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Marriage and children in Roman law

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

In 18 BCE formed lex Iulia de maritandis ordinibus, introducing the obligation to remain married, and in the year 9 CE lex Papia Poppea, imposing the obligation to have children.

Both laws apply to both sexes; women aged 20-50 and men aged 25-60.
As for marriage, in the event of the death of a spouse or divorce a new marriage had to be concluded immediately – women were privileged here because they had the so-called vacatio when they could refrain from remarrying. The sanction for breaking the order was quite sophisticated – unmarried people could not receive anything from the will.
In turn, the sanction for not having children was to limit the possibility of inheriting only one half of the saved donation.

However, the privilege of three children – ius trium liberorum – was definitely more important for women than for men. A man who is the father of at least three children had certain privileges associated with guardianship and guardianship, and did not have to be married.
On the other hand, a woman with three children no longer needed male care and obtained full legal capacity, including the possibility of making a will herself.
It is noteworthy that emperors sometimes granted ius trium liberorum privilege to women who had fewer than three children, or even those who did not have them at all.

Author: Bogumiła Gebler
Sources
  • Thread: Kobieta w starożytnym Rzymie, "Historycy.org"

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