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Celibacy has existed in one form or another throughout history, in virtually all the major religions of the world, and views on it have varied.Similarly, the Romans viewed it as an aberration and legislated fiscal penalties against it, with the sole exception granted to the Vestal Virgins.Classical Hindu culture encouraged asceticism and celibacy in the later stages of life, after one has met his societal obligations.
Later on both his wife and son joined the ascetic community and are mentioned in the Buddhist texts to have become enlightened.It was not well received in China, for example, where other religions movements such as Daoism were opposed to it.A somewhat similar situation existed in Japan, where the Shinto tradition also opposed celibacy. Richard Sipe, while focusing on the topic of celibacy in Catholicism, states that "the most commonly assumed definition of celibate is simply an unmarried or single person, and celibacy is perceived as synonymous with sexual abstinence or restraint." Elizabeth Abbott commented on the terminology in her A History of Celibacy (2001): "I also drafted a definition that discarded the rigidly pedantic and unhelpful distinctions between celibacy, chastity and virginity".), and other apostles and church members among the early Jewish Christians were also married: Paul's personal friends, Priscilla and Aquila (), who were highly regarded among the apostles, Ananias and Sapphira (Ap 5:1), Apphia and Philemon (Phil 1: 1).According to Eusebius Church History (Historia Ecclesiastica), Paul the Apostle, also known as Saul of Tarsus, was also married.