Essay Example on Today father figures are often viewed as the head of the Household

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Today father figures are often viewed as the head of the household They are considered to be the family backbone and generally have the largest influence when it comes to decision making However mothers are almost as equally as important in the family structure as their male counter parts This perception of fathers is not that far off from the role fathers played in Ancient Roman family structures where the father held the power and was also considered to be the head of the family But the roles of mothers and children vary between the Roman empire and present day Similar to today Romans recognized the ranks of father grandfather and great grand father If the great grandfather was still living he was the one that held the power of the family The oldest male was the one who was responsible for all of his direct descendants in the family He was considered to be the pater which might be different from the father However if the great grandfather or the grandfather are no longer living then the father becomes the pater Paters were always the one deciding the fate of their children or grandchildren Roman law permitted paters or fathers to have complete power over their sons and daughters especially when it came to things such as marriage 



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The pater was the chief when it came to decision making and handled almost all of the family relations however he did consult with his sons when it came to deciding things such as arranged marriages for his grandchildren Some of these relations included the family assets or businesses as well as the social status of his children Roman paters had the authority to arrange marriages for their children and this often occurred at a very young age If the pater or father arranged a marriage but later decided he wanted his son or daughter to marry someone else he held the authority to force a divorce upon the couple The fathers were also able to pick a life path for their son whether it be selling him into slavery or ending his life early for misbehavior All of these actions were permitted under Roman law and children often had no other choice but to be obedient and adhere to the path their fathers have selected Shelton Women in Rome were considered to be objects and were to belong to someone at all times The owner was typically her father but in the event of his death the duty was handed next to either her husband or another male relative selected by her father or husband The Romans Mothers held very little power in their families and were often the less celebrated at their birth compared to men While it is not explicitly mentioned it is assumed that men preferred that their wives bare baby boys as opposed to baby girls This is suspected because women had no role in society except to bare children Women were unable to support themselves through work and the children they bared did not carry on the family pater as those children would belong to their father Women also required a dowry when it came time for them to marry which was often viewed as a financial burden on the family Often times baby girls were left out in the open to either be claimed by someone passing by or suffer a death from starvation or exposure to the elements If a girl was allowed to live in 



Roman society they were expected to be married off at ages that we consider today as prepubescent Once married they were expected to bare children right away and produce an heir to their husbands family Roman women often suffered from many miscarriages in the path to motherhood and even if the baby was carried to term a mothers chance of survival during the birth was very slim In the event that a woman was able to bare multiple children those children would still be considered the property of their father and the mother is still property of her own father If her father was no longer alive then the woman now belonged to her husband If divorce ever came into a family situation children were to remain with their fathers and were very unlikely to ever see their mothers Shelton Death in families was a common occurrence in Roman society A variety of factors contributed to the high mortality rate including unsanitary living conditions or shortages of food Infant mortality was expected by parents and while many women had many children only a lucky few were able to survive until adulthood Parental death was also common often leaving many children to be orphans The death of either the mother or father allowed the widow to remarry and bring their children along into the new family Similar to today this was a concept of blended families consisting of step siblings and step parents Blended families were most commonly the product of the death of a spouse very rarely were blended families caused by divorce In the case of a father's death his children were considered to be free If their partner was not their father and happened to be their grandfather then the children were not free If the children were still young at the time of their father's death then they will remain with their mother and follow her into her next marriage Or they could use their inheritance to build a life of their own Inheritance is split equally amongst the male heirs so they often have a steady start to their lives as free men In the instance of a father's death the mother often has the power to select someone to handle the family affairs If she selects someone who ends up not being worthy of the position she has the authority to fire him and select someone new Shelton

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