Patriarchy, Property and Death in the Roman Family

Patriarchy, Property and Death in the Roman Family

Paperback Cambridge Studies in Population, Economy & Society in Past Time

By (author) Richard P. Saller, Series edited by Richard Smith, Series edited by Jan De Vries, Series edited by Paul Johnson, Series edited by Keith Wrightson


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  • Format: Paperback | 268 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 224mm x 22mm | 422g
  • Publication date: 20 February 2004
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521599784
  • ISBN 13: 9780521599788
  • Edition statement: Revised ed.
  • Illustrations note: 30 tables
  • Sales rank: 955,275

Product description

The figure of the Roman father has traditionally provided the pattern of patriarchy in European thought. This book shows how the social realities and cultural representations diverged from this paradigm. Demographic analysis and computer simulation demonstrate that before adulthood most Romans lost their fathers by death. Close reading of Latin texts reveals Roman fathers as devoted and loving and not harsh exploitative masters of slaves. The demographic and cultural contexts deepen our understanding of how the patrimony was transmitted.

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Review quote

' ... a remarkable book, impressive in its command of diverse materials and methodologies and certain to inspire further advances'. American Historical Review

Table of contents

1. Introduction: approaches to the history of the Roman family; Part I. Roman Life Course and Kinship: Biology and Culture: 2. Roman patterns of death, marriage and birth; 3. Simulations of Roman family and kinship; Part II. Roman Family and Culture: Definitions and Norms: 4. Familia and domus: defining and representing the Roman family and household; 5. Pietas and patria potestas: obligation and power in the Roman household; 6. Whips and words: discipline and punishment in the Roman household; Part III. The Devolution of Property in the Roman Family: 7. Strategies of succession in Roman families; 8. Guardianship of Roman children; 9. Dowries and daughters in Rome; 10. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.