The household (domus) was the basic unit of Roman society. This sourcebook offers insight into the different and often conflicting roles and mores of household members -- male and female, old and young, free and slave -- as it illustrates the activities associated with the home and Roman perceptions of its place in society. Newly translated excerpts -- some of which are available in English for the first time -- are taken from a wide range of Latin and Greek prose literature, ethical and agricultural handbooks and codes, legal texts, inscriptions, and other epigraphical material from the second century B.C. to the sixth century A.D. Taken together, they constitute an indispensable resource for the study of Roman domestic and social history, providing an intimate glimpse inside the Roman home.
Contains brief excerpts--a sentence to a couple of pages--from classical Roman writers on the conception of the household. The sections cover composition and definition, the household as the focus of emotion, ideals and anxieties, economics, life-cycle, inheritance, manumission and freedmen, and patronage and friendship. Marital themes are not considered. Also available in paper, (unseen), $16.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)