THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN IN THE POST-CLASSICAL ROMAN LAW

Mihnea-Dan Radu

Abstract


In Ancient Rome, children were under the absolute power of the head of the family, who could dispose of them as he wished and could abandon them immediately after birth, which is an act that would most of the time result in their death or slavery. With time, this power was diminished, especially in the imperial period, when, under the influence of Christianity, legislative measures were taken in order to protect the children’s lives. At first, these measures had an incomplete character, as they needed to mind the power of the traditions and economic realities of the time. Emperor Constantine the Great played an important role in the edicts that promoted them, succeeding, even by paradoxical means, in protecting the family and children.

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