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Patriarchy, Property and Death in the Roman Family by Richard P. Saller

By Richard P. Saller

The determine of the Roman father has regularly supplied the trend of patriarchy in ecu suggestion. This e-book exhibits how the social realities and cultural representations diverged from this paradigm. Demographic research and desktop simulation reveal that earlier than maturity so much Romans misplaced their fathers through demise. shut examining of Latin texts unearths Roman fathers as dedicated and loving and never harsh exploitative masters of slaves. The demographic and cultural contexts deepen our realizing of ways the patrimony used to be transmitted.

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Aqueducts supplied Rome and other cities with fresh water, and sewers carried away some of the urban refuse. Yet Scobie has shown why the effects of these public works should not be overestimated. A crucial aspect of public hygiene to prevent the spread of disease is the removal of human waste, which carries disease. 41 The impact of a fresh water supply on mortality rates is impossible to assess from the ancient evidence. To make an informed judgment, it is helpful to turn to the experience of urban areas of nineteenth-century England, where " improvements in diet and public sanitation ...

A very few wives appear for men in their late teens (3 percent), a few more for men in their early twenties (11 percent), and then wives appear as a significant 52 53 Bagnall and Frier 1994: ch. 6 documents differences in marriage patterns in Roman Egypt between metropolis and village. I would expect differences between town and country also in the western empire, but am completely unable to document them. A n y chronological changes in marriage patterns that may have occurred are also beyond our documentation, because the funerary inscriptions used in this study are not dated.

For men a similar shift from parental to conjugal commemoration is observable, but a decade later in life. The early marriage pattern for men would seem to be excluded by the nearly complete absence of wives' dedications to men under twenty. Some of the inscriptions listed by Harkness giving length of marriage do point to a few cases of male teenage marriage, but such marriages must have been highly exceptional, and perhaps were specified for that reason. The intermediate pattern, with half of the men married by age twenty-five, also appears improbable, since in most regions no wife is recorded as a commemorator for a male twenty to twenty-four years old.

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