Shocking Family Law in Ancient Rome

• Shocking Family Law in Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome was different highly conserved within the family and great rigor to the place of women and children in the family. And yet the Romans worshiped the rules and laws, to receive and record them in large quantities. And some of the traditional and the official family law Romans may shock the modern man.

Shocking Family Law in Ancient Rome

The head of the Roman family was called Pater familias, the most senior representative of the masculine family. Only the father of the family were allowed to own land, and to represent the family in court and economic transactions. Even an adult man of forty was deprived of these rights, while he was alive, his father.

Any child born in the family becomes a new member of the family only after senior man recognized him. By tradition, the baby was placed near the family of his father's feet. If he took the child in his arms, he has a son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter. Unrecognized child is not considered a Roman citizen, even if it is not cast to die.

In addition, for a long time fathers have the right to sell their children and kill them. Even the mother of the child did not have the right then to demand vengeance. The child - the property of men, period. Temporary sale into slavery and murder, by the way, adjust the number of children in the family - even in ancient Rome knew that the fewer children it is easier to feed. Only contraception is not used. Why, if it is easy to get rid of the baby after birth?

But for the murder of his father he relied one of the most cruel executions. Patricide was blindfolded, taken out of the city, stripped naked and beaten to death with sticks. After that, we nailed in a barrel with a snake, a dog, a monkey and a rooster and thrown into the sea. Maddened animals attacked each other, and a man, goading him until he dies.

Shocking Family Law in Ancient Rome

The father also had the right to kill any man who caught during sexual intercourse with her unmarried daughter. Even though my daughter was thirty and she had love. If the father killed her lover's daughter, then she had to kill her daughter.

We can not say that the law does not protect children from the tyranny of fathers. In the first place, the laws of Octavian Augustus forbade the killing of children (it is already in the last couple of years BC). Secondly, the father had the right to sell the temporary child slavery is not more than three times. After the third time he was deprived of parental rights to that child, because no two sales are considered abuse. So enterprising dad sold the children take turns.

Recognized children are marked with a special Roman citizen amulets: bullae boys and girls lunula. This was necessary to ensure that any passerby could easily understand what children can be beaten and raped, and for any sue. And then you never know, went, razvloksya, and you drag to court or murdered on the spot. Unpleasant.

Shocking Family Law in Ancient Rome

Playing children. bas-relief

The age of marriage for the Romans began with 12 years for girls and 14 - for boys. To marry the boy, however, is not meant to become a full citizen. With this he had to wait up to 25 years, and if we remember the rights of fathers of families, and the even longer.

At the wedding, instead of kissing young shook hands. First, the tender was considered a sign of weakness for a man, and it should not have to show. Secondly, the marriage was not at all associated with love, it was a deal of two families. So shaking hands looked very logical. Europeans still do so at the conclusion of the transaction. Of course, marriage is officially a handshake was a sign of the unity of heart, but it is worth remembering that often the first time the couple had seen each other at the wedding - what is really there union. While traditional laws strongly enslaved women, wives still eventually learned to avoid them. For example, to become the property of the Roman thing, he had to own it at least a year. Women who did not want to become the property of the men had to run every year and hide from her husband three days. Well, yes, women were a thing. Because the law to them and acted.

In the most traditional times married woman was subject to the death, if anyone had seen her drunk.

Shocking Family Law in Ancient Rome

John William Godward. Roman matron. Peacock - a favorite bird of Juno, the patroness of married Roman women

Over time, the laws of Rome softened, science and philosophy have evolved and went forward, and falling in love did not seem something strange and unworthy men. In addition, it is much freer with sex life (men in it, however, from the beginning a little limited). One of the Emperors, Octavian Augustus, still did not like it, and he published a number of laws in order to strengthen families and restore traditional morality.

For example, the emperor cut short the practice of male fraud when some rascal married a woman who was taking her dowry, enjoyed with her in bed, and two years later under the false pretext of giving divorce (challenge that her rights were not) and return a woman to his father, leaving at all that she brought with her after the wedding. The emperor established a law according to which in case of divorce, the dowry was returned to the family home with a woman. However, it is not interested in protecting the wives, and the economic interests of the dough.

He also made a marriage legally binding on all men under 60 and women under 50 years of classes senators and knights. Men are thus forbidden to marry the daughters of freedmen in the name of the purity of the Roman elite blood. Bachelors limited rights, for example, they were forbidden to receive inherited any property. Married, but not recognized by the children received only half of the money bequeathed to them. However, the bachelors were not considered betrothed men, so many Romans fictitiously, for a time engaged to immature girls continue "waiting for" her age. By law, the engagement was considered valid exactly two years; Two years later torn one and declared another.

Shocking Family Law in Ancient Rome

A sculptural portrait of Octavian Augustus

Octavian Augustus very excited low birth rate. He is obliged to have children every free Roman under threat of penalty. It should be noted that at that time, the emperor began the struggle for procreation, in fact, Rome was, it's crowded. However, one of its laws in favor of the birth of children worked on the liberation of women from the power of her husband she became a free citizen, giving birth to a third child.

To encourage marriage, Augustus allowed boys and girls to seek a resolution of the magistrate if their fathers were against the wedding. In general, I must say, in ancient Rome, there were several kinds of marriage are regulated by different laws: cum manu (transfer of full authority over the woman from the guardian to her husband), sine manu (power over a married woman remained behind guardian) and concubinage (actual cohabitation in marriage without wedding). Cum manu marriage could be through the traditional rites or through the purchase of the bride. The latter form was very popular among the common people.

Only in the fifth century BC were made possible marriages between nobles (patricians) and the common people (plebeians). If this was the patrician wife (this was possible only with the wealth of the bride), she is still considered to be owned by her father. instead of her husband. In general for a long time fathers against their will could raise daughters and their husbands. Only in the second century BC, there was a ban on such manifestation of paternal authority, except in cases where the marriage fails and the father thus saving his daughter.

Some time released by the will of a slave, became the wife of his former master, he would like a Roman, to file for divorce, but Augustus freedwoman deprived of this right. And by the way, slaves. Slaves became possible at all to marry officially. But even under Augustus could not marry and recognize children by Roman soldiers. The family believed in Rome, deprives man of fighting spirit. Around this ban and the legend was born on Valentine's Day as a wedding for the affected soldiers with their favorite girls.