The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

Valentine’s Day: A celebration of romance and relationships

By: Kate Powell

Some love it, others dread it, but one cannot help that Valentine’s Day is a multibillion dollar holiday to honor romance and relationships.

Although the origin of the holiday is clouded by legend, there still exist key points that have led to our celebration of the holiday as we know it today.

According to, Valentine’s Day was named after a patron saint, St. Valentine.

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Valentinus, according to legend, was a priest in third-century Rome who was martyred for defiance of the Emperor. In a time when marriage was forbidden, Valentinus proceeded to marry lovers despite the foreboding consequences. In the end, he was discovered and put to death sometime during the month of February.

The first valentines, according to theories, can be traced back to a Roman prison where Valentinus, awaiting his death sentence, sent a note to the jailor’s daughter, whom he had fallen in love with. The note concluded with, “From your Valentine.” Sound familiar?

Some believe Valentine’s Day is a time for hopeless romantics to shine.

“V-Day is your chance to go big or go home,” said University of Akron junior Ryan Redman.

For many others, Valentine’s Day is found to be overrated and too commercialized.

“It is money for the stores,” said UA sophomore Adrienne Watts. “I think every day should be special with the person you love, not just one day out of every year,” Watts added.

UA students agree that it is not the day that counts, but the relationship behind the romance.

A successful relationship, according to the University of Akron’s Dylan Irvine, is one “where you can be yourself with the other person.”

In honor of Valentine’s Day, let us pay homage to some of history’s most iconic and successful couples.

Cleopatra and Antony

The couple that could have provided inspiration for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Cleopatra and Antony is the ultimate tragic couple.

Cleopatra was the last Pharaoh of Egypt who reigned during the uprising of the Roman Empire. She was loved by her people and was a favorite amongst politicians.

Tensions were high between Egypt and Rome, due to the quickly expanding empire. Marc Antony, a Roman general, fell in love with the Pharaoh while traveling through Egypt on a military campaign.

Despite pressing political objections, the couple wed in 36 B.C. However, their happiness was cut short. While Antony was away in battle, he received word that Cleopatra had been killed. Unable to live without her, he took his own life.

Egypt’s forces were defeated by the unstoppable Roman legions, and after receiving word of Antony’s death, the devastated Cleopatra locked herself in her chambers with an Asp, the world’s deadliest snake. While the Romans ravaged the palace, they found her dead.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh

This year, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is celebrating her 60th year on the throne, making her the longest ruling monarch in over two centuries. She has been a strong, revolutionary ruler who, according to, modernized the monarchy. So what is the key to her long-reigning success?

Prince Phillip, the husband of the Queen, has long remained in the shadows, allowing her to maintain her independent image. However, through scandal and serenity, the Duke of Edinburg has remained loyally at her side for over 65 years.

When Princess Elizabeth was merely 13 years old, she fell head-over-heels for 18-year-old Phillip at a wedding. Afterwards, they exchanged letters throughout their teenage years and carried out a controversially secret engagement.

After obtaining permission from her father, King George the VI, the couple married amidst a war-stricken Europe in 1947. Despite controversy, the tragedy of Princess Diana and the toll of running an empire, the couple has been inseparable. Together, they illustrate the power of marriage and continue to be the iconic couple of an age.

Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal

For those who don’t believe in love at first sight, think again. Shah Jahan, an emperor of India in the 1600s, was walking in the Meena Bazaar when his eyes met Arjumand Banu, a Muslim Persian princess. He was 14 years old and she was 15 years old.

Five years later, they were married. Banu was the love of his life, and never left his side. When Jahan became Emperor, he changed his beloved wife’s name to Mumtaz Mahal, meaning “Jewel of the Palace.”

However, just 19 years after they were married, Mahal died from complications during child birth. In memory of his beloved wife, he built India’s most sacred building, the Taj Mahal, or “Temple of Tears.” Talk about grand gestures.

Prince William and Princess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton)

Anyone who has watched the news already knows quite a bit about Great Britain’s famous newlyweds.  However, they still remain, and always will be, the icon of modern fairy tales.

The couple met at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Prince William had a terrible crush on Middleton, and when he got wind that she would be modeling in a fashion show for charity, he had no hesitation in splurging for the $200 front row seat.

That night was the beginning of a relationship that has ended in the greatest marriage of our time. For the next eight years, the couple would be on-again, off-again until finally in 2008 they came to terms with each other’s background, and more importantly, the responsibilities of a couple in the royal spotlight.

On a private vacation in Kenya, Prince William proposed to Kate and the rest is history. For those of us who watched, it was a wedding that we will never forget. Only time will tell if they live happily ever after.




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