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The master of a house among the Romans (see FAMILIA). Pater patrutus, the spokesman of the fetiales (q.v.). Pater matutinus, a special name of Janus (q.v.).
FAMILIA 100.00%

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The Latin name for a household community, consisting of the master of the house (pater familias,) his wife (mater familias,) his sons and unmarried daughters (filii and filioe familias,) the wives, sons, and unmarried daughters of the sons, and the slaves. All the other members of the family were subject to the authority of the pater familias. (For the power of the husband over his wife, see MANUS.) In virtue of his paternal authority (patria potestas), the pater familias had absolute authority over his children. He might, if he liked, expose them, sell them, or kill them. These rights, as manners were gradually softened, were more and more rarely enforced; but they legally came to an end only when the father died, lost his citizenship, or of his own will freed his son from his authority. (See EMANCIPATIO.) They could, however, be transferred to another person if the son were adopted, or the daughter married. A son, if of full age, was not in any way interfered with by the patria potestas in the exercise of his civil rights. But in the exercise of his legal rights as an individual, he was dependent always on his father. He could, for instance, own no property, but all that he acquired was, in the eye of the law, at the exclusive disposal of his father. The pater familias alone had the right of making dispositions of the family property by mortgage, sale, or testament.

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The Romans considered the master of the house (pater familias) the lawful owner of all the earnings of the members of the family under his control, whether bond or free (see FAMILIA). Whatever sum of money he gave to a grown up son or to a slave for his own use, was called the peculium of the latter. This gift could be revoked at pleasure, and could not be disposed of by will. Augustus first granted this right to soldiers, in the case of property won in war (peculium castrense), and Constantine extended it to that gained in a civil office (peculium quasi castrense).
WILLS 27.07%
GENS 20.34%
A family (in the widest sense of the word) descended on the male line from a common ancestor, and therefore bearing a commcn name. So long as the patricians were the only citizens with full rights, there could of course be no gentes not patrician. The oldest gentes belonged to the tribes of the Latin Ramnes and the Sabine Tities. Besides these there were the gentes belonging to the Alban families, brought to Rome by King Tullus Hostillus; and embodied by the other gentes in the community as a third tribe, the Luceres. These, the most ancient, were called gentes maiores as distinguished from the gentes minores, which included the plebeians whom Tarquinius Priscus raised to the rank of patricians. There were italics>in later times instances of plebeian gentes being raised to patrician rank: but these became rarer and rarer, so that the number of patrician gentes was very much reduced. During the last years of the Republic we hear of only fourteen still in existence, including thirty familioe (or families in the narrower sense). Many large gentes were divided into houses (stirpes) who had a common cognomen in addition to the name of their gens; thus the gens Cornelia included the Cornelii Maluginenses, Cornelii Cossi, Cornelii Scipiones, Cornelii Rufini, Cornelii Lentuli, Cornelii Dolabelloe, Cornelii Cethegi, Cornelii Cinnoe, Cornelii Sulloe. Among the plebeians, as among the patricians, the familia naturally developed into a larger circle of relationship; but gentes in the old sense were not formed by the process. Though the plebeian had his gentile name, and afterwards his cognomen, he had not the real ius gentilicium. All gentiles or members of a gens had a right to its common property, which included a common burial-place. They also had a testamentary law of their own which lasted on into the imperial period. When the member of a gens died without heirs of his body, italics>the next to inherit (as in the case of the plebeians) were the agnati, or gentiles on the male side, who could prove their relationship: failing these, the gentiles divided the inheritance. The existence of this law rendered it, in old times, necessary to obtain the consensus of the whole gens in cases of adoption and testamentary bequest. Another consequence of it was, that it was the duty of the gentiles to provide a curator for insane persons and spendthrifts, and a guardian for minors. Every gens had its meetings, at which resolutions were passed binding its individual members in matters affecting the gens. It was a decree of the gens Manlia, for instance, which forbade any one of its members to bear the proenomen Marcus. As every familia, whether patrician or plebeian, had certain sacrifices which it was bound to perform, so had every gens, as a larger or extended familia. All members of the gens were entitled, and indeed bound, to take part in the sacra gentilicia, or common worship of the gens. These sacra ceased to exist with the extinction of a gens: and if a member of a gens left it, this right and duty also came to an end. It should be added that certain public religious services were assigned to particular gentes, that of Hercules, for instance, to the gens Pinaria.

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Of these there was a great variety in the ancient world, some with, and some without, supports for the head and back. The latter sort (Gr. diphros, Lat. sella) were mostly low, and were supported sometimes on four upright legs, sometimes on feet arranged and shaped like a sawing stool (see cuts). The seat being made of leather straps, the chair could, in the latter case, be folded up and carried by a servant. A chair of this kind, made of ivory, was one of the insignia of the curule magistrates at Rome (see SELLA CURULIS). The official chair of the Roman magis trates was always without a back. Stools without backs were also used by mechanics, soldiers, and boys at school. The backed chairs ordinarily in use much resembled our modern chairs. They generally had a sloping back, sometimes arched out in the centre (see cuts). Chairs of this form were made for women and invalids; and the cathedra or professor's chair was of the same description. The Greek thronos and the Latin solium were seats of honour. They were lofty, and had footstools accordingly; the back was high and straight, the legs were upright, and there were arms at the sides. The Roman pater familias, when giving his clients their morning audience, sat in a solium. Seats were not always stuffed, but cushions were put on them, and coverings on the backs. Chairs were made of metal and ivory, as well as of wood.
SACRA 14.22%
The Latin term for all transactions relating to the worship of the gods, especially sacrifice and prayer. They are either sacra privata or publica. The former were undertaken on behalf of the individual by himself, on behalf of the family by the pater familias, or on behalf of the gens by the whole body of the gentiles. The centre of the domestic service of the gods is formed by the worship of the Penates and Lares. In particular cases recourse was also had to certain specified deities. Besides this, private sacra were attached to particular families; these passed to the heir with the succession and became a burden on him. Hence an inheritance without sacra (hereditas sine sacris) proverbially signified an unimpaired piece of good fortune [Plautus, Capt. 775, Trin. 483]. As the family had sacra, so also had the gens (q.v.), which had arisen out of the family by expansion. These were performed by a sacrificial priest (flamen) appointed from among the gentiles, the celebration taking place in his own house or in a special sacellum in the presence of the assembled gentiles. The sacra publica were undertaken pro populo collectively, (1) by the curioe, pagi, or vici, into which the community was divided, whence such sacrifices were called sacra popularia; or (2) by the individual gentes and societies (See SODALITAS), to which the superintendence of a particular cult had been committed by the State; or (3) by the magistrates and priests of the Roman State. The sacra of the gentes were with few exceptions performed in public, though the multitude present remained silent spectators; only in a few cases they took part in the procession to the place of worship or in the sacrificial feast.
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