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November 21, 2014


Gender, Family and Relationships

Nuclear biological family was that of the father, mother and children
Like the Greek Okios, there is a reproductive core embedded in families to suggest that there is
a pattern in society for the nuclear unit to be surrounded by caring numbers of salves, ex-slaves,
and dependants
Sources refer to a household as well as the latin term familia which has a variety of meanings
FAMILIA a group of slaves/ex-slaves in a household; also means the nuclear family of parents
and children
DOMUS comes to replace familia; assumes increasing importance as referring to families and
households and the like but also involves the household as encompassing blood relations
through both the male line and that through marriage (female line) over familia which is more
Daughters and women came to have an important role the capacity of families over time as it
helps carry genes Romans will take names specially clan names (genes) both of their paternal
and maternal lines
Illegitimate children were subjected the power/control (potestas) of the father of the family
(paterfamilias) or that of the grandfather if still alive (oldest male ascendant was in control)
o A possessor of the potestas of the paterfamilias was known as the PATRIA
o Children were under his control both biological and legitimate whether living with
him or not
o Women could not adopt children
If wife was married to him in state of manus, then entered his paterfamilias
MANUS during marriage, a women was transferred (in Archaic Rome) into the potestas (manus)
of the father of her husbands familia, or the potestas, and gained the rights to her dowry and
her inheritance
Most wives were in the potestas of their own father or legally independent and entitled to their
own property
Fearsome powers of the potestas was for both the males and females was greatly softened by
the demographic of Ancient Rome
Many males/females by their late teens/early twenties would have lost either both their
grandfathers and fathers due to life expectancy (about 25 years; could live up to 45)
IUS VITAE NECISQUE power of life and death; potestas could put their children to death based on
an informal council of family members or friends
o In Archaic Rome to Republican Rome as well as into the 3rd 2nd century BCE


Three conditions need to be met for a legally valid marriage (Iustum Matrimonim)
1. Legal capacity both parties needed to be legal citizens CONUBIUM
Free citizens; cannot be slaves
Status of the child depends on the status of the mother
2. Reached the age of puberty
3. The consent of the relevant parties (the children/relatives)
Senators could marry free women
Soldiers could not marry slaves during service but could have marriage like relations after
honourable discharge
Pattern of late male early female marriage in aristocratic marriages over that of lower classes
From time of puberty (age 12) often before the age of menstruation
Fathers consent was required at all times, but sometimes children made the choice
o Woman Tullia found a partner which her father disapproved and took him as a husband
while her father was away
Women of a family took a decisive part in arranging their childrens marriage; consent of
marriage partners was required if they were legally independent and not under control of the
Betrothal was consisting of consent with the transferring of the dowry; no legal action for
breach of consent
Existence of a marriage was not dependant on a ceremony even though they often used it
Took the taking of the auspices, sacrifice, and a dinner at the girls house; sometimes was a
torch lit processions with obscene songs and the throwing of nuts to the crowd
Took to their Juno (the guardian spirit of every female citizen) akin to the genie (that of the
male) for conjugal relations (?)
In non-manus marriages (come to represent the majority of marriages) only the womans dowry
went into husbands possession dowry becomes full legal property of the husband
o Husband becomes the steward of the dowry and has control of it
o Goes back to women in disillusion of marriage
o Tend to be far smaller than in classical Greece (5-10% of estate value)
o There is abundant evidence of women owning their own property by the time of the
participate and could inherit and bequeath property
New wife assumed her duties as the materfamilies and as the matrona
MATERFAMILIAS an honorific term with less power (no potestas)
MATRONA had a religious aspect in wealthy families; held household keys, and supervision over
household slaves; lower class wives worked alongside husbands; shopped and carried water
There are funeral eulogies for both women and men
o For woman Turia the inscription states the ideals of marriages (was a univera)
UNIVIRA a woman who remains married to only one man during her entire life

Divorce was simple and common; could be done by either party (except maybe those of manus
marriages; paterfamilias could set the divorce of a child for a variety of reasons (needed verbal
Upon divorce, legitimate children went to the custody of the male

Birth control/Birth/Early Childhood

The censor in early Republic Rome asked each citizen of the census if he were married to gain
ideas of legitimate children have you married for the purpose of creating children to those
of senatorial/equestrian rank, presumably to those of lower ranks as well
Mortality and fertility were equivalently high (high pressure relation)
Scholars suggesting a model f the pop. which birth and death rates were around 40/1000
persons per year
25 years were the average life expectancy
GRR (GROSS REPRODUCTION RATE) was 2.5 3 meaning 5 - 6 children
o The average amount of daughters a woman hypothetically could give birth to if lived for
entire reproduction years (age 15 44)
o A stationary model which is neither decreasing or increasing needs a number of 2.543 to
maintain stationary state
o 0.5 % per anum needed to grow to double in 45 years corresponds to a stable
o The Roman population was stable as it grew at a modest rate of 0.5%/anum
o In 140 years or so the population is thought to have doubled, by 160 CE, the population
turned to 6 7 million pp. to 30 35 million persons
Exists evidence for birth control/contraceptives as found from writings
Parents and non-parents had three methods for prevention of stopping conception:
Contraception, Abortion, Infant exposure
Medical writers describe in the realm of contraception like vaginal ideals like a plug, alum, olive
oil in the vagina, or white led, or the use of spermacides, like cedar gum, olive oil, or certain
Ancient authors recommend intercourse for procreation either before or after menstruation
couples did not understand the menstrual cycle; to increase pregnancy, men were to avoid hot
baths before coitus
Procreation and pleasure were separated into different categories
Not so effective techniques include: magical amulets, holding ones breath, sneezing, praying
Hippocratic ideals of abortion include potions, jumping 7 times, insertions of sticks into the
Valery French suggests the dangers associated with abortion provoked the negative outlook of
Infant exposure was a reality that was widespread but not quite universal
The Jewish did not expose unwanted children were considered anomalies

By leaving children in some sort of place could hope that someone would pick up the child. The
infant would not die but would often be sold into slavery, or raised as a foster child
Folk traditions in the 2nd Century C.E, Sonarus who wore the Gynecology went back to the
Hippocratic corpus (5th century BCE 3rd century BCE). He recommends the presence of a
competent midwife who is caring and of good health, and not superstitious.
o Some midwives were highly trained individuals and conversant with medical sources as
o In the Roman East, midwives could earn a living as obstetricians, but in the west, they
were mainly of servile origins
o Delivery should take place in a large room with two beds. One for labour and one soft
bed for after
o The midwife was responsible for supplies like fresh olive oil, sponges, chair, pillow,
bandages, ect
o Were to encouraged dilution by massaging the stomach before moving woman to the
birthing chair with help of attendants
o The paturiant could help with expelling child with pushing as the midwife helped the
woman with breathing, getting the head out, cutting umbilical cord and removing
o After the baby was safety delivered, the midwife checked if the baby was healthy and
made sure the baby was fine to be kept for rearing
o Soranus said to sprinkle the baby with powder and washed with warm water
o The baby was reared by father if he picked up the baby
The baby was named on the Dies Lustricus and presented to the gods. (the 8th day of a female,
the 9th day if a male) due to high mortality, checking paternity
Romans saw childhood as distinct from other stages of life
Medical writers had their own problems and treatments
Celsus wrote that a medical authority states that children should not be treated as adults, and
with Soranus, pediatricians come into play even though pediatrics arent quite a thing yet
Puer senex a young male child who is signaled out and acts like an adult himself
The medical writers write a variety of medical children diseases like diherrea, cholera, anthrax,
epilepsy, dermaticus, tetanus, gann green, meningitis
Romans had a dozen gods and goddesses of children for the early life
o Three minor deities preceded over eating, three over walking, one over sleeping, one
over first words, one over crying, one over pain of growth
Egypt has proof of semi-professional wet nurses on a contractual service who would feed their
children as well as the children of family, and sometimes the children of the slave familias
Rome had a monument called the columna lactaria (breastfeeding column where they could
find wet nurses for hire for independent contracts
o The wet nurse cannot be drunk and crush their charges part of the contract which
must have made it a reality

Caregivers are not just nurses/family but especially in the urban regions, it overlaps with
the unofficial areas of where these people lived in apartment like regions, families are in
a constant state of mingling, and children could have caregivers who are not related to
No record of puberty ceremony for woman in Rome so thought that marriage marked the
transition of moving to womanhood from girlhood (sacrificed their toys)
The male transition was marked by a public ritual that marks above all the transition from
boyhood to manhood with a change of the boys relationship to the state would have a
ceremony where they set aside their bulla (a childhood amulet) and fringed tunic of his
childhood and took on the Toga Virilis of manhood which could have been a private or a public
ceremony on the festival of the Liberalia when young boys would have their firs ritual shave and
go in procession before returning home for a domestic sacrifice and have a party.
o The boy would serve his TIROCINIUM and could mark the freedom of the boy


Women enjoyed greater public visibility (as opposed to the out of sight out of mind ideal) and
had more powers

Social Transformations

Below the three elite orders (senators, equestrians and the emperor) came the free plebs, then
the slaves
The plebs lay between freeborn and freed, and citizens and noncitizens
A slave manumitted became a citizen but was banned from senatorial ranks and serving in the
In 212 CE, the law of Caracalla (211 217 CE), marks the law of citizenship in which the mass of
the free empire become citizens
o Would increase the tax base
As the distinction between victor and conquered became blurred, an emergence of social
classes showed up
In the reign M. Aurelius (161 180 CE) there comes an informal distinction between
the honestiores (elite) and humilores (the non-elite humbled persons)
By the 3rd century CE, there was a legal distinction put into place
By the early 3rd Century, soldiers and serving men are the majority of the honestiores, while the
rest of the populations are lumped together into the humiliores
There is an increase in the consolidation of property, which put pressure on the supply of
estates and the multitude of foreign invasions; the elite tended to have a variety of estates that
were geographically spread out
In terms of origins, the senatorial order remained unaltered but much of the effective power of
senators diminished as high administrative posts was transferred to the equestrians by the early
260s CE, and its rare to find senators in charge of the legions

Senators are not the leading lawyers or jurors, but mostly equestrians
The leading jurors are that of the pretorian prefect, who are increasingly important as judges.
The equestrians produce a variety of emperors (after Caracalla, the next emperor was the first
It became easier for experienced soldiers to become equestrians; many new equestrians were
from the militarized regions, but also came from the Anatolian peninsula, Italy, Gaul
Those burdens of the decurions increased as they became office holders
CURIALES the decurion ranks were referred to as this
The provision of water, roads, public games became obligations fixed by governors or jurors,
and any shortfall in local taxation had to be made up from the decurions
During the 3rd century CE and so on, participation on the town council was no longer a matter of
choice, but all those with the property requirement were compelled to become an office holder
Wealthy ex-slave freedmen (often priests) who were a featurehood in the beginnings of the
principate are still to be found deep into the 3rd century
At least 26 emperors from 235 284 proceeded; shows frequent change of emperors
The familia caesaris is the family of the emperors
There is an increasing of benefits given to soldiers
The coloni emerge in 234 CE, which is the decrease in populations lead to the increasing of
towns, leading to the colonate
Colonate is an important form of dependent labour which originates in the 3rd century CE
The owner of land would lease it out for about a 5 yr period to the colonis and the colonis
committed themselves to the annual payment of money to the owner, with a fixed percentage
to the owner known as share-cropping was advantage for when poor harvest was in place
In the 3rd century CE, there are longer termed leases to which the coloni is bound to his plot to
In the 4th century on, the honestiores consisted of heterogeneous social groups divided by
wealth, rank, and access to court/emperor
Apart from the emperorial house, the upper strata, consisted of the senatorial order, which as a
formality included those of equestrial rank, the officer core, administrative personnel,
o There is a moving up in the ranks, due to a variety of reasons
By the early 4th century CE, the equestrian order was absorbed upwards into the senatorial
order, and into itself, to be also squeezed downwards into the curiales
The lower strata composed of those involved in production, like craftsmen, smallholders, coloni
as well as groups w/ no property
Seasonal agricultural labours work on a de facto basis, due to domicile and occupation, and the
compulsory demands for payment and taxes
There is no distinction in the west between the free and unfree due to bondage to the soil for
colonaie slaves of the soil
THE THOODOSIAN CODA (5TH CENTURY CE [438 CE] ) refers to coloni as property only had the right
to buy, not to sell

JUSTINIANIC CODE (6TH CENTURY CE) purchase of the coloni belong to their owner; laws on
property were on slaves as well
o Both slaves and coloni were under the potestas of their masters
o While the slave could be free with their possessions, the coloni could be sold along with
the land on which they worked
o There is a variety in the formal status of agricultural workers
INQUILINI residential agricultural workers who have a bit more rights; retained the right to leave
these estates
Also those who worked for a set time and received a set wage after service
Slaves (chattel) continue to exist
In sheer numerical terms, the population also included barbarians, but they were not the
equivalent of slaves. Coloni constituted of the majority of the agricultural workforce. The
dependency of the coloni on the soil was found in the late emperial period
Constatine (in 333 CE) said that that person who took in a fugitive colonis must return them
Upon the sale of an estate, the coloni must stay with the estate; coloni could not marry outside
their social circle

The Circvs

The masses of Rome craved two things: subsidized food supplies (panem), and theatrical games
like combat, animal hunts, or the circus
Pantomime is extremely popular as a form of entertainment
Becomes connected to the emperor or representatives of the emperor
Becomes proxy of imperial power itself
Loved the circus and the chariot events take place in front of the great public events; an
aspect of festivals and their theatrical components
There were also religious processions w/ preludes to the circus or even gladiatorial games to
open/close the event
Circus are found throughout Rome
THE CIRCUS MAXIMUS the largest circus in the city of Rome
o Go back to the founding of Rome; sat below the imperial palaces of the Palestine hill
o Julius Caesar gave it the characteristic shape of two long lines connected by a semi-circle
o Under Trajan, the circus was completely reconstructed; its length was 650 m w/ a width
of 130 m. the race track area was 560 m long and 80 m wide
o The entire circus was ringed with stands after Trajans renovations w/ a seating capacity
of 170,000 persons
The floor had a bed of compacted earth meant to help the tract hold shape and allow for
chariots to ride over; there were 12 starting gates (carceres), and down the middle of the arena
was a long narrow barrier of marble and brick, known as the euripus with a variety of shrines
and monuments, meant to attend to the processions and religious events

There were turning posts, metae, which chariots rode around 7 times in a counter-clockwise
directions. Laps were counted by eggs, or dolphins, sacred to the gods. The middle column also
had a statue of Sibyls.
They took care to allow for equal competition. The carceres were arranged along a shallow arc
so every chariot traveled an equal distance to the break line on the right side of the euripus,
angled so the end line was positioned to the left of the arenas north-south alignment
When the race was began, the gate were lifted mechanically by an attendant using a catapult
like system with a lever as the gates were held in a state of tension; this system eliminated the
chances of bribery
Teams were drawn by a lot and waited for the dropping of a white handkerchief dropped by
either the Emperor or the representative in which the gates opened; the lanes were marked by
The break line was also marked by a line telling them they could move to any position,
preferably the inner lane which had the shortest distance. There were more accidents over
turns. Officials watched the entire race to ensure honest competition
Since the prestige over these races and wages were in place, the contests were carefully judged.
By the time of Caligula, 24 races daily were standard. At the end of each race, the victors were
awarded a crown and money
Unlike the Greek games where one raced for themselves, here the races were in the hands of
professionals, as business ventures who rented out the equipment. Each of the four factions
(reds, whites, blues, and greens) had their own stables/headquarters on the southern part of
the field; they had a host meant for the recruitment of hands, riders, and workers. Factions
competed against each other for title of the best. The contracts gave the charioteers a certain
amount of winnings which they could get rich off
DIOCLES was a famous rider of Portuguese birth whos career lasted 24 years and entered 2457
races and won 2052 of them. (in the 2nd century CE). These races had a parade which he was in
o Lived until retirement, unlike those who faced death or premature retirement
FLAVIUS SCORPUS won 2048 games for the Green faction before losing his life
All thought they were generally slaves, they could hope for emmanumition (like Diocles) and
some even became acquainted with Emperors, and their victories were of fortune and magic
Some used underhanded events like poisoning riders or horses
Nero had to crack down on charioteers as they fell into the habit of molesting, beating and
killing people passing by, something which Nero was also known for
Elagabalus (Emperor in the 3rd century CE) made a charioteer the chief of his night guard
Fanatical fans resorted to magic and curse tablets to help their favourites win
Horse dung was also used by fans to dissect the diets of their favourites
Races were always by the factions w/ three teams each, and fans favourited a faction, not a
By the 3rd century, riots arose due to the circus ie when a rider was arrested (there was 7000
killed in a riot when a rider was arrested for making homosexual advances toward a general; the
general was lynched and the mob captured)

There was a ban of the display of pictures everywhere but the circus
On the eve of late antiquity, the neo ideals of the middle ages were becoming apparents

Final Questions

Take note of date charts one on page 150 needs to be copied down
What was the minimum wealth qualification (of movable property and land) to be a senator 1
milion cestraces
What class of birth was Julius Caesar a patrician
What was not part patron clan of relationship the equality clan
The fabii clan is an example of a: genes
Laus refers to: good repute
The first succession of the plebs (beginning of the plebeian revolution) 494 BCE
What is the latin word for a legally married Roman citizen woman a matrona
Define in one short sentence the term premous pelus (first javelin) head/first/leading
centurian in Roman legion
What is the latin term for a home breed slave verna
In non-manus marriages (come to represent the majority of marriages) only the womans dowry
went into husbands possession dowry becomes full legal property of the husband
Upon divorce, legitimate children went to the custody of the male