ROMAN FAMILY AND TRADITION. DONE BY: Axel María José Celina Hong Jung. MENU. MARRIAGE. FATHER. MOTHER. FAMILY. CHILDREN. SLAVES. SOURCES. FAMILY.
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The family came first for the Romans, before all other obligations. Roman families were very diverse. The Basis of Roman civil law was the familia, a group consisting of a head, the paterfamilias, and his descendants in the male line. Wives, unmarried children and slaves, all under the guardianship and control of the paterfamilias, were also part of the familia.
A Roman emperor with its family.
Marriage is the association of a man and woman. A Roman husband and wife came together in order to lead their lives in common and to produce children. Marriages were arranged between the bride's father and her husband to be. There were three types of marriage in ancient Rome; by usus (cohabitation), by confarreatio (religious ceremony), and by coemptio (purchase).
A Roman couple.
The formal head of the legally recognized family, the paterfamilias, was the oldest surviving male ascendant, and his authority over his descendants lasted until his death. He had the power over everyone and everything in the home. This power was legally recognized. If any member of the family behaved in any way that he considered exceeding the boundaries of proper behavior he had the power to punish the offender. Though the paterfamilias had the authority to do all of these things, if he inflicted terrible punishment or wasted family property, his reputation would be ruined.
The mother didn’t really have time to think much about her life. Her husband made all the major decisions, just as in any marriage. But she was still responsible for running the household and managing the slaves. And then, there are the children. A lot of mothers died in childbirth. Only lucky ones survived.
Mothers had to teach their girls the skills they’ll need when they marry – spinning, weaving, preparing food, and organizing the slaves.
A Roman woman.
Children sons were preferred over daughters. One old law states that fathers had to raise all of their sons but only their first daughter. Girls had the feminine form of their father's first name followed by the rest of the father's name in the genitive case showing possession. Right after a child was born it was laid at its father's feet and if the father took it into his arms, it was his and became part of the family. Otherwise the child would be disowned and left on the street to die or to be taken by slave traders.
Without slaves, the wealthy of Rome would not have been able to lead the lifestyles that they wanted to. They were people who were frequently captured in battle and sent back to Rome to be sold. However, abandoned children could also be brought up as slaves. A slave could only get their freedom if they were given it by their owner or if they bought their freedom, a virtually impossible task. If a slave married and had children, the children would automatically become slaves.
A Roman slave working.