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Mater familias
(157 words)

[German version]

While the word pater familias indicates a clearly defined legal status, the designation of the Roman mother of a family is a social rather than a legal one. Originally, MF was the honorary title for a married woman living in the →manus (marital control) of her husband, with whom she had children. Her social position was, in contrast with (and in compensation for) her legal status ( Manus), a high one. She had precedence over all other members of the household apart from her husband. By the time the manus marriage had fallen into disuse, the term MF - literally the mot…

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Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen), “Mater familias”, 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 21 June 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e726170>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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