Brill’s New Pauly

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Manus
(730 words)

[German version]

Manus is used in Roman law in the sense of the ‘controlling and protecting hand’, expressing the family law concept of a relationship based on domination. Originally, manus may have described the hegemony of the head of the family ( pater familias ) not merely over his children ( patria potestas ) but also over his wife. Already in the Law of the Twelve Tables (5th cent. BC), however, paternal power is treated separately. The meaning of manus is accordingly restricted to the husband's relationship of power over his wife. Our best source for manus are the ‘Institutions’ of Gaius…

Cite this page
Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen), “Manus”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 04 March 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e721790>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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