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liberos=children?

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liberos=children?

Postby Teo » Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:31 pm

pater liberos suos amat, the father loves his children.
[Essential Latin Grammar (by Anne Mahoney), page 49.]
Why is liberos=children?
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Re: liberos=children?

Postby whsiv » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:51 pm

I don't really know why, but I can speculate:

My thought has always been that it is based on the perspective of the pater wielding patria potestas. From his view, he has two groups of dependents/property: his servi and his children. In order to distinguish his "non-free" property from his "free" property, this latter group is called liberi.

Pure speculation.
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Re: liberos=children?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:13 pm

whsiv wrote:I don't really know why, but I can speculate:

My thought has always been that it is based on the perspective of the pater wielding patria potestas. From his view, he has two groups of dependents/property: his servi and his children. In order to distinguish his "non-free" property from his "free" property, this latter group is called liberi.

Pure speculation.


I think this is right (it's the usual explanation given). A slave child born in the household is a verna. I am not sure if a distinction would be made for a slave child who would be purchased and not born in the household...
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
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