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patria potestas


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The legal power and rights of a Roman father over his children and descendants by virtue of his paternity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In Roman antiquity, a father's control and dominion over his children born in the complete Roman marriage, grandchildren, and other descendants, extending in early times to the power of life and death, and including the rights of sale into servitude, and of emancipation or discharge of the child from the privileges and charges of the family.


From Latin patria potestās. (Wiktionary)


  • Arius are related by Seneca, (de Clementia, i. 14, 15,) the former with horror, the latter with applause.] 110 Quod latronis magis quam patris jure eum interfecit, nam patria potestas in pietate debet non in atrocitate consistere, (Marcian.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire


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