Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Pater familias
(1,071 words)

1. Definition

“Master of the house” is a translation of the New Testament oikodespótes (“lord of the house,” Matthew 10.25, according to Luther), rendered as pater familias in the Latin Vulgate. The phrase is also used as an equivalent for the ancient term oikonomikós (Aristotle, Xenophon), or Latin oeconomus, “householder”). The term alludes to the household as the central category of early modern European political organization. In a broader sense, it was also used to ref…

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Fuhrich-Grubert, Ursula and Ulbrich, Claudia, “Pater 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 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_020737>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721



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