The History of Rome - Table of Contents Paterfamilias

Originally called by the Latin title of paterfamilias, the father evolved into the patron of Roman Republican and early Imperial society. The father of the Roman family had the power over everyone and everything in the home. He could sell his wife or children into slavery and order their deaths at will. He could extend this power to his slaves and tenant farmers as well. The Roman father also had the duties of pietas, or offering proper sacrifices to the household gods at the right times. The family gods were the lares, or gods of the fields and the penates, or gods of the household stores and food supply.

The History of Rome - Part One 743 - 136 B.C.

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