Gotra System in Ancient Rome and Greece (Post No.7052)

Date: 3 OCTOBER 2019
British Summer Time uploaded in London – 20-21
Post No. 7052

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Brahmins and any other communities in India follow Gotra (clan) rules strictly. They consider the people brothers and sisters if they are born in the same Gotra. Primarily there were seven Gotras which multiplied in course of time to hundreds. A 100 year old book compare this to the rules in other countries. Brahmins don’t marry in the same Gotra.

It is found in the book

The People of India, Sir Herbert Risley, London, 1915

Senart’s theory

After examining the views propounded by three people including me Senart points out the close correspondence that exists between the three series of groups in Rome – gens, curia, tribes; family groups in Greece; and he family gotra and caste in India. Pursuing the subject into fuller detail, he seeks to show from the records of classical antiquity that

in the department of marriage, roman gens and an Athenian group present striking resemblance to the Indian gotra.

We learn from Plutarch, that the romans never married a woman of their own kin, and among the matrons who figure in classical literature, none bears the same gentile name as her husband . nor was endogamy unknown.

At Athens in the time of Demosthenes. membership of a group was confined to the offspring of that particular group.

In Rome the long struggle of plebeians to obtain the jus connubii with patrician women belongs to the same class of facts; an the patricians, according to Senart, were guarding the endogamous rights of their order—

If they marry a woman from humbler origins or foreigners he children were traded as low class people. In Rome if low class people are present in the sacrifice of gens, they are offended. In Rome the woman was transferred to the group of her husband . brahmin women also get the gotra of her husband leaving her own gotra.

In food also they refused to take food cooked by other groups they were not allowed to eat with the members of other lower group. In Rome ,as in India, daily libations were offered to ancestors and the funeral feasts of Greeks and romans correspond to Hindu sraddha

The expulsion rites were also similar in Rome and India. Roman interdict aqua et igni corresponds to the ancient Indian ritual for expulsion from caste. A slave filled the water of an offender’s vessel and solemnly pours it on the ground.

Meaning of phrases and words –

Ius Connubii, the right of contracting a lawful marriage. Ius Commercii, the right of acquiring, transferring, and holding property of all kinds according to the Roman laws. … Ius Connubii, the right of contracting a lawful marriage.

Definition of aqua et igni interdictus

forbidden (to be furnished) with water and fire banished




  1. an authoritative prohibition.

–subham –