The Roman Family / Edition 1

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Overview

Unfaithful spouses, divorce and remarriage, rebellious children, aging parents--today's headlines are filled with issues said to be responsible for a "breakdown" of the traditional family. But are any of these problems truly new? What can we learn from the ways in which societies dealt with them in the past? Suzanne Dixon sets the current debate about the family against a broader context in The Roman Family, the first book to bring together what historians, anthropologists, and philologists have learned about the family in ancient Rome. Dixon begins by reviewing the controversies regarding the family in general and the Roman family in particular. After considering the problems of evidence, she explores what the Roman concept of "family" really meant and how Roman families functioned. Turning to the legal status of the Roman family, she shows how previous studies, which relied exclusively on legal evidence, fell short of describing the reality of Roman life. Many relations not recognized by law--the slave family, for instance, or the marriage of imperial soldiers--were tolerated socially and eventually gained some legal recognition. Other topics include love and other aspects of the institution of marriage, the role of the children in the family, how families adjusted to new members, and how they dealt with aging and death.
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Editorial Reviews

Greece and Rome.

One of the very best volumes in the Ancient Society and History series... The material is well presented and skillfully analyzed so as to expose the 'true' rather than the theoretical.

Booknews
Brings together what historians, anthropologists, and philologists have learned about the family in ancient Rome. Among the topics: family relations and the law, marriage, children in the Roman family, and the family through the life cycle. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801842009
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1992
  • Series: Ancient Society and History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 279
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
1 In Search of the Roman Family 1
Defining the Roman Family 1
Other Trends in Scholarship on History of the Family 12
The Myth of the Archaic Roman Family 19
The Function of the Roman Family 24
Conclusion 30
2 Roman Family Relations and the Law 36
The Accommodation of Social Rules within the Legal System 45
Slave Families 53
Soldiers' Families 55
Conclusion 58
3 Marriage 61
The Definition and Purpose of Roman Marriage 61
Marriage, Law, and the State: Historical Trends 71
Inside Roman Marriage: Feelings between Husband and Wife 83
Irregular Unions 90
Conclusion 95
4 Children in the Roman Family 98
Ancient Attitudes towards Young Children 98
The Function of Children in the Family 108
Relations between Parents and Children 116
Deliberate Childlessness in Marriage 119
Children of Varying Status 123
Conclusion 130
5 The Family through the Life Cycle 133
Family Ritual and the Life Stages 133
Change and Conflict within the Family 138
Attitudes towards the Old in the Roman Family 149
Conclusion 157
6 Conclusion 160
Plates 165
Notes 183
Chronological Guide to Roman History 241
Bibliography 243
Index 267
Books in the Series 280
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