The Roman Family A Man’s World Focus At the end of this presentations you should be able to identify the members of a Roman family. You should know that freedmen become clients of their masters who then become their patrons. You should know about the basic education of children. The Familia The Roman family or familia included more than the parents and their children. It also included the slaves, freedmen and other clients who were under the control of the pater familias. This highest ranking male legally was responsible for every member of the family. Pater Familias •The highest ranking male •Legally was responsible for every member of the family. •Owned all of the property, •Made the decisions about the family •Acted as the family priest and judge. •Could deny a child was his by refusing to acknowledge it •Could decide to punish, adopt, sell or kill a member of the family. Pater Familias...the end •He retained his power until his death. •At that time any married sons would at that point become the pater familias of their own families. •The widow, daughters and unmarried sons would be placed under a pre-determined guardian, perhaps another male relative. **So, a widow could be placed into the family of her oldest son! ** Slavery for all •Slaves were an instrumental part of the Roman society. •Not all Romans liked slavery but accepted it as a law of man. •Romans enslaved anyone that they conquered. ***Thus, any ethnic group could be a slave, unlike slavery with which you may be familiar.*** •Romans could sell themselves into slavery if a family was extremely poor. •Slaves could also be married, although the marriage was not legally recognized plus any children were still the property of the master. • Another contrast to slavery in other societies is that Roman slaves could hope for freedom. Freedom for many •Slaves were often freed upon the death of their master •Some received their freedom as a gift for exceptional service •Some bought their freedom outright. ***Yes, they could but it. Roman slaves could earn a small amount of money as they worked. They could use the money to buy the freedom of loved ones as well.*** •Once a slave was freed, he (or she) became a freedman. Tombstone of a freed couple. Freedmen •A Freedmen did have limited citizenship. •They could not ascend to the senator and were looked down upon for having been a slave in social circles. •The children of freedmen had full citizenship and were neither indebted to the father’s former master nor limited to the rank they could achieve. Freedmen are Clients •A freedman was still part of the familia and as such under the control of the pater familias. •Freedmen were also still indebted to their former master as a client. •Clients relied on their patrons for advice about politics, careers and finances. •Patrons relied on clients for political and moral support. •The larger a man’s family, including the clients, the larger his status. •Therefore this new patron/client relationship benefited both the former master and the new freedman. The Ladies •The wife of a pater familias was known as a mater familias. •Status was obtained through the virtue of being a dutiful wife and a good mother. •She was responsible for the running of the house. •She had few rights •She had citizenship, but it was in title only. ***She could not vote since she could not serve in the military or pay taxes***. •Women remained under the rule of their father or husband. •When they married, they family provided a dowry. Divorce •Women who failed to produce an heir could be divorced. •Upon a divorce, the dowry was retained by the woman. •Upon divorce, children were retained by their father. Dowries were often placed in chests. Children •Children were a reason to get married; but it was the male child who could be the heir and was favored. •A child was named about 8 days after it was born. (high infant mortality) •A father acknowledged paternity by picking up the child at the naming ceremony. •If he did not pick up the child then he had no legal obligation to it. •Unwanted children could be exposed (Left out in the elements) ***Unwanted because they had a deformity or even for being a girl!*** •Also at the naming ceremony, a child was give a bulla, or good luck charm. ***The bulla was made of leather, wood or metal and was filled with items to bring luck and ward off evil sprits. *** Nannies and Mannies •The wealthiest Roman families would have nurses to care for infants. •Later a male slave, called a paedogogus, would accompany the child to school, or anywhere else tending to his studies and manners. •There was no public education, thus a child’s education was only as good as its family could afford. •Girls were generally taught at home, since their education focused on how to run a household efficiently. •Girls in very wealthy families whose father favored education might have received a basic education similar to that of a boy. A Boy’s Education •School was held at the home of the teacher or in public places. •The richest families hired a private tutor to come to them. •A rhetor would teach the art of public speaking to the wealthiest boys. •Boys of the most wealthy families received a basic education or reading writing and arithmetic. •Other subjects considered essential for a future career in the military or politics included literature, music, astronomy, philosophy, rhetoric and oratory. •If it could be afforded, next was a grammar school with Greek and Latin. •The very wealthy might also send the son to Greece to study. In the End The Roman family was the basis for the Roman society. The familia was headed by the pater familias and included the wife, children (even if grown), slaves, freedmen and other clients. The pater familias had absolute power and legally owned everything within the family. The wife saw to the house and children. The children were named several days after they were born and given a bulla to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. If they were born into a wealthy family they might have a nurse, a paedagogus and a top education. Assignment Create a Power Point (you may use another similar program). Your slide show should include your family members, those people who live in your home and how they are related to you. Also include a slide on family dynamics...how your family interacts. If you live with both parents, who does what? Who makes the decisions? Does one parent complete certain tasks regularly or do your parents take turns. If you live with one parent, do the children or other family members help out? Lastly include a slide that would be your bulla. You will want to include objects (words, colors, numbers, pictures) that you feel bring you good luck.