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In its wider sense, the name given by the Romans to the power of the chief of a family over the whole of that family, especially the power of the husband over his wife, whose person and property were so completely his own that he was legally responsible for her actions, but at the same time had the right to kill, punish, or sell her. As in this respect, so also with respect to the right of inheritance, the wife was placed on a level with the children, as she obtained the same share as they. For marriages without manus, see Matrimonium.

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