Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Mater familias
(924 words)

1. Definition and basic characteristics

The term “house mother” (taken from Latin mater familias) was in widespread use in early modern Europe, primarily in Protestant normative texts and literature (including in marriage- and funeral sermons and in the so-called Hausväterliteratur (“pater familias literature”). In all European countries, the role of the mater familias, complementing that of the pater familias (Pater familias), was inextricably linked w…

Cite this page
Fuhrich-Grubert, Ursula and Ulbrich, Claudia, “Mater familias”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 18 November 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_020734>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801



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