Family and Familia in Roman Law and Life

Hardcover | April 1, 1998

byJane F. Gardner

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Roman families were infinitely diverse, but the basis of Roman civil law was the familia, a strictly-defined group consisting of a head, paterfamilias, and his descendants in the male line. Recent work on the Roman family mainly ignores the familia, in favour of examining such matters asemotional relationships within families, the practical effects of control by a paterfamilias, and demographic factors producing families which did not fit the familia-pattern. This book investigates the interrelationship between family and familia, especially how families exploited the legal rulesfor their own ends, and disrupted the familia, by use of emancipation (release from patria potestas) and adoption. It also traces legal responses to the effects of demographic factors, which gave increased importance to maternal connections, and to social, such as the difficulties for ex-slaves inconforming to the familia-pattern. The familia as a legal institution remained virtually unchanged; nevertheless Roman family law underwent substantial changes, to meet the needs and desires of Roman society.

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Roman families were infinitely diverse, but the basis of Roman civil law was the familia, a strictly-defined group consisting of a head, paterfamilias, and his descendants in the male line. Recent work on the Roman family mainly ignores the familia, in favour of examining such matters asemotional relationships within families, the prac...

Jane F. Gardner is at University of Reading.

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Format:HardcoverPublished:April 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198152175

ISBN - 13:9780198152170

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`For the social historian interested in gaining broad insights into the workings of Roman family law, Gardner's book offers many valuable conclusions ... The author's grasp of the complexities of her subject matter is impressive ... Gardner's analysis of cases cited in the Digest offersinsight into social realities by giving brief glimpses of real families caught up in complicated legal and personal scenarios ... historians of the Roman family will definitely wish to keep the volume in their home libraries as a reference tool.'Marily B Skinner, University of Arizona, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 10/02/99