A wealthy family

Pater familias

Hausherr in beide2

The pater familias was the highest-ranking member, the head of the Roman family. He had unlimited power over his familia, owned the property and wealth, and represented the household in public.

Kinder und Amme


Amme Maedchen

In the families of Roman citizens girls were prepared for their future roles as a wives and mothers, while boys were made ready to take up their position as head of the family and to be a good citizen. Children of wealthier families went to school from the age of 6 or 7. They learnt to read, write and do arithmetic. Children from poorer backgrounds, however, had no option but to work.

These figures represent the members of a wealthy familia like those who may have resided in the luxurious townhouses of Augusta Raurica. The mistress (mater familias) runs the household with a firm hand. The wet nurse takes care of the baby and a private tutor teaches the older daughter. The master of the house (pater familias) receives his business partners at his home and invites them to partake in sumptuous feasts.