In order to fully understand the term bigamy that concerns us now, it is necessary to begin by discovering what its etymological origin is. In this case, we can state that it is a word of Greek origin. And it is the result of the sum of three elements of that language:
-The prefix “bi-”, which is synonymous with “two”.
-The noun “gamos”, which is equivalent to “marriage”.
-The suffix “-ia”, which is used to indicate a quality or an action.
It is called bigamy to the situation, position or state of an individual who is bigamist: that is maintains a romantic bond with two people simultaneously. In general, the concept refers to who, already being married, contract another marriage.
The etymology of marriage brings us to the Latin language: bigămus, a word that refers to who is getting married again. The most distant origin, however, is in a Greek notion that mentions a “Double marriage”.
For him Christianity, the only possible form of marriage is monogamy: the regime that does not tolerate the existence of a plurality of spouses. Bigamy, therefore, is not accepted by Christians.
From this belief, in countries of Christian tradition, bigamy constitutes a crime. It is conduct that is prohibited by law and is subject to legal conviction. In nations with other religious and cultural influences, on the other hand, bigamy is authorized.
The legislation in Europe and in AmericaTherefore, it only recognizes as a valid and legal marriage the one who respects monogamy. At African continent and in middle East, most countries allow bigamy or polygamy. Polygamy, as you can imagine, is the term used to refer to a person being married to several at the same time.
In Spain bigamy is a crime. Moreover, it must be established that it is qualified as such already in the Middle Ages. A good example is that in the Crown of Castile it was established that it was an adultery and, in addition, a serious attack against the institution and what marriage represented as well as against the fidelity associated with it.
Since then it has remained within the category of crime in the country, changing different aspects. This evolution has led to the fact that at present it is established in the Penal Code that bigamy is a crime against family relationships. Specifically, it is indicated that the person who contracted a second marriage being aware of the legal subsistence of another first will be punished. Yes, it will be punished with a jail term that can range from 6 months to 1 year.
Beyond the marriage contract, in colloquial language the idea of bigamy to name the condition of the one who has two romantic couples. Suppose a man named Edward leaves from Monday to Friday with Maria, while on weekends he has encounters with Luciana. Both women are unaware of the other couple’s existence, since Edward hides the situation. It can be said, given this reality, that Edward incurs bigamy.