The Roles and Responsibilities of the Adult Male

Joseph Roisman

in The Rhetoric of Manhood

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780520241923
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931138 | DOI:
The Roles and Responsibilities of the Adult Male

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  • Greek and Roman Archaeology


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This chapter describes what the orations refers as the responsibilities—and the attendant apprehensions—of the adult man, aged roughly twenty to sixty, in his role as head of the household, or kurios, husband, son, kinsman, friend, and citizen. It concentrates on the ideology and expectations of masculinity relevant to these roles. It also includes an examination of the obligation to dower brides, the complex perceptions of marital and extramarital relationships, and the challenges that solidarity within the family, the kinship groups, and among friends entailed for Athenian men. The Athenian kurios was usually the oikos' oldest male member with citizen's rights. The state had a stake in legitimate paternity and intervened to settle family feuds. The orations make it clear that in fulfilling his masculine obligations in one role, the Athenian male could be faulted for neglecting or violating them in another.

Keywords: Athenian kurios; husband; son; kinsman; friend; citizen; Athenian male

Chapter.  17278 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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