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By Suzanne Dixon

The Roman Mother, first released in 1988, lines the conventional Roman angle in the direction of moms to its republican origins, reading the various roles and the relative strength and impact linked to motherhood.

The value of the paterfamilias with his wide-ranging criminal rights and tasks is standard, yet less realization has been dedicated to the both attention-grabbing place and tasks of moms and the actual boundaries on their activities. the writer considers the criminal place of the mum, the prestige of the widow and her testamentary place; the reputable advertising of parenthood by means of Augustan laws; and the tasks of mom to little kids and vice versa, as they altered during the children’s lives. Literary stereotypes of perfect senatorial moms and of depraved step-mothers even have their half to play in studying the Roman view of motherhood, and the impression of such values at the process Roman heritage.

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De Amore Prolis) and pseudo-Plutarch(De Liberis Edueandis),both stressingthe moral educationof the young child and youth, give evenlessattentionto the mother'srole, as one might expectof Greeksources. 6. Pluto Cat. maio 20; Aul. Gell. pr. 23; Cic. Att. 12; Quint. Inst. Or. 6 pr. 7. g. Cic. Rose. Am. 53; Verr. g. ad M. Caes. 42 (57) (- Naberp. 53 (68) (- Naberp. 91) - very similar to the otherwise dissimilarlettersof Cicero to Atticus in the referencesto children. 8. 1-2 for CaeciliaMetella'sarrangementof her daughter's divorce and remarriageto suit the plansof her own husband,Sulla; Cic.

Augustus represented himself as reviving traditional morals but his attemptsto compel widows to re-marry were themselvesat odds with the long-standingRoman ideal of the univira, the woman who had only one husbandin her lifetime. g. GIL VI 13303; 31711 and see Frey 1930). The inconsistencybetween marital ideals and practice is a common one and modern parallels are easily found. The significancefor this study of the ideal of the univira is confined to any possible relationship it might bear to the image of the widowed mother who devoted herself to her children's interests.

Thus the child Pliny might have had a very different relationshipwith his nurse from that of the adult patron who bestoweda farm on her; and Cato's son might have played as a boy with the slave col/actei (fosterbrothers)who owed him respectin their adulthood;while adult children separatedfrom an aristocratic mother by marriage or military service continuedto pay her respectfuland affectionate visits. The mother'sposition within the upper classwould often have been enhancedby her widowed status and command of property.

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