previous next

tot . . . potens, ‘rich in my many sons-in-law and sons.’ Cf. 22, XIV. 657, Virg. Aen.VII. 55, Turnus avis atavisque potens. The collocation generis natisque sounds strange in English, but cf. VI. 38, “audiat istas si qua tibi nurus est, si qua est tibi filia, voces”, Cat. LXXII. 3, “dilexi tum te non tantum ut vulgus amicum, sed pater ut gnatos diligit et generos”. (So matresque nurusque occurs III. 529, IV. 9, and nurus is very frequently used by Ovid in the sense of ‘bride,’ as in Her.VIII. 12). The relation between the gener and his wife's parents, especially her father, was at Rome peculiarly intimate, and even sacred, to a degree which was not true of the marriage tie itself. Indeed sentiment was largely transferred from the one relationship to the other. This comes out in many ways, as in the horror with which strife between those thus allied was regarded (cf. XIV. 801, Fast.III. 202, “tum primum generis attulit arma socer”), and in the praise bestowed on fidelity to this relationship. Thus in the description of the iron age, I. 144: “vivitur ex rapto; non hospes ab hospite tutus, non socer a genero; fratrum quoque gratia rara est”. So Tacitus ( Hist.I. iii. 1) recites among the redeeming features of the age: “comitatae profugos liberos matres, secutae maritos in exsilia coniuges; propinqui audentes, constantes generi”.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 7.55
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 13.22
    • Ovid, Epistulae, 8
    • Ovid, Fasti, 3
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: