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Lecture 3

Cla233 - lecture 3.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Michael J.Dewar

Cla233 – lecture 3, jan 15 th - rome was a patriarchy (rule of the fathers) o fathers owned their children like their slaves, only the father counted in the family o technically a child could be executed by his father, but culture changes over time o patria potestas, legal power of father over family o according to dionysius of helicarnassus (a greek historian on rome form mythical beginning to first punic war) romulus (the law giver of the romans) gave full power to the father over his son no matter what age or position o fabius maximus, approached his son (who was of a higher position than him) and ordered him to order hiself off the horse. - roman state did not intervene in personal lives, highly respectful of fathers in households - many kings (who were not roman) made it harder to make use of patria potestas - roman empire did not collect census info, hard to find evidence of roman family life o some evidence was complex but we could deduce info (death rates from cemeteries) o by the time you were 41 there was a 6% chance your father was alive - must be sensitive to what people were expected to say back in the day - ideal rooman house was the atrium house (atrium like high school), kind of like a family room - the sentimental relationships in families, gap between patria potestas and actual family could be large o fathers could be severe or indulgent o custom is often in conflict with law (most of the time the wife wore the pants but legally the husband did) - romans had special system for making sure that wife’s were under the partia potestas of their own father not husband o if she said husband is not nice then the father could remove his daughter from husbands house
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