There is a myth that Claudius Gothicus (or Claudius II, reigned 268-270) banned marriages which is connected to a legend about the origin of Valentine’s Day
It has been alleged that Claudius II banned marriages because too many people were dogging the draft. Only single men had to join the army. Valentinus, a Christian priest, was caught performing secret marriages. He was sentenced to death and executed on 14th February 269. While he was awaiting execution, young lovers sent him massages about how love is better than war.

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This story is highly unlikely. It would be very difficult to forbid everybody from getting married and it does not make sense as marriage had been seen as fundamental to society in every society in history. Moreover, military service was voluntary and the poor joined the army because it gave them a career and pay for 20 years and a pension in the form of the grant of a plot of land to farm or a considerable lump sum. There is no need to dodge military service if it is voluntary and, in additions to this, there are economic incentives in a military career. Furthermore, Claudius Gothicus spent his very short reign fighting incursions into the Empire by the Goths- hence the name Gothicus, which means winner against the Goths. He would have been too busy with war to pursue the alleged policy.

Valentine’s Day was established later, in 469 by emperor Gelasius. He established a holy day in honour of Valenitus to replace the pagan fertility rites of the Lupercalia and of Juno Fructifier which were very popular among the Romans

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