Life in Rome was never easy for anyone. Yes, we all know the plebs and barbarians had it rough. But well, so did the elite. In some ways, their lives were even more difficult. You see, at least the plebs and barbarians lived their lives as they decided…usually. They chose who they married or how they survived. It was not all laid out from birth as it was for patrician kids.
Sons of senators or equestrians were expected to follow in their father’s footsteps as Julius (Red Fury series), Alexius (Threatened Loyalties. They were expected to do. Dad was a senator; their son became a senator. And it did look attractive until things went wrong as it did for Julius and he fell in love with a barbarian woman and had a son by her. Even worse, he wanted to bring her back and marry her. Oh no. Even Rome had a law against him doing that, and to say his mother/or parents would approve, oh hell no. How embarrassing!!
Girls of senators or equestrians like Domitia (Red Fury series), Pricilla (A Roman Affair), Aelia (Vows of Revenge), Messalina or Rosa (Threatened Loyalties) had even less choice in the matter. Daddy determined that. Even Mommy had little say. It was a patriarchal decision.
If you watched HBORome, Octavia was the prime example of that. Because Julius needed a power grab, Attia had the man Octavia had been arranged to marry and now loved executed ‘for the family.’ Depending on the father, neither son nor daughter had a say regardless of whether the arranged marriage was a happy one. Daddy had the final say.
When it came to children of that marriage, on either side of the fence, belonged to the father. Sure, the mother could divorce the dad, but she gave up all rights of her kids. But he could divorce his mom and still kept the rights to the kids.
Now, due to the death rate of plebs and barbarians, arranged or not, their kids stayed with the parent who survived. However, the patrician kids stayed with Daddy’s next of kin.
But hey, the patrician kids were raised to face this…no questions asked. It was the way it was done. Love be damned. Family ruled. (Viciria-For the Family).

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