Definitions for "Paterfamilias"
Keywords:  oldest, wife, father, roman, vito
The head of a family; in a large sense, the proprietor of an estate; one who is his own master.
the male head of family or tribe
Father of the family, the oldest living male, who retained many more legal rights over his wife, off-spring, slaves, and dependents than are common in our time, including some rights of life and death. The term also refers, more nebulously, to the master of a familia, or associated group of a family, slaves, and clients. Probably the best rough equivalent for the sake of comprehension to an American would be Don Vito Corleone and his mafia family.