throughout the south and east of Asia, woman is monandric, living with one husband, but there have been polyandrists in the same region from the most ancient times till the present day. It has been supposed by some writers that polyandry was peculiar to no division or race of mankind, but was a phase at one stage of the development of every race. It prevailed amongst the Jews and Arabs, among the Spartans within historic times, and among the Celts of Britain in Cmsar's time. As a rule, in India, the population are monandrists and monogamists. But both polygamy and poly andry are met with. From the most ancient times, we read of the existence of forms of poly andry amongst various nations, wide apart the one from the other. It still prevails in modified ways in Tibet, in the Himalaya, amongst some Dravidian races in Southern India, and in Ceylon amongst the indigenes, probably also a Dravidian race. It is said to be followed in parts of Africa, and also in North America. Humboldt found it common in the island of Lancerota, one of the Canaries. Polybius (book iv. chapter iii.) tells us that the Arcadians, in order to smooth and soften their rough and stubborn dispositions, ruled the study of music and dancing, and appointed frequent festivals and sacrifices, which both sexes were obliged to celebrate together, the men with women, and the boys with virgins. Aristotle, followed by Polybius (book xii. ex. ii.), mentions that among the Locrians of Italy all nobility of ancestry was derived from women and not from men. One hundred noble families of the Locrians seem to have migrated into Italy from Asia Minor, along with some of their women, and only the descendants of these women were reputed noble and regarded as descendants of tha hundred families. It was from these hundred families that the hundred virgins were taken by lot, as the oracle had commanded, and were sent to. Troy. They had amongst them an institution whickthey had adopted from the people of Italy, ain6ngst whom they were mixed. At the time that they drove the Sicilians out of this part of Italy, the latter had a custom of appointing a young man to lead the procession in their sacrifices, and he was always chosen from the noblest and the most illustrious of their families. But instead of a young man, the Locrians appointed a virgin for the office, because nobility among them was derived from women. The one brother after another succeeding to a widow, among the Jews, alluded to in the question of the Sadducees, may have the relation to the Asiatic polyandry that a normal state has to an abnormal. Indeed, we read in ancient scripture of the son succeeding to or taking his father's wives; a practice which reached a height in Solomon's time. And Marco Polo tells us that amongst the Mongols, in the time of Kablai Khan, brothers took deceased brothers' wives, and sons the wives of their fathers, their uterine mother excepted. In the west, Cmsar
(lib. v. ch. xiv.) says of the Britons of his time, Uxores habcnt dein duodenique inter se com munes, et maxinie fratres cum fratribus, et parentes cum liberis. Sed si sunt ex his nati, eorum habentur liberi a quibus primum virgines qumque ductm sunt." Ten and even twelve have wives common to them, and particularly brothers brothers and parents among their children ; but ir there be any issue by these wives, they are reputed to be the children of those by whom respectively each was first espoused when a virgin.' And it may be that the ' bundling' is but a partial continuation of another social custom of the ancient Britons, who often contracted condi tional marriages, a practice largely followed by the Swiss at the present day. But Dr. Vaughan, in his Revolutions in English History (pp. 97 and 98), questions if Cmsar's knowledge of the Britons was such as to warrant his making that statement. He grounds this scepticism on his belief in the natural instincts of barbarians which operate as powerful safeguards of the chastity of women, and on the fact that among the Britons, according to Pomponius Mela, iii. 2, women were held in high estimation, shared in the honours of priest hood, had the gifts of inspiration, prophecy, and of working miracles, and, like Boadicea and Cartismandua, ruled in failure of male descent. , He notices the silence of Diodorns and Strabo as to the custom of polyandry, though both were familiar with what Cmsar had written ; and he mentions also his disbelief of the statement of Xiphiline, who attributes the usage imputed to the Britons by Cmsar to the Caledonians in the time of Sevens. Dr. Vaughan also disregards the author ity of Dion Cassius, who wrote two centuries later, in which a British woman is made to say in defence of her countrywomen, that they only did openly with their equals what the Roman women did secretly with their inferiors. The high feel ings of the Britons on the purity of their women', he considers established by the fact that it was the wrong done to the chastity of the daughters of Boadicea that filled the cup of indignation among the Britons to overflowing ; and the state ment of Tacitus, that it was the scandalous pro ceeding of Cartismandua, in marrying beneath her rank, that helped to produce such disaffection among her subjects as to compel her to fly to the Romans for protection. But when discrediting Cmsar as to the Britons, and Xiphiline as to the Caledonians in the time of Severus, from the disaffection produced by the marriage of Cartis mandua beneath her rank, Dr. Vaughan was evidently not aware that the same would result were a Nair woman of the present day to consort with an inferior.