Marriage and Divorce in Roman Society

Marriage and Divorce in Roman Society

This article explores the role of marriage and divorce in Roman society, with a focus on the motivations behind marriages among the patrician class. Financial and political considerations often dictated unions, with divorce being a common occurrence.

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About Marriage and Divorce in Roman Society

PowerPoint presentation about 'Marriage and Divorce in Roman Society'. This presentation describes the topic on This article explores the role of marriage and divorce in Roman society, with a focus on the motivations behind marriages among the patrician class. Financial and political considerations often dictated unions, with divorce being a common occurrence.. The key topics included in this slideshow are Roman society, marriage, divorce, patrician class, children, financial motivations, political motivations,. Download this presentation absolutely free.

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1. Roman Society Marriage, women and children

2. Patrician Marriage Main goal was the production and rearing of children , especially among the great political families of the late Republic political motivations often dictated unions. For example, Caesars daughter Julia was married to the much older Pompey to help seal the First Triumvirate in 60BC. Financial motivations played a key role in matchups. Marriages brought connected wealth between families. Divorce had become common, at least among the Patrician families, during the late Republic. This was not unusual and marriages were often broken up to satisfy political and financial deals. Divorce was devoid of stigma . In divorces, children normally remained in the custody of the father.

3. The Paterfamilias Paterfamilias were controlled by a male head of the household with no living father or grandfather. Paterpotestas , power, by the male head, over life and death of all family members, including slaves and some freedmen. Family courts dominated by the Paterfamilias could hand out death sentences, though this became rare. The Paterfamilias retained the right to accept or reject every newborn child laid at its feet. Dependents of a paterfamilias could number in the hundreds (and in the later Republic thousands). Roman politics in the late Republic depended greatly on these extended families for governing the empire, with slaves or freedmen taking on the role of civil servants.

4. Marriage customs In the upper classes (Patricians) in Rome, marriages were often arranged for dynastic reasons. Paternal (male) consent needed, at least for the first engagement. Banquet held; the man gave his fiance a large present and the future father-in-law promised a dowry in return. On the day of the marriage: o Bride and groom arrived at the house of the bride o Animal was sacrificed and marriage contract signed o Groom paid for reception

5. Roman Women Women barred from playing any role in public life, whether in war or peace. Women could play a powerful role behind the scenes. For example, Augustus wife Livia Women deemed unfit for military service. Womens voices were thought to lack the carrying power to make themselves easily heard in public spaces such as the Forum.

6. Women: Domestic Power Traditionally under a mans control, manu, first the fathers and then their husbands. The Roman matron (married woman) ran the household, controlling the domestic slaves and holding the keys of the house. The matron , by the age of 25 could manage property that she inherited independently. When the husband was away, a wife took control of family affairs. By the late Republic women often joined men at dinner (often acted as a hostess) Girls or women received less education than boys or men. However, this began to change around the 2 nd century BC, women became more literate and educated.

7. Women: Increasing Freedom Cornelia Gracchus, daughter of Scipio Africanus was among the first newly independent women. Cornelia took control of her six sons education a task traditionally reserved for the paterfamilias and selected the finest Greek tutors for them. First women in Rome to have held a literary salon, where poets, philisophers and politicians gathered. She is deservedly a pioneer of womens indepedence. By the 1 st century BC women were enjoying considerable freedom Augustus tried to restrict womens freedom in his restoration of public morality. Adultery had become a serious crime and women often lost half their dowry and could be prohibited from remarrying. Women would go to public baths at different times to the men and were restricted to high seats in the amphitheatre and theatre.

8. Women of Rome

9. Working Women Most women could never become empress, politician, or hold public office. Some women were able to become doctors (only small scale). Worked as bakers, pharmacists and shopkeepers either with or without their husbands. Main occupation was in the family home. In the late Republic women could own, manage and inherit property. Livia Drusilla (59BC AD29) Wife of Augustus Caesar. She gave Augustus invaluable support and stability. She also talked with Augustus on matters of political importance.

10. Children: Education and Upbringing Originally, children were taught by their fathers or paternal figure in the family. Education system was not formal and not open to all children. Girls education was almost non-existent beyond a basic level. Primary schools, mostly private, taught the three basic subjects; reading, writing and arithmatic. In wealthier families, a paedogogus , a slave tutor took care of the education of boys. Students rarely went on to higher education, where a rhetor taught the vital art of public speaking. The Senate discouraged the spread of higher education due to the threat it posed to undermining its power. Higher education involved learning about Greek philosophy and culture. Greek political and social systems were seen as inferior.

11. Roman Children

12. Chidlren: Coming of Age Between the ages of 14 and 19, the Roman male came of age, putting on a white toga virilis to mark his status as a full citizen. Visited the Tabularium (Records Office) with his family to be officially enrolled. Celebrated coming of age with a family banquet. In the Republic, young male citizens were liable for military service. There was a high infant and youth mortality rates in Ancient Rome so many did not make it to adulthood.