The Family in Late Antiquity offers a challenging, well-argued and coherent study of the family in the late Roman world and the influence of the emerging Christian religion on its structure and value.
Before the Roman Empire's political disintegration in the west, enormous political, religious and cultural changes took place in the period of late antiquity. This book is the first comprehensive study of the family in the later Roman Empire, from approximately 300 AD to 550 AD. Geoffrey Nathan analyses the classical Roman family as well as early Christian notions of this most basic unit of social organisation. Using these models as a contextual backdrop, he then explores marriage, children, domestic servitude, and other familial institutions in late antiquity. He brings together a diverse collection of sources, transcending traditional studies that have centred on the legal record.