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patria potestas

[pey-tree-uh poh-tes-tuh s, pah-, pa-; Latin pah-tri-ah poh-tes-tahs] /ˈpeɪ tri ə poʊˈtɛs təs, ˈpɑ-, ˈpæ-; Latin ˈpɑ trɪˌɑ poʊˈtɛs tɑs/
noun, Roman Law.
1.
the power vested in the paterfamilias or head of the Roman family with respect to his wife, natural or adopted children, and agnatic descendants: title to family property is vested exclusively in the paterfamilias. Property acquired by a family member becomes family property, and no family member can enter into a transaction in his or her own right.
Origin of patria potestas
< Latin: literally, paternal power
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Historical Examples
  • Such is the tremendous influence of lifelong habit, the irresistible power of the patria potestas when it has never been relaxed.

    Tales of the Five Towns Arnold Bennett
  • In truth, in the primitive view, Relationship is exactly limited by patria potestas.

    Ancient Law Sir Henry James Sumner Maine
  • Every conquering race has accordingly developed the "patria potestas" to a greater or less degree.

  • It was a prolongation of the patria potestas up to the period of bare physical manhood.

    Ancient Law Sir Henry James Sumner Maine
  • To solve these questions, we must recur to the patria potestas.

    Ancient Law Sir Henry James Sumner Maine
  • With what merry scorn would she have met this assertion of the patria potestas from the mouth of a sound brother!

    Lady Merton, Colonist Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • The relation which existed between the father and the child was known as the patria potestas.

    The Historical Child Oscar Chrisman
  • But from the undisputed existence of patria potestas no similar inference can be drawn.

  • In the West, however, the individual has become the civil unit; the "patria potestas" has thus been all but lost.

  • It recognized at first the family only, and that family was held together by paternal power (patria potestas).

    Women and the Alphabet Thomas Wentworth Higginson

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