Cruel Grandparents

Marina Caffiero

in Forced Baptism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780520254510
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950283 | DOI:
Cruel Grandparents

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If the rights of custody of a paternal uncle, who was not a direct forebear, might raise some doubts and cause debate, there was significantly less uncertainty about a paternal grandfather. The paternal grandfather's right of patria potestas over his sons and grandchildren was certain in both Christian law, which derived from Roman law, and in Hebraic law. A paterfamilias in Ancient Rome was a Roman citizen who was no longer subject to the rule of any forebear in the male line. This means that the end of the condition of son and the beginning of the status of father was not the birth of one's own son, but rather the death of one's father. In the modern age, acts of emancipation to establish legal independence were considered quite normal procedures. Jewish parents often paid a high price when their own fathers converted to Christianity, and conflict ensured.

Keywords: paternal grandfather; Roman law; paterfamilias; Christianity; emancipation

Chapter.  15749 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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