The Concept of Marriage in a Cultural Discourse in Roman Britain
Bachelor Thesis Brno 2014
Supervisor: Mgr. Jaroslav Izavčuk Author: Andrea Tomanová
Tomanová, Andrea. The Concept of Marriage in a Cultural Discourse in Roman Britain: bakalářská práce. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, Fakulta pedagogická, Katedra anglického jazyka a literatury, 2014. 51 s. Vedoucí bakalářské práce Mgr. Jaroslav Izavčuk
Tomanová, Andrea. The Concept of Marriage in a Cultural Discourse in Roman Britain: bachelor thesis. Brno: Masaryk University, Faculty of Education, Department of English Language and Literature, 2014. 51 pages. The supervisor of the bachelor thesis Mgr. Jaroslav Izavčuk
Bakalářská práce „Pojetí manželství v Římské Británii z kulturního hlediska” se zabývá rodinou a manželstvím v době, kdy byla Británie Římskou provincií. Práce se zejména zaměřuje na Římský zákon o rodině, který v Británii platil, dále se díva na manželství lidí z různých společenských vrstev. V práci je take srovnáván rodinný život v Římské Británii a rodinný život v Gálii.
Hlavním cílem této práce je zjistit, zda lidé v této době uzavírali sňatky z důvodu majetnických a mocních, anebo čistě z lásky. Dalším cílem práce je zjistit, které ostatní skutečnosti ovlivňovaly manželství a rodinu v Římské Británii.
The bachelor thesis “The Concept of Marriage in a Cultural Discourse in Roman Britain” deals with family and marriage in time when Britain was a regular Roman province. The thesis especially focuses on the Roman family law, which was valid in Britain, and further it examines the marriages of people from different social classes. There is also a comparison of family life in Roman Britain and Gaul.
The main aim of this thesis is to find out if the people of Roman Britain got married to gain possession and power or just to love. Another aim of this thesis is to find out what else influenced the marriage and family in Roman Britain.
Roman Britain, marriage, family, society, social class, wealth, love, age
„Prohlašuji, že jsem závěrečnou bakalářskou práci vypracovala samostatně, s využitím pouze citovaných literárních pramenů, dalších informací a zdrojů v souladu s Disciplinárním řádem pro studenty Pedagogické fakulty Masarykovy univerzity a se zákonem č. 121/2000 Sb., o právu autorském, o právech souvisejících s právem autorským a o změně některých zákonů (autorský zákon), ve znění pozdějších předpisů.“
V Brně, 15. dubna 2014 Andrea Tomanová
I would like to express my thanks to Mgr. Jaroslav Izavčuk, for his support, patience, and valuable advice that he gave me as the supervisor of my bachelor thesis.
2The period of Roman Britain 9
2.1 General overview 9
2.2 The Roman emperors of Britannia 12
3.1 Definition of family 13
3.2 Role of man 14
3.3 Role of woman 14
3.4 Gender 14
4.1 Definition of marriage 16
5Roman family law 16
5.1 Members of Roman family 17
5.2 The power of Pater familias 17
5.3 The marriage under Roman law 18
Types of Roman marriage 20
The engagement 21
The wedding ceremony 21
The role of Roman wife 23
The termination of marriage 24
5.4 Other alternatives of cohabitation 25
6The marriages according to the social class 26
6.1 Marriages of emperors 27
The marriages of Caesar 27
The marriages of Claudius 29
Hadrian’s marriage 30
The marriage of Marcus Aurelius 31
6.2 Marriages of officers 31
6.3 Marriages of soldiers 32
6.4 Marriages of slaves 33
7Family life in Roman Britain 34
7.1 Why monogamy? 38
7.2 Sexuality 40
Household sex 40
Same-sex relations 41
7.3 Religion in Roman Britain 41
8Comparison of Roman concept of marriage to other 42
8.1 Marriage in Gaul 44
8.2 Love? 44
10 Sources 47
In my bachelor thesis I focus on the concept of marriage in Roman Britain. I choose this topic because of my constant interest in culture and customs of ancient Romans. This interest is also given by my studies at grammar school where I studied Latin and Ancient Greek. In my opinion, antiquity has a real charm and still hides a lot of cultural secrets. And since I found a lot of researches concerning architecture, towns, roads etc., I realized to work on something which would have rather social orientation.
Marriage. Is it a real union of two people who want to create their relationship, share their mutual love and raise their children in love and harmony? Or is it just a strategic joining of two people who want to continue their family line and mainly provide for themselves and their family an auspicious future no matter how they reach that? These are questions which I would like to analyse in my research and get the right answer in the conclusion of my thesis. If the role of marriage in Roman Britain was primarily a question of power, wealth and possession, or it was rather a question of love and family contentment.
At the beginning of my thesis, I should mention that primary and secondary sources of social and family life in Roman Britain are slightly scant, but according to many authors and cultural evidences I can easily affirm that the family life in Roman Britain was exactly as same as the family life in the entire Roman Empire. That is why I will be much inspired by the sources related to the Roman Empire. However why not, as Roman Britain was a regular province of the Roman Empire, the rules and way of life were really coincident.
The bachelor thesis is based on the findings from the research of the literary and electronic sources. The division of my thesis will be following; first of all I will deal with demarcation of the time period and familiarization with main facts. Then I will continue with general definitions of social terminology as family, gender, marriage. After that I will move my research towards the essential part of my thesis, which will be the Roman family law, there I will analyse the members of family, the power in family, the marriage itself and its wedding customs and traditions. Also I would like to describe the marriages according to social classes and show the evident differences.
And in the comparative part of my thesis I will look at several aspects, family life in Roman Britain, typical Romano-British family, religion and sexuality in Roman Britain, the coexistence of Romans and Britons, adultery, divorce and adoption, how much they were popular in Roman Britain in comparison to our country. Further, I will draw a comparison between the time of Romans and modern times in questions such family life. And in consideration of my study specialization, English and French language, I would like to ascertain if the conditions of family life were at the period of Roman domination same in both provinces – Britain and Gaul.
I hope that I will accomplish the aim of my thesis which is simply to answer my question about the real function of marriage in Roman Britain. Is it too naive to think that marriage is a unit of two people who believe in love and trust?