Monday, October 22, 2012

The Roman Family in the Annals of Tacitus: A Consideration of the Family of the Annals and Its Objective Validity


By Walter M. Hayes

Master’s Thesis, Loyola University Chicago, 1949

English: Roman bas-relief in sandstone of a fa...
English: Roman bas-relief in sandstone of a family, in Manor House Museum, Ilkley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Introduction: Ours is a period in which the very foundations of the family as a social and political institution have been viciously attacked. Our divorce rate careens toward promiscuity and the delinquency of our youth is unparalleled in the nation’s history. A remedy must be sought. A solution must be found or we must despair of our western heritage — a culture based on the family’s inviolability.

However the modern horizon is not altogether without its ancient parallel. Perhaps it will help to outline the status quo of that old-world family. As the ancient was stabilized by the advent of Christ may the modern home be vitalized by His return. The purpose of the thesis then is to set forth as clearly and as completely as possible the condition of the family of Rome between the years A.D. 18-68. the period with which the extant portion of the Annals deals.

…As might be suspeoted from the limitations we have made, the thesis approach is not that of the Roman private life student with his interests in the family’s daily routine, houses, villas, theaters, and viaducts. Our approach is rather that of the sociologist anxious to feel the fabric of this natural group so close to the brink of dissolution.