What is PATERFAMILIAS?

The father of a family. In Roman law. The head or master of a family. This word is sometimes employed, in a wide sense, as equivalent to sui juris. A person sui juris is called “paterfamilias” even when under the age of puberty. In the narrower and more common use, a paterfamilias is any one invested with potestas over any person. It is thus as applicable to a grandfather as to a father. Ilunter, Rom. Law, 49.

More On This Topic



Link to This Definition
Did you find this definition of PATERFAMILIAS helpful? You can share it by copying the code below and adding it to your blog or web page.
Written and fact checked by The Law Dictionary