Roles were strictly defined within the Roman family, which was guided by the father, the paterfamilias. The paterfamilias exercised legal power even of life and death over his entire household, including his spouse, children, relatives, servants, and slaves. This power extended over a grown son, even if he were a person of wealth and social influence who held public office.
In this bronze portrait head of the banker Lucius Caecilius Jucundus, the stern gaze and sagging features convey the dignity and authority of a typical paterfamilias. The visual arts of the Romans strives for a realism (note the prominent mole below the left cheek) never approached by the idealistic Greeks. Museo Nazionale, Naples.