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By Richard P. Saller

The determine of the Roman father has ordinarily supplied the development of patriarchy in eu suggestion. This publication exhibits how the social realities and cultural representations diverged from this paradigm. Demographic research and laptop simulation show that earlier than maturity such a lot Romans misplaced their fathers by way of loss of life. shut studying of Latin texts finds Roman fathers as dedicated and loving and never harsh exploitative masters of slaves. The demographic and cultural contexts deepen our realizing of the way the patrimony was once transmitted.

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Patriarchy, Property and Death in the Roman Family

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Often based on less than complete remains, estimates of age do not always have the scientific certitude that they may appear to have. 26 In view of these problems, Parkin's pessimism about archaeology providing solutions to demographic questions seems justified. Egyptian household census data. 28 Using a fresh reading of the papyri by Bagnall, Frier has presented a thorough and sophisticated analysis of the census fragments. 30 Although the body of census data was not influenced by biases of commemorative selection, it is problematic in other respects.

22 Indeed, given the limited circle of curial families in small 18 19 20 21 22 Duncan-Jones 1 9 9 0 : 9 4 . In fact even this approach requires that the local elite of Canusium k n o w and accurately represent their age w h e n standing for the quaestorship. Parkin 1 9 9 2 : 1 3 7 - 3 8 . Frier 1 9 9 2 : 289, points out that the use of M o d e l W e s t tables rather than M o d e l South would yield a somewhat higher estimate of life expectancy. Duncan-Jones 1 9 0 0 : 9 4 . T h e iterated quaestorship (IL5 5365) probably w a s exceptional; however, career inscriptions listing a series of higher magistracies without a quaestorship are not unusual {US 3742, 6659, 6662, 6665, 6744, 6745, 6747).

Spain and southern Italy are exceptions to this distribution: these areas exhibit no marked shift from parents to husbands, 56 57 58 A s Frier has d o n e for Roman Egypt in Bagnall and Frier 1 9 9 4 : figs. 2. W r i g h t s o n and Levine 1 9 7 9 : 47, give some examples. O n longer term changes in mean ages at first marriage in England, see Wrigley and Schofield 1 9 8 1 : 255. Newell 1988:96. Death, marriage and birth 37 because parents seem to have been the culturally preferred commemorators, disappearing at a gradual rate that can be best explained by their death (a feature also found in dedications to men of these areas).

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