The Romans’ ins­ti­tu­tions pla­ced women in per­pe­tual tute­lage unless they were under a hus­band’s autho­rity.1 This tute­lage was assi­gned to the clo­sest rela­tive through the males, and it appears from a popu­lar expres­sion2 that they were clo­sely wat­ched. That was good for the repu­blic, and was not neces­sary in a monar­chy.3

It appears from various codes of bar­ba­rian laws that women among the early Germans were also in per­pe­tual tute­lage.4 This cus­tom pas­sed into the monar­chies they foun­ded, but did not sur­vive.

Nisi convenissent in manum viri.

Ne sis mihi patruus oro [‘Please do not play paternal uncle to me’].

The Papian Law decreed under Augustus that the women who had had three children would be exempt from such tutelage.

Among the Germans this tutelage was called mundeburdium.